NT 520

Jesus: Foundation

of the New Testament


Dr. Robert C. Newman













No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

1 Cor 3:11





Biblical Theological Seminary

Spring 2006

Biblical Theological Seminary                                                                  Spring Term 2006

Dr. Robert C. Newman                                                                       Monday evenings 7:30-10:15 Lecture Hall

NT 520 Jesus: Foundation of the New Testament


Catalog Description:


Jesus as the foundation of New Testament history and theology.  A survey of key passages and re­sponse to modern criticism.


Course Outcomes:


1. Knowledge: The student will come to know firsthand about Jesus as he is revealed in the New Testament, rather than building his/her picture of Jesus upon the systems developed over the centuries in the various theological traditions.  He or she will come to see how and why the Jesus of the NT differs from the various modern liberal reconstructions of him.  The student will learn how the person and work of Jesus is the foundation of NT history, theology, ethics and such.


2. Attitudes.  The student will come to appreciate that the NT really does give a coherent picture of Jesus, and he is not whatever one may wish to make of him.  It is hoped that the student will be drawn to commit his/her whole life and being to serving Jesus as Lord and Savior.


3. Skills.  The student will be able to help others understand who Jesus is by means of Bible studies using extended passages in which the person and work of Jesus is portrayed.




Week   Date     Topic


 1         1/30     Course Introduction

                                    Video: The Miracle Maker (1st half)

 2         2/6       The Liberal Jesus

                                    US News & World Report (4/8/96): 47-53

                                    Bible Review (12/95): 20-25, 44

                                    C S Lewis, Screwtape Letters, ch 23

                                    Video: Jesus Christ Superstar (1:50)

 3         2/13     Jesus' Pre-existence & Incarnation

                                    John 1:1-14

                                    Video: complete the Miracle Maker

 4         2/20     Jesus’ Birth

                                    Luke 2:1-38

                                    Video: Jesus (1st 33 min)

 5         2/27     Jesus' Message

                                    blessings, Matt 5:1-16

                                    true righteousness, Matt 5:17-48

                                    wealth & anxiety, Matt 6:19-34

                                    judgment, Matt 7:1-5

                                    obedience, Matt 7:24-29

                                    Video: VB Matt (3:1-7:29, about 35 min)

 6         3/6       Jesus' Works

                                    stilling storm, Mark 4:37-41

                                    raising dead, Mark 5:21-43

                                    Video: VB Matt (8:1-11:1)

 7         3/13     Mid-Term Test - 1st hour or so; no further class

                                    Test on reading and passages to date

 8         3/20     Jesus’ Parables

                                    sower, Matt 13:3-8, 18-23

                                    treasure/pearl, Matt 13:44-46

                                    Pharisee & tax collector, Luke 18:10-14

                                    Video: VB Matt (11:1-13:52)

9          3/27     Jesus' Death

                                    triumphal entry, Luke 19:28-43

                                    anointed, Mark 14:1-11

                                    last supper, Matt 26:17-30

                                    trial before Sanhedrin, Mark 14:53-65

                                    trial before Pilate, John 18:28-19:16

                                    crucifixion, Luke 23:33-49

                                    Video: The Passion (last ½ hour)

10        4/3       Paul on Jesus' Death

                                    creator of universe & church, Col 1:15-23

                                    dies for enemies, Rom 5:6-11

                                    makes slaves sons, Gal 4:4-7

                                    reconciles Jews & Gentiles, Eph 2:11-18

                                    sends out ambassadors, 2 Cor 5:14-21

                                    Video: VB John (13:1-17:26)

11        4/10     Hebrews on Jesus’ Death

                                    priest, Heb 7:1-28

                                    sacrifice, Heb 10:1-18

                                    Video: The Light of the World

12        4/17     Jesus’ Resurrection

                                    NT resurrection accounts, 1 Cor 15:1-11, etc.

                                    liberal substitutes

                                    Video: Jesus (burial to upper room); VB Matt (ch 28); VB John (20:1-end)

13        4/24     Jesus’ Ascension and Return

                                    ascension, Acts 1:1-11

                                    Return, Matt 24:1-31; 25:31-46

                                    Video: VB Matt (chs 24-25)

14        5/1       Final Exam

                                    everything weeks 3-13





Paul Miller, Love Walked Among Us

Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

Robert Newman, Jesus:  Foundation of the NT Notes




1. Prepare (to be turned in) each of the worksheets in your notes in time for the session on that topic.  These will be graded only for completeness and promptness.


2. Read either Miller or Yancey.  Be sure you have done half by the mid-term and completed the book by the final.


3. Fill out the reaction sheet on the video Jesus Christ Superstar (incorporated into worksheet to prepare for week 3).  Due the week after we see this video, i.e., due Feb 13.  How did it treat Jesus?  How did it treat Judas?  Did you detect any presentation of the Gospel in the video?


4. Keep a brief journal, writing up a paragraph to a page each week on what you are learning about Jesus (knowledge, attitudes, skills).  Turn in at mid-term and at final.


5. On our Blackboard site for this course, there will be several items on the discussion board in which you may react to the various books and videos which we will be seeing.  You should make one post of 1-2 pages a week before mid-term and another of 1-2 pages a week before the final.  In each case, you should also respond to two postings by other students, 2 before mid-term and 2 before final.  I will respond to some of these responses myself, so this will be course interaction both of student with student and student with professor.




The Mid-Term (covering weeks 1-6), the Final Exam (covering weeks 3-13), the Worksheets (including reaction to Jesus Christ Superstar), the Journal and the Blackboard postings, will each count 1/5 of your grade.


Session One: Course Introduction


What is the course about?

