The Lord Jesus Christ – Bethlehem to Jerusalem (Journey the Word 9)

Our Lord Jesus Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem, what a joyous experience. Here are the takes on this story. Only Matthew and John’s takes are included to avoid redundancy, repetition, and length.

Matthew

Matthew, the tax collector, was the writer of this gospel book. The date it was finished was around the 60s A.D. The beginning of Matthew starts with a genealogy of Jesus all the way back to David and Abraham. This shows that Jesus has a kingly and covenant heritage through David and a covenant heritage through Abraham. The Davidic Covenant ensures the promise of a king to sit upon his throne forever, according to 2 Samuel 7:8-13. The Abrahamic Covenant ensured all families of the earth to be blessed, according to Genesis 12:3.

Now, Jesus’ birth was prophesied unto Joseph by the angel of the Lord, which appeared to Joseph in a dream. Jesus was then born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the reigning days of King Herod. The angel of the Lord again appeared to Joseph telling him to take Mary and Jesus with him and flee to Egypt, to escape the killing of Jesus by King Herod. Once Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph telling him to take Mary and Jesus with him to Israel. Jesus now lived in Nazareth.

Next, Matthew writes of John the Baptist, who told the people to prepare the way for the Lord, making the path straight for Jesus to come. Jesus then came unto John to be baptized. John appealed to Jesus, insisting the Jesus should baptize him instead. However, Jesus insisted back and John proceeded with the baptism of Jesus. During the baptism, God and the Holy Spirit were also with Jesus.

Satan then meets Jesus in the wilderness. This is for Jesus to be tempted, after Jesus just completed fasting 40 days and nights. Jesus successfully defeated the temptations of the devil by using Scripture. Through this, we discover and know that Jesus came to be a savior first, and then a king.

Jesus began His ministry in Galilee, where He first taught for people to “repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (4:17). Jesus then called four disciples: two of which were Peter and Andrew, who He instructed to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. Next, Jesus came upon James and John, whom He also told to follow Him. Now, all four of them began following Him. Jesus began teaching in synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and healing the sick and diseased.

Next, Jesus taught at the Sermon on the Mount. Through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught God’s principles for righteousness. Jesus began with the Beatitudes, to show people how they’re blessed. He also taught on being salt and light of the earth. Then, He moved forward through the Sermon on the Mount to teach on anger and reconciliation, adultery, divorce, oaths, revenge, love for enemies, giving to the poor and needy, prayer, fasting, laying up treasures in Heaven, being free from worry, judgments, hypocrisy, the Golden Rule, false prophets, and God’s Will.

When Jesus finished teaching at the Sermon on the Mount, He healed many people including a leper, the centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, and a paralytic. Jesus next added Matthew, the tax collector, as His disciple. Jesus had called twelve disciples total, giving them power to cast out unclean spirits and healing the sick and diseased. Jesus thoroughly instructed the disciples, which involved preaching the kingdom of God and that they would suffer and be persecuted for His sake.

Upon more teaching and healing, Jesus also casted out more demons. Next, Jesus began teaching on the kingdom of Heaven and told parables (stories) about it. Matthew records fifteen parables, twelve of which began with “the kingdom of Heaven is like…” Jesus spoke of the kingdom of Heaven being like the sower, the tares, the mustard seed, the leaven (in the dough), the hidden treasure, an expensive pearl, and a dragnet.

After that, Jesus had to deal with being rejected in His own country, Nazareth, and then His friend, John the Baptist, was beheaded. Next, Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. Then, after teaching some more, Jesus fed four thousand more people with seven loaves and a few fish. Through these miracles, persecution increased from the Pharisees and others. Jesus began the building of the Church through Peter (and the other disciples). Jesus then predicted His own death, noting He’d be raised again on the third day.

Next, Jesus healed and taught more parables. Then, Palm Sunday came around. During this time, people celebrated Jesus as king/messiah, waving Palm Branches and other forms of celebration for Him. Soon after, Jesus went into the temple and overturned the merchant’s tables, because they were doing business in the temple. Jesus ordered the merchants to leave. The Pharisees and other persecutors saw this and took note of it. Because of this, the Pharisees started testing Jesus to find flaws in His teachings. However, Jesus knew what they were up to and didn’t fall to their tests.

Jesus then taught more parables and other things, including the Great Commandment to love God and neighbors. Next, Jesus prophesied about His Second Coming. He also prophesied for His people to be ready, which was taught through the parables: of the faithful servant, of the ten virgins, and of the talents.

After this, Matthew writes about the plot to kill Jesus, which involved the chief priests, scribes, and elders unto the high priest Caiaphas. They wanted to take Jesus through subtlety, and arrest Him. Judas then went to one of the chief priests, and made a deal with him to betray Jesus.

Next, the Last Supper began, which was part of the feast of unleavened bread. Jesus gathered with His disciples, and administered His body and His blood for the remission of sins. Jesus knew of Judas’ plan for betrayal, and Peter’s expected denial of Him. Later, Jesus was betrayed and arrested, came before Caiaphas to be judged, and was denied by Peter. After Jesus came before Pilate and was voted to be crucified, Jesus was delivered over for crucifixion.

During the stages of the crucifixion, Jesus was mocked, beaten, and whipped. Then, Jesus was crucified at Golgotha in the middle of two thieves. After a while of hanging on the cross, Jesus cried out before the Lord and gave up His spirit (and died). He was placed inside a tomb of His own, where He resurrected from three days later. Many had come and found the tomb empty.

Soon after, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples (for Judas betrayed Jesus and was no longer a disciple as a result), where He commissioned them to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This would end Matthew’s writings about Jesus.

John

John’s gospel, different from the other three, is about Jesus, the Son of God. John wrote this book between 80-95 A.D. According to John 20:31, he wrote it with the intention to prove Jesus was the Christ, the promised messiah for the Jews, and the Son of God. Also, that Jesus wants to lead believers into a life of divine friendship with Him. John also places an emphasis of the sonship of Jesus with the Father.

The book begins with an introduction to Jesus and to the book itself. First, we recognize that Jesus had no beginning, but that He was in the beginning already with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is the Word, which means he came to declare and tell about God. Also, that “all things were made by Him, and in Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (1:3-4). Then, in 1:14, we find that He was made flesh and dwelt among us (as the Son of Man). Law and truth came by Moses, but Jesus brought grace and truth (1:17). What’s amazing is, those who received Him can become sons of God, if they believe in Him (1:12).

John began about Jesus’ ministry by talking about John the Baptist first. He notes the prophet Esaias called out to everyone (during John’s baptizing scene) that Jesus is coming, and to make His way straight. Then, the next day, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and announced Him – before baptizing Him. John the Baptist, even birthed in flesh before Jesus, said that Jesus was before Him – acknowledging that Jesus pre-existed before His fleshly birth.

The next day, Jesus came upon Andrew and Peter, and they wanted to know where He dwells. So, Jesus told them to “come and see.” So, they began following Him. The day after that, Philip and Nathanael began following Jesus as well. Jesus was then called to a wedding in Cana of Galilee, where He would then turn water into wine. This was the first of His miracles noted by John. Soon, during the Jews’ Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the temple. There, He set foot in the temple, where He found people selling merchandise of sorts. Jesus formed a whip and then drove them all out of the temple and overthrew their table they were selling on.

Jesus taught many, including Nicodemus about new birth and the kingdom of God. Soon, He taught about God loving the world so much, that He was given, and for those who believed in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. Also, that He didn’t come to condemn men, but to save them rather. Those who don’t believe are condemned already. Those who do evil hate the light and those who do truth come to the light. Jesus then taught a woman of Samaria about the water that leads to everlasting life. Also, that the true worshippers should worship God in spirit and in truth.

Next, after teaching a bit, Jesus then went to convert a group of Samaritans (and speak of His own rejection as a prophet), and forward to Cana to heal a nobleman’s son (who was dying). Jesus then traveled to Jerusalem, where He healed an impotent man who was afflicted for thirty-eight years. Soon, Jesus proclaimed before people that He was equal with God, and that He shares the same purpose for doing things. Later, when Jesus went to the land near the sea of Tiberius, where He fed five-thousand people with five barley loaves and two small fishes. Jesus made claim the following day that He was the bread of life, which the Jews rejected. Jesus stated that the Father draws people to Him, and that they don’t have life in them unless they eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus (which foreshadows the communion).

Next, John notes that many of His disciples left His side. Jesus knew also, after Peter confessed Him as the Son of God, that Judas would betray Him. Soon, Jesus went up to the temple during the feast of the tabernacles, where He taught about the doctrine of God, Moses’ law of circumcision, about being sent from the Father, and that the Spirit is living water. Then, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives early in the morning, where He saw the scribes and Pharisees, whom He had trouble with in the past in regards to persecutions of His teaching and miracles. He also saw a woman with them who had sinned in adultery. Jesus was writing on the ground with His finger, when the scribes and Pharisees came over and were telling Him that the woman should be stoned because of violating Moses’ law. They kept bugging Jesus, until He stood up for the woman and said, “he that is without sin among you, let Him first cast a stone at her.” They left Jesus and the woman alone. Jesus told the woman she was not condemned, and that she should “go and sin no more.”

Jesus then taught about many things, such as Himself being the light of the world, unbelief, and about being the children of Abraham. Apart from this teaching, healing a blind man, and dealing with the troubling Pharisees – Jesus spoke about being the door of the sheep, that He is the good shepherd: also giver and taker of life. Soon, the Jews wanted to take and arrest Him, but Jesus escaped.

Now, Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, was found sick, and Jesus was told about it. Jesus waited two days, and then came to visit Lazarus – only to find Him dead. Later, Jesus came to where Lazarus was laid, and raised him from the dead, which made the Pharisees very angry. The chief priests and Pharisees gathered before the high priest, Caiaphas, where they plotted to have Jesus killed. Later, after being anointed by Mary, Jesus came to Jerusalem on a donkey, where people celebrated Him with palm branches. Jesus then had some trouble with the Jews and Gentiles concerning their service and belief patterns.

Now, during the feast of the Passover (the last supper in the other gospels), after the supper was done, Jesus humbled Himself and washed the disciples’ feet. He then taught about the great commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.” He also prophesied that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed. Next, Jesus taught about Himself being the way, the truth, and the life to which no one comes to the Father but by Him. Those who ask in His name, He shall give to them. He also promised that the Holy Spirit will come upon them, and shall be with them to comfort them. After that, Jesus taught that He was the true vine and His people were the branches. Also, that through abiding in Him, He shall abide in His people also. He then spoke of the great commandment again, before teaching on persecution.

After teaching some more and being in deep intercession with God, Jesus was then betrayed by Judas and arrested. Jesus was brought to trial before Caiaphas, before being denied by Peter three times. Jesus then came before Pilate, who didn’t find Him guilty. After trying to reason with the people, the people voted Jesus to be crucified over Barabbas the robber. People chose Barabbas, that is, over Jesus to be called innocent or free from crucifixion. After this incident, Pilate took Jesus for scourging, and then brought Him back before the people – assuring them that He was guilty. When Pilate saw he had no choice, he handed Jesus over for crucifixion – where Jesus was mocked and beaten. The time came soon after for Jesus to be crucified, where He later gave up His spirit and died. He was placed inside a tomb, to where He would arise in a few days.

Mary Magdalene was the first to see that Jesus was gone from the tomb. She went and got Peter, who came with another disciple or group of people – and saw that Jesus was gone. Later, Jesus appeared to Mary, and then to His disciples. Thomas was doubtful, so Jesus allowed him to feel with his finger on His hands, and his hand to His sides – to which Thomas believed.

Soon, Jesus showed before the disciples again, where He ate with them and met with Peter about feeding His sheep & continuing to follow Him. John, to end the book, claimed that Jesus did many other things, but that the world couldn’t contain the books that should be written.

