"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Jesus On Divorce, Remarriage, & Celibacy (19:1-12) by Mark Copeland



Jesus On Divorce, Remarriage, & Celibacy (19:1-12) 

1. A serious problem in the world today is that of divorce and remarriage

2. As described by God, divorce is a treacherous, violent act - cf. Mal 2:16
   a. Its affect on children has been well documented by Judith
      Wallerstein, author of Second Chance (Ticknor & Fields, 1988)
      1) Almost half of children of divorces enter adulthood as 
         worried, under-achieving, self-deprecating, and sometimes
         angry young men and women
      2) Half grew up in settings in which the parents were warring
         with each other even after the divorce
      -- Reported in Time, 2/6/89 
   b. Parents who divorce are not left unhurt either
      1) "A divorce is like an amputation: You survive, but there's
         less of you." - Margaret Atwood (Marriage Partnership, Vol.7, No. 4)
      2) Average percentage change in a woman's standard of living the
         year following a divorce:  minus 73%  -Daniel Evan Weiss, (The
         Great Divide, Poseidon Press, 1991)

3. Remarriage after divorce is not without it problems also...
   a. It does not always heal the wounds inflicted by the divorce: "I'm
      lucky my parents have stayed together. Unlike so many of my 
      friends, I've never had to cry on a holiday." - Tales Out of High
      School. Marriage Partnership, Vol. 5, no. 6
   b. Many remarriages are unlawful in God's eyes, constituting what
      Jesus called "adultery"

4. While I am concerned about the social and psychological effects of
   divorce and remarriage, it is the spiritual effects that concern me most...
   a. Too many people are ignorant of what the Bible teaches on this subject
   b. Such ignorance leads to quick and easy divorces, and to
      adulterous marriages that are unlawful

5. In Mt 19:3-12, we find Jesus discussing divorce, remarriage and celibacy...
   a. His teaching was occasioned by a challenge from the Pharisees
   b. But He used the opportunity to teach His disciples what people
      today need to know!

[As we consider this passage carefully, we find that Matthew first records...]


      1. Divorce was a touchy issue then, even as it is today
      2. Divorce was not uncommon (e.g., King Herod)
      3. The scribes were divided over the proper grounds for divorce
         a. The school of Hillel taught that a man could divorce for
            just about any reason
         b. The school of Shammai permitted divorce only in the case of

      1. If He took the popular lax view, the Pharisees could deride
         His claim as a teacher of superior morality - cf. Mt 5:20
      2. If He upheld the stricter view, He would be unpopular with the
         majority (which the Pharisees could use against Him)

[Of course, Jesus was not concerned with what man thought, but in
pleasing His Father in heaven.  This becomes evident as we next consider...]


      1. "Have you not read...?" - Mt 19:4; cf. Gen 1:27; 2:24
      2. He does not place stock in the opinions of religious leaders of the day
      -- Is there not something for us to learn here?  Where should we
         go to find the answer concerning the issue of divorce?

      1. "He who made them at the beginning `made them male and 
         female'..." - Mt 19:4
      2. It is helpful to keep in mind:
         a. Where we came from
         b. Who created us
         c. What we are
      3. For our views on divorce and remarriage will be influenced by
         our views of ourselves!
         a. Are we simply animals?
            1) Compelled by instinct?
            2) Unable to control fleshly desires?
            -- Then divorce and remarriage ought to be free and easy
         b. Or God's highest creation?
            1) Made in His image?
            2) Able to control fleshly lusts to the glory of God?
            -- Then divorce and remarriage ought to reflect God's
               desire for man's holiness!

      1. Notice, it was GOD who said "For this reason..." - Mt 19:5;cf. Gen 2:24
      2. Therefore questions about marriage (such as divorce and
         remarriage) must be answered by God, not by man (nor by man's laws)!

      1. The two become one flesh - Mt 19:5-6; cf. Gen 2:24
      2. They are joined by none other than God Himself!

      1. What GOD has joined together, let not MAN separate - Mt 19:6
      2. Man has no right to separate what God Himself has joined

[It is clear that God's intention is that marriage is to be for life!
It is God who joins the couple, and no one has the right to rend
asunder what God has joined together!

Are there any exceptions to this rule?  The Pharisees thought so, as we
now notice...]


      1. Jesus had urged scriptural reasons against divorce - Mt 19:4-6
      2. They allege scriptural authority for divorce - Mt 19:7

      1. They appealed to Moses' statement in Deut 24:1-4
      2. Which they took to permit divorce as long as a "certificate of
         divorce" was given to the wife - cf. Mt 5:31
      3. Yet a careful reading of that passage reveals:
         a. Moses was forbidding the remarriage of a spouse who marries
            someone else
         b. The reason was despite the "certificate" the woman became
            "defiled" when she remarried - Deut 24:4
         c. The word "defiled" is used elsewhere to describe adultery
            - Lev 18:20; Num 5:13-14
         d. She actually became an adulteress by the remarriage! - cf. Ro 7:1-3
      4. While they appealed to this passage in divorce (and 
         presumably, remarriage), it actually described the treachery
         of divorce:  defilement of the spouse - cf. Mt 5:32

[The shakiness of their rebuttal is seen further as we consider...]


      1. The Jews at that time were a hardened people - cf. Deut 9:6;31:27
      2. Is this not a commentary on the state of one's heart when they
         desire to divorce their spouse?
         a. It takes a hard-hearted person to want to divorce their spouse
            1) Either to divorce arbitrarily (for no scriptural ground)
            2) Or to divorce when the guilty person is pleading for
               forgiveness and reconciliation
         b. Of course, that is exactly the condition of those in the
            world (or those in the church who are of the world) - cf. Ep 4:17-19

      1. The permission to divorce was only temporary
      2. Note carefully:
         a. The Law of Moses (which was temporary) considered the
            hardness of men's hearts, and permitted hard-hearted actions
         b. The gospel of Christ cures the hardness of one's heart!
            1) His grace removes the heart of stone, and replaces it
               with a heart of love!
            2) I.e., a heart able to abide by God's original design for  marriage
      3. Paul would later make it clear that under normal conditions
         divorce is not an option - 1Co 7:10-11

      1. "And I say unto you..." - Mt 19:9
         a. His sayings were with authority - cf. Mt 7:28-29
         b. Upon which He expected people to base their lives - cf.
            Mt 7:24-25; 28:20
      2. Divorce is allowed only in the case of fornication - Mt 19:9
         a. Divorce for any other reason results in adultery when there
            is remarriage
         b. Which is what Jesus taught in Mt 5:32
      3. To marry a divorced (put away) person results in adultery
         a. Does this apply only to a person put away for a cause other
            than fornication?
         b. Or to the one who is guilty of fornication?
         c. The lack of the definite article would suggest any "put 
            away" person
            1) Either an innocent person wrongly "put away"
            2) Or a guilty person rightly "put away" for fornication

      1. Any divorce must be on those grounds specified by Jesus...
         a. For marriage is an institution ordained by God - Mt 19:5
         b. And we must not separate what God has joined - Mt 19:6
      2. A divorce for any other grounds...
         a. Is an attempt to separate what God has joined together
         b. Results in a remarriage where people commit adultery
            - Mt 19:9; cf. Mk 10:11-12
      3. Jesus' teaching was contrary to two views held by the Jews of
         His day...
         a. That as long as a "bill of divorcement" was given, they
            were free to divorce and remarry for any reason
            1) Consider Mt 5:31 as an example of their belief
            2) Yet Jesus taught:
               a) To divorce for any reason other than fornication
                  causes the spouse to commit adultery - Mt 5:32
               b) To divorce and remarry for any reason other than
                  fornication is to commit adultery - Mt 19:9
         b. That they could marry a woman who was divorced (with the
            exception of the priests - cf. Lev 21:7,14)
            1) Yet Jesus taught that to marry a divorced woman was to
               commit adultery!
            2) Again, the lack of the definite article in both Mt 5:32
               and Mt 19:9 indicates:
               a) Whether the woman was put away for the right reasonor not
               b) In either case, the end result is adultery!
      4. Jesus defined the meaning of adultery...
         a. It was not uncommon at that time for some Jews to believe:
            1) That a man was guilty of adultery only if he violated
               another man's wife
            2) That he could be married, have relations with a single
               woman, and still not be guilty of adultery
         b. But Jesus defined adultery to include:
            1) Sex with the spouse of another (the standard definition)
            2) Looking at a woman to lust for her (certainly this would
               include either a married or single woman) - Mt 5:27-28
            3) Marrying a person who was divorced by his or her spouse 
               - Mt 5:32; 19:9
            4) Remarrying when one did not divorce for fornication- Mt 19:9

[As one might expect, what Jesus said prompted strong reactions.  While
we do not know how the Pharisees reacted, we do know...]


      1. It is better not to marry! - Mt 19:10
      2. The single life would be preferable to being so bound to one's wife!

      1. The disciples of Jesus:
         a. "If such is the case with divorce and remarriage, it is
            better to be single!"
         b. With them, there was no question about obeying Christ's law
            on this subject
         c. Only that in view of His teaching, the preferable option is celibacy
      2. Many people today:
         a. "If such is the case with divorce and remarriage, it is
            better to be lost!"
         b. Rather than submit to scriptural marriage or celibacy, many
            people are more likely to opt for eternal damnation!
         c. Choosing to prefer a few years of adultery over an eternity of bliss!