            See course description, previous three pages



New Testament (New Covenant)

            Testament & Covenant

Covenant theme



                        Parity vs Suzerainty Covenant

                        Sinai Covenant

New covenant theme

                        God’s servant (Isa 40-53) as covenant for the people

                        Covenant with Zion/Jerusalem (Isa 54)

                        Covenant with whoever is thirsty/will come (Isa 55)

                        New Covenant (Jer 31)

                                    Cp Lord’s supper (Mt 26, Lk 22, 1 Cor 11)

                                    Jesus as guarantee of new covenant (Heb 7, 8)



Rock, stone

                        God as rock

                        God’s covenant vs Israel’s covenant with death (Isa 28)


                        Zion’s foundations (Isa 54)




Jesus as foundation, etc.



Other pictures showing centrality of Christ

Son (of God)

King, Anointed, Messiah

Prophet like Moses

Son of David

Son of Man


OT as Yahweh centered, NT as Christ centered

Worksheet to Prepare for Session Two


Read and study the following items:


Jeffery L. Sheler, "In Search of Jesus," US News & World Report (8 Apr 96): 47-53.

Luke T. Johnson, "The Search for (the Wrong) Jesus," Bible Review (Dec 95): 20-25, 44.

C. S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, chap 23.


Answer the following so as to be able to discuss these in class:


1. What is Robert Funk and his Jesus Seminar trying to do?








2. What kind of Jesus does Marcus Borg find?







3. What items do you find acceptable about Jesus in the USN&WR article?  Why?








4. What items do you find unacceptable in the same?  Why?




Session Two:  The Liberal Jesus


Some intro stuff from The Five Gospels (the Jesus Seminar)




Video Jesus Christ Superstar

Take (at least mental) notes to help fill out your reaction sheet



Class discussion:


How do liberals distort the biblical Jesus?

                        Exaggeration & downplaying

                        Rejection of miracle:

                                    Jesus’ miracles, prophecies, claims

                        Resulting diversity of pictures of Jesus

                                    Can confuse people, esp. seekers


Do more traditional Christians distort Jesus?

                        Probably all of us do to some extent

                                    We pick up ideas from our culture or other Xns instead of from the Bible

                                    We are sinners

                                    We have a traditional (Pharisaic) tendency to make good characters look

                                                better  and the bad characters worse


How can we avoid distorting Jesus ourselves?

                        We need to get to know Jesus better.

                        We need to see for ourselves what the Bible teaches.

                        We need to ask God for wisdom, faithfulness in this.


How can we help people see when they are distorting Jesus?

                        If our lives reflect Jesus, we will function as a (partial) corrective.

                        We need to help people study the Gospels for themselves.



How does C.S. Lewis picture Screwtape's (i.e., Satan’s) strategy?

                        (see Lewis, Screwtape Letters, chapter 23)

                        Get people’s eyes off the real Jesus onto various fakes.

                        Get people to like Xy for pragmatic reasons.

                        Get people to depend on this-worldly solutions to human problems.

Worksheet to Prepare for Session 3           


Reflection from Session 2:


1. Remembering what you saw in the video Jesus Christ Superstar, how did it treat Jesus?

            Occasionally pretty sympathetic treatment

            But often unattractive

            Sometimes rther pathetic




2. How did Jesus Christ Superstar treat Judas?

            Not perfectly good, but as a person who is realistic

            Not really after the betrayal money

            A better person than the other disciples?

            Better than Jesus?



3. Did you see any expression of the Gospel in Jesus Christ Superstar?  If so, what?

            Not much:

            “Believe” occurs a good bit, but seems to be gullibility re/ Jesus

            Whole atmosphere (w/ possible exception of Judas’ last song) is that of naturalism, no survival of death.





Preparation for Session 3:


1. Read over John 1:1-14 several times using at least two differ­ent translations.  Name the translations you used.  Try to outline the passage:


NASB has 4 ¶¶:                                                          NIV has 5 ¶¶:


1-5       The Word characterized                                   1-2       Existence

6-8       Witness of John (Baptist)                                3-5       Creator

9-13     True light in world                                          6-9       John B.

14        The Word becomes flesh                                 10-13   Reactions

                                                                                    14        Incarnation




2. John's use of "the Word" to refer to Jesus is (nearly) unique to his writings.  Why do you suppose he used this term? [Hint:  Where else does "in the beginning" occur?  How does God's word function in that passage?]


“In the beginning” is also in Genesis 1:1, Ps 102:25; Heb 1:10

In Genesis 1, God creates “by means of his word.”

John may have used this to picture Jesus as God’s agent in creation.

            (cp Col 1:16; Heb 1:2; 1 Cor 8:6)




3. Another possible significance of John's use of "Word" for Jesus may be that of analogy.  How does our word reveal the hidden person inside us?  Does Jesus do something of this sort for God?  Discuss.


The inner person is revealed by his or her:




            words – these last give the most detail


4. What other pictures of Jesus are given in this passage?  What do you suppose they mean?


Light – also a revealing word


Life – a different nuance: God’s self-existence?  (i.e., the living God)


            God as giver of life?

Session 3:  Jesus' Pre-existence and Incarnation


Though logically (& chronologically) this is the place to start talking about Jesus, only John's Gospel does so.  Why do you suppose that is so?




Liberal explanation:  It takes time for myth to develop.




Jehovah's Witnesses (Arians, Unitarians):  Jesus was not really God.




What was the purpose of the incarnation?




Let's look at our passage:  break into small groups for 10-15 min to walk through passage and discuss various attempts at outlining same


John 1:1-14:


1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the dark­ness, and the darkness did not compre­hend it.


6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but {came} that he might bear witness of the light.


9 There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.



The Word Characterized (1:1-5)


existed in the beginning (already was?)




with God (personal relationship?)