Do not be conformed, says the Lord, to the world

What the world saysWhat Jesus says to do instead
Those competent and “have it all together” are valued.Those desperate and needy are accepted (Matthew 5:3); Come all to Jesus those who are weak and burdened, and you will receive rest (Matthew 11:28).
Suffering for any reason should be avoided.Suffering for righteousness is expected, and believers will be rewarded (Matthew 5:10-12).
Treat others the way they treat you.Show enemies forgiveness and love (safely please)(Matthew 5:38-48).
Do good things to get people to notice you and be praised for it.Do good things quietly, not worrying if people are impressed, because you know your reward will be in Heaven (Matthew 6:1-6).
Stockpile as much wealth as possible.We store up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
Spending time obsessing over food and clothing, and other such matters.Concerned with spiritual and eternal matters (Matthew 6:33).
Point out the flaws of others and critique no matter how much it hurts.You focus on your own troubles and shortcomings (Matthew 7:1-5).
Go with the crowd of the world.We are called to follow the narrow road that leads to life and eternal life (Matthew 7:14).

Life of Christ timeline

  • The Angel spoke to Mary that she will bear a son through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38). The Angel tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:18-25).

  • 4 BC – Birth of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7).

  • Shepherds visit Jesus who was lying in the manger (Luke 2:8-20).

  • Eventually, when Jesus happens at the Temple, He is recognized as the Messiah (Luke 2:21-38).

  • Magi from the East visit Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12).

  • Joseph and Mary took Jesus and fled to escape from Herod. They went to Egypt. Eventually, they returned to Nazareth once Herod died (Matthew 2:13-23).

  • Jesus’ Baptism: Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22).

  • Jesus resists satan’s temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).

  • First miracle of Christ Jesus: Jesus turns water into wine (John 2:1-12).

  • Jesus’ first cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13-25).

  • Jesus talks with Nicodemus about Salvation (John 3:1-21).

  • Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42).

  • Jesus heals the official’s son (John 4:46-54), heals and forgives a paralyzed man (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26), heals a man at the pool of Bethesda during the second Passover recorded in Scripture (John 5:1-47), and heals a centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10).

  • Jesus called Disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11).

  • Jesus dined with “sinners” (Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32).

  • The Sermon on the Mount: Jesus teaches with authority (Matthew 5:1-7:29; Luke 6:20-49; 11:1-13; 16:16-17).

  • Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17).

  • Pharisees accused Jesus of being in league with satan, and Jesus countered them (Matthew 12:22-37; Mark 3:20-30; Luke 11:14-28).

  • Jesus calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25).

  • Jesus cast demons from a man to send into a team of pigs (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39).

  • Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter and healed a woman that touched his cloak (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56).

  • Jesus fed 5,000 people (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15). The third recorded Passover in Scripture is noted.

  • Jesus is seen walking on water (Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56; John 6:16-21).

  • Jesus taught His Bread of Life sermon (John 6:22-71).

  • Jesus healed a Canaanite woman’s daughter (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30).

  • Jesus fed 4,000 more people (Matthew 15:29-39; Mark 8:1-10).

  • Jesus healed a blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26).

  • Peter called Jesus the Messiah – The Christ – The Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21).

  • The Transfiguration: Where Jesus is seen in Glory (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36).

  • Jesus spared the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11).

  • Jesus sent out the 70 disciples (Luke 10:1-24).

  • Jesus visited the home of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42).

  • Jesus healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17) and healed a man born blind (John 9:1-41).

  • Opponents of Jesus try to stone Him for blasphemy (John 10:22-42).

  • Jesus mourned over Jerusalem (Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 13:31-35).

  • Jesus dined with Pharisees and then healed a man who had dropsy (Luke 14:1-24).

  • Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44), and then the Sanhedrin plotted to kill Jesus (John 11:45-57).

  • The rich young ruler talked with Jesus (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30).

  • Jesus healed Bartimaeus and another blind man (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43).

  • Jesus visited Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:1-27).

  • Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8).

  • SUNDAY – The Triumphal Entry: Jesus entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19).

  • MONDAY – Second cleansing of the Temple done by Jesus (Matthew 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-46).

  • TUESDAY – Pharisees dispute with Jesus in the courts of the Temple (Matthew 22:15-45; Mark 12:13-27; 12:35-40; Luke 20:20-47). Jesus commended the widow’s offering (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4). The Olivet Discourse: Jesus taught on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:1-25:46; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-38).

  • WEDNESDAY – Judas Iscariot agreed to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:1-5; 26:14-16; Mark 14:1-2; 14:10-11; Luke 22:1-6).

  • THURSDAY – Passover: Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17), The Last Supper: Jesus and the disciples share their final meal together (Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-30; John 13:18-30). Soon, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial (Matthew 26:1-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-38; John 13:31-38).

  • MIDNIGHT – Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46). Soon, Jesus is arrested as Judas betrayed Him (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-12).

  • FRIDAY – Jesus stood trial before Annas, Caiaphas, and then the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54; John 18:13-14; 18:19-24). Peter denies Jesus three times (Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18; 18:25-27).

  • DAYBREAK – The Sanhedrin condemned Jesus (Matthew 27:1-2; Mark 15:1; Luke 22;63-71). Jesus then stood trial before Herod and Pilate (Matthew 27:11-26; Mark 15:2-15; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-19:16).

  • The soldiers beat Jesus, mocked Him with the Crown of Thorns, and Simon helped carry Jesus’ cross (Matthew 27:27-32; Mark 15:16-21; Luke 23:26-32; John 19:1-3; 19:17).

  • 9:00 AM – The Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross (Matthew 27:33-44; Mark 15:22-32; Luke 23:33-38; John 19:18-24).

  • 3:00 PM – Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:45-56; Mark 15:33-41; Luke 23:44-49; John 19:28-37).

  • SUNSET – Jesus’ Body is placed in the tomb (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42).

  • SATURDAY – Roman guard is posted at the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66).

  • SUNDAY – Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Women find the tomb empty where Jesus was laid, and Peter and John come to find it empty as well (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10).

  • Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, other women, two men on the road to Emmaus, and to His Disciples two times (Matthew 28:8-10; Mark 16:9-14; Luke 24:13-49; John 20:11-31).

  • Jesus dined with his disciples after a miraculous group of fish are caught (John 21:1-14). Jesus restored Peter to “Feed my sheep” (John 21:1-25).

  • The Great Commission: Jesus called His Disciples to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20).

  • ASCENSION: Jesus ascends to Heaven 40 days after His Resurrection (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:3-11).

What does Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost really mean? | Mark 3:28-30

Many have worried or just wondered what could blasphemy against the Holy Ghost mean. The issue of blasphemy itself involves the uttering or action that purposely defames a god or gods (or tries to defame God).

“Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.”

Commentary: To begin this commentary, it is wise to think back to a few verses before this context above. When Jesus had cast out demons (Mark 12:22-24), the Pharisees accused Jesus of doing this by the power of satan – who was the prince of demons. Jesus replied that if satan were to cast out himself or his lackeys, it would be a civil war in his own kingdom.

The only way to defeat a strong man is by a stronger man. Jesus showed He was stronger than satan, and that Jesus’ reign would result in destroying satan and his forces (see context Matthew 12:25-29 as well).

Now, God would forgive any doubts or otherwise misunderstandings of what people had about Jesus; however, God would not forgive the willful rejection of the works of Jesus Christ was were good and came from God. Those who called God’s Spirit “satan”, otherwise calling good “evil”, would position themselves of rejecting God’s goodness; therefore, they would not receive forgiveness (or the remission of sins). Rejecting God means that one is condemned and prepared for destruction (John 3:16-20; also see Matthew 12:30-32).

The good works of Jesus evidence His Goodness, just as good fruit evidences a good tree! 🙂

The evil works of the Pharisees evidence their evil hearts, and that will be used against them on Judgment Day.

The light of God shines bright in one’s heart, driving out the darkness and helping them spread that light unto others; however, rejecting the light means the darkness within them becomes even darker (see Luke 11:33-36).

Therefore, we see that those who speak against and/or reject Salvation, God, Jesus Christ, or His Good Works – are those who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost. This will not bring forgiveness to them, as in they will not receive Salvation. Those who purposely reject and/or speak against God will not be able to receive His Spirit along with the forgiveness of sins.

This is not to say that if one rejects or speaks against God at one point or another, but then later accepts Him by admitting his own wrongdoing, that he would not be forgiven. Those who admit they were wrong and accept God’s Salvation will indeed be saved, there is no question of that. The best use case is Paul (Saul), who had vehemently rejected God and persecuted His People, but then later was confronted by Jesus, was saved, and then went on to be a great minister.

Believe it or not, it is very difficult for someone who is truly saved to reject or blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Most that are truly saved would be fearful of God, and would not do this kind of activity, because they are afraid also of losing Salvation.

The Holy Spirit is God’s Final Witness to Jesus Christ and His Sacrificial Work on the Cross. No forgiveness, regeneration, conversion, repentance, etc. is given to those who reject the call of the Holy Spirit – even quenching His Voice.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is tied to revelation, because it is the Spirit of Truth/Revelation of Jesus Christ that shall change the minds and hearts of people to accept the Salvation of Jesus Christ. Those who do not listen to God’s Spirit do not receive Christ, and in essence will never be forgiven.

Jesus Ascends into the Heavens | Acts 1:6-11

“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

Commentary: The apostles gathered to prepare for Jesus’ Ascension. They felt driven as if it were a divine appointment, and so it was! They have never and will never again experience such a thing, and the apostles were the only ones to ever see and experience such an event. An awesome and joyous occasion is nigh!

The apostles were concerned of the well being of the Jews, for they had heard destruction was coming, and that the Jews were going to experience great tribulation (See Luke 21:5-36). The apostles wondered if the kingdom, the physical one, would be restored to Israel, even after the impending destruction the Jews brought onto themselves.

Jesus has instructed the apostles that it is unnecessary for them to worry about apocalyptic things or the next advent (coming) of the Kingdom of Israel, for Jesus said that to remind them what He had said at an earlier time, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). Additionally, only the Father God knows when such eschatological events would occur, not up to the apostles or disciples to decide (Matthew 24:36). Some disciples still struggled with this (and even still do today) upon understanding this; therefore, even Paul had to tell people what Jesus said twice now (‘only the Father knowest’ – see 1 Thessalonians 5:1).

Even as Jesus negates the worry on Kingdom restoration, He ensures that they know they will have a special power (spiritual power – the only type of power man shall crave with humility). Jesus has promised the receiving of power after sending the Holy Ghost as He promised He would (John 14:16) – He plans to send the Holy Ghost to live inside His believers as the Comforter.

There were key areas the Jews were living, in which the apostles were told to first minister upon (Luke 24:45-49): they are to go, preach, and teach into these areas primarily and first. Not only was the ministry to the Jews initially very important, but also the ministry to the Gentiles was going to become very important. He wanted the Jews to come to Salvation in Him, but also wanted the Gentiles to have a chance at hearing the Gospel and come to Salvation. There were other parts of the earth where Jews and Gentiles lived (far fewer for Jews to be spread out so far), and therefore, this includes the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Upon saying the “uttermost parts,” the word “and” is important per His emphasis to ensure they know not to stop – a minister must keep moving. This is especially important, because in their context of time and place, persecution of Christians and some Jews was very widespread, and Jesus wanted to ensure they were safe. His apostles and disciples have been instructed well to move about many places and aid in the Salvation of such wonderful souls.

Soon, Jesus literally was taken up into a cloud that removed Him from the earth and He ascended into Heaven right before the apostles’ and disciples’ very eyes. Two angels appeared before them that were clothed in white, and were staring at them while they stared up at Heaven – probably in shock and awe of what they had just seen.