[With the disciples' mention of celibacy as a viable option, Jesus used
the opportunity to speak on the subject as it related to His previous
"saying" or teaching...]


      1. I.e., the saying of Mt 19:9
      2. The saying of Jesus regarding divorce and remarriage

      1. "those to whom it has been given" - Mt 19:11
      2. "he who is able to receive it" - Mt 19:12

      1. Those willing to accept it "FOR the kingdom of heaven's sake"- Mt 19:12
         a. The kingdom of heaven means that much to them
         b. They are willing to do whatever necessary to enter it
      2. Even it means making themselves "eunuchs" - Mt 19:12
         a. I.e., remaining single, even though they were not "born
            thus from their mother's womb"
         b. In order to remain true to the teaching of Jesus
      3. That such sacrifices might occur is implied in Mk 10:29-30; Lk 14:26
         a. One must put Christ before all others, including one's spouse
         b. Doing so may even cause one to leave their spouse 
         c. Yet the only situation in which one would be justified in doing so...
            1) Would be if their marriage was unscriptural
            2) For otherwise one is not to leave their spouse - cf. 1Co 7:10-11
      4. For those willing to live the celibate life if necessary...
         a. They will receive the ability to live by His Will - cf. 
            Php 4:13; Ep 3:20
         b. They can provide more service to the Lord being single  cf. 1Co 7:32-35
         ...just as many single and widowed serve the Lord faithfully in celibacy!


1. Any view of divorce and remarriage must take into consideration...
   a. The Word of God
   b. The nature of man and woman
   c. The sanctity of the union between man and woman created by God
   d. The consequences of rebelling against God, trying to separate
      what He has joined
   e. The value of entering "the kingdom of heaven"

2. The only course for faithful Christians is to comply with the
   teachings of Jesus...
   a. That divorce:
      1) Is an indication of one's hardness of heart
      2) Puts the spouse in a position to commit adultery when they remarry
      3) Causes one who has divorced their spouse to commit adultery
         when they remarry
   b. That there is only one ground for divorce and remarriage:
      1) Which is fornication
      2) In which the innocent person has the right to divorce and remarry
   c. That celibacy is a viable option:
      1) For those who desire to enter the kingdom of heaven
      2) Who may find it necessary to "make themselves eunuchs" (remain
         celibate) in order to do so

3. For those who find themselves in "unlawful" (i.e., adulterous
   marriages - cf. Mk 6:17-18), there is forgiveness through the blood of Jesus...
   a. But as with any sin, forgiveness in conditioned upon repentance
   b. Just as the Jews who had married foreign wives needed to repent
      by putting them away (cf. Ezra 9-10)
   c. So one repents by leaving any relationship described as adultery

May the Lord bless those with the faith to live according to His word,
and may we be diligent in teaching our children what the Bible teaches
regarding divorce and remarriage! 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Beginning and the End by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The Beginning and the End

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

If God does not exist and the Bible is not His inspired Word, human life is meaningless. We are merely the result of a cosmic accident. We ultimately are nothing more than evolved matter that will merely return to dust.

In a 1994 debate at Stanford University on Darwinism, atheistic evolutionist William Provine summarized his views on modern evolutionary biology and its “loud and clear” implications. According to Dr. Provine, “There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life…” (Provine and Johnson, 1994).

Whereas atheistic evolution implies that human life is rather pointless, the biblical explanation for man’s God-given purpose is deeply rooted in his origins, as well as his afterlife. After having already acknowledged that from a purely naturalistic perspective life is meaningless (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 12:8), the wise man concluded that the ultimate purpose of human life is to “fear God and keep His commandments” (12:13). Of particular interest is the fact that this all-important conclusion is grounded in (1) where we came from and (2) where we are going (12:1,7,14).

First, the End

The inspired penman of Ecclesiastes concluded that “man’s all” is to “fear God and keep His commandments” because “God will bring every work into judgment” (12:13,14). Though most agree with the obvious truth that “it is appointed for men to die once,” many reject the fact that when this earthly life has ended judgment awaits (Hebrews 9:27). God has “appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man Whom He has ordained” (Acts 17:31)—the Son of God, to Whom the Father “has committed all judgment” (John 5:22).

One of the main themes of the New Testament is that Jesus, the Judge, will return. The first recorded message after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven was: “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). Though Jesus will “be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8), Christians can rejoice in the fact that “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven…. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Faithful Christians can (and should) look forward to the end of time and the promise of Jesus’ return. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).

The Beginning

The same Word of God that Christians trust regarding our bright future, is the same Divine Word that details our beautiful beginning. Peter recognized that “long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water…. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men…. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:5,7,13, NIV, emp. added).

The same Lord Who “made the heavens…shall judge the world” (Psalm 96:5,13, emp. added). The Christ Who created “all things…that are in heaven and that are on earth” (Colossians 1:16), is the same Jesus Who will return “in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him” (Matthew 25:31). Our beginning and ending are inextricably linked by God and His Word.

How is it that some put so much trust in what God has revealed about the end of time, yet care so little about the details He gave regarding the beginning? God certainly could have created the Universe in any way He desired, in whatever order He wanted, and in whatever time frame He chose. He could have created the world and everything in it in six seconds or six billion years. But the pertinent question is not what could God have done; it is what He said He did. And He said that He created everything in six days (Genesis 1). When God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments, He stated: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work…. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:9,11).

What has the all-authoritative, eternal Creator revealed to us about His Creation in His all-authoritative Word? In contradiction to what theistic evolutionists teach about, for example, humanity finally evolving 13-14 billion years after the commencement of Creation, Jesus indicated that “from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6).

Furthermore, “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20, emp. added). How long has man been aware of God and His invisible attributes? “Since the creation of the world.” How, then, could man logically have been “perceiving” or “understanding” God “since the creation of the world,” if he is separated from the creation of the heavens and the earth by billions of years of evolution? Such a scenario completely contradicts Scripture.

Sadly, some individuals choose to believe in man-made, convoluted, imaginative theories, rather than fully embrace God-revealed, inerrant, biblical truth. Faithful servants of God, however, put complete confidence in the Creator’s all-authoritative Word, respectfully and consistently relying on His guidance about both the beginning and the end. “Remember now your Creator,” for “the dust will return to the earth as it was,” but “the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:1,7).


Provine, W.B. and Phillip E. Johnson (1994), “Darwinism: Science or Naturalistic Philosophy?” Origins Research, 16[1], Fall/Winter, www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or161/161main.htm.


*Originally published in Gospel Advocate, November 2015, 157[11]:18-19.





The Barren Fig Tree by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


The Barren Fig Tree

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Upon encountering the story of Jesus cursing the barren fig tree, the average Bible student is slightly taken aback by the “strangeness” of the events that occur. Mark’s account records the story as follows:

Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.... Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away” (11:12-14,20-21, emp. added).

One prominent question naturally arises from a straightforward reading of the text. Why would Jesus curse a fig tree that did not have figs on it, especially since the text says that “it was not the season for figs”? In response to this puzzling question, skeptical minds have let themselves run wild with accusations regarding the passage. Steve Wells, the author of The Skeptics’ Annotated Bible, labeled this story as an absurdity and said in a sarcastic tone: “Jesus kills a fig tree for not bearing figs, even though it was out of season. He did this to show the world just how much God hates figs” (2006, emp. added). Louis Cable, another skeptic, responded to the story with this statement: “Now to curse a fig tree for not bearing fruit in March is not unlike kicking a dog because it can not speak English thereby punishing it for the inability to do the impossible” (n.d.).

Is it the case that Jesus capriciously, out of anger, cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit, even though the tree was incapable of producing? With a little research, one quickly ascertains that such is not the case. Not only does an excellent reason exist for the curse upon the fig tree, but an equally good spiritual application should be considered as well.

When Jesus approached the fig tree, the text indicates that the tree had plenty of leaves. R.K. Harrison, writing in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, explains that various kinds of figs grew in Palestine during the first century. One very important aspect of fig growth has to do with the relationship between the leaf and the fruit. Harrison notes that the tiny figs, known to the Arabs as taksh, “appear simultaneously in the leaf axils” (1982, 2:302) This taksh is edible and “is often gathered for sale in the markets” (2:302). Furthermore, the text notes: “When the young leaves are appearing in spring, every fertile fig will have some taksh on it.... But if a tree with leaves has no fruit, it will be barren for the entire season” (2:301-302).

Thus, when Jesus approached the leafy fig tree, He had every reason to suspect that something edible would be on it. However, after inspecting the tree, Mark records that “He found nothing but leaves.” No taksh were budding as they should have been if the tree was going to produce edible figs that year. The tree appeared to be fruitful, but it only had outward signs of bearing fruit (leaves) and in truth offered nothing of value to weary travelers.

In addition, anyone even slightly familiar with the character of Jesus knows that He did not spend His time on this Earth eradicating barren fig trees as an ecological service to Palestinian farmers. What, then, was the point of such abrupt action against the tree? When one notices the context of the event, Jesus’ intention seems to become apparent and two fold. First, in its immediate context, the barren fig tree seems to apply to the pretentious religion of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. Following Jesus’ curse upon the fig tree, the text says that Jesus went to Jerusalem and began to drive the money changers out of the temple (Mark 11:15-19). The activities in the temple that once had been fruitful and wholesome had become empty of value and useless. Allen Black commented: “The cursing of the fig tree symbolizes God’s judgment on Israel for not bearing the fruit he wanted from the temple. It foreshadows the cleansing of the temple and ultimately the prophecy of its destruction in chapter 13” (1995, p. 200).