God (yet distinguished from God!)




agent of all creative activity (contra JWs who exclude his creation from this)







light (vs darkness)




The Witness of John (1:6-8)


man sent from God



witness to the light



not the light




The True Light (1:9-13)


enlightens everyone (without exception?)



in world (when?)



made world



world did not recognize



came to own (things)



own (people) did not receive/accept



but some received him



became children of God



they trust in his name



they are born of God



The Word Becomes Flesh (1:14ff)


so Word not flesh previously




dwelt/tabernacled (wordplay on OT tabernacle?)



we beheld his glory




unique one from Father



full of grace & truth



Overview of John 1:1-14:


clearly teaches Jesus' pre-existence



clearly teaches incarnation, but without any information on how it happened



some uncertainly on when incarnation first introduced in passage:


verse 9?


verse 14?


verse 11?


is passage chronological?



themes in passage:


Jesus as Word


Jesus as Life


Jesus as Light


Human response:  believe or reject



Becoming children of God

Worksheet to Prepare for Session 4


Read Luke 2:1-38 twice in different Bible versions.


1. What chronological information does Luke provide here?  Why do you suppose he does this?

            2:1 reference to a “census” ordered by Augustus, 1st census under Quirinius

            Luke doesn’t say; probably to locate the events in history (see Luke’s prologue).

            Elsewhere in 3:1, Luke gives a series of ruler synchronizations & year of Tiberius’ reign

            1:5 also gives some information


2. What geographical information does Luke supply?  Why?

            place of birth (Bethlehem in Judea), travel to there from Nazareth in Galilee

            Luke doesn’t say here either; Matthew has something to say about both (Bethlehem, Matt 2:6; Nazarene, Matt 2:23).  John something about Galilee (John 7:42-8:12).

            Perhaps Luke is confirming these facts for Theophilus




3. What does Luke tell us (given that we know the contents of John 1:1-14) about the manner of Jesus' incarnation?  What doesn't he tell us?  Why do you suppose that God chose to work in this way?

            Manner: natural childbirth by human mother, though conception not by human father

            Luke doesn’t have material on pre-existence found in John

            Much speculation on why virgin birth and its relation to Jesus’ sinlessness. 

                        We do have the fulfillment of prophecy re/ Isaiah 7:14

                        Also the curse on Jeconiah in Jeremiah 22:24ff (which curses the royal line; see Jeconiah in Matthew’s genealogy, but not in Luke’s).



4. How does Luke's account here handle his themes of women, the poor, Gentiles, and prayer?

            Women – Mary (5-7, 16, 29, 32); Anna (36-38)

            Poor – poverty of Mary & Joseph (7, 24), shepherds (8ff)

            Gentiles – not much here, but see verse 32, “light to Gentiles”

            Prayer – Simeon’s prayer (29-32); Anna as a praying person (37)

                        More on worship (13-14, 20, 28, 38)



5. What examples of special revelation do we have here?

            To shepherds (9ff)

            To Simeon (26)

            To Anna (38)


Session 4:  Jesus' Birth


Small Groups:  10-15 min


Each group do Qs 3-5 from worksheet, 3-5 min each


Our Passage: Luke 2:1-38


1 Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augus­tus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Naza­reth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethle­hem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her first‑born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


8 And in the same region there were {some} shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 "And this {will be} a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 #"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."# 15 And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds {began} saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 And when they had seen this, they made known the state­ment which had been told them about this Child.

18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shep­herds. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.


21 And when eight days were com­pleted before His circum­cision, His name was {then} called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.


22 And when the days for their purification accord­ing to the law of Moses were com­pleted, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "\Every\ {first‑bo­rn} \male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord\"), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A \pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.\" 25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 #"Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond‑servant depart In peace, according to Thy word; 30 For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, 31 Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A \light of revelation to the Gentiles\, And the glory of Thy people Israel. "# 33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this {Child} is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed‑‑ 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul‑‑ to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed. " 36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanu­el, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with a husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty‑four. And she never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 And at that very moment she came up and {began} giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.


The Incarnation Localized


Time:   Augustus' reign


"Census" of Quirinius (first)


Place:   Judea


Bethelem, a village


Jesus' Birth Characterized


Humble:          feeding trough




name given – a common name, though meaning is significant


doves – see Leviticus 12, especially verse 8












The Meaning of Jesus' Birth


Angel:             good news – Isa 52:7; 61:1


great joy – Psalms 21, 126


                                    deliverer – word study on savior (32x in OT); only one time (Isa 19:20) that it is not obviously referring to God


Messiah – Isa 61:1; read by Jesus in synagogue, Luke 4:21


glory to God – glory (kavod – weight; doxa – shining)


peace to (certain) humans


Simeon:           God's salvation


light to Gentiles – Isa 42:6; 49:6 (see also Acts 13:47; 26:23)


glory of Israel – Isa 4:2


                                    fall & rise of many in Israel – fall (Isa 8:14-15); both (Hannah’s prayer, 1 Sam 2; Mary’s Luke 1:46ff; Zechariah’s Luke 1:67ff)


to be opposed – Ps 22:6-8; 69:7-12; Isa 49:7


sword piercing Mary's soul – prediction of her anguish at crucifixion?


revealing thoughts of hearts – reaction to Jesus reveals one’s heart?


Anna:              thank God


redemption of Jerusalem – Ps 111:9; 130:7; Isa 63:4 (see vv 1-6)

Worksheet to Prepare for Session 5


Read over the whole Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7) twice, using different transla­tions each time.


1. Try to subdivide the whole sermon into main sections with a label describing each (typically subdivide on order of 5-10 verses, rather than just whole chapters or down to single verses).








2. What statements in 5:1-14 seem strange to you?  What statements in this passage do you think would have been surprising to Jesus' original audience?


Blessings for things that most people don’t appreciate






3. In Jesus' teaching on true righteousness (Matt 5:17-48), what apparent changes in the Law does Jesus make?








4. Why might Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount be thought to be impracti­cal?

Session 5: Jesus' Message

(exegesis of parts of Sermon on Mount)


Small groups about 10 minutes on worksheet item #2


Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-16)


Matthew 5:1-16 And when He saw the multi­tudes, He went up on the moun­tain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

2 And opening His mouth He {began} to teach them, saying, 3   "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be com­forted. 5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righ­teous­ness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 "Blessed are those who have been perse­cuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when {men} cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they perse­cuted the prophets who were before you. 13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty {again}? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do {men} light a lamp, and put it under the peck‑m­easure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.


