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A Synopsis of Paper 150: The Third Preaching Tour

During the third preaching tour, the evangelists traveled together in small groups, covering central and southern Galilee.

Jesus chose ten women as teachers for this tour: Susanna, the daughter of the Nazareth chazzan; Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward; Elizabeth of Tiberias and Sepphoris; Martha, the sister of Andrew and Peter; Rachel, Jude's sister-in-law; Nasanta, the daughter of Elman; Milcha, the cousin of Thomas; Ruth, the daughter of Matthew Levi; Celta, the daughter of a Roman centurion; and Agaman, a widow from Damascus. Later Rebecca, daughter of Joseph of Arimathea, and Mary Magdalene joined the women. The women's corps elected Suzanna as their chief and Joanna as treasurer.

The formation of this group was a shock to the twelve apostles. They had heard Jesus say that all people are equal as sons and daughters of God, yet they were stunned when he formally commissioned women as religious teachers. The enemies of Jesus held this against him, but women everywhere approved of this acknowledgment of a woman's place in religious work.

At Magdala the women demonstrated the wisdom of their group's existence when they freely entered the "evil resorts" to preach to the prostitutes there. It was during one of these visits that Martha and Rachel converted Mary Magdalene, who later became the most effective preacher in the women's corps.

Jesus and the apostles traveled to Nazareth. Nazareth had changed since Jesus' boyhood days and many of Jesus' childhood friends were dead or gone. Nazarenes had become increasingly influenced by the low moral standards of nearby Sepphoris, and some resented that Jesus had not done any miracles for them.

On the Sabbath, Jesus spoke in the synagogue on the subject of "Sons and Daughters of God." Many of the people were pleased with his gracious talk, but his disciples were aware of a group of belligerent thugs that Jesus' enemies had hired to cause trouble. Simon Zelotes became angry and the mob became aroused. They grabbed Jesus and took him to the edge of a hill, intending to push him over. At the edge of the cliff, Jesus suddenly turned on his attackers, quietly folded his arms, and walked unmolested through the mob. Jesus escaped harm, but the episode had a sobering effect on his followers. The apostles began to understand what Jesus meant when he told them that peace would not always attend their preaching.

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