Second, in a general sense, Jesus often insisted that trees which do not bear good fruit will be cut down (Matthew 7:19; Luke 13:6-9). The fig tree did not bear fruit, was useless, and deserved to be destroyed: the spiritual application being that any human who does not bear fruit for God will also be destroyed for his or her failure to produce.

Jesus did not throw a temper tantrum and curse the fig tree even though it was incapable of producing fruit. He cursed the tree because it should have been growing fruit since it had the outward signs of productivity. Jesus’ calculated timing underscored the spiritual truth that barren spiritual trees eventually run out of time. As for personal application, we should all diligently strive to ensure that we are not the barren fig tree.


Black, Allen (1995), The Book of Mark (Joplin, MO: College Press).

Cable, Louis (no date), “Some Famous New Testament Forgeries,” [On-line], URL: http://www.inu.net/skeptic/ntforge.html.

Wells, Steve (2006), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, [On-line], URL: http://www.Skepticsannotatedbible.com.

Harrison, R.K. (1982), “Fig, Fig Tree,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).




The Audacity To Say “Yes, Sir”? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The Audacity To Say “Yes, Sir”?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

“Sir” and “ma’am” have long been considered respectful and courteous ways to address adults and those in positions of authority. Parents are delighted to hear their children address adults with such considerate language. Bosses are very appreciative of their employees responding with a respectful “Yes, sir” or “Yes, ma’am.” Kings, presidents, and military heroes demand our deference. God commands Christians to “[r]ender therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:7, emp. added).

Recently, the highest ranking political and military official in the United States, President and Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush, visited Pope Benedict XVI for the first time. What will be remembered most about their meeting? That President Bush had the “audacity” to refer to the pope several times as “Sir.” News organizations all over the world reported how “Bush drew gasps at the Vatican...by referring to Pope Benedict XVI as ‘sir’ instead of the expected ‘His holiness’” (“Bush...,” 2007). Columnist John Hooper wrote: “[B]efore he got down to cases with Bush, the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church had the unusual experience of being called ‘sir.’ ‘It’s good to be with you, sir,’ said Bush as he sat down” (2007). In addition to “consistently” addressing the pope as “Sir,” Catholic World News also noted how President Bush “did not bow when he met the Pope” (“Iraq...,” 2007).

Bush spoke respectfully to the pope, yet was criticized heavily for not venerating him as “The Holy Father” or acknowledging him as “the Vicar of Jesus Christ.” In reality, every faithful Christian falls under the same criticism because the pope deserves no such reverence. Christians must never feel pressured into honoring any human being in the way we honor God. There is only one Holy Father (Ephesians 4:6), and no man should expect to be called by that name in a religious context (Matthew 23:9). Even the apostle Peter (whom Catholics errantly allege was the first pope; see Pinedo, 2005) rejected such adoration (Acts 10:25-26). Only God is worthy of our worship and sacred praise (Matthew 4:10).

Respecting our fellow man and giving “honor to whom honor” is due is biblical (Romans 13:7). Venerating a man above all men in a religious sense, however, is unscriptural. All Christians are part of the “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), but we serve no High Priest but Christ (Hebrews 8:1; 9:11; 10:21). He has no vicar on Earth. Rather, Jesus has “all authority...in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

Regardless of what one thinks of George W. Bush as President, his refusal to call the pope by one of his “holy” names is a noble act worth emulating. If the pope was obedient to Almighty God, he would (among many other things) be content with respectful addresses, rather than expecting reverence due only to God.


“Bush Makes a Gaffe at Vatican City” (2007), The Times of India, June 11, [On-line], URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bush_makes_a_gaffe_at_Vatican_City /articleshow/2113119.cms.

Hooper, John (2007), “What the President said to ‘His Holy Father,’” The Guardian, June 10, [On-line], URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/italy/story/0,,2099715,00.html.

“Iraq Tops Agenda as Bush Meets with Pope” (2007), Catholic World News, June 11, [On-line], URL: http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=51704.

Pinedo, Moises (2005), “The Pope, the Papacy, and the Bible,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/626.






LETTER TO STEVE by Jim McGuiggan



Ach Steve, we're both growing old and it isn't fun. 2015 without a doubt has been the toughest year of my life health-wise and it has continued on into 2016 with no let up. Back pain, infections, rashes, respiratory trouble, insomnia, bone-deep weariness, teeth/mouth trouble, vision difficulties. Old? I think now and then I'm going to take out whatever mirrors there are in this apartment of mine so I won't see my aged self.

But we didn't ask for exemption from human ills and disappointments and we aren't getting it. We're two of the multiplied millions living in a world that's too big for us to handle. But we won't be here much longer. One of these days you won't hear from me at all and then on the wind the word will come to you that I have died—suddenly and yet not suddenly for it was creeping up on me and will one day pounce.

But Steve, I wouldn't have it any other way. I hate what is happening to me as I hate what is happening to you and all the millions around us—all of them—without exception. I'm a human and have known pleasant days, better than pleasant, some glorious days, delirious days, with love and friendship, little things achieved and projects begun that couldn't be finished and with slumped shoulders thought I'd not be able to move on but did. Looked for praise here and there and got none, expected criticism and instead I got a smile and a handshake. Healthy days when I felt unstoppable and indestructible, rejoicing in energy and feeling that it was great to be alive in this big round teeming world.

I have many regrets, screwed up over and over and over again, found myself in near despair, tears flowing, wanting to die, a sense of unworthiness that I felt as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning. In a host of ways I've been trusted again and again and again when it was clear I couldn't be trusted and then there were days when I did and thought and said lovely things, truthful things; times when I was generous and kind and I could hardly believe it was me, doing things that if I'd seen others do them I would have thought they were so like Jesus Christ.

Now and then just to stay on my feet I'd take one of these lovely moments out and examine it with care and tell myself that I was the one who did or thought or said this. These weren't self-glorifying moments, they were moments of profound need where I had to be sure that the entire story about me wasn't and isn't: "Bad. Simply bad!" I've never made my mark in the world nor will I and like the billions before me and around me I will die and be remembered for a while by those who love me before they too lie down to sleep and then I will be forgotten—as it should be, as it is with everyone else. But it's okay. It's true I can't change things so I must, like everyone else, put up with them as they are, and I do, but I'm now content to do it and as RL Stevens would put it, "I lay myself down with a will" and as Robert Browning would have it, I don’t want a cover for my eyes when the end here comes—I want to see it all.

The one unwavering reality—a Person—who's always there, the one I can see clearly when my eyes are not fogged over with some worry or other, some brawl or other, some looming fear or other. This note has that haze of gloom hanging over it but as I write it I don't feel gloomy—I don't understand at this moment how to explain that but I'm not going to edit it. There He is and if he is the truth of things—the truth of the entire human story—with its sins and righteousness, its joys and sorrows, it fears and its assurances, its suffering and its glory, its present and its future then I can rejoice in the throbbing hope he generates and finish my race here knowing I have the best possible reason to think and live in noble thoughts of God and that must bode well for all the untold millions who were born into the darkness and raised in squalor of many kinds and who’ve never had the chance to know Him.



[This note is to a very dear friend who lives isolated in a far away country. He said he felt old, he is greatly burdened by life. I haven't changed the note, just corrected typos and such. It's a genuine expression of where I'm at in life. He's in Christ Jesus so all is well. A very close reading of Psalm 117 comes to my mind now. God is good] 





dear-brother-faull-who-is-antichrist? by brother Faull


Dear Brother Faull, 
Who is the antichrist?  I have heard that it was Hitler!  Stalin!  Mussolini!  Even Sadam!  Who do you believe it is?  How about Bin Laden?
I personally suspect your next door neighbor!!! Why would I say such a thing as that?
The word antichrist appears five times in four Scriptures.  All we can know about the antichrist must appear in the verses that speak of “him.”  We will quote those verses for you and then study them.  We can know no more than God has revealed about the subject.  All else is speculation.
I John 2:18, “Little children, it is the last time:  and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.”
I John 2:22, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”
I John 4:3, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:  and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that tit should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
II John 1:7, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”  [The Greek word has “the antichrist.”]
Now what do these verses reveal to us about the antichrist?
1.                  The disciples had heard that the antichrist (the opponent or the adversary of Christ) was coming in the last times.
2.                  John corrects their thinking by pointing out:
A.                             There are many, not one.
B.                             They are present now, not future.
C.                             These are the last times now!!!
3.                  He reveals who the antichrist is.
A.                             The liar who denies that Jesus is the Messiah is the antichrist.
B.                             The denier of the Father and the Son is the antichrist.
C.                             The spirit that denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is the antichrist.
D.                             The deceiver who will not confess that Jesus, the Messiah, has come in the flesh is the antichrist.