Compare the blessings here in Matthew with the blessings/woes in Luke 6


Matthew 5                                                                  Luke 6:20-26


Blessings                    Promises                                 Blessings                    Woes


poor in spirit                kingdom                                  poor                             rich

mourn                          comfort                                    weep                            laugh

gentle                           inherit                         

h&t rightnss                filled                                        hunger                         well-fed

merciful                       receive mercy

pure in heart                see God

peacemakers                sons of God

persecuted                   kingdom                                  hated                            approved



Salt - how is salt used?

            Flavoring, preservative, makes one thirsty, stings in cuts …

Light - how does light function?

            Seen from great distances in the dark

            Illuminates what is nearby


Break into small groups for 10 minutes.  Look over Matt 5:17-48. 

Spend most of this time on worksheet items ##3-4

Which passages do you think would be emphasized by the following groups?


Dispensationalists - who believe in the Law is changed here


Reformed - who believe the Law is not changed here


Liberals - who believe Jesus disagrees with the OT






True Righteousness (5:17-48)


Matthew 5:17-48 "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Proph­ets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. 18 "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. 19 "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these command­ments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches {them,} he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 "For I say to you, that unless your righ­teousness surpasses {that} of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. 21 "You have heard that the ancients were told, '\You shall not commit murder\' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' 22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be guilty {enough to go} into the fiery hell. 23 "If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, in order that your opponent may not deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 "Truly I say to you, you shall not come out of there, until you have paid up the last cent. 27 "You have heard that it was said, '\You shall not commit adultery\'; 28 but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has commit­ted adultery with her already in his heart. 29 "And if your right eye makes you stum­ble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 "And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell. 31 "And it was said, '\Who­ever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce\'; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for {the} cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33 "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, '\You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord\.' 34 "But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is \the city of the great King\. 36 "Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' {or} 'No, no'; and anything beyond these is of evil. 38 "You have heard that it was said, '\An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.\' 39 "But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 "And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 "And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. 43   "You have heard that it was said, '\You shall love your neigh­bor,\and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you 45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on {the} evil and {the} good, and sends rain on {the} righteous and {the} unrighteous. 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax‑gatherers do the same? 47 "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more {than others}? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heaven­ly Father is perfect.


Real Righteousness (5:17-48)


Doesn't change


Characterizes kingdom people (vs Pharisees)


Murder vs hate


Adultery vs lust


Oaths vs truth-telling


Retaliation vs non-resistance


Love friends vs enemies




Wealth and Anxiety (6:19-34)


Matthew 6:19-34 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 "The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If there­fore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. 25 "For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, {as to} what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, {as to} what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? 26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and {yet} your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 "And which of you by being anxious can add a {single} cubit to his life's span? 28 "And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. 30 "But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is {alive} today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, {will He} not much more {do so for} you, O men of little faith? 31 "Do not be anxious then, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'With what shall we clothe ourselves?' 32 "For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. 34 "Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. {Each} day has enough trouble of its own.


Real Wealth (6:19-34)


Earthly wealth vs heavenly



Good eyesight - covetousness as "evil eye"



Serving the right master



Anxiety and priorities





Judgment (7:1-5)


Matthew 7:1-5 "Do not judge lest you be judged. 2 "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 "And why do you look at the speck that is in your brothe­r's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.... 


Right Judgment (7:1-5)


Where does right judgment start?



What does "it will be measured to you" mean?  Who will measure it?




Obedience (7:24-29)


Matthew 7:24-29 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. 25 "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and {yet} it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. 26 "And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. 27 "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall." 28 The result was that when Jesus had finished these words, the multi­tudes were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as {one} having authority, and not as their scribes.


How are we to respond to Jesus' teaching?





What difference does it make?

Worksheet to Prepare for Session 6


Read over each miracle (Mark 4:37-41, 5:21-43) twice, using a different translation each time.


1. What peculiarities regarding Jesus' person do you see in the incident when he stilled the storm?  What peculiarities regarding the events themselves?


Person: asleep in the midst of the storm

            Rebukes wind & it obeys

            Rebukes disciples for lack of faith


Events: becomes perfectly calm (when wind stops, it normally takes quite a while for the waves to die down)






2. What peculiarities regarding Jesus' person do you see in the incident when he healed the woman with the hemorrhage?  What peculiarities regarding the events themselves?


Person: feels power flowing out, but apparently doesn’t know to whom.


Events: touched by an unclean person, Jesus (apparently) doesn’t become unclean, but the person doing the touching becomes clean.








3. What peculiarities regarding Jesus' person do you see in the incident when he raised Jairus' daughter?  What peculiarities regarding the events themselves?


Person: goes with father & encourages him when news of daughter’s death arrives.

            Jesus words to the bystanders (39; is she dead or not?)

            Strict orders than no one should know (43).


Events: Girl awakened by Jesus’ words.

Session 6: Jesus' Works (miracles)


Break into small groups  for 10-15 minutes.  Each group should do one of the numbered items on the worksheet.  If you have more time, do a second or even the third item also.


Stilling storm (Mark 4:37-41)


37 And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38 And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *awoke Him and *said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" 39 And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them, "Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?" 41 And they became very much afraid and said to one anoth­er, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"


Stuff to look for in miracle accounts:

*Strange features

*Connection w/ creation

*Connection w/ eschatology

*Old Testament background


What do we learn about:

*Jesus’ person/character?

*Jesus’ work?

Stilling the storm







Jesus' actions



Disciples' reaction



What does this tell us about Jesus?





