For a look at some Background Information on our writer, the Apostle John, see the Disciple Study located for convenient reference in the Appendix. This is provided so as not to piecemeal or obscure each disciple within our main study as they are introduced by the gospel writer.

As learned in our Introduction, Palestine was ruled by Rome under 4 divisions at the time of Christ: (1) Judea and (2) Samaria ruled by Pontius Pilate, the 5th appointed Roman procurator in A.D. 26; and (3) Galilee and (4) Perea ruled by the Idumean Herod.
Except for His infant flight into Egypt, Jesus spent His life within a 70 mile radius of this region: Jerusalem to the South; Sidon on the coast to the north; and Decapolis and Perea to the east.

Acts 5:36,37
Polytheism, except for the religious Jew, was the order of the day. Immorality abounded, even among the many "gods." The spiritual aspect of Jewish religion (except among a few, usually the poorer class) was all but extinct. The legalism of the Pharisees and Scribes ruled. Ceremonialism was the yoke that bound the necks of all Jews, especially as one drew nearer to its center in Jerusalem. From A.D. 6, taxation had been levied by the heavy hand of Rome and in many cases implemented by turncoat publicans. Hope toward a political messiah was at its zenith. Many such self-proclaimed persons were appearing on the scene with their renegade band of followers, usually discounted by their own actions. The region was rife with bands of robbers and Sicarii. The middle class was non-existent. Most were very poor except for the few aristocrats who bought and sold humans like cattle.
Acts 2:36
Into this volatile world, Jesus came to establish His Heavenly Kingdom, but the Jew refused Him as their king, declaring they had none but Caesar ( 19:15). Although Jewish by blood and by His own declaration He came to the house of Israel, He was subsequently rejected by His own. However, as He also clearly taught, His kingdom will include anyone from any blood who will hear and respond to His call.

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