Do you see why I suspect your next door neighbor?  There is nothing sensational, and no great fanfare about the antichrist.  It is very simple.  If you know someone who holds to the Jewish or Mohommedan religion, he is the antichrist, for they do not believe Jesus is the Messiah.  If you know a Jehovah Witness or one in the “Jesus Only” cult, he is the antichrist, for they deny either God the Father, or God the Son.  If you know a Christian Scientist, he is the antichrist, for they believe flesh is a mere allusion and thereby deny that Jesus came in the flesh.  If you know an atheist, an agnostic or anyone who will not confess that Jesus is the Messiah who came in the flesh, he is the antichrist.
This little, brief article should alarm you.  You should not believe all you hear about the coming antichrist, who is coming to rule the world and fight against Christ.  The one referred to as “the man of sin” by Paul, or “the little horn” of Daniel’s vision are not the antichrist.  These are also “against Christ,” but it is not biblically correct to call just one man or system “the antichrist.”  There are many, and they are all around us now.  Do not be misled by “sensationalists” and “time setters” who are always calling your attention to some political leader as the antichrist.  Convert your neighbor and there will be one less antichrist. Remember, one opposes Christ when he denies that God the Father has sent His Son in the flesh to save us from our sins.
John 3:35-36, “35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.  36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:  and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of god abideth on him.”






The Life of Jesus Christ Condensed



The Life of Jesus Christ
Condensed 1

I    Early Life
        Birth and childhood of Jesus
        Youth and manhood
II    The Period of Ministry
        The Judaean
        The Galilean
        The Perean
        The Passion Week
III    The dawn of Christianity

Early life

Pre-existence. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jno 1:1.

Birth of John the Baptist. Announced to Zacharias. Lu 1:5-25.

Birth announced at Nazareth. “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.” Lu 1:30,31.

Mary visits Elizabeth. John the Baptist born. Lu 1:39-80.

Born at Bethlehem. An angel announced to Joseph to take her for his wife. There occurred about this time a decree from Caesar Augustus to go to their own city for tax enrollment. Being of the lineage of David, Joseph took Mary and went to Bethlehem, the city of David. “And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Lu 2:6,7. An angel announced to the shepherds that a Saviour is born, Christ the Lord. Lu 2:12.

Circumcision. After eight days, by the father, as was the custom.

Presentation at the Temple. After the days of purification,2 they took him to the Temple, in Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord and make a sacrifice with two turtle doves or two pigeons, according to the law. While there they met Simeon, who through the Holy Spirit, recognized him and blessed God and them, and said, “... this child is set for the falling and rising of many in Israel ...” Lu 3:34. And, Anna a prophetess, of old age, living in the temple, “ ... coming up that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spake of him to all them that were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Lu 3:37,38.

The Wise Men. “... wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east ...” Herod assembled priests and scribes, and determined that it was in Bethlehem. Then, they went to Bethlehem and gave precious gifts to Jesus. The Lord warned the Wise-men not to return to Herod, since Herod was upset that the Wise-men referred to Jesus as King of the Jews.

Flight to Egypt. The Lord then appeared to Joseph in a dream to arise immediately and take the young mother and child and flee into Egypt.3 Herod will seek to destroy Jesus. This indeed happened for Herod was angry that the Wise-men came not to Jerusalem, and decreed that all male children up to two years in and around Bethlehem be destroyed. Herod died about two years later in Jericho, and the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to return to Israel. But since Archelaus was now ruling over Judea, he returned to Galilee to Nazareth. Mt 2:13-33.

Youth and manhood. “And his parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover.” One passover, when Jesus was twelve years old, was memorable to the parents. For, on returning, they missed him and returned to Jerusalem to find him sitting talking and listening to teachers, who were amazed at his questions and answers. And he said, “... I must be in my Father's house. And they understood not...” Lu 2:41-50.

The usual route was along the Jordan River to Jericho, then up to Jerusalem, rather than the direct route via Samaria, since there was enmity with the Samaritans. There is no mention of the next eighteen years, other than, “And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Lu 2:53.

Later, it is mentioned that he was the carpenter's son. It was customary for all boys to learn some occupational trade. It is only conjecture that he got around the area, to Galilee, since he seemed to know the area around Capernaum. Later he mentioned the “light on the hill.” This may have been Sephoris, a beautiful town situated on a hill to the west of Nazareth, and which is now being excavated.

John the Baptist. Forerunner of Jesus, lived and baptized in the wilderness of Judaea, along the Jordan River. Lu 3:1-18.

The Period of Ministry

Baptism. Then one day, thought to be about AD 27, Jesus suddenly left home, went down the winding road to the Valley of Esdraelon, east past Beth Shean, then to the Jordan River. He went on down until he found John the Baptist, at the place where he was baptizing his followers in the Jordan -- it is said where there was much water. He was a cousin, six months older. He probably was astonished, but glad to see him. He probably was further astonished, when Jesus said he wanted to be baptized -- this, to fulfill all righteousness. He demurred, but finally baptized Jesus. Then a strange thing happened as Jesus was coming out of the water. First, the Spirit of God descended like a dove to his shoulder. Then, a voice from above, said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” Mt 3:13-17.

Temptations. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he afterward hungered.”4 There were three temptations: 1)The devil said, “If you are the Son of God, command that the stones become bread.” Jesus answered, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God; 2) Then the devil took him to the pinnacle of the temple, and said to cast himself down -- the angels would bring him up. To which Jesus replied, “Again, it is written Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God;” 3) Then the devil took him up into a high mountain to show him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and he would give them to Jesus, if Jesus would bow down and worship him. To which Jesus replied, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” The devil then left for awhile. Mt 4:1-11.

Who was John the Baptist? John received many questions as to who he was: a prophet? Elijah? the Christ? He said no. “He said, I am the voice crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet.” Jno 1:19-28.

Testimony of John the Baptist. Jesus came back up the river and John was heard to say “Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” He mentioned about the scene at the baptizing of Jesus -- the Holy Spirit descending and the voice from heaven. “And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” Jno 1:28-34.

First disciples of Jesus. Again, on the next day, John saw Jesus walking by and said, Behold, the Lamb of God.” Two of John's disciples heard it and followed Jesus; one was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, and the other was probably John. Next day Jesus finds Philip to whom he said, “Follow me.” Philip finds Nathanael who said, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” But then when Jesus described him and said he saw him under a tree, he immediately said these beautiful words: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are King of Israel.” Jno 1:35-51.

First miracle. Jesus went with his mother to a marriage feast at Cana of Galilee. Later, the wine began to run out. His mother said to him, “They have no wine.” to which Jesus replied, “Woman, what have I to do with thee: mine hour is not yet come.” His mother insisted to the servants to follow Jesus instructions. Jesus said to fill the six stone waterpots with water. Then he said, “Draw out now, and bear unto the ruler of the feast.” This was the best. This manifested his glory. “After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples; and there they abode not many days.” Jno 2:1-3. M1.5

The Early Judean Ministry -- 8 months

At First Passover He Cleanses the Temple. He found oxen, sheep and doves being sold right in the temple area -- probably in the Court of the Gentiles. He made a scourge of cords and drove the animals out and overturned the money changers. He said, “... make not my Father's house a house of merchandise.” The Jews complained by what sign he did this. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” They said it was in building 40 and six years. “But Jesus spake of the temple of his body.” Many believed on his name and the signs.

Jesus and Nicodemus in Jerusalem. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, came at night to see Jesus. He says Jesus is a teacher come from God, because of the signs. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Jno 3:5.6

Jesus baptizes. Jesus also was baptizing in Judaea. Jno 3:22.
John again testifies to Jesus.
In his discourse on his role he said, He must increase, but I must decrease. Jno 3:30.

This time he went directly up the ridge through Samaria where he met the Woman at the Well and she believed, as well as, many of the Samaritans. Jno 4:4-42.

The Early Galilean Ministry

He came again to Cana, where he healed the Nobleman's son.

First Rejection at Nazareth. Then he visited his home town of Nazareth. On the sabbath day he went to the synagogue. He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. He found and read 61:1,2, then sat down and explained to them, “And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.” Lu 4:16-30. They were astonished, “Is not this Joseph's (the carpenter's) son? They finally worked up such wrath that they led him to a precipice overlooking the Valley of Esdraelon to throw him over, but, he just walked away.

Then Jesus went to the sea of Galilee and saw two fishermen, Simon Peter and Andrew his brother, and said, “Come with me and I will make you fishers of men.” And they followed him. Later he called James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, also fishermen. He taught and did several healings, including Peter's mother-in-law.7 Mk 1:21-34.

First circuit in Galilee. “And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people.” Mt 4:23-35.

Call of Matthew. “And as Jesus passed by from thence, he saw a man, called Matthew, sitting at the place of toll: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.” Mt 9:9.

Second Passover at Jerusalem. While there, he healed the impotent man at the Pool of Bethesda, just north of the old city walls. The Jews created quite a furor, since this miracle was done on the sabbath. Jno 5:1-47.

Going back north to Galilee, his disciples plucked grain on the sabbath and healed a man with a withered hand on the sabbath. The Pharisees were saying that it was unlawful to work on the sabbath. Mt 12:1-14.

Choosing the Twelve. “And he goeth up into the mountain, and calleth unto him whom he himself would; and they went unto him. And he appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them forth to preach, and to have authority to cast out demons ...” Mk 3:15,15. “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew, the publican; James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.” Mt 10:2-4. Right after this Jesus gave the sermon on the mount.