Jairus' Daughter & the Woman w/ Hemorrhage (Mark 5:21-43)


21 And when Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered about Him; and He stayed by the seashore. 22 And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus *came up, and upon seeing Him, *fell at His feet, 23 and *entreated Him earnestly, saying, "My little daugh­ter is at the point of death; {please} come and lay Your hands on her, that she may get well and live." 24 And He went off with him; and a great multitude was following Him and pressing in on Him.


25 And a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse, 27 after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind {Him,} and touched His cloak. 28 For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I shall get well." 29 And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 And immediately Jesus, perceiv­ing in Himself that the power {proceeding} from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" 31 And His disciples said to Him, "You see the multi­tude pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'" 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had hap­pened to her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."


35 While He was still speaking, they *came from the {house of} the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?" 36 But Jesus, overhear­ing what was being spoken, *said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid {any longer,} only be­lieve." 37 And He allowed no one to follow with Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 And they *came to the house of the synagogue official; and He *beheld a commotion, and {people} loudly weeping and wailing. 39 And entering in, He *said to them, "Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep." 40 And they {began} laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He *took along the child's father and mother and His own companions, and *entered {the room} where the child was. 41 And taking the child by the hand, He *said to her, "Talitha kum!" ( which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!"). 42 And immediately the girl rose and {began} to walk; for she was twelve years old. And immedi­ately they were completely astound­ed. 43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this; and He said that {some­thing} should be given her to eat.


Woman with hemorrhage






Woman's action




Jesus' actions





Various reactions




What does this tell us about Jesus?






Jairus' daughter


Father's concern



Message from home & Jesus' encouragement




Jesus' announcement & crowd's reaction




Jesus' actions




Girl's response



Reactions of others




What does this tell us about Jesus?

Preparing for Session 7:  The Mid-Term Exam


The Mid-Term exam will last about one hour.  It will consist of multiple choice, short-answer, and essay questions.  In preparation for this exam, it would be a good idea for you to work through the following items:


1. Basic outline of the course so far:


a. What have been the main topics each week?




b. What passages have we looked at each week?




c. What have we learned about Jesus so far?






2. What sort of liberal pictures of Jesus are circulating today?  How do they handle the Gospel data?  How do Luke Johnson and C.S. Lewis characterize and respond to these liberal positions?






3. Go over the worksheets for each week and think through what changes you would make in your answers now that you have had more time to think about these things.






4. Go over the in-class notes for each week.  You may want to get together with a few others in the course to review, to clarify various points in the notes, and to drill one another on their contents.


Worksheet to Prepare for Session 8


1. Read over (twice) the parable of the sower (Matt 13:3-8) and its interpretation (Matt 13:18-23) in two different versions of the Bible.  If we call the parable itself the "earthly story" and its interpretation the "heavenly meaning," what is the heavenly meaning of scattering seed here?  What is the heavenly meaning of the different types of soil (of all of them taken together and of each kind separately)?  Construct a sentence that gives the basic teaching of the parable, and then one sentence each that gives the teaching of each kind of soil.










2. Read over (twice) the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl (Matt 13:44-46).  Notice that no interpretation is given for these two, yet the two parables seem to be making about the same point.  What suggestions might be made for who the "finder" is in each parable?  What suggestions for the identity of the treasure/pearl?  How might we go about trying to make a decision about which possibility Jesus intended?









3. Read the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:10-14) twice.  Who does Luke tell us this parable was intended for?  What lesson does Jesus draw from the parable?  Notice that this parable is different from those in ##1 and 2, above, as the "earthly story" does not need to be translated into another heavenly realm.  It is already a sample of a spiritual reality.  What sort of person does the Pharisee repre­sent?  What sort the tax collector?

Session 8: Jesus' Parables


Each small group take one (numbered) item on worksheet to discuss for 10 minutes.


What are parables?


Earthly stories with heavenly meanings


Stories that draw an analogy between the "tenor" (spiritual reality) and the "vehicle" (earthly, secular picture/story)


A few parables are "sample-stories" in which the vehicle is a sample of the tenor

            Good Samaritan, Rich Fool, Pharisee & Tax Collector, Rich Man & Lazarus …

Why does Jesus use parables?


To mystify opponents (who are too proud to ask Jesus what they mean) while enlightening followers (who are not)

Matt 13:10-17 - parables of kingdom


To teach truth vividly and memorably

Luke 15 - lost sheep, coin, son

Matt 3:10 - axe laid at roots


To sneak by defenses of audience to get true judgment

2 Sam 12 - Nathan's parable of the ewe lamb

Luke 7:36-50 - Jesus' parable of two debtors


What do these parables mean?


Sower (Matt 13:3-8,18-23)


3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some {seeds} fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 "And others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 "But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 "And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 "And others fell on the good soil, and *yield­ed a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.


18 "Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil {one} comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no {firm} root in himself, but is {only} temporary, and when afflic­tion or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruit­ful. 23 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."








Growth, Making grain




Treasure & Pearl (Matt 13:44-46)


44 "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. 45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,

46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.








Spending all



Great bargain





Pharisee & Tax Collector (Luke 18:10-14)


10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Phari­see, and the other a tax‑gatherer. 11 "The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, 'God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax‑gatherer. 12 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.' 13 "But the tax‑gath­erer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!' 14 "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted."


Background on Pharisees




Pharisee=s prayer





Background on tax-collectors





Tax-collector=s prayer





Jesus' verdict



Worksheet to Prepare for Session 9


We have a lot of ground to cover in this session, so we won't be able to go into as much detail.  Read each of the passages over once.


1.  What does the triumphal entry (Luke 19:28-43) tell us about Jesus' claims?

Getting colt – resembles Peter & fish, & prep for Last Supper – foreknowledge? Control?