The angels spoke to the apostles and asked them why they were gazing up into Heaven. The angels told them that the same Jesus, the one who had just ascended into Heaven, was going to come again the same way they saw Him go. This was a slight of a reprimand unto them, because they were assigned to go to Jerusalem and begin ministry immediately. Instead of staring up at the sky (into the Heavens), they should be diligent and obedient to go about their duties. The expectation of them going about their duties would be the eventual receiving of the Holy Ghost as promised. The apostles may have thought the Holy Ghost would come immediately upon them as soon as Christ ascended, but the angel may have given them guidance to keep them from pointlessly awaiting the coming down of Jesus or the Holy Ghost just yet.

Nonetheless, the apostles also learned here that the Lord Jesus will eventually come again in resurrection-body form, and will descend the same way He ascended. This will be the experience they should not wait for (as Jesus stated in verse 6), but will come when the Father God decides it as so.

Prophecy Notes: Verse 1:8 is a prophecy that is fulfilled in the next chapter of Acts (2:1, 4, 32) and in future chapters as well (3:15; 8:5, 14; 9:32; 13:31).

Archaeological Notes: From 6th century BC and onward, Romans and Greeks measured geographic space, but the only sources are text-based and are slightly difficult to decipher. Christians and scholars can find Medieval and Renaissance copies, such as the Geographia by Ptolemy (AD 2nd century). Ptolemy’s clues lent the Roman Empire stretched over to the Atlantic Ocean, to reach east toward China, East Indies, north into Arctic, and deep south into Africa. Many of the road networks and paths were changed often and were not reliable, except for the times when a person would have to cross a river to get to the other side, or go around the river (such as Jesus having to go through Samaria to get around the Jordan River – as we see in John 4:4).

Other notes: In antiquity (ancient times), God’s People desired for the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel – as we see in Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 1:26; 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Ezekiel 37:24-27; Daniel 7:27; Hosea 3:4; Joel 3:16-21; Amos 9:11; Obadiah 1:17-21; Micah 5:2; Zephaniah 3:15-17; Zechariah 9:9.

Commissioned and Ready | Acts 1:1-5

“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”

Commentary

Jesus Christ had lives a life of ministry, and then He died a sacrificial death to redeem the sins of His People. The Acts of the Apostles continue Jesus’ Ministerial Work, in that they are trying to uphold their commissioning to preach (Luke 24:45-49; see also Isaiah 52:10). Jesus is in His final day on Earth and is preparing to give the apostles (also called disciples) His final words – His final teaching is nigh.

We see Luke looking forward to Jesus’ Ascension, which means Luke likely wrote these things after Jesus ascended into Heaven. Luke seems to have absolute insight such events occurred, for he was one of a few who recorded such things. He indicates that it’s been forty days since the day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, for Luke is noting this is His last day before He ascends into Heaven.

Jesus’ teaching includes the commission to preach to those in Jerusalem first and then spread to the outer nations. Jesus must have spoken unto the disciples several times of the doctrine/gospel that they were to preach and teach among other men. Some ordinances were to be administered as well; therefore, Jesus may have taught them during different occasions after His Resurrection.

Jesus notes here that the disciples should wait to depart from Jerusalem until they have received the promise of the Father, which one might remember Jesus saying He will send the Comforter – the Holy Ghost – to be with His disciples while they minister (John 14:16).

Jesus makes no contradiction here by saying that the disciples will be baptized – not with water as John the Baptist had done – but with the Holy Ghost. They would be baptized in the near future, as in a few days thence. Many proponents of baptismal regeneration negate this verse, and use Acts 2:38 to attempt to prove baptism is required for Salvation; however, Jesus would not contradict Himself nor would He allow Peter to contradict Him. Therefore, the argument for baptismal regeneration is countered here in this verse by Jesus Himself: Not baptized with water, but with the Holy Ghost.

Archaeological and Historical Notes

The layer of geography that the Book of Acts encompasses includes 58 cities in the eastern Mediterranean area near the Roman Empire. Hippodamus of Miletus composed much of the mapping systems in this era, and from the preclusion of the Greek maladies, most of the trade routes led to Rome.

Theophilus was a man to whom Luke wrote this book unto, but it is unclear who the exact man was, since many slaves and elites had this name. There were not many in the Jews who had this name, and the most notable, which could be the point of reference here, was a high priest named Theophilus who ruled from 37-41 AD. His name is inscribed atop an ossuary inside of a crypt near Jerusalem.

Other Notes

Modern day preservation of ancient historical sites has been threatened due to political conflict in the Middle East. This is increasingly deteriorating the chances of finding the hidden secrets of the world and the wisdom hidden in the ages.

Another neat note is that the book of Acts mends with the books of Peter (1 & 2 Peter), while some of Paul’s material mends in and through in a different way. The early works were greatly filled with many new converts to Christ, what a time to rejoice!

Jesus appears to many people and concludes His Time on Earth (Journeys 61-64)

It is time to wrap up this series on the Journey with Christ. It is time to discuss the final things He had done on Earth, and the progress of His Ascension. Jesus was just crucified and He resurrected. Now for His Appearance to His Disciples. The Scriptures we include for this discussion are Mark 16:12-20; Luke 24:13-53; 1 Corinthians 15:5-7; John 20:19-21:25; Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:3-12.

Sunday, toward evening, Jesus meets two Disciples, Cleopas and another, on their way to Emmaus. Jesus joins them and He goes along with them. They discuss the events of that day concerning Jesus (not knowing this is Jesus). It wasn’t until the “breaking of the bread” that the eyes of these two Disciples “were opened and they knew Him.”

Jesus is on the road to Emmaus from Jerusalem where He joins two sorrowful Disciples that were along the path. However, they did not recognize Him. As they explained their sadness, they expressed surprise that He had not heard about the crucifixion of Jesus. These men believed in Jesus, even though they did not understand the work He came to do. They did hear of the reports that the tomb was empty and that He was Resurrected.

Jesus then taught them a proper understanding of the Messiah and the Mission He conducted by referring them to Scripture. The Messiah had to suffer to enter His Glory. The death and Resurrection of Jesus would be brought to completion per the pattern that God had been working through the history of His People by His Messengers.

When they almost arrived at Emmaus, Jesus and the two Disciples stopped for a meal in the evening. Jesus gave thanks and broke the bread to bring the meal, to which, they recognized who He was. He immediately disappeared from them, which was a mysterious nature of His Resurrection Body. This caused them to want to tell people about it!

The two Disciples return to Jerusalem to tell the other Disciples about seeing Jesus. Apparently, Jesus also visited Peter at some point during that day as well!

The Disciples were marveling together about Jesus, until He suddenly appears before them in the room, even though the doors were locked. This made them think they were seeing a ghost among them. However, Jesus showed His tangible Body of flesh and bones complete with scars of crucifixion. He also ate fish and showed them of His normal functions of the body. He hopes they would receive the Holy Ghost and the remittance of sins through His breathing upon them. Sadly, Thomas missed out on this blessing.

The next appearances took place a week after the Day of Resurrection. He appeared to the Disciples with Thomas present. Jesus appeared again, even though the doors were shut, and said peace unto them. Of course, Jesus would be returning to the Father, and He wanted to make sure their faith was strong enough (including Thomas’). Through believing in Jesus as the Messiah, they could have Eternal Life.

During this, He tells Thomas to behold His hands with his finger, and behold His side with his hand thrusting upon it that he should not be faithless but believe. Thomas admitted “My Lord and my God.” His faith was true.

At the Sea of Galilee

The Disciples have returned to Galilee to await Jesus, and seven of them spent the night fishing on Lake Galilee unsuccessfully. Jesus appeared at the shore and instructed them; however, they did not recognize Him, but they did as He said. They caught a large amount of fish from listening to Him. Due to prior incidence of catching large numbers of fish because of Jesus’ instruction, John recognized Jesus. The Disciples were reminded of His Authority and their dependence upon Him, as well as being reminded of the care He had for them, especially by His preparation of their breakfast.

Peter boasted of his love for Jesus is better than the other Disciples; and yet, he publicly denied Christ thrice. Therefore, he was asked publicly before them about his love for Jesus three times, to which was a reminder to him of the danger of pride. Jesus’ conversation with Peter showed the others that he had forgiven him, and he even gave Peter the responsibility of taking care of His People through the difficulty of the Church’s beginnings. He was to be the leader of the group for the Church, and would need more love for Jesus than the others.

If Peter desired to follow Jesus, he could no longer be a free fisherman, but would have to be one of constant sacrifice and hard work in caring for the Lord’s Flock. If Peter truly wanted to do this for Jesus, he would be captured and killed because of his loyalty to Christ. As far as John goes, there is no account of how his life would end. John noted that this is not all of the account of Jesus’ life, but that what he gave was the testimony of an eyewitness, and was to be believed!

Jesus took His Disciples on one of the mountains there in Galilee, to which they could look out to the next part of the Kingdom’s mission, which are the Gentile nations and beyond. There were as many as five hundred present at this meeting at once. Anyway, Jesus’ short (3.5 year ministry) was so limited as to Israel; however, the ministry that is passed to the Disciples is to go to all nations without any distinction. His Power would be in their grasp so that they may be preserved through dangers and perform the remarkable works He has empowered them to do!

This all was to also help establish the Church, as His Followers preached the Gospel, baptized the believers, and taught the converts to understand and follow His Teachings. The converts would then hopefully pass the teaching on to others and this would continue unto worldwide expansion. This would be evidence of the work of Christ upon His People!

Jesus appears to James, who is a witness to His Resurrection and can confirm it! Jesus then gave the Disciples a similar teaching that He gave the two on the road to Emmaus, to which they were witnesses of His Ministry, death, and Resurrection; therefore, they were entrusted of taking the message to all nations. His Spirit would equip them, so that they would be His representatives in the world.

As they preach the Gospel, people would either believe it and be forgiven, or reject it and suffer judgment later because of it. He alive courtesy of many infallible proofs, for He has also proved that the Kingdom of God is nigh! Jesus therefore told them not to spend time thinking about things that God didn’t intend for them to know, but to go and tell people everywhere He is Alive and Triumphant! Jesus is going away and would no longer physically be with them; therefore, the Spirit would come and live within them so they could carry out the work.

The time between Jesus’ Resurrection to the Ascension was about six weeks, and during this time, He taught His Disciples (Apostles) well on the Kingdom of God so they are prepared!

Jesus ensured the Apostles were confident, so that He did not leave them completely confused. He attempted so much to teach them on what they must understand about the Work He was sent to do based on God’s Will, the Kingdom of God, and what they were to do in speaking about Him. They accompanied Jesus, therefore, to the village on the slopes of Mount Olivet just outside Jerusalem and Bethany. Jesus left His Apostles, to which He promised them that one day He would Return! Soon, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem joyfully praising God and receiving the Holy Ghost a few days later as promised by Jesus! {“Confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20b).}

What we can learn from the Lord here

By faith, we believe in Him who has Resurrected, yes, Jesus Christ! We who have received His Spirit can believe upon by faith even though we have not seen Him. Scriptures and His Apostles can confirm His Resurrection. May He be Glorified Always! Let us be continually joyful of His Glorious Appearance unto us, because He has gained redemption for us through His Marvelous Work on the cross in His sacrifice! He wants us to know of His Love for us. Let us receive and not miss the breathing of the Holy Ghost upon us and the remittance of sins.

If we already have it, we must tell others they may receive the same, so that they might be saved and be given Eternal Life as a reward! If we intend to follow Christ, and do His Good Will for our lives, we must be willing to go through troubles; however, He will continue to help us and serve us to show us that He cares! Let us be empowered to go and preach the Gospel to all nations, doing what God leads us to do! We must preach unto others whether we know if they would believe, because we are instructed to teach and tell others about Him, not ponder what people might think or ponder about things the Lord doesn’t need us to know. We are to preach about Him and Him only so that people might be saved and receive the gift of Eternal Life!