Sermon on the Mount. After he chose the twelve, Luke says that he came down and stood on a level place, and great multitudes followed him -- those from as far as Jerusalem and Tyre and Sidon. The place was undoubtedly along the north shore of the
Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum.8 The sermon starts out with the Beatitudes and includes the model prayer. Mt 5,6,7.

Later Galilean Ministry

To Nain in the Valley of Jezreel. “And it came to pass soon afterwards, that he went to a city called Nain; and his disciples went with him, and a great multitude.” Lu 7:11-17. There Jesus happened upon a funeral procession and he brought to life the widow's son. All glorified God and the news spread to other places.

Another tour from Capernaum. “And it came to pass soon afterwards, that he went about through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good tidings of the kingdom of God, and with him the twelve ...” Lu 8:1-3.

Jesus' Family come to him. “And there came to him his mother and brethren, and they could not come at him for the crowd... My mother and my brethren are these that hear the word of God, and do it.” Lu 8:19-21

Parables Concerning the Kingdom. Mt 13:1-53. (By the seaside)

Jesus stills the tempest. Demons. There were great multitudes and he gave command to go to the other side. A storm came up and the boat began to sink. He was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They awakened him urgently. “And he awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mk 4:35-41. They came to the east side of the Sea of Galilee and were met immediately by two possessed with demons, coming out of the tombs. The unclean spirits recognized Jesus. Jesus said, “Come forth, thou unclean spirit, out of the man.” They implored him not to send them away, but to enter into swine close by. He gave them leave, and they entered the swine and, the swine, about 2000, ran down the slope into the sea and were drowned.” Mk 5:1-21.9

Levi gave a great feast at Capernaum, and many publicans and others were present. The Pharisees murmured, “How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” Jesus said those who are whole need no physician, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mk 2:15-22.

Jairus' daughter raised, and the woman with issue of blood healed. Mk 5:22-43. M15,16. Two blind men healed and a dumb spirit cast out. Mt 9:27-34. M17,18.

Second rejection at Nazareth. Jesus again visited his home town synagogue and they were offended in him. “Is not this the carpenter's son?” Mt 13:55. “And Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house... And he marveled because of their unbelief.” Mk 6:1-6.

Third circuit: The Apostles instructed and sent out. “And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and he gave them authority over unclean spirits; and he charged them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no bread, no wallet, no money in their purse ...” Mk 6:6-13. He said not to go to the Gentiles, nor Samaritans, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. See long instruction, Mt 9,10. In the first circuit of Galilee some of the 12 went with him as disciples; in the second the 12 went as apostles;10 in the third circuit they were sent forth as evangelists for training.

Death of John the Baptist. John had come in the Spirit to Galilee, the region of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. He had said that Herod had taken his brother's wife, Herodias, unlawfully. She was furious and, finally, he had John put into prison. Herod gave a feast at which Salome danced and it pleased him...He had promised anything up to half his kingdom. She asked her mother, Herodias, what to say. She said, the head of John the Baptist on a charger. Herod was dismayed but had to keep his promise. The head was brought in to Salome and she gave it to her mother.11

Report of the Twelve. “And the apostles, when they returned, declared unto him what things they had done. And he took them, and withdrew apart to a city called Bethsaida.” This was a withdrawal from Herod's territory to Bethsaida Julius which was on the northeastern shore on the east side of the Jordan River, where it enters the Sea of Galilee, or Sea of Tiberias. Lu 9:10-17.

Feeding the Five Thousand. The multitude followed along, expecting to see a miracle. “He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd and began teaching them many things.” Mk 6:34b. Toward evening they began to think of food. He teased Philip where to buy bread but there was not enough money. A boy had five loaves and two fishes, just enough for him. Jesus said to bring the loaves and fishes and seat them by fifties and hundreds. “And he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up into heaven, he blessed and brake the loaves; and gave to the disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they all ate, and were filled. And they took up broken pieces, twelve baskets full and also of the fishes.” Mk 6:30-44. “When therefore the people saw the sign which he did, they said, This is of a truth the prophet that cometh into the world.” Jno 6:14. M19.

Period of Retirements

First Retirement
Jesus walks on water. Then Jesus sent the twelve by boat to Bethsaida, near Capernaum, while he sent the multitude away and went up in the mountain to pray. There was a great wind on the lake and the sea was rising. They had been rowing for several hours. Then Jesus came by them walking on the sea. They thought he was a ghost, but finally recognized him. Peter, in jubilance, jumped down and he too walked on the water but, then, seeing the wind, became afraid and began to sink. Jesus helped him up saying, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Mt 14:22-36. On shore people had the sick lined up along the way for him to touch and heal.

Sermon on the Bread of Life. The multitude went back and forth looking for him. The people kept wondering about him -- confused. He finally talked about the bread of life. “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst... I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” Not understanding, many went away. But Peter said, “... And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God.” And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Judaea, because the Jews sought to kill him.” Jno 6:22--7:1

Second Retirement
Jesus withdrew into parts of Tyre and Sidon. He healed the daughter of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. Mt 15:21-28. M21.

Third Retirement
He then went back to the Sea of Galilee to the other side to Decapolis, but the multitude again found him, bringing out the sick for him to heal. He healed one with an impediment of speech. Mk 7:31-37. Miracle #22.

Feeding the Four Thousand. While near Decapolis. Jesus had compassion on the multitude, they not having eaten for three days. He asked how many loaves, and there were seven and a few fishes. One disciple wondered how they could be fed in the desert -- a question like at the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus commanded them to sit down, took the loaves and fishes and gave thanks and fed the four thousand. He asked how much was left over, and it was seven baskets full. Mt 15:32-38. M23.

To Magadan and Dalmanutha.
“And he sent away the multitudes, and entered into the boat and came into the borders of Magadan.” Mk 15:39 and “... parts of Dalmanutha.” Mk 8:10. “And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and trying him asked him to show them a sign from heaven.” Mt 16:1.

To Bethsaida Julius. “And again entering into the boat departed to the other side... And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mk 8:15 ... A blind man healed. Mk 8:22-26. M24.

To Caesarea Philippi -- Peter's Confession. Jesus asked, “Who do men say the Son of man is? And they said Some say John the Baptist; some Elijah; and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”... Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto these the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound12 in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Mt 16:13-30.

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection. “From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples, that he must go into Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day raised up.” Peter objected, but Jesus said, “Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.” Mt 16:21-28. Further, the kingdom will come: “And he said unto them, verily I say unto you, There are some here of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power.”13

The Transfiguration. Mt Hermon. “And after six days Jesus taketh with him, Peter, and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and he was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as the light. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him. And Peter answered, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, I will make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. While he was yet speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold, a voice out the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Mt 17:1-13.

The Demoniac boy healed. Mk 9:14-29. M25.

Jesus foretells, a second time, his death and resurrection. Mk 9:30-32. See Mk 9:1. Discourse on humility and forgiveness.

Money for the temple tax is found in a fish. Mt 17:24-27. M26.

The Perean Ministry -- 6 months.

At the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus sends his disciples ahead and, later, follows quietly. He is set upon by the multitude, many with diverse opinions of Jesus. He teaches. Some believed but others disbelieved. “On the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” Further discussion with the multitude. Even the officers said, “Never man so spake.” Nicodemus spoke in his favor. Jno 7:11-52.

Mercy to the adulterous woman. Jno 7:53--8:11.
Jerusalem -- Discourse and discussion. Jno 8:12-59.
He heals the man born blind. Jno 9:1-41. M27.
In Jerusalem -- The sheepfold and the good shepherd. Jn 10:1-21.

The Seventy sent out -- to Judaea. “Now after these things the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself was about to come.” Preach to them that, “The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” Lu 10:1-6.

The good Samaritan. ”And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life:” Jesus answered, quoting love of God and of neighbor...” Dt 6:5, Lev 19:18. Then he told the story of the good Samaritan. Lu 10:25-37.

He visits the home of Mary and Martha. Bethany. Martha was cumbered with much serving, but, “Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Lu 10:38-42.

The Disciples taught how to pray. “And it came to pass, as he was praying in a certain place, that when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, even as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we ourselves also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation.” See the prayer in Mt 6:9. Then he continued other discussion. Lu 11:1-13.

Dining with a Pharisee. A Pharisee asked him to dine with him, and he was shocked that Jesus did not bathe before dinner. “And the Lord said unto him, Now ye the Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness.” Then he gave six woes unto the Pharisees. Lu 11:37-54.

A discourse to his disciples and others. Perea. He discussed the Pharisees; parable of the fig tree; talked about anxiety. Lu 12:1- 59.

Parable of the fig tree. Lu 13:1-9.

Healing of a woman on the Sabbath. He healed a woman that had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years. He discussed the kingdom of God as like a mustard seed. Also the parable of the Leaven. Lu 13:10-31.

Teaching and going toward Jerusalem. “And he went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and journeying on unto Jerusalem.” Lu 12:22-35.

Dines with a Chief Pharisee. The Pharisees were watching. He healed a man on the sabbath that had the dropsy. Parable of the Great Supper. Lu 14:1-24.

The cost of discipleship. There were great multitudes. He said, “Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple... He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Lu 14:25-35.