Crowd recognizes Messianic claim (via Zech 9:9?); quotation reflects Ps 118:26

Jesus’ choice of entry points to Zech 9:9; symbolism (vs riding a horse)

2. What does the anointing (Mark 14:1-11) tell us about the woman?  About the indignant bystanders?  About Judas?  About Jesus?

Notice Mark’s Snadwich technique: betrayal (vv 1-2 & 10-11) surrounds anointing (3-9)

Woman – great sacrifice for Jesus; spontaneous? Probably gratitude

Bystanders – don’t have same appreciation for person & work of Jesus

Judas – Mark doesn’t mention his speaking, but looks like he realizes Jesus determined to die

Jesus – knows of his coming death, but not distracted by it; appreciates woman’s love

3. Looking only at Matthew's account of the Last Supper (26:17-30), what are the major themes that he develops?  How do they relate to Jesus?

Less emphasis on how room is found; meal is a passover (freedom from slavery, slaughter

            Of pasover lamb, protection from destroyer)

Betrayal – Jesus knows it will be Judas & reveals same to Judas

Lord’s Supper instituted

Nazirite vow? (not drink of wine…)

4. Looking at Mark's account of the Sanhedrin trial (Mark 14:53-65), what is the leadership trying to do?  What sample of testimony does Mark give?  Why do you suppose he chose this sample?  What does Jesus finally confess?  What does the Sanhedrin make of this?

Leaders want to get Jesus out of the way, so seeking testimony (true or not) to do this

Sample: Jesus’ remark about destroying & rebuilding temple (a serious charge); cp John 2

Confession: Messiah, Son of Blessed, Son of Man, enthronement in heaven, return in power

Sanhedrin doesn’t consider whether claim might be true, but convicts of blasphemy

5. In the trial before the Roman governor (John 18:28-19:16), what seems to be the charge against Jesus?  Why is Pilate reluctant to convict?  What finally sways Pilate to convict?  What admission does he force from the accusers/crowd?

Charge (28-30) perhaps surprised that Pilate wants details; tell him that Jesus claiming kingship?

Reluctance – not told, but 37-38 striking; prob Pilate knew thru spies that Jesus no threat

Sways (19:12) – threat re/ Caesar

Admission – we have no king but Caesar

6. What elements of the crucifixion scene does Luke (23:33-49) emphasize?  What do these tell us about Jesus?

2 criminals, mockery, darkness, temple veil, Jesus’ last words, reactions of centurion, people

Session 9: Jesus' Death


No small group sessions this week.


Triumphal entry (Luke 19:28-43)


28 And after He had said these things, He was going on ahead, ascending to Jerusa­lem.


29 And it came about that when He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, "Go into the village opposite {you,} in which as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it, and bring it {here.} 31 "And if anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' thus shall you speak, 'The Lord has need of it.'" 32 And those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them.

33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?" 34 And they said, "The Lord has need of it." 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and they threw their garments on the colt, and put Jesus {on it.} 36 And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road. 37 And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, 38 saying, #"\Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord\; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"# 39 And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." 40 And He answered and said, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!"


41 And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. 43 "For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side, 44 and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon anoth­er, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."


The donkey colt – see worksheet

                        Symbolism: not one ever sat (Jesus as 2nd Adam?)

                        Not just fulfillment of Zech 9:9, but also donkey vs horse

The crowd's reaction

                        Do they recognize fulf of Zech 9:9? Quotation from Ps 118:26 & Jesus’ choice

                        Of animal both point to this

Jesus' answer to the Pharisees



Jesus weeps

                        His compassion, reflecting God’s view of lost

                        Prediction of Jerusalem’s destruction


Jesus anointed (Mark 14:1-11)


1 Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread was two days off; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth, and kill {Him;} 2 for they were saying, "Not during the festival, lest there be a riot of the people."


3 And while He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining {at the table,} there came a woman with an alabas­ter vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; {and} she broke the vial and poured it over His head. 4 But some were indignantly {remarking} to one another, "Why has this perfume been wasted?

5 "For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and {the money} given to the poor." And they were scolding her. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. 7 "For the poor you always have with you, and whenever you wish, you can do them good; but you do not always have Me. 8 "She has done what she could; she has anointed My body before­hand for the burial. 9 "And truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, that also which this woman has done shall be spoken of in memory of her."


10 And Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests, in order to betray Him to them. 11 And they were glad when they heard {this,} and promised to give him money. And he {began} seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.


Plot to arrest Jesus

                        Mark’s ‘sandwich’ technique: 1-2 and 10-11 sandwiching 3-9

Woman's action

                        Spontaneous? Gratitude?


                        Didn’t have same appreciation of Jesus

Jesus' response

                        Note phrase ‘whenever you wish’ in verse 7


Last supper (Matthew 26:17-30)


17 Now on the first {day} of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?" 18 And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, 'The Teacher says," My time is at hand; I {am to} keep the Passover at your house with My disciples. "'" 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.


20 Now when evening had come, He was reclining {at the table} with the twelve disciples. 21 And as they were eating, He said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me." 22 And being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, "Surely not I, Lord?" 23 And He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 "The Son of Man {is to} go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." 25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He *said to him, "You have said {it} your­self."


26 And while they were eating, Jesus took {some} bread, and after a blessing, He broke {it} and gave {it} to the disci­ples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave {it} to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."


30 And after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


Supper arranged


Betrayal predicted




Judas identified


The bread and cup


Jesus' abstention


Trial before the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:53-65)


53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes *gathered together. 54 And Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the offi­cers, and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death; and they were not finding any. 56 For many were giving false testimony against Him, and {yet} their testimony was not consistent. 57 And some stood up and {began} to give false testimony against Him, saying, 58 "We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'" 59 And not even in this respect was their testimony consistent. 60 And the high priest stood up {and came} forward and questioned Jesus, saying, "Do You make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?" 61 But He kept silent, and made no answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed {One?}" 62 And Jesus said, "I am; and you shall see \the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power\, and \coming with the clouds of heav­en\." 63 And tearing his clothes, the high priest *said, "What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 "You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?" And they all con­demned Him to be deserving of death. 65 And some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, "Prophe­sy!" And the officers received Him with slaps {in the face.}


Fishing for testimony


A sample


Jesus' confession


The Sanhedrin's reaction



Before Pilate (John 18:28-19:16)


28 They *led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium in order that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate therefore went out to them, and *said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?" 30 They answered and said to him, "If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you." 31 Pilate therefore said to them, "Take Him your­selves, and judge Him according to your law." The Jews said to him, "We are not permitted to put anyone to death," 32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.