Jesus is confident that we will be able to do what He has called us to do to fulfill His Will for our lives in preaching about Him, which is why He has sent us the Comforter, who is our teacher! We shall be here continually doing His Work in preaching and teaching about Him so that people might be redeemed of sin and be given Eternal Life so that they too can share in the joy of the Kingdom of God, Hallelujah!

What Christians Live For: The Redemption from Jesus Christ (Journeys 58-60)

The Time had come for Jesus Christ, in which He was to die on the cross. However, Jesus knew it was for redemption’s sake He was to do this. For this is a special occasion, one in which His humanity sorely rejected, but His Spirit fully rejoiced. This momentous occasion was to bring the full redemption of the sins of God’s People, and was to win the victory over Hades and death.

SCRIPTURES: Mark 15:20-16:11; Matthew 27:31-28:15; Luke 23:26-24:12; John 19:16-20:18

Via Dolorosa from Pilate’s Praetorium to the cross

In a nutshell: Friday before 9 am, Jesus is mocked, clothed with His own garments, and then led away to be crucified. Simon of Cyrene, a passerby, is compelled to go with them to bear the cross of Jesus. A crowd follows and the women bewail and lament Him; Jesus gives warning. The crucifixion at Golgotha, by the Romans soldiers, between two thieves, about 9 am. Golgotha is the Aramaic word for “skull,” and Calvary is the Latin expression. Jesus is offered a drugged up wine, but rejects it, because He wanted to endure the crucifixion entirely for the sins of humanity.

The Proceeds of Jesus’ Death

Golgotha was the place of Jesus’ crucifixion where He was led, to which was before 9 AM probably. They took the robe off Him and put the raiment on Him. The man named Simon of Cyrene was someone they asked to carry His cross for Him. He was given vinegary wine to drink and gall to eat, to which He did not want. Jesus turned to them and said to the daughters of Jerusalem not to weep for Him, but to weep for themselves and their children. He Prophesied to them that one day they would suffer.

(The Romans would later attack Jerusalem, to which, women that are now sad about not having children would be safer than the others, for they would not have to see their children being crushed in the onslaught from the Romans. The brutal punishment on the innocent Jesus shows that the Romans would be far more brutal on the sinners/guilty.)

The first three hours on the Cross: From 9 am until noon on Friday. It is not easy to tell the precise order of events during this period of three hours since the Gospels do not present them in the same detail or order.

The four soldiers who carried Jesus decided to throw dice for Jesus’ personal possessions. They hung Jesus upon the cross, and then placarded a sign above His Head that announced the charge that He was condemned so that passersby knew what He was guilty of. Many people, including members of the Sanhedrin, insulted Jesus. Jesus was crucified next to two other criminals. Everyone mocked Jesus for His claiming to save others but He could not save Himself. However, if Jesus saved Himself, He could not save sinners. One of the criminals realized His Divinity, and repented, thereby receiving the saving power of Christ that very day.

While on the cross, He prayed for enemies in Luke 23:34, “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…” He made a promise to the repentant robber next to Him in Luke 23:43, “…Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” He also made a charge to His Mother and to His Beloved Disciples, John in John 19:26-27, “…[To Mary:] Woman, behold thy son!… [To John:] Behold thy mother!” John was instructed by Jesus to take in His Mother to his own home.

Three hours of darkness: The time is from noon to 3 pm.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, followed Him to the cross, and had comfort from John and three other women: Salome (Mary’s sister) the mother of the Disciples James and John, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Mary Magdalene. They came closer to the cross.

During the last three hours, a strange darkness overspread the land, as the wrath of God fell upon Jesus. The veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom. Jesus had a cry of desolation, and wanted His final words to be heard by enough people around. He asked for something to moisten His Mouth; therefore, He was given a little vinegar from a sponge, and then He cried out “It is finished.” He has completed the Work that God sent Him to do!

While on the cross, Jesus spoke a few more sayings. First was His cry of desolation in Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46, “…My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He soon cried in physical anguish in John 19:28, “I thirst.” After that, He cried in victory, “It is finished.” Then was the cry of resignation before giving up the ghost in Luke 23:46, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

At 3 pm, Jesus died.

Jesus has died, and it is important to note that the veil was rent from top to bottom and an earthquake occurred at the moment of Jesus’ death. This demonstrated that the Jewish religious system has ended and that there is an opening of the door to God’s Presence. The earthquake even caused graves to break open, and certain believers of the old era to be raised to life, which showed the dramatic Triumph over death that Jesus won!

The centurion in charge was filled with wonder at what he saw, for he was convinced that Jesus was truly as He said, and others even changed their attitudes toward Jesus. Many who came as spectators returned with sorrow and fear, and wondered what all of the signs had meant. The phenomena that occurred was atypical of normal death scenarios. Possibly there was an omen that certain things would happen upon the death of an important person, and therefore, many had likely recognized this.

The Burial of Jesus

Friday Afternoon before 6 pm, soldiers pierce Jesus’ side with a spear. Joseph of Arimathea obtains permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Joseph buries Jesus’ body in his own new tomb. Nicodemus adds spices for his burial clothes.

Per the request of the Jewish leaders, Pilate had the tomb guarded with Roman soldiers to ensure no one could remove or mess with Jesus’ Body. The tomb was sealed with a huge stone that blocked the entrance so that no one could enter, even if they tried by force and got by the Roman guards. They secured it so well, because they knew this was a Powerful Man!

The Resurrection & 40 Days

Beginning on the day of Resurrection, there is a 40 day period, the last period of Jesus’ Life on Earth. We detail part of this now, and in one final blog post for the Journey with Christ series. Jesus appears in Judea and Galilee. Of this period, we see that He remained at or near Jerusalem for a week. Then, He probably left at once for Galilee. In the month that followed, we cannot fix the exact time of the events that occurred in Galilee, but just at the end of the forty days, we find Him again in Jerusalem.

Three women appear to see Jesus at the tomb: Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome.

Bible notes: Matthew only records two of the women from the cross of that group, Mary the mother of James and Mary Magdalene. However, Mark records Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome in the group.

The three women at the cross were also the three women that were in a group together, as they had went to gather spices for anointing Jesus. They bought the spices and were ready to journey back to Jesus.

And then the earthquake erupts…

The great earthquake resounds scaring the watchers at the tomb, as the Angel of the Lord descended to roll away the stone. His countenance was described as lightning and His raiment as white as snow. The watchers of the tomb looked like dead men, because they were so astonished.

The women arrive at the Tomb followed by His Disciples

The time is about sunrise Sunday Morning. The women arrive at the tomb. There were the three: Mary Magdalene, Mary Mother of James, and Salome. Other women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee followed these women.

The three women found that an Angel had removed the stone. Mary Magdalene hurried to tell Peter and John. Meanwhile, Mary the Mother of James, Salome, and the other women arrived at the tomb, entered the tomb, and saw the Angels who assured them Jesus had risen. They ran from the tomb in fear and joy to inform Jesus’ Disciples. Jesus had already risen at early dawn on the first day of the week.

He was buried shortly before sunset on Friday, and at sunset, the Sabbath began. So He lay in the tomb a small part of Friday, all of Saturday, and 10-11 hours of Sunday. This corresponds with the seven times repeated statement that He would, or did, rise “on the third day,” which could not possibly mean after 72 hours. The phrase two or three times given, “After three days,” naturally denoted for Jews, as for Greeks and Romans, a whole central day and any part of a first and third, thus agreeing with, “on the third day.”

Even the “three days and three nights” of Matthew 12:40 need not, according to known Jewish usage, mean more than we have described. It is a well-known custom of the Jews to count a part of a day as a whole day of twenty-four hours. Besides, the phrase “on the third day,” is obliged to mean that the Resurrection took place on that day, for if it occurred after the third, it would be on the fourth day and not the third.

The women quickly went to the Disciples proclaiming the news, to which, Peter and John were the most anxious to see for themselves (as they knew the women were not telling idle tales). They all ran back to the tomb to see that Jesus had been indeed raised. They all believed that Christ had risen after going into the tomb.

Mary Magdalene returned to the sepulchre and stood, “without at the tomb weeping.” She stooped to look in the tomb and saw the two Angels. Then, turning around, she thinks she sees the gardener, but it is Jesus. He gives her a message, and she takes the tidings to the Disciples. There are five appearances given as occurring on the day of Jesus’ Resurrection and give other appearances occur subsequently during the forty days.

The five appearances of Jesus after His Resurrection:
  1. To Mary Magdalene
  2. To the women returning from the tomb with the angelic message
  3. To Peter
  4. To the Emmaus Disciples
  5. To the absent Disciples

Mary Magdalene is seen weeping at the sepulchre and stooped to see the two angels. She was told by the angels that Jesus has risen, to which she turns around and sees Jesus standing there. He asks her why she weeps and whom she seeks. She supposes Him to be the gardener and wondered where Jesus was. As Jesus spoke to her telling her about the ascension being nigh, she knew it was Him. He told her that there was no need for her to cling to Him in this way, for He will be ascending soon and will not be upon them physically anymore. She should go and tell the Disciples what He told her.

Jesus has appeared to the other women of that group (Mary the mother of James and Salome), as they were on their way to tell the Disciples of the discovery. He encourages them to carry on with telling them that He is coming to Galilee and they should go there too to see Him.

The Roman watchers went into the city to speak to the Chief Priest and recount all that had happened. Upon this, a meeting with the Sanhedrin convened, and the soldiers were bribed and persuaded to give the story that, while they were asleep, the Disciples came and stole the Body of Jesus. Therefore, they took the money and did as they were told. This is the same thing that is reported to this day among the Jews.

Here are the truths that could have been found out that would have proved these soldiers wrong for their claims the Disciples took the Body of Jesus:

  • The fact that there was a death penalty for guards that fell asleep while on duty… were these men sentenced to death then?
  • They surely could not have stayed asleep during the moving of the stone and Body, as there would have had to be quite some noise on moving it (it likely could not have been moved so quietly).
  • If they were asleep, how could they have known who had taken the Body of Jesus?

Thoughts about the Death, Burial, & Resurrection of Jesus Christ

It’s not good for us to forsake God’s Will just for the sake of others or for our own comfort. It is important to be attentive to God’s Will at all times, and follow through with it no matter what. If we forsake His Will for the sake of others, we let others convince us not to obey Him. If we forsake His Will for our own comfort, we are intentionally disobeying Him. Jesus proved His obedience by ignoring the mockers and His own comfort. He was perfectly obedient unto God’s Will!

Not only did Jesus transcend His own comfort, but He also transcended death by declaring victory. We must learn from this that we must overcome our fears, anxieties, and comforts so that we may do His Will and finish the race that is set before us!

Let us seek to glorify God through our true repentance and helping others repent of their sins. We must live sober, righteous, and Godly lives, because we have the right to because of the death of Christ! We see His Love for us, so that we may repent and be prepared for the Kingdom.

Let us prepare our hearts daily for Christ to Minister and encamp within us that He may overfill us with His Love so that we may spread His Love around rapidly to people. May we adorn ourselves with the love of God (just like the spices to His clothing) so that people may know of His Love!

Many people guard their hearts and put walls up so that the Lord may not enter therein with His Love. We must remove the barriers of our hearts so that He may encamp within with His Overflowing Love!

Love for Him always draws us closer to Him, because He desires that we draw to Him, for He is ready to continue expressing His Love. Let us fall down and worship Him for His Great Love for us! He has come to give us Redemption. Let us give thanks! Glory unto God! See that His Work is finished, see His Love for us, go and tell people all around of His Work, for He did it to redeem us of our sins and give us Eternal Life. Don’t wait around… go and tell people everywhere! Glory in the Heavens, He is Risen! Hallelujah!