The Seventy return. “And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name. And he said to them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven... Nevertheless in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven...” His prayer of gratitude. Lu 10:17-24.

Feast of Dedication. “And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem; it was winter; and Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon's porch.14 The Jews request a plain answer, “Are you the Christ? ... The works that I do in my Father's name, these bear witness of me... I and the Father are one. The Jews took up stones again to stone him... And he went away beyond the Jordan into the place where John was at the first baptizing; and there he abode.” Jno 10:22-42.

Teaching concerning divorce. A Pharisee asked him, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? trying him.” Jesus said, at marriage, the two become one. Moses, for a time, permitted divorce because of your hardness of heart. Then he said, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.” Mt 19:3-12.

Parables: The Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, the Prodigal Son, and the Unjust Steward. Lu 16:1-18.

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. A poor beggar, Lazarus, died and was carried to Abraham's bosom. A rich man died, and was buried. “And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” He cried out to Abraham for help from the fire around him. Abraham said he had his good times in his lifetime and Lazarus all manner of things. Abraham said, “And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they that would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us.”15 Further, the rich man wanted Abraham to send Lazarus back to teach his five brothers, but Abraham said, “They have Moses and prophets, let them hear them.” Lu 16:19-31.

Teaching on stumbling and faith. Lu 17:1-10.

Perea to Bethany

Lazarus died and was raised to life. Lazarus became ill. The sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus in Perea, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. But when Jesus heard it, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified thereby.” Jesus delayed two days and he said, “Our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep... So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already.” Martha came to meet him and he sent for Mary who came also. All were weeping and groaning including the Jews who came along. He asked, “Where have ye laid him? They say unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept.”16 He ordered the stone be rolled away. Then, “... he cried with a loud voice Lazarus, come forth.” He came forth still with “grave clothes” still on him. “Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”
Many of the Jews believed, but some went away and told the Pharisees. Jno 11:1-46.

The Jews plot to kill Jesus. After the raising of Lazarus, “The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many signs.” They are afraid that all will believe, and the Romans will take away their nation. Caiaphas suggests that one should die for the people, and prophesied, “ ... that Jesus should die for the nation...” Then Jesus withdrew to Ephraim near the wilderness. Jno 11:47-54.

The ten lepers healed. Jesus went into a village between Samaria and Galilee. There he met ten lepers, whom he healed. One, a Samaritan, turned to Jesus, giving thanks and glorifying God. Jesus later said, “Were not the ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” Lu 17:11-19.

En route to Jerusalem.
The kingdom of God. The Pharisees ask about the coming of the kingdom of God. Jesus gave a discourse, saying, “... the kingdom of God is within you... Whosoever shall seek to gain his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” Lu 17:20-37.

Parables: The Importunate Widow, and the Pharisee and Publican. Lu 18: 1-14.

Jesus blesses the little children. “Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should lay hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 19:13-15.

The Rich young ruler and laborers in the vineyard. A young man came to Jesus asking what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus said to keep the commandments, and he said he had. Jesus said to go and sell all he had; he went away despondent for he had great possessions. Jesus said, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter in the kingdom of God... . Jesus also discoursed on a householder who hired laborers to work in the vineyard for a day. He hired at various times and paid each the same price. Those working longer complained. Jesus explained that each accepted the contract. “So the last shall be first, and the first last.” Mt 19:16--20:16.

Third prediction of his passion. “And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples apart, and on the way he said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him unto the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify: and the third day he shall be raised up.” Mt 20:17-19.

The ambitious request. The mother of James and John came to Jesus and asked for one to sit on the right and, the other, on his left in the kingdom. Jesus said it was not for him to give. “... whosoever would become great among you, shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all. For the Son of man also came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mt 20:20-28; Mk 10:35-45.

Two blind men healed at Jericho. Mk 10:46-52.

Zacchaeus at Jericho. A rich publican at Jericho, being short of stature, climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Jesus as he passed by. “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. Some complained that he was a sinner. He said he had given half to the poor and pledged a penalty if he had cheated any man. “And Jesus said unto him, Today is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.” Lu 19:1-10.
The Parable of the Pounds near Jerusalem. Lu 19:11-28.

The Passover is at hand. The plot. Many wondered if Jesus would attend the feast. “Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given commandment, that, if any man knew where he was, he should show it, that they might take him.” Jno 11:55-57.

Jesus anointed by Mary at Bethany. “Jesus therefore six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus raised from the dead. So they made him a supper there: and Martha served; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at meat with him.” Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with pure nard. Judas Iscariot complained that it should have been sold to care for the poor -- he said this because he was in charge of the bag and a thief. But, “Jesus therefore said, Suffer her to keep it against the day of my burying. For the poor ye have always with you; The common people therefore of the Jews learned that he was there: and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests took counsel that they might put Lazarus also to death because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” Jno 11:55--12:11.

The Passion Week -- 7 days


The Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. They come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives. He sends ahead to bring a colt never before ridden. “And they bring the colt unto Jesus, and cast on him their garments; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments upon the way; and, others, branches, which they had cut from the fields. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed is the kingdom that cometh, the kingdom of our father David: Hosanna in the highest.” Mk 11:1-11.... “And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, . . and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Lu 19:29-44.


The barren fig tree cursed. “Now in the morning as he returned to the city, he hungered. And seeing a fig tree by the way side, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only; and he saith unto it, Let there be no fruit from thee henceforward for ever. And his disciples heard it.” Mt 21:18-19a.

The second cleansing of the temple. “And Jesus entered into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; And he saith unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer: but ye make it a den of robbers.” He healed some blind and lame, but the chief priests were moved with indignation at the way the people responded to him. Mt 21:12-17. “And every day he was teaching in the temple; and every night he went out, and lodged in the mount that is called Olive.” Lu 21:37. “But the chief priests and scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him: and they could not find what they might do; for the people all hung upon him, listening.” Lu 21:47.


The barren fig tree withered away. “And as they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots.” Mk 11:20.17 Peter mentioned it and Jesus exhorted them to have faith, that could even move mountains.

Jesus' authority challenged. “The chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching in the temple, and said, By what authority doest thou these things: and who gave thee this authority:” He answered by asking, “The baptism of John, whence was it: from heaven or from men?” And they reasoned, “If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him: But if we shall say, From men; we fear the multitude; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We know not. He also said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” Mt 21:23- 27.18

The parable of the Two Sons. Mt 21:28-32.

The parable of the Wicked Husbandmen. A householder left husbandmen in charge. When he sent servants back to receive his fruits they murdered them. Even the son was killed. “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The Stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner; This was from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes? (Ps 118:22). Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” The Pharisees realized that he was talking about them, and sought to lay hold on him but, again, feared the multitude. Mt 21:33-40.

The parable of the Royal Wedding. A king invited guests to a wedding feast but none came. He finally sent out to the countryside to find both good and bad. One who came had not a wedding garment. The king challenged him and he was cast out. “For many are called, but few chosen.”19 Mt 22:1-14.

The Pharisees question Him. Tribute to Caesar. The Pharisees try to trick Jesus by asking, “Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But he perceived their craftiness and said unto them, Show me a denarius. Whose inscription hath it? And they said, Caesar's. And he said unto them, Then render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's... . And they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.” Lu 20:20-26.

The Sadducees' question on the Resurrection. The Sadducees pose the question about a man who died, and the next brother took her for a wife. This went on for all the seven brothers. And she died. They want to know whose wife will she be in the resurrection. Jesus said “... that ye know not the scriptures, nor the power of God. For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as angels in heaven.” Mk 12:18-27.

The lawyers question on the two Great Commandments. One of the scribes asked him, “What commandment is the first of all: Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Dt 6:5; Lev 19:18). There is none other commandment greater than these... is much more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.” Mk 12:28-34.

Jesus' question: How is the Christ David's Son? “Jesus asked them a question, saying, What think ye of the Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I put thine enemies underneath thy feet? If David then calleth him Lord, how is he his son? And no one was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” Mt 22:41-46.

Jesus' last public discourse

Discourse against the Scribes and Pharisees. “Then spake Jesus to the multitudes and to his disciples, saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat: . .Yea, they bind heavy burdens...but they themselves will not move them with their finger.” But, they don't do them; they do things to be seen of men; they love the chief places at feasts and in the synagogues. Jesus pronounces seven woes against them. “O Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets and stoneth them that are sent to her!” Mt 22:41-46.

The Widow's two mites. “And he sat down over against the treasury, and beheld how the multitude cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing.” He said that she cast in more than others because she put in all her living.” Mk 12:41-44.20

Certain Greeks seek Jesus. Greeks from Bethsaida in Galilee came seeking Jesus and the word was passed to him. “And Jesus answereth them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified... He that loveth his life loseth it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.... Father, glorify thy name. There came therefore a voice out of heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again..” The multitude was confused as to what happened. Jesus ended the discussion with, “While ye have the light, believe on the light, that ye may become sons of light.” Jno 12:20-30a.

The unbelief of the Jews and their rejection of Jesus. “These things spake Jesus, and he departed and hid himself from them. But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they believed not on him. That the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? ...” (Is 53:1; 6:10). Many of the rulers believed but feared being put out of the synagogues. “And Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me... . He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Jno 12:36b-50.