33 Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, and sum­moned Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" 34 Jesus answered, "Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?" 35 Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You up to me; what have You done?" 36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." 37 Pilate there­fore said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say {correctly} that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." 38 Pilate *said to Him, "What is truth?"  


And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and *said to them, "I find no guilt in Him.  39 "But you have a custom, that I should release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?" 40 Therefore they cried out again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas." Now Barabbas was a robber.


19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and arrayed Him in a purple robe; 3 and they {began} to come up to Him, and say, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and to give Him blows {in the face.} 4 And Pilate came out again, and *said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in Him." 5 Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And {Pilate} *said to them, "Behold, the Man!" 6 When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify, crucify!" Pilate *said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him." 7 The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out {to be} the Son of God." 8 When Pilate therefore heard this statement, he was the more afraid; 9 and he entered into the Praetorium again, and *said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 Pilate therefore *said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have author­ity to crucify You?" 11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who deliv­ered Me up to you has {the} greater sin." 12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out {to be} a king opposes Caesar." 13 When Pilate therefore heard these words, he brought Jesus out, and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Pave­ment, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of preparation for the Pass­over; it was about the sixth hour. And he *said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!" 15 They therefore cried out, "Away with {Him}, away with {Him,} crucify Him!" Pilate *said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."

16 So he then delivered Him to them to be crucified.


Interaction with Jewish leaders



Interview w/ Jesus



Pilate's attempt to free Jesus



2nd Interview w/ Jesus



Friend of Caesar



Jesus' Crucifixion (Luke 23:33-49)


33 And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among them­selves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One." 36 And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!" 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him,



39 And one of the criminals who were hanged {there} was hurling abuse at Him, saying, "Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!" 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemna­tion? 41 "And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" 43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."


44 And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, \into Thy hands I commit My spirit.\" And having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he {began} praising God, saying, "Certain­ly this man was innocent." 48 And all the multitudes who came together for this specta­cle, when they observed what had hap­pened, {began} to return, beating their breasts. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee, were standing at a distance, seeing these things.


Father, forgive them






The two criminals



Jesus' last words



Reactions by eyewitnesses

Worksheet to Prepare for Session 10


Read over Col 1:15-23 twice in different versions.


1. Who is Jesus according to this passage?

            Image of God, firstborn of creation, all things created by/for him, before all things,

            Holds all things together; head of church, firstborn from dead, has 1st place in

             everything, All the fulness dwells in him


2. What has he done according to this passage?

            All things created by him, all things hold together in him

            He reconciled all things, made peace thru blood of cross


Read over Rom 5:6-11 twice.


3. How do you think we were helpless?

            Unable to save ourselves


4. How do you think we are "saved by his life"?

Connected w/ having been reconciled, so prob not reference to Jesus passive/active obedience

            (1) Reference to his intercession?

            (2) Reference to his living in us?

Read over Gal 4:4-7 twice.


5. Notice the four pictures Paul gives here of our salvation:  redeemed, adopted, sons, heirs.  How does the literal meaning of each of these help us understand salvation?

Redeemed: purchased from slavery                            Heirs: receive inheritance

Adopted: taken into a family not born into  =>             

Sons: belong to family (whether born or adopted) => God becomes our dear father

Read over Eph 2:11-18 twice.


6. How does Jesus reconcile Jew and Gentile?

Removes separation/distinction           Makes both groups one

Brings far off near                              Breaks down wall, ends enmity

Read over 2 Cor 5:14-21 twice.


7. What does "therefore all died" mean?

            All deserved death; so consider selves dead to old self, alive to new self.


8. Explain verse 21.

            Jesus our substitute; sin = sin offering

Session 10: Paul on Jesus' Death


Small groups (15 min): each group discuss both 1 and 2:


1. How do we reconcile "firstborn of all creation" (Col 1:15) with John 1:1-3?  This is a favorite verse of the  Jehovah's Witnesses.

            See appendix, page 57; Jesus is legal firstborn, i.e., ruler over all creation; he is not the

            first-created creature.

2. How were we helpless (Rom 5:6)?

            We couldn’t make ourselves acceptable to God, nor escape his wrath

            (see Rom 2:12-13; 3:8ff; 3:19ff)


Creator of Universe and Church (Col 1:15-23)


15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first‑born of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were creat­ed, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities C all things have been created by Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.


18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the begin­ning, the first‑born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in every­thing. 19 For it was the {Father's} good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, {I say}, whether things on earth or things in heaven.


21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, {engaged} in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach C 23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly estab­lished and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.




Firstborn of creation


Creator (creation by/through Jesus)


Before all things


Holds all things together


Head of body


Firstborn from dead


First place in everything


All fulness dwells in him


All things reconciled through him (through his death)


Dies for Enemies (Rom 5:6-11)


6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.


9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath {of God} through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the recon­cilia­tion.


We were helpless, Christ dies for us


Demonstration of God's love


Now justified, in future will be saved


Saved by Jesus' death and life


Makes Slaves into Sons (Gal 4:4-7)


4 But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.


6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.


Fulness of time


Jesus born under Law

Redeems those under Law


No longer slaves, adopted as sons/heirs


Reconciles Jews and Gentiles (Eph 2:11-18)


11 Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcis­ion" by the so‑called "Circumcision," {which is} performed in the flesh by human hands C 12 {remember} that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of prom­ise, having no hope and without God in the world.