Jesus is arrested and is tried by officials (Journeys 56-57)

We are reaching a critical juncture in the Life of Christ. Because Jesus was betrayed by Judas, officials are aware of His whereabouts, and are seeking to take Him in for questioning.

SCRIPTURE: Mark 14:43-15:19; Matthew 26:47-27:30; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:2-19:16

First: Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and forsaken – Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before being taken to Annas, the ex-High Priest… It is Friday, long before dawn, the day of Suffering; and this has become, for the Christian, the Day of the cross. It is in the Garden of Gethsemane that Jesus is betrayed, arrested, and forsaken.

Jesus’ arrest

Judas knew of the garden, for He went there often with His Disciples, to which, Judas led the guards to seize in arresting Jesus. This is the betrayal by Judas (with a kiss), to which, Jesus needed no one to defend Him. The men that came with Judas fell to the ground upon meeting Him, but Jesus surrendered unto them, especially hoping that His friends were not harmed. The Disciples tried to fight; however, Jesus told them that if they practiced violence, they would also suffer violence. If Jesus wanted help, He would draw it supernaturally; however, this was not necessary as He was fulfilling Prophecy. The soldiers grabbed a person that followed Jesus, but he escaped. The Disciples fled once a fight broke out.

The Jewish trial comprised three stages:

  1. The preliminary examination by Annas
  2. The informal trial by the Sanhedrin, probably before dawn
  3. The formal trial after dawn

Jesus was taken and bound, being led to Annas first, and then to Caiaphas. Annas was the previous High Priest, and could give Him a preliminary examination, before His trial. Jesus noted that He spoke no evil, for they would have to give proof. Otherwise, why smite? Jesus noted that His teachings were known by many and they did not have any evil. Therefore, Jesus was taken to Caiaphas the High Priest next.

Jesus before Caiaphas

A gambit: It was illegal for the Sanhedrin to meet at night; however, they considered this an emergency.

Jesus was brought before Caiaphas, where he had called the Sanhedrin together to condemn Jesus immediately. They teased Him, telling Him to prophesy who struck Him in the face (as He was blindfolded during this encounter). Nonetheless, the leaders desired for Jesus to say something of blasphemous intent, so they could condemn Him to death. They were satisfied as Jesus said He was the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Son of man—to which, He was about to receive the Glorious Kingdom of God. They suddenly abused Jesus violently and condemned Him to death.

Peter denies Jesus Christ

Discussion of interpretation: At the Court of the High Priest’s residence, Friday, before dawn during the series of the trials, we are seeing the unfolding of Peter’s denial. There is something interesting here… Each of the four Gospels record three denials. But the details differ considerably, as must always be the case where in each narrative a few facts are selected out of many sayings and doings. John gives only the first of the three stages, Luke only the last, Matthew and Mark the second stage fully, and the third is mentioned briefly.

Peter recognized

If Peter’s denials ran through all three (Luke says in verse 59 that there was an hour between his second and third denial), then not one of the four Gospels could give each of the denials precisely at the time of its occurrence, and so each Gospel merely throws them together. We attempt here yet another way: We bring them together in one section. There is no difficulty about the substantial fact of the denials, and we must be content with our inability to arrange all the circumstances into a complete program.

The story: Peter was in the courtyard while Jesus was being tested. A servant girl recognized Him as a Disciple, and asked if he had any association, to which he denied. A bit later, another person recognized him and told the people standing near, and again, he denies Christ; however, this time with an oath. About an hour later, some of the bystanders had approached Peter again, wondering if he was sure he wasn’t a follower… Peter denied emphatically. Soon, the cock would crow, signifying that Jesus was correct of what Peter would do. It reminded Peter of his folly, to which, Jesus saw Peter, and Peter was filled with grief and began weeping bitterly.

Jesus is then condemned by the Sanhedrin at the Residence of Caiaphas

It was a long night for Jesus, which included the Passover, the Lord’s Supper, the washing of the Disciples’ feet, the long discussion in the upper room, the walk to Gethsemane and the agonizing prayer time in the garden, the arrest, and then the questioning that contributed to the rough handling of Him at the high priest’s house.

Jesus before Caiaphas again

Now that it was a new day, judgment could be passed to Jesus by legal sentence, to which He was made to stand before the Sanhedrin for a brief repeat of the investigation the previous night. The leaders could make a formal charge against Him to present to the Roman authorities, so they had to come up with something to convince the governor what He had done and why He needed execution.

Judas ends it for himself: Judas, the betrayer, “repented himself” and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the Chief Priests and Elders. Judas went out and hanged himself. He returned the thirty pieces of silver, and this was the money used to purchase Potter’s field where Judas was buried.

Jesus appears before Pilate

The process of the Roman Trial:

  1. The first appearance before the Roman Procurator Pilate
  2. The appearance before Herod Antipas, the native ruler of Galilee appointed by the Romans
  3. The final appearance before Pilate

The time here is Friday, early morning. Jesus is taken to Pilate the first time.

The Jewish leaders were attempting a formal charge against Jesus so they could convince the Roman governor of His deserving of execution. Bringing Jesus before Governor Pilate, they had to go to Jerusalem into his Praetorium. The Jewish leaders took Him to Pilate early in the morning to have Him dealt with before festivities started (again, as reviewed earlier to avoid a riot since Jesus was so remarkably influential).

Pilate isn’t sure, so Herod should see Him

The Jews charged Jesus with blasphemy, as He called Himself the Son of God; however, when they took Jesus to Pilate, they twisted the situation and the charge that not only did He claim to be God, but also to be above Caesar. Suggesting Him to be a political rebel, they tried to lead Him as a messianic uprising as if He would overthrow the Roman’s rule to set up an independent Jewish province. Pilate then attempts to dismiss the case, probably waiving Him as just an annoyance; however, the Jewish leader pressed upon their charges further.

Jesus then explains to Pilate the true picture that His Kingdom was not concerned with political power; therefore, He was not trying to create an uprising. Rather, it was a spiritual kingdom that was based upon truth. Pilate did not understand Jesus; however, he did understand enough to be convinced that Jesus was definitely not a political rebel, and thus, suspected that the Jews handed Him over for judgment because of jealousy of the remarkable following that Jesus created. He decided that Jesus should see Herod.

Now before Herod

Pilate soon learned that Jesus was from Galilee and that since he did not control relations in Galilee, he sent Jesus to the Galilean governor, Herod Antipas, who happened to be in town for the festivities as well. As Jesus came before Herod, He refused to speak to Herod (He was just silent the whole time), and did not attempt to defend Himself against the false accusations of the Jewish authorities; therefore, after mocking Him ridiculously and adorning Him with a gorgeous robe, Herod sent Him back to Pilate. Apparently, through this, Herod and Pilate became friends after having hostility for so long.

Again before Pilate

Herod returns Jesus to Pilate. The time is now Friday toward sunrise. John uses Roman time with the hour starting at 12 midnight and 12 noon, as is done today. However, the Synoptics use Hebrew reckoning, beginning with sunrise (6 am to 7 am being the first hour, etc.). This is apparent from the care with which the Gospels specify particular hours in relation to the crucifixion. Jesus was put on the cross at 9 am (“third hour,” Mark 15:25). Darkness was over the land from noon until 3 pm (“sixth till ninth hour,” Matthew 27:45-46; Mark 15:33-34; Luke 23:44). Thus, the “sixth hour” mentioned in John 19:14 could not be Hebrew time (noon) but rather 6 am, “when morning was come,” according to Matthew 27:1-2.

The choice was: Free Barabbas or Acquit Jesus

They said to free Barabbas

Pilate slowly and reluctantly, and in fear, surrendered to the demand of the Sanhedrin for the crucifixion of Christ. He could not escape full legal and moral responsibility for his cowardly surrender to the Sanhedrin to keep his own office. Both the Pharisees and Sadducees unite in the demand for the Blood of Jesus. It is impossible to make a mere political issue out of it and to lay all the blame on the Sadducees, who feared a revolution. The Pharisees began the attack against Jesus on theological and ecclesiastical grounds. The Sadducees later joined the conspiracy against Christ. Judas was a mere tool of the Sanhedrin, who had his own resentments and grievances to avenge.

Mockery begins…

The time is Friday, between 6 and 9 am. The Roman soldiers mock Jesus, just as the Sanhedrin had done during the trial at the residence of the High Priest, Caiaphas.

Some soldiers were preparing for the crucifixion, and some in Pilate’s Praetorium were mocking Jesus as “King” and putting old soldiers’ clothes on Him. They adorned Him with a royal (scarlet colored) robe and a crown of thorns. They even hit Him over the head with a stick that was His “sceptre.” After that, they spat in His face and punched Him.

Then they shout at Him:

“HAIL! KING OF THE JEWS!”

Jesus is now prepared for His Crucifixion process, and we will be covering that in the next blog.

They prepare Him for crucifixion

What can we learn during this process?

We must keep in mind to not be as the Disciples who fled, but be the people who continually follow Christ, even through troubles. We should be faithful in following Christ, because turning back is a sin (similar to those that put their hand to the plough, but look back are not fit for the Kingdom of heaven/God). Many evil people shut their eyes to the truth, and will not listen to reason, because of the wickedness in their hearts. Let us confess Christ’s Name, even in reproach, because He will confess us before the Father! No matter what we are to endure, as long as we do it for the Glory of God, nothing can stop us, for He will be with us to strengthen us the whole way through.

Wicked men must answer to the consequences of their evil deeds; therefore, it is always best to repent of your sins before you reap the consequences. This reminds us to bring more sinners to Christ so that hell does not have its way with them in death. His People must realize and begin thinking about Kingdom things rather than worldly things, so that we may be prepared and look forward to His Coming Kingdom!

Therefore, in the face of our accusers, as Jesus was in the face of accusers, we must stand firm and allow the Lord to lead us on what to say, what not to say, and how to work out a situation for His Will. Jesus knew He could speak to Pilate, but speaking to Herod was not going to be a good idea, as even though Jesus did not speak to him, he still mocked Jesus. The Lord knows when people will understand and when they will not, and He will lead us on what to say, for we have the Comforter and the Teacher to guide us. Christ did God’s Will so that He may obtain the joy, Glory, and completing of the purchase for us Eternal Life. We must do the same that we do God’s Will so that we may do it for the joy of the reward we will receive for Eternity!

Jesus prepares His Disciples for the upcoming tragedy (Journeys 52-55)

Jesus is preparing His Disciples for the coming trouble related to His Death and Resurrection work on the cross. Adversity is about come mightily and will not waver for anybody.

The incredibly long preparation can be found in the following Scriptures, which you may use for reference purposes: Mark 13-14:42; Matthew 24-26:46; Luke 21-22:46; John 12:2-18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

We see the following in preparation: Occasion of the Prophecy about the destruction of the Temple; inquiry for further light from Peter and James and John and Andrew on Christ’s Second Coming and the End of the World; Sign for the destruction of Jerusalem:

  1. False Christs;
  2. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ (The Parable of the Fig Tree).

Readiness is urged by a series of Parables:

  • The Parable of the Porter
  • The Parable of the Master of the House
  • The Parable of the Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant
  • The Parable of the Ten Virgins
  • The Parable of the Talents
  • The Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Picture of the Judgment)

The Whole Story on Eschatology

Jesus explains what we need to know, which is what He taught to His Disciples in regards to eschatology. This was serious, as Jesus told them the time is near. Let’s explore…

Jesus had spoken through Parables and other teachings about going away and Returning in Glory, to which would be the climax of the age introducing the Triumph of His Kingdom and Final Judgment. His Disciples have connected the dots on these events well, and know about the predicted destruction of Jerusalem. However, they connected the Second Coming of the Messiah with the predicted destruction of the Temple. They asked Him what significance these events would occur before these final events of the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age.