Prophetic Discourse: the Destruction of Jerusalem. And Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. But he answered and said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Mt 24:1-51. Then he gave a long discourse on the troubles that will come and the signs.

The Final Coming of Christ. “And as he sat on the Mt of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world? He said: not to be led astray, many men will come in his name; there shall be wars and rumors of wars; nation shall rise against nation; and take heed lest they be delivered up to councils and beaten. He comforted them that, when this happens, the Holy Spirit will aid them... “but, he that endureth to the end the same shall be saved. And the gospel must first be preached unto all the nations.” Mk 13:1-10. When Jerusalem is encompassed by armies, flee into the mountains. Don't let those in the country come in. “There shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people... for there shall arise false Christs, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray. “and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of he earth mourn, and they shall see the son of man coming on clouds of heaven with power and great glory... Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only... Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is... I say unto all, Watch.” Mt 24:1-51; Mk 13:1-37; Lu 21:5-36.

Parable of the Ten Virgins. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. The five wise took oil with them, the foolish did not. The foolish had to go buy oil. “And while they went away to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open for us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore for ye know not the day nor the hour.” Mt 25:1- 13. The parable of the talents. Mt 25:14-30.

Scenes of the Judgment. “But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” Judgment is meted out according to their good works. The evil shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into eternal life. Mt 26:1-5, 14-16.

Wednesday, a day of rest

The Rulers conspire with Judas against Jesus. “And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these words, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days the passover cometh, and the Son of man is delivered up to be crucified. Then were gathered together the chief priests, and the elders of the people, unto the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas; and they took counsel together that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him. But they said, Not during the feast, lest a tumult arise among the people. Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said, What are ye willing to give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to deliver him unto them.” Mt 26:1-5, 14-16.

Thursday -- April 6, 30 AD

The preparation for the Passover. “And the day of unleavened bread came, on which the passover must be sacrificed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and make ready for us the passover, that we may eat.” They were to go into the city, follow a man with a pitcher, and request the use of the room, “And ye shall say unto the master of the house, The Teacher saith, Where is the guest-chamber, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples: and he will show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.” Lu 22:7-13.21

The Passover meal. “And when it was evening he cometh with the twelve.” Mk 14:17. “And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I shall not eat it, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, Take this and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I shall not drink from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.” Lu 22:15-18.

The contention among the Disciples. ”And there arose also a contention among them, which of them was accounted to be greatest... but he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.” Lu 22:24-30.

Jesus washes his disciples feet. To show humility.

Judas pointed out withdraws. “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in the spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you that one of you shall betray me.” They all looked about wondering who it was... “Jesus therefore answereth, He it is for whom I shall dip the sop, and give it him. So when he had dipped the sop, he taketh and giveth it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.” And Satan entered into him and Jesus said, “What thou doest, do quickly.” The others didn't realize what had happened... “He then having received the sop went out straightway: and it was night. When therefore he was gone out, Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him; and God shall glorify him in himself, and straightway shall he glorify him.” He then commanded them to “... love one another as I have loved you...” Jno 13:21-36.

The Lord's Supper instituted. “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. And the cup in like manner after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you.” Lu 22:19-20. “Verily I say unto you, I shall no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” Mk 14:25. Matthew writes, “ . . for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.” Mt 26:28.

The denial of Peter and the Dispersion of the Twelve foretold. “And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered abroad. Howbeit, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that thou to-day, even this night, before the cock crow twice, shalt deny me thrice. But he spake exceeding vehemently, If I must die with thee, yet will I not deny thee, Likewise also said all the disciples.” Mk 14:27-31.

Jesus' long farewell discourse to His Disciples? “Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know the way... Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works' sake... If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments... But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you... Arise, let us go hence. I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman... I am the vine, ye are the branches... “It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you... In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jno 14:1--16:33.

Jesus' Intercessory Prayer. These things spake Jesus: and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that the Son may glorify thee: even as thou gavest him authority over all flesh, that to all whom thou hast given him, he should give eternal life... And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was... O righteous Father, the world knew thee not, but I knew thee; and these knew that thou didst send me; and I made known unto them thy name, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou lovedst me may be in them, and I in them.” Jno 17:1-26.

The Agony in the Garden. “And when he came out, and went, as his custom was, unto the mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he parted from them about a stone's cast; and he kneeled down and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared unto him an angel from heaven, strengthening.” And he came back three times and found them asleep, “And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough; the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Arise.” Mk 14:26, 32-42.


Jesus betrayed and arrested. “While he yet spake, behold, a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them; ...And when he was come, straightway he came to him, and saith, Rabbi; and kissed him. And they laid hands on him, and took him. but a certain one of them: that stood by drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear. Mk 14:43-47. But Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye them thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.” Lu 22:51.

Jesus' Trial before the Jewish authorities.
Before Annas, high priest -- First stage of the Jewish trial

“So the band and the chief captain, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him and led him to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. Now Caiaphas was he that gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his teaching.” Jesus answered him, I have spoken openly to the world; . .” He mentioned several people, and said to ask them, whereupon an officer struck Jesus with his hand. Jno 18: 12-14; 19-23.

At the Palace of Caiaphas -- Second stage of the Jewish trial

“Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.” Jno 18:24. The chief priests, scribes and elders and the whole council were there. They sought to find false witnesses, but found none that agreed. “And there stood up certain, and bare false witness against him, and said, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.” Mk 14:57-58. Jesus answered nothing. “And the high priest said to him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God.” Mt 28:63. “And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven. And the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What further need have we of witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy:” what think ye? And they all condemned him to be worthy of death.” Mk 14:62-65. Then they spit on him and struck him.

Peter and, apparently, John had followed. John, knowing the officers or the high priest, got inside the court, then came out and got permission for Peter to go in. A fire had been built and all were standing around warming themselves. A maid looked at Peter and said, “Thou also wast with the Nazarene, even Jesus.” Peter denied it and went out on the porch. The cock crew. Later, the maid again said, “This is one of them. But he again denied it. And after a little while, again, they that stood by, said to Peter, Of a truth thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean. But he began to curse, and to swear, I know not this man of whom ye speak. and straightway the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word, how that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when the thought thereon, he wept.” Mk 14:53-15:1a.

The Sanhedrin -- Third stage of Jewish trial.

“Now when morning was come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: and they bound him, and led him away and delivered him up to Pilate the governor.” Mt 27: 1,2.

The Roman Trials

Jesus' Trial before Pilate -- First Stage of the Roman Trial
Early Friday morning in the Praetorium22

“They lead Jesus there from Caiaphas into the Praetorium: and it was early... Pilate therefore went out unto them, and saith, What accusation bring ye against this man?” Jno 18:28. “And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and saying the he himself is Christ a king.” Lu 23:2. Pilate said to judge him by your own laws, but they said that it was unlawful to put one to death. “Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered, Sayest thou this of thyself, or did others tell it thee concerning me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate, “Art thou a king then? Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find no crime in him.” Jno 18:28-38.

Jesus Trial before Herod Antipas.23 -- Second stage
“But when Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man were a Galilean. And when he knew that he was of Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him unto Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem in these days.” Herod had wanted to see Jesus and question him, but Jesus answered him nothing. The chief priests stood accusing Jesus. “And Herod with his soldiers set him at nought, and mocked him, and arraying him in gorgeous apparel sent him back to Pilate.” Lu 23:6-12.

Jesus again before Pilate -- Third stage of the Roman Trial. Friday before sunrise

Pilate called the chief priest, rulers, and the people together and said that he had examined Jesus and found no fault, and he had sent him to Herod and, he too, found no fault as to their accusations and returned him. There was a custom to release one prisoner at the feast of passover and unleavened bread. And, there was a prisoner named Barabbas. Pilate said, “Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” Mt 27:17b. “But they cried out all together, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:” Lu 22:18. “And while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that righteous man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” Mt 27:19. Pilate brought out Jesus and said Behold, the man. Again he brought him out and said Behold your King. “ So when Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing, but rather that a tumult was arising, he took water, and washed his hand before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see ye to it. And all the people answered and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” Mt 27:24-26. “And Pilate again answered and said unto them, What then shall I do unto Jesus who is called Christ? And they cried out again, Crucify him....And Pilate wishing to content the multitude, released unto them Barabbas, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified... And they clothed him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it on him; and they began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.” Mk 15:15-19.

Judas' suicide. “Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood. But they said, What is that to us? see thou to it. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, the field of blood, unto this day.” Mt 27:3-10.

The Crucifixion at Calvary. “And when they had mocked him, they took off from him the robes, and put on him his garments, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to go with them, that he might bear the cross. Mt 27:31-32. “And there were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they come unto the place which is called The Skull (Heb. Golgotha), there they crucified him and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left. And Jesus said,24
    1) Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.
And parting his garments among them, they cast lots.” Lu 23:32- 34. The coat was woven without seam, so they cast lots for it... “And Pilate wrote a title also, and put it on the cross. And there was written, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” The Jews complained that it should read, “that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written, I have written.” Jno 19:19-22. One of the malefactors railed on Jesus, If thou art the Christ, save us. The other rebuked him, “And he said, Jesus, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom, And he said unto him,
    2) Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Lu 23:42,43.
“But there were standing by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene... and the disciple whom he loved... he saith unto his mother,    
    3) Woman, behold thy son! -- then to the disciple, Behold, thy mother. Jno 19:25-27.
And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home.”
“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,
    4) Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Mt 27:45,46.
“After this Jesus, knowing that all things are now finished, that the scripture might be accomplished, saith,
    5) I thirst.
There was set there a vessel full of vinegar: so they put a sponge full of the vinegar upon hyssop, and brought it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said,
    6) It is finished. Jno 19:17-30.
“And Jesus crying with a loud voice, said,
    7) Father into thy hands I commend my spirit:
and having said this, he gave up the ghost.” Lu 23:46. “And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom: and the earth did quake; and the rocks were rent; and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised and coming forth out of the tombs after the resurrection they entered into the holy city and appeared unto many. Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.” Mt 27:51-54.

