Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. Matthew 4:23-25 NIV (Emphasis added.)

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. Matthew 5:1-2 NIV

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Matthew 10:2-4

Being curious as to how long it might take for Jesus to “go throughout Galilee”, teach in each town’s synagogue and stop to heal “all who were ill with various diseases,” I checked on Google and found this helpful site, ( It said that Galilee encompassed an area of 2800 square miles and that even walking fast, it would take around 3 months to visit and preach in each town. Also the site had information on other cities that indicated that the crowds which followed Jesus would include Gentiles as well as Israelites.

Although Matthew 4:18-22 mentions only the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John, it appears that the rest of the disciples (mentioned in Matthew 10:2-4), were there on the mount as Jesus started teaching what the characteristics of the kingdom of God would be. The disciples would be the ones who would follow him for all the years before His crucifixion while Jesus would be reinforcing his teaching with them.

There would be other crowds at other times in other places, but these 12 disciples would be the ones consistently with him whom he focused on.

What is encouraging to me is that the disciples, as well as the majority of the people in the crowds, were not the highly educated or the religious elite,
but were ordinary individuals like me. Also, Jesus saw and cared for all who came to him with a need for both healing and teaching.

As we start the adventure of studying The Sermon On The Mount, please join us in praying the Lord’s Prayer:

…“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from the evil one.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:9-15 NIV