Jesus told them that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple were not (necessarily) connected with the Return of the Messiah or the end of the age. They were not to believe rumors they might hear occasionally about the Messiah had already returned, because there will always be false prophets that try to attract a following for themselves; therefore, they were not to think that all wars, famines, earthquakes, etc. were sure signs of the end times being near.

The end would not come, nonetheless, until the Gospel had spread through the entire world, and this goal would be reached only after much opposition (persecutions). God’s servants would endure persecution, be betrayed by friends, and many would be killed. Only by love and faith in God would people be able to endure their trials; however, even if their sufferings resulted in death, God would preserve them for His Heavenly Kingdom.

The people of Jesus’ day would probably not see the final events of world history; however, many would see the foreshadowing of such events and witness the horror of the destruction of Jerusalem. Seeing the Roman armies approaching the city, people would run in horror without even taking their stuff. They would escape and try to get away even in winter or harsh weather conditions that would just slow them down. They would even escape on the Sabbath (even if restricted).

Women and children would suffer especially, as the enemy’s savage attack would be the most terrible and destructive than anything they have ever known, and if God did not stop them, no one would be left alive. The event would repeat the atrocities of Antiochus Epiphanes, but worse (the abomination of desolation).

Anyway, false prophets would continue to draw Jesus’ Disciples into their group with clever tricks and comforting words, assuring them that he was the messiah who had returned and was hiding in a safe house. The Disciples of Jesus were not to believe these rumors, because Jesus’ Return would be sudden, open, and startling just like lightning. When God intervenes, He will do so greatly, and it will be obvious! The Present Age will end as Jesus Returns in Power and Glory to save His People and judge His enemies.

Just as the first leaves on the fig tree indicate summer’s arrival, so it will be when the Disciples see the false messiahs come, as well as the persecution and approach of the Roman armies—to which, they will know the Destruction of Jerusalem and the nation is upon them. People of Jesus’ day would see this fulfilled in their lifetime.

As far as the day when the Lord Jesus Christ would Return in His Kingdom, no one knows when that will be except for the Father in Heaven! People will be carrying on with their routines, ignoring God’s warnings just as the people did in the days of Noah when the Lord was working through him. However, just as the flood came, which was God’s means of judgment on those people, the same will be with Jesus’ Return when He brings judgment on sinners and Salvation to His People. It will be unexpected just as a thief would be breaking into a house while the owner sleeps. The Disciples of Jesus Christ must be fully prepared for His Return all the time, and must not settle down to a life of self-pleasing; however, we must all live faithfully for Him.

(Soon, we see three stories recorded from Jesus that give a discourse on what He just taught. He would be leaving the Earth for an unknown amount of time, and then Return in Glory. Those who had prepared themselves for His Return would enter His Kingdom with joy, but those who did not would lose out. Three reasons for people’s failures are detailed as thoughtlessness, laziness, and/or indifference!)

For the first Parable… At a marriage, a bridegroom with his friends brought the bride from her father’s house to his own house, where a feast was being held for the wedding. This was the procession that the ten girls had met; however, some of the girls were foolish and did not consider that the bridegroom might not come at the time they expected. When his arrival was delayed, they were unprepared. Soon, he arrived, but there was no time for preparations; therefore, the foolish girls were locked outside of the house with no further chance of getting into the wedding feast. In this same way, because of carelessness, many people would not be prepared for Jesus’ Return, and therefore, they would miss out on the blessings that the Kingdom brings.

For the second Parable… A businessman went on a journey, but left his business in care of three trusted workers. He gave money to them, which varied according to their abilities. Two of them worked well and made good profits; however, the third one was lazy and did nothing. Once the owner returned, he was pleased with the first two men whom he rewarded; however, the third one (lazy) tried to excuse himself by saying he might have traded at a loss so he didn’t want to anger his employer. He received a reply that if he thought his employer was so hungry for money that he looked only for profits and was uninterested in honest work, he would have just put his money in the bank. Then he would have at least gained profits through interest.

The meaning of this is that God gives people different skills and abilities, and they need to use these in the business of expanding His Kingdom. Those using their gifts will be reward with increased abilities; however, those that neglect such gifts would become useless. The Day of Reckoning will bring joy for some, and disappointment for the others.

The third Parable… He talks about His Return in Power and Glory to judge the world. His Judgment is revealed for anyone—not just specific people—for there are only two types of people in the world: sheep and goats as typified in this story. The “sheep” are God’s People, who have given proof of this by practical love shown to others, even at expense of convenience or comfort, which is from their ability to be selfless. They may not be aware of the good things they do or what appreciation people have of them. However, Jesus does notice and has identified Himself with the needy, because He sees the kindness done to them as if done to Him.

The “goats” then are those who are selfish—always looking out for their own interests, but lacking interest in the misery and suffering of others. In this, it shows their lack of love for Jesus, as they know nothing of His Character and have not learned to deny themselves for His Sake. There is no place for them in His Kingdom, for their punishment is certain. Just as in the story of the ten girls or the three employees, people condemn themselves by failure of doing good things rather than just being deliberately wrong in actions and deeds.

Jesus predicts His crucifixion two days hence

On Tuesday Evening, the beginning of the Jewish Wednesday, Jesus predicts His crucifixion to take place, “after two days.” This would be the Jewish Friday. The rulers in Jerusalem plot His death. The time for a greater deliverance has now arrived, as Jesus would die as the true Passover Lamb that would bear the penalty of sin to release sinners from bondage. People in Jerusalem were excited as the festival approached, and the chief priests planned to wait until it finished before arresting Jesus, because they did not want a riot on their hands.

While Jesus “was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper (former leper for Jesus had healed him), as Jesus sat at meat,” Mary anoints Jesus for His burial. This anointing has nothing in common with that given by Luke 7:36-50, except the face of a woman anointing the Savior’s feet. The name, “Simon,” was common among the Jews. The first anointing was in Galilee; this anointing is at Bethany, near Jerusalem.

Take special note that Mary here in Bethany is anticipating Jesus’ speedy death and burial, of which, there is no distinct mention in the Galilean anointing. In view of all these differences, it is absurd to represent the two anointings as the same.

Judas (Iscariot) objected that the use of this expensive perfume was a waste of money; however, Jesus told His Disciples that He would be with them only a little longer before crucifixion. Therefore, Mary’s act of devotion was the symbolic anointing of His Body in preparation for burial.

Judas bargained with feast rulers to betray Jesus

Judas, stung by the rebuke of Jesus at the Feast, bargains with the Rulers to betray Jesus, “And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver.” He could advise them of His movements so that they could arrest Him quietly without the people knowing about it.

Paschal Meal Prep

The day is Thursday Afternoon, a day of preparation, the preparation for the Paschal Meal at the home of a friend. (It is possible that it was at John Mark’s parent’s home.) Thursday was spent wholly with the Disciples until the arrest in Gethsemane after midnight.

It is usual that the Jews would kill the sacrificial lamb on the afternoon of Passover day, and eat it altogether on that night. Jesus knew He was to die as the sacrificial lamb on Passover day, and therefore, He prepared the meal a day earlier. He would eat it with His Disciples the evening before Passover, but probably without a lamb, since He was to be the lamb.

Jesus knew the Jews had sought for Him; therefore, Jesus made careful arrangements for the feast, so that no one knew where it would be held, except for two unnamed Disciples who other Disciples did not even know. This prevented Judas from sharing any information to the Jewish leaders, to avoid immediate threat. Two Disciples met two others and prepared the place for the Passover (“Upper Room”), as well as the food and drink for the meal.

Jesus eats the Paschal meal

It is Thursday Evening after sunset, the beginning of the Jewish Friday. Jesus partakes of the Paschal Meal with the Twelve Apostles and rebukes their jealousy. Jesus has sat down at the table with the Twelve Apostles with Him. He had wished to eat with them before He was to suffer, as He would not eat it again until it is fulfilled in His Kingdom. He was about to break bread with them.

Then washes the Disciples’ feet

When they were gathered for the meal, Jesus became the servant and washed the Disciples’ feet. This would typify His humility and that He would cleanse people from sin. Peter did not understand this and therefore he objected. Jesus told him if he refused to let Jesus cleanse him, he could not be Jesus’ Disciple.

By the cleansing, Jesus referred to cleansing from sin, which is something that Peter would understand in its fullness after His death and Resurrection. Peter thought if he was to be cleansed for his feet, maybe all over would suffice better. However, he again did not realize what Jesus was doing. The Disciples (except Judas) were cleansed all over, and needed no further cleansing. The feet cleansing was not for actual cleansing (according to the Law), but it was symbolic for humility.

Jesus gave the Disciples an example that if He, their Lord and teacher, had humbled Himself by washing their feet—how much more should they, His servants, humble themselves to serve each other. Jesus knew of the traitorous work of Judas; however, the rest of them were His servants and messengers who received Him and His Father!

Aha! Judas is the betrayer

The Disciples were astonished that one of them would betray Jesus, because they did not know of any treachery among them. Some of them thought that one of them might do so carelessly; however, Judas knew what Jesus meant and asked Him if it was he, and Jesus said it was so. Jesus then honored Judas by dipping a piece and giving it to him, hoping to change his heart on the matter; however, Judas’ heart was already locked in evil plans. Jesus seemed to only know Judas’ intentions, so the others did not suspect him. Judas departed from the room soon after, which made the death of Christ certain.

Disciples warned against desertion

Judas had departed from them quickly. Meanwhile, they become aware that Jesus’ death would Glorify the Father in Heaven, as He showed His immeasurable Love on display for sinful people. However, they were to show no bitterness in any grief they have about His death, but rather, a forgiving love. He repeats that they should love one another as He has loved them. People should know of His Disciples by the way that they love!

Jesus knew that they would all run away and leave Him in His final house, as sheep that scatter in panic when the shepherd is killed. Peter boldly assures Jesus that even though the others leave Him, he would never do so. However, Jesus knew Peter better than he himself knew, and told Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before the cock crowed.

Peter reassured Him that He would not deny Him. However, Peter would do great things in the future to help the Disciples. Jesus told them to prepare for the new life ahead, which is tougher than anything they had previously experienced, as they would have to preserve their lives. However, the Disciples misunderstood Jesus as well; however, Jesus felt He said enough and left them to think about it.

The First Communion

Jesus took some of the bread and wine, gave thanks, and then gave it to the Disciples as symbols of His Body and Blood being offered in sacrifice. His Blood is the sealing of God’s Covenant, which is the unconditional promise of forgiveness and Eternal Life to all those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Just as the Israelites kept the Passover as a remembrance of God’s Gracious Work in saving them back then, Jesus desires the Disciples to keep the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of the One through whose death they are saved of sin and given Eternal Life. Eventually, when Jesus Returns, there will be no more need of bread and wine remembrance, as He and His People will be together in His Eternal Kingdom!

What is vital here: His Body and His Blood are our food for the soul. It is to be a Remembrance of the sacrifice Jesus made to redeem us of our sins. By partaking of the Bread and Wine, we are celebrating and remembering what He did on the cross, which allows our hearts to remain focused on Him with gratitude and hopeful sincerity. Paul warns, however, that one must do this remembrance in sincerity, as taking this is as taking Him as our Lord and Life! If there is any insincerity, it should not be taken, because the heart must be open to remain in touch with His Redemptive Work, so that we may receive the blessing of this sacred ordinance.

Discourse in the Upper Room

Jesus was surely about to die and the Disciples knew this. He comforted them by saying He was going to the Father to prepare a permanent place for them that they can dwell, so that one day, He will return to take them with Him forever! As His Loyal Disciples, they would share in His Final Victory!