Jesus' body taken from the Cross and buried near Calvary. “The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him: but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: howbeit one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and straightway there came out blood and water. And he that hath seen hath borne witness, and his witness is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye also may believe. For these things came to pass that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. And after these things Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked of Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. And there came Nicodemus, he who at the first came to him by night, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. So they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden: and in the garden a new tomb wherein was never man yet laid.” Jno 19:31-41

The Watch at the sepulcher. The chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate, saying that the disciples might steal the body and say that it had risen, as prophesied. Pilate said, Ye have a guard: go, make it secure. So they went, and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone, the guard being there with them.” Mt 27:62-66.

The Women purchase spices. “And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.” Mk 16:1.

Dawn of the Christian Period


The morning of the Resurrection. “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow; and for fear of him the watches did quake, and became as dead men. Mt 28:2-4.

The Women visit the tomb. “Now on the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early while it was yet dark, unto the tomb, and seeth the stone taken away from the tomb. She runneth therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we know not where they have laid him.” Jno 20:1-2.

The Angelic vision in the tomb. “And it came to pass, while they were perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel: and as they were affrighted and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying that the Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words.” Lu 24:4-8.

Jesus appears to the women returning to the city. “And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring his disciples word. And behold, Jesus met them, saying All hail. And they came and took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then saith Jesus unto them, Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” Mt 28:8-10.

Peter and John visit the tomb. Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb. They looked in and saw the linen clothes lying, then entered and saw, also, the napkin, that was on his head, rolled up and lying at another place. “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again unto their own home.” Jno 20:3-10.

Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene. “But Mary was standing without at the tomb weeping: so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she beholdeth two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the foot, where the body of Jesus had lain.” They asked, why she was weeping, and she said, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” Then she turned around and saw Jesus, but not recognizing him. He also asked why she was weeping and whom she was seeking. She thought it was the gardener, but when he said, “Mary,” she turned and said in Hebrew, “Rabboni,” which is teacher. “Jesus saith to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God. Mary Magdalene cometh and telleth the disciples, I have seen the Lord; and that he had said these thing unto her.” Jno 20:11-18.

The report of the Guard. Some of the guard came and told the chief priests all the things that happened. Those assembled took counsel and gave money to the guard, “saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.” Mt 28:11-15. This saying was spread abroad.

Jesus appears to two disciples on their way to Emmaus. Two disciples were walking back home to Emmaus, being very downhearted. As they talked, a stranger joined them. They wondered why he asked what things had happened. “And he said O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Behooved is not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory?” Then he taught them. Coming to their village they asked him to stay with them. On breaking bread, he blessed it and gave to them. Their eyes were opened, but Jesus vanished from their sight. They got up and walked back to tell the eleven and others what happened, and learned that, indeed, Jesus had risen. Lu 24:12-35.

Jesus appears to the Disciples, Thomas being absent. “When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had said this, he showed unto them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be unto you: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: whosoever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.” Jno 20:19-25. Thomas, one of the twelve, was absent but said he wouldn't believe until he saw the print of the nails in his hand. Luke writes, “... he said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish. And he took it, and ate before them.” Lu 24:41b-43.

Jesus appears to the Disciples, Thomas being present. “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and see my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless but believing. Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Jno 20:26-29. (Sunday April 16, 30 A.D.)

Jesus appears to the Apostles in Galilee. “After these things Jesus manifested himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias;” Peter, Thomas Nathanael and John went fishing. They took nothing. They observed someone on the beach. “Jesus therefore saith unto them, Children, have ye aught to eat? They answered him, No.” Then he said to cast on the right side of the boat and they caught a net full, later counted to be 153 large fish. Jesus had fish on a fire and bread already. Then they broke their fast.

Jesus tested Peter, asking, lovest thou me more than these? Peter answered, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus said, Feed my sheep. He asked the second and third time and got the same answer -- the same number of times that Peter had denied Jesus at the Jewish trial. Then Jesus spoke what manner of death Peter should have to glorify God. Jno 21:1-23.

Jesus appears to the Apostles in Galilee. (Eighth appearance)
“But the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. (Paul writes, about 500 present at the same time. I Cor 15:6). And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I command you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Mt 28:26-20.
    Mark writes, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believed and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.” Mk 16:15,16.

The Ascension. May 18, 30 A.D. “And he led them out until they were over against Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.” Luke writes, “at the right hand of God.” “And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, blessing God.” Lu 24:50

The purpose of and conclusion to John's Gospel. “Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing ye may have life in his name.” Jno 20:30-31.


This is the end of this condensed writing, making excerpts from Kerr's Harmony of the Gospel. It is my hope that your interest is sparked enough to sit down and read the Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- all the way through. Better still, find a harmony, which prints the scriptures in parallel, which permits comparison between them. Further, it is necessary to read all writers, since, many times, they supply different facts and arguments.
Herbert L Peterson

1The Life of Christ, condensed following the chronology of Kerr's Harmony of the Gospels, which uses the American Standard Version. It is suggested, for an in-depth study, that you follow and compare the parallel presentation of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This will bring out a full picture of Jesus, with subtleties and nuances that are left out in making excerpts. The listing of the quotes sometimes list only the single quote, and many times gives the full range of the event. Usually only one book is quoted.

2 The law required purification before going to the temple -- 40 days for a male child, and 80 days for a female child.

3 Tradition has it that Joseph and the family stayed near the old Church of St. Sergius in Cairo, and possibly visited Upper Egypt.

4 Tradition has it that Jesus went into the Wilderness of Judea, which is the mountainous area along west of old Jericho and ranging on past Qumran. Standing at the ruins of old Jericho and looking west is a large mountain, called Jebel Qarantal -- Mount of Temptation.

5 M1 is the symbol for recorded miracle number 1. Not all are listed here.

6 Italics added for emphasis, since connected with the sacrificial aspect of Jesus.

7 There is a house next to the old synagogue at Capernaum that has been excavated by archaeologists, and believed to be Peter's House. Mk 1:14,15.

8 The Church of Beatitudes stands on a hill on the north shore overlooking the sea. On crossing by boat from Tiberias to Capernaum, I have looked for a depression along the shore that might serve as an ampitheatre, and there is one just to the west of the Church. Some time ago, Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Cambridge, MA, made acoustic measurements on a natural bowl along the shore near Capernaum and concluded that several thousand people could hear a speaker standing in the bowl, and slightly better from a boat standing off shore.

9 There is a roadway alongside the lake. It's interesting that the swine came down the hill from the plateau above, went across the road, a field, and into the lake. I'm sure the disciples enjoyed light moments, and this would have been cause for a chuckle.

10 McGarvey. Fourfold Gospel p. 362.

11 Several years ago, on visiting the mosque in Damascus, I saw a large sarcophagus, and it was said that John the Baptist was entombed.

12 The Greek word used for “bind” is a perfect participle, and should be: “having been bound,” as does Dr Marshall in the Zondervan Interlinear N.T; Youngs Literal Translation: shall be having been bound; NAS: shall have been bound; Williams: What is already permitted. All main translations follow the ASV above. Likewise for “loose.”

13 This power came to the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost. Acts 1:8; 2.

14 Solomon's Porch was on the east side of the Court of Gentiles and consisted of a colonnade of two rows of columns, spaced about 30 feet apart. Here and the open court were the likely places where Jesus was teaching and, later, the apostles. See diagram of Solomon's temple; also the scale model at the Holy Land Hotel, West Jerusalem.

15 This is the clearest description that we have in the Bible describing the intermediate state of the dead -- Hades consisting of: Paradise, the great fixed gulf, and Tartarus. See diagram in the Appendix.

16 What is the shortest verse in the Bible?

17 They may have not noticed it on the former evening, since they usually returned by going around the hill of the Mt of Olives, but come up over the hill in the morning.

18 Jesus was probably in the Court of the Gentiles. See diagram of Herod's temple.

19 The first parties invited represent the Jews; the city, Jerusalem; the poor people called, the Gentiles; and the king, the Lord in the Judgment.

20 This occurred in the Court of the Women, where it is said there were 13 money casks.

21 There is now, by tradition, an Upper Room above David's Tomb.

22 Many historians and archaeologists locate the praetorium inside the Fortress of Antonia, or Tower of Antonia, just outside the northwest corner of the temple platform.

23 This being the Passover season, Pilate had come down from Caesarea to Jerusalem to keep order. Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, also came to Jerusalem, as a favor to the Jews by showing respect to their festival.

24 Seven Words of Christ on the cross: 1) ... 7).

Published in The Old Paths Archive