Episode 171 – Jesus in Galilee Pt 4: Pagans of the Decapolis

Jesus interacted with all kinds of people. And when he crossed the Sea of the Galilee to “the other side,” it was to be with the pagans of the Decapolis. This league of Hellenistic cities was created to showcase Greco-Roman thought and culture in the region. But the cultural crusading of the Decapolis masked a spiritual starvation for something more. Like Jesus, we’re called to be salt and light in the cultures we inhabit, but influence is always a two-way street. By the end of this episode, you’ll be challenged to think deeply about “Who’s influencing who?” as you encounter the alluring cultures Jesus has sent you to influence.

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching? 
  • What are some of the ways you feel the “cultural crusading” of the world around you? 
  • The wealthy pagans of the Decapolis were spiritually hungry for the life Jesus had to offer. How do you see “the poverty of wealth” in the cultures around you? 
  • Name one or two specific ways you are being intentional about influencing the culture(s) around you. If it helps, think about work culture, school culture, family culture, neighborhood culture, global-consumer culture, etc. 
  • What are one or two specific ways you are being influenced by the culture(s) around you? 
  • What’s the difference between absorbing your influences and choosing them? 
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?  

For Further Study

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  1. Wesley C June 20, 2023 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    CONTEXT!!! Outstanding!!!

  2. Glenn Cureton August 9, 2023 at 8:21 am - Reply

    So enlightening! I just returned from Israel, having visited many of the mentioned cities and sites, including a newly opened city in the Decapolis, Sussita. Looking forward to more teachings.

    • Brad Nelson October 6, 2023 at 10:43 am - Reply

      Hi Glenn, I just wrote a post for Hippos-Sussita this morning. What a great site! Thanks for following along with us. I hope you get to walk the land again sometime soon!

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