Thomas, however, misunderstood, and thought Jesus was speaking of a physical location and journey; therefore, he wanted Jesus to show them the way so that they would have no difficulty in finding Him later at the right time. Jesus explained that the way to the Father was only through the Son, and that Jesus had brought the truth of God and Eternal Life to mankind. To know Him was to know God.

Philip misunderstood, as he wanted special revelation of the Father, even though he clearly knew the Father and the Son were inseparable. Everything Jesus did were directly from the Father’s deeds and words. When Jesus returned to the Father, He told them that they would receive the Holy Ghost, and that, through the Power of the Spirit, they would do even greater works than Jesus had done. His Ministry was limited to a few years around their general regions; however, the Disciples would be able to travel near and far to reach the world for God! A new era was about to encompass them as Jesus returned to the Father!

When Jesus returned to the Father, He would send the Holy Ghost as the Helper, counselor, guide, and one to help instruct and strengthen them. Those that did not believe in Jesus would not be able to understand how this Helper worked, because their understanding was limited to worldly things. Soon, Jesus would leave the world, but not desert His Disciples, because He would live within them. He would continue to love them, and they would love Him.

Judas Thaddeus (not the betrayer) was still thinking of His Physical Body, and could not understand how the Disciples could see Him, but no one else could not. He replied that not only the Son, but the Father also, would live with them, as long as they gave proof they loved Him by obeying Him, especially with help from the Teacher, the Holy Ghost! Jesus saw the Disciples’ continual confusion, to which they were promised peace. Jesus did not mean they would live perfect lives without trouble, but that they would have more inward peace, even if they were outwardly affected.

The Disciples should not worry over His coming death, but be glad that by His death, completion of the Work of the Father would happen. Even though Jesus was sinless and not under the devil’s power, He would allow satan’s servants to betray and kill Him, so that through His death, He might fulfill the Father’s Will for Salvation!

Discourse on the way to Gethsemane

All that a believer in Jesus Christ has comes from Jesus Christ. He is like the vine, and we are like the branches, which mean that they can bear spiritual fruit only as they are united in Him. As believers allow the Father to remove hindrances, such as sin, from their lives, they will bear even more fruit. Those who do not bear fruit are like the dead branches of a vine—as they are not attached to it, they receive no life from it. They may say they are Disciples of Him; however, they have no union with Him and will be destroyed in the end, just as Judas Iscariot was.

If people claim to be His True Disciples, they must prove it by their spiritual fruits that result from union with Christ, such as obedience, love, joy, good prayer, etc. Jesus wants them to serve Him willingly, with love and understanding. This is why He chose the Disciples, because they were trained to know God’s Ways, and if their service was based on the knowledge of God and of love, they can expect lasting fruit.

Union with Christ brings suffering, however, and because of their relationship to Him, they would be hated by the world. Loyalty to Christ brings persecution, and Jesus’ teaching and work clearly showed His Divinity. Those that saw and heard Christ had no excuse for unbelief, for their clearer knowledge increased guilt in their lives, to which, they may have claimed to worship God, but they hated Jesus, which also meant they hated God.

The Disciples believed upon Christ, and would receive the Spirit and His Help during the difficult times ahead. They could expect roughness ahead, and therefore, when Christ departed, the Holy Ghost would come and help the Disciples in defending them and opposing the persecutors. He would convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. This means sin is the cause of unbelief in Christ, and that Jesus’ death is the way to God, which is proved through His Resurrection and Ascension. Judgment for sinners is certain, because satan has been conquered by the death of Jesus.

Jesus could not speak much more to the Disciples, because of how grieved they were. After He left them, the Holy Ghost would come unto them and help them understand. The teaching brought to them could concern the present and the future; therefore, it should confirm things for them. Jesus would soon be taken from them, but return in a few days. Their sorrow will become joy just as a woman’s pains before birth are replaced with joy after the birth when she sees her child. Jesus’ victory through death and Resurrection would bring confidence in God that they had never partaken before. Jesus would be the mediator or intercessor that they can pray through to the Father and receive His Blessings!

Many of the Disciples would understand completely what Jesus has been saying all along after His Resurrection, which would speak of the purpose of His Mission. They would no longer depend upon Jesus to pray for them; therefore, they would have to learn to pray personally and with confidence (especially based upon the instructions that He gave them concerning prayer). This is only possible because of who Jesus was and what He had done!

Jesus’ words had strengthened the Disciples’ faith; however, they failed to realize that a few hours later, their faith would be tested, as they would be frightened and confused on forsaking their Lord in His final hours. The lapse in faithfulness, nonetheless, would only be temporary, as through His Victory, they would Triumph!

The Intercessory Prayer

Jesus now prays before the Lord God fervently, in reflection of the Triumph of the completed work. He begins by speaking of His relationship with the Father, and that His Will was to reveal God to the world so that people could receive Eternal Life through Him. He prays to the Lord that by dying on the cross and thus finishing the work successful, He would Glorify God. This is also in hopes that Glory would be found in Christ through this, as He would ascend to His Father and sit at His Right Hand where He belonged originally.

Only some believed in Him and knew He was God and that He had come from the Father to make Him known. In other words, Jesus came to reveal the Father, and in doing so, was rejected by most, but acknowledged by some. That remnant would be His People—His True People that is, who are going to share in His Coming Kingdom that He will Rule in Eternally.

Next, He prays that His Disciples would live in a way to show His Glory to the world, so that their unity will display a similar unity as the Father is to the Son. He wants His Disciples to remains as faithful to Him as possible so they will not be defeated by evil in the world. He wants them to share with Him the Triumph and Joy that shall come through the completion of the Will of the Father. As Jesus leaves the world, His Disciples will continue the work. He prays that they will not be discouraged by hatred or even corrupted by sin. Jesus gave Himself to God to carry out His Work, so He desires that His Disciples would give themselves to God to spread His Message in the entire world.

Finally, Jesus prayed for those that would believe through the preaching of that first group of Disciples and become God’s new people, the Christian Church. He prays that the same unity that exists between the Father and Son would bind all of the Disciples together in one family so that through them others would believe as well, to which in the age to come enjoying of the Glory that was His before the world began. Those that have trusted in Him will be there with Him in the Triumphant Kingdom of God that He will Rule and Reign over! Meanwhile, even though there is unbelief in the present world, many people will come to Christ and share in the Love that the Father has for the Son (by being joint-heirs in a way). The world will begin to know God when the world sees the Love of Jesus in His People!

Jesus’ Agony!!

The Synoptic Gospels do not give the great discourse of Jesus in John 14-17. Hence they represent Jesus as going forth to Gethsemane after the institution of the supper. The time was probably not long, and they apparently sang the hymn (probably one of the Psalms; Mark 14:26/Matthew 26:30), as they rose to leave the Upper Room in John 14:31. Thus, the passage in John 15-17 comes in between singing the hymn and reaching Gethsemane. Gethsemane was an open garden, between the Brook Kedron and the foot of the Mount of Olives. It is late in the night introducing Friday, and Jesus suffers long and in horrible agony.

All of them sung a hymn, as they departed to the Mount of Olives and then into Gethsemane. Coming upon Gethsemane, it is about midnight when He and His Disciples arrived. Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him and moved to a spot to which they could be alone. He was filled with anguish and horror as He saw what death meant for Him, as the others sympathized with Him. He had to battle temptation to avoid suffering that lies ahead; however, the battle was something He had to fight and win alone. The “cup of suffering” that caused Jesus such anguish was not just about a physical suffering event, but rather, also an inner agony as He, the Sinless One, was to take upon Himself the sin of human creatures, and bore the wrath on their behalf.

No one else could know the pain, but Christ, as He had a human will, and knowing that He must complete the Father’s Will; therefore, conflict arose within. He fought against temptation in avoiding the cross, and his agony was so intense that He had sweat blood. However, He won the battle, and was determined to do the Father’s Will. Jesus saw the weakness that the Disciples had, and told them to be alert and pray for strength, as they would be tested soon. They would face a temptation to deny Jesus so that they may save themselves.

What do we learn here: We may come upon battles that are tough, even to win on our own; however, we don’t have to fight them alone, for He provides the strength we need and will assist us when we call out to Him!

The Barren Fig Tree that Jesus cursed and the critics & powers that be (Journeys 50-51)

We have landed at a point in history in these discussions where we see Jesus doing very odd things that most people would find unorthodox. Since Jesus was so unorthodox, he attracted a severe amount of unwanted attention; however, Jesus remained calm, which is hard to imagine.

The Scriptures for all of the narratives covered today are in Mark 11:12-12:44; Matthew 21:12-23:9; Luke 19:45-21:4; John 12:20-50. Jesus traveled from Bethany to Jerusalem, returning to Bethany, and then repeating it the next day (Monday-Tuesday). He frequently was in the Temple in Jerusalem during these encounters.

The Barren Fig Tree

In the morning, as Jesus and His Disciples walked from Bethany again to Jerusalem, they passed a fig tree that Jesus saw as a symbol of the Jewish nation. Therefore, He approached it looking for fruit, didn’t find any, which was similar to His looking for spiritual fruit in the Jewish nation, and didn’t find anything despite their outwardly religious acts. They may have done many good works; however, they were spiritually barren (bearing no fruit). This caused the fig tree to dry up.

Soon, Jesus cleanses the city again, which showed God’s Judgment on those that forgot why certain religious establishments existed, as they wanted to use them to make money. God was more pleased with Jesus’ healings of the blind and crippled than He was in the religious activities of the Jews.

By Being ‘Lifted Up,’ He will Draw All Men Unto Him

Some of those that visited for the Passover were of Greek origin, and had joined themselves with the Synagogue communities. However, they wanted to see Jesus. When the Lord learned of this, He wanted to announce that the climax of what He came to do has arrived, and He was now about to lay down His Life. He saw the Greeks as the Firstfruits of the Gentiles’ harvests, and knew that it would result from His death.

Grains of wheat died and were buried before they could grow up to produce harvest. Just the same, Jesus had to die so that the multitudes of all nations would find Eternal Life. This marks the principle of “death before life”—which applies to those who follow Jesus. For His Sake, they must sacrifice their self-serving in life so they can be fruitful for Him. It’s not about self-pleasing, but about giving and serving. People would despise the Gentiles just as they despised Jesus; however, God would honor them.

Jesus trembled at the thought of suffering, but knew that His time has come, therefore, He prayed that His death would glorify the Father, to which, His Father replied in a voice from Heaven that His Prayer would be answered. Many people looked on as they wondered what they just heard; however, Jesus told them that the time of satan’s defeat is approaching, and that through Jesus’ crucifixion, people of all nations would be delivered from satan’s power to be brought into the freedom of the Kingdom of God.

Many people were confused at His statements however, He spoke of Himself as “the son of man,” but if He used “The Messiah,” then how could the Messiah die on the cross? They thought of the Messiah to be One that would live forever. Jesus had no more time to reason with them; however, He did urge them to believe in Him immediately so they might walk in the light while He was still on Earth—otherwise, darkness would come upon them that they would be lost eternally.

Most Jewish people were stubborn in unbelief, just as Isaiah prophesied, for anyone that believed in Him were afraid to openly say it, because they feared of not being able to enter the Synagogue. In His final words to the crowd, Jesus explained that to believe in Him was to also believe in God; however, rejecting Him would be rejecting God as well. Jesus came to save, not condemn, and therefore, the words He spoked were of Divine Origin (from God) and on the Day of Judgment, the same words would be a witness of the condemnation of those who rejected Him.

What Jesus is trying to teach us: We must avoid self-pleasing things, but give more and serve more unto people. This will help His Gospel continue to spread, because as people see our kindness, they will be more open to receive the Gospel!

The Barren Fig Tree Withered

Jesus answers the Disciples, as they were asking why the fig tree withered, to which, He told them that if they were to have faith, they could say to something to be removed and cast into the sea, and it will be done. All things that someone believes in prayer they will receive. Have faith in God and believe in what He can do so that He can give unto us what we ask. We must also forgive others so God would forgive us!

Jesus is questioned at the Sanhedrin

IN A NUTSHELL: The Synoptic Gospels gives more details of the teaching of Jesus on Tuesday in the Temple, and on the Mount of Olives than for any other single day. It is a day of controversy. The ruler formally challenges the authority of Jesus as an accredited teacher. It was very common to test a Rabbi with hard questions. The Sanhedrin was within their rights in challenging the ecclesiastical and scholastic (scribal) standing of Jesus. Jesus did not dodge in His answers. Jesus bases His human authority on John the Baptist, His forerunner who baptized Him, and demands the Sanhedrin’s opinion of the Baptism of John. This pertinent counter-question paralyzes the Jewish leaders, and Jesus drives His argument home by three Parables: The Parable of the Two Sons; The Parable of the Wicked Husbandman; and The Parable of the Marriage Feast of the King’s Son.

The story: As Jesus returned to the Temple, Jewish leaders swarmed in to question Him, hoping to find something that could trap Him. They asked Him on what authority He acted upon, especially overthrowing common Jewish practices of the Temple. Jesus turns the question around asking them the same, and they saw how difficult it was to answer. He was not avoiding the truth; but rather, He wanted them to see the truth for themselves, because if they gave them the correct answer to His question, they would have their answer.

Jesus’ question had concerned authority of John the Baptist, to which, if they acknowledge John was sent by God, then Jesus had to also be sent by God, because John’s message announced the arrival of Jesus as the Messiah. As the leaders refused to answer, Jesus illustrated something to rebuke them again for their refusal to repent of their sin. He likened sinners, such as tax collectors and prostitutes to a son that at first he disobeyed his father, but then changed his mind. The sinners repented of their ill acts and wrongdoing, and therefore, they entered His Kingdom. He then likened the Pharisees to another son, who pretended in obedience, but he did not obey. The Pharisees claimed to be obedient to God; however, they had refused obedience in John’s call to repentance.

Soon, He told a Parable of Wicked Vineyard Keepers, to which this parable pictures Israel as a vineyard, God as the owner of it, and the Jewish leaders as tenants who had looked after it. Just as the tenants beat and killed the servants that the owner sent to them, this was the same way the leaders persecuted and killed God’s messengers (from the Old Testament Prophets up to John the Baptist). Now, they were about to reject God’s Son. By rejecting Him, the Jews brought punishment upon themselves; therefore, God would take away the privileges from Israel to give to the Gentiles.

Then, Jesus likened Himself as the cornerstone of a building. In rejecting Jesus, the Jews were just as the builders were who had thrown away the cornerstone. God now took this rejected stone and used it in construction of a new building—the Christian Church. This new community would be of mostly Gentiles, to which, all of it was built around and into Jesus Christ! People’s attitude toward Jesus had determined their destiny, for those that rejected Him were guaranteeing their own destruction.

He also told them that God sent His messengers to Israel, but the people just ignored them. God was as a king was who had invited people to a wedding feast for his son, but when the time of the feast arrived, they refused to come. This was just like the refusing of the Jews to accept His Message and invitation to God’s Kingdom. Their rejection of Jesus would bring God’s Judgment upon them and result in the destruction of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the invitation that the Jews refused went to the Gentiles instead, and this brought a great response—though only some were sincere. Some were like the man that thought he wanted to go to the feast, but was either too lazy or just too busy to prepare himself properly for it. The king issued the invitation to all, but he denied entrance to those who just wanted benefits of the feast without changing their self-centeredness. Jesus invited all to enter His Kingdom, but there was no place for those who had said they believed; however, they showed no change in attitudes or behavior.

Through these Parables, the Jewish leaders knew He was talking about them; therefore, they wanted to arrest Him, but they did not want the crowd to riot.

But “Rabbi” – What about paying tribute to Caesar?

The Herodians and Pharisees attempted to trap Jesus in yet another question, this time about Jews paying taxes to Rome. If He replied “yes,” He would be considered a traitor before the Jewish people. If He said, “no,” then the Herodians would accuse Him for treason before the Roman authorities. Jesus replied that duty to God and duty to civil authorities were not in opposition, because people owe to each a debt for services and benefits received; and thus, should give to civil authorities what is due them, and to God what is due Him!

The Sadducees ask Jesus about “resurrection”

Next, a group of Sadducees came to Jesus with a question regarding the Law of Moses, to which a man dies childless that his brother would have a temporary marital relationship with the widow to produce an heir. The question was concerning the unlikely situation where a widow would meet seven husbands, all brothers, in the resurrection. Since the Sadducees did not believe in any form of life after death, they did not intend to make fun of Jesus or the Resurrection; they really wanted to know.

He tells them their question means nothing, because Israel’s laws only apply to life in the present physical realm. Life in the age to come is not a continuation of the present, Earthly life. It is completely different overall, which is typified by something they could not deny that Jesus quoted in the book of Exodus. Moreover, long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob died, Scriptures spoke of God having a living and personal relationship with them. They must have still been living, even though their bodies were dead nad buried. Some of the Scribes were impressed by His answer, and pleased that the Sadducees were silenced.

A Pharasaic lawyer asks Jesus a legal question

A teacher of the Law asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment. Jesus answered vastly, and told them that all of the commandments of the Law could be summarized under the word, “Love.” A person’s first responsibility is to love God, and the second is to love one’s fellows. People are commanded to love, which shows that love is the primary means of doing things (not feeling), for it is an attitude of loyal obedience that governs a person’s mind, will, and emotions.

What Jesus is instructing: This shows us that the most important thing is love, and that love is the fulfilling of the Law!

Jesus silences His enemies

Some questions that people asked Him were pointless. Jews understood the messiah to be a son of David, but thought of him as a political figure that would rule Israel in a golden age. Jesus wanted to show them that this was an inadequate view, for the Messiah was far more than a son of David. He then refers the audience to Psalm 110, the one the Jews regarded as Messianic. It was written a thousand years earlier and sung by temple singers in praise of King David after his conquer of Jerusalem to establish his throne there.

However, the person who wrote such words was actually David and Jesus noted that it was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in praise of the Messiah, meaning the opening words of it where people called David, “my lord,” were the same as David expressing it to the Messiah. The Messiah, the one whom everyone knew as David’s descendant, was also David’s Lord. The Messiah was not just Earthly, but also Divine.

Some understood what He said, and did not want to ask any further trick questions. He was telling them that His work was not to revive and expand the old kingdom of Israel, but to establish the Eternal Kingdom of God—something completely different.

In His last public discourse, Jesus solemnly denounces the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus has been criticized for lack of self-control in this exposure of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. One must bear in mind the tremendous sins of which the Pharisees are guilty. The very teachers of righteousness are now in the act of rejection and finally crucifying the Son of God!

These people desired to kill God’s Messengers, and would even kill the Messiah Himself. Therefore, God’s Judgment was coming against murderous people, including those that had not received it yet. They would live to see the place destroyed and national life ended (which is a prophecy of the 70 AD collapse on Jerusalem). In rejecting Him as the Messiah who came unto them, the Jews were rejecting their only hope (of Salvation), to which they would not experience God’s Blessing until they acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah and as their Savior!

What we must learn: We must not only keep ourselves from false teachers and false prophets, but also we should do our best not to keep others from Christ. We must minister Christ, and speak about all of His Good Works to save people! Many people will not desire Salvation, but if we encourage them anyway, we could easily sow seeds that would bring a great harvest later.

The poor widow’s gift

This was the last occurrence in the Savior’s Public Ministry, except the trial and the crucifixion. This is the last appearance of Jesus in the Temple. His public teaching is over, except for his words of defense in His trial and the seven sayings on the cross. The Pharisees and Sadducees had withdrawn in terror at the explosion of the wrath of Jesus, and even the Disciples were at some distance as Jesus sat alone by the treasury. It is useless further to plead with His enemies. The task now remains to get the Disciples prepared for the Master’s death, and the time is short. As of yet, they have completely failed to grasp the fact of the significance of His death and the promise of His Resurrection on the third day.

In one of the courts of the Temple, there were large offering containers where people dropped their gifts of monies. They were in an open places where onlookers could see how much people put inside the containers. Those who gave in abundance could easily draw attention to themselves, and Jesus had noticed that some of the rich gave generously, but there was a poor widow who gave an amount so small it was almost no value.

Jesus, however, was more concerned with how people gave rather than the amount; therefore, He considered the widows had given more than anyone else had, because He measured the gift by the degree of sacrifice of the contributor, not of its value. A heart of true commitment, not money, was a prized thing in the Kingdom.

What can we learn from her gift? We should not forget that Jesus still sees the treasury and knows how much men give to His Cause. He looks at the heart of the giver, not the amount for crying out loud, because He expects that people give based on their heart. If someone sincerely gives an amount they believe they can give, it is better than those who give just because they feel they have to (grudgingly). We should give what we feel we can give, not a set amount necessarily.

Jesus arrives in His Triumphal Entry (Journeys 48-49)

Jesus arrives at Bethany, near Jerusalem, the Friday afternoon just before the Sunday of His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Many common people, learning of His Presence, came to see Him. They also came to see Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. It was yet six days before Passover.

We are reading in John 11:55-12:1, 9-19; Mark 11:1-11; Matthew 21:1-11; Luke 19:29-44. Back in Jerusalem, people from the area arrived for Passover, and many were uneasy if Jesus would come to the festival. Jesus came back to Bethany, to which Jesus came around. A crowd gathered, mainly the curious ones; however, some were sincere believers. The Jewish leaders thought His raising of Lazarus would attract attention to Jesus, and they were right. Therefore, they wanted to kill Him even more, as well as kill Lazarus.

The Triumphal Entry

The time has arrived for Jesus to challenge His opponents by posting a clear demonstration that He was indeed the Messiah that has come from God. The Jewish leaders desired to arrest Him, but when they were told where He was, they feared in taking any action, as they were unsure of His support He had around. To make sure nothing stopped Him from making His bold entry into Jerusalem, Jesus made a secret arrangement with a few unknown villages to provide a donkey, and have a “passphrase” so that two of His Disciples would pick up the donkey and bring it to Jesus.

As the Messiah, Jesus entered into Zion not on a horse but on a donkey as the King of Peace. He did not come as the conqueror, but as the Peaceful One. People in Jerusalem during the Passover welcomed Him as the Messiah and were enthusiastic He had come. Many shouted “Hosanna.”

Soon, the Pharisees would be annoyed at the welcome that He received, and therefore tried to persuade the people to silence, which did not work. As the news of Jesus’ raising of Lazarus had spread, many more people flocked to see Him, which is what the Pharisees had feared the most.

Jesus, then, was not deceived by such welcome, because He knew that when people would understand His Messiahship fully, they would just turn on Him. The nation overall would reject Him. The problem with rejecting God, is that Jerusalem would be destroyed in judgment. With Jesus entering Jerusalem, it was not a political thing, but a spiritual thing; therefore, He did not visit the palace, but the Temple He did visit. He noted what happened there, and went with His Disciples to stay in Bethany for the night.

What can we learn from this?

Jesus showed that He was not afraid by coming into Jerusalem boldly on a donkey. A donkey is a humble animal. When He entered, people were so full of joy. We must realize that we need to not be afraid as well of going into potentially dangerous places, because we can hope in Christ’s protection that will provide for us the assurance of His Presence. We may very well be shocked upon arrival that many people receive us, and may be able to improve our mindset and faithfulness in His Divine protection, as we are doing what He has called us to do.