13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both {groups into} one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, {which is} the Law of commandments {contained} in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, {thus} establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 \And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near\; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.






No hope, no God


Brought near


Broke down barrier (Law)


Proclaimed peace and access


Sends Out Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:14-21)


14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.


16 Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know {Him} {thus} no longer. 17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, {he is} a new crea­ture; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

18 Now all {these} things are from God, who recon­ciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconcili­ation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconcil­ing the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconcilia­tion. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be recon­ciled to God.


21 He made Him who knew no sin {to be} sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteous­ness of God in Him.


All died in Christ




New life in Christ




Reconciled, we become reconcilers




Ambassadors for God and Christ


Worksheet to Prepare for Session 11


Read over (once) Heb 7:1-28 carefully, plus Gen 14:1-24 and Ps 110:1-7.


1. The figure of Melchizedek in Gen 14 is rather mysterious, as is the matter of what the writer of Hebrews is doing with him.  This becomes somewhat clearer if we think of the author of Hebrews asking himself (from Ps 110:4), AHow is the Messiah >a priest forever, like Melchizedek=?@  What points of similarity between Jesus the Messiah and Melchizedek does the author find?

King of righteousness                         perpetual priest

King of peace                                      greater than Abraham

w/o father, mother, genealogy

w/o beginning or end of life



2. How does the author of Hebrews contrast Jesus' (Melchizedek) priesthood and the Levitical priest­hood?

M receives tithes from Abraham (and from L in As loins)

M blesses Abraham, L is As (lesser) descendant

M “lives” while L (and his priests) die



Read over Heb 10:1-18 twice and Ps 40 once.


3. What passage is the author quoting here in Heb 10?  Who does he suggest this refers to?  What features in the OT passage especially fit Jesus?


Passage quoted is Psalm 40

Who does it refer to? Jesus

What features especially fit Jesus?

            Comes as predicted in Scripture

            Replacement for sacrifice

            Delights to do God’s will

            Law within his heart


4. What do you suppose the author of Hebrews means in verse 8 when he says, parenthetically, "which are offered according to the Law"?


“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired” must be understood in the light of the fact that God commanded them in the OT law.

Session 11: Hebrews on Jesus' Death


Small groups: take 5-10 min to discuss worksheet item #1 or #3


Jesus as priest (Heb 7:1-28)


1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all {the spoils}, was first of all, by the translation {of his name}, king of righteous­ness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he abides a priest perpetually.


4 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. 5 And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest's office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descend­ed from Abraham. 6 But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham, and blessed the one who had the promises. 7 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 And in this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one {receives them}, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9 And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Mel­chizedek met him.


11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need {was there} for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchize­dek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. 13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchize­dek, 16 who has become {such} not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestruc­tible life. 17 For it is witnessed {of Him}, #"\Thou art a priest forever\ \According to the order of Melchizedek.\"# 18 For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.


20 And inasmuch as {it was} not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, #"\The Lord has sworn\ \And will not change His mind\, '\Thou art a priest forever\'");# 22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 And the {former} priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but He, on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priest­hood permanently. 25 Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make interces­sion for them. 26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the {sins} of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, {ap­points} a Son, made perfect forever.


To clarify the argument somewhat, I include here the relevant portions of my summary of the argument of Hebrews from my course NT 552 Johannine Literature & General Epistles:


This Melchizedek (Gen 14) pronounced a blessing on Abraham and received his offerings.  From his name and title he is "king of righteousness" and "king of peace."  With no genealogy, birth or death record, he is made like the Son of God and is always a priest.  Look how great he was!  He received the tenth from the forefather of those Levites who would collect the tenth, though he himself was no Levite.  He was greater than Abraham, pronounc­ing the blessing rather than receiving it.  And Levi, so to speak, even paid him tithes. (7:1-10)


Now if the Levitical priesthood (on which the Law was based) was sufficient, why does Psalm 110 predict another priest like Melchizedek rather than Aaron?  Doesn't this imply a change in the Law?  Indeed, the One fulfilling this prediction comes from Judah, a non-priestly tribe.  And He, too, fits the psalm's pre­diction of a priest "forever," not by physical descendants but by an indestructable life.  So this psalm predicts the former com­mand­ments will be replaced by a better hope for coming to God.  A better hope and better covenant because it is established by God's oath and rests in the permanent priesthood of Jesus, who can save forever because he lives forever. (7:11-28)


Melchizedek characterized (1-3)

His titles (1-2)

Blesses Abraham (1)

Receives tithes from Abraham (2)

No [reference to] antecedents, birth, death (3)


His priesthood compared with Levitical (4-10)

Tithe (4-10) - lesser pays greater

Blessing (6-7) - greater blesses lesser

Life (8) - lives vs dies


New priesthood means new law (11-19)

If Levitical perfect, why a new? (11-12)

Melchizedek priest from different tribe (13-14)

Melchidek priest lives & serves forever (15-17)

New law makes perfect (18-19)


New law & covenant better than old (20-28)

Priesthood sealed by oath (20-22)

Ever-living priest (23-25)

Sinless priest (26-28)


Jesus as sacrifice (Heb 10:1-18)


1 For the Law, since it has {only} a shadow of the good things to come {and} not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those {sacrifices} there is a reminder of sins year by year. 4 For it is impossi­ble for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.


5 Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, #"\Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired\, \But a body Thou hast prepared for Me\; 6 \In whole burnt offerings and\ {sacrifices} \for sin Thou hast taken no pleasure\. 7 "\Then I said, 'Behold, I have come\ (\In the roll of the book it is written of Me\) \To do Thy will, O God.\'" # 8 After saying above, "\Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and\ {sacrifices} \for sin Thou hast not desired, nor hast Thou taken pleasure\ {in them}" (which are offered according to the Law), 9 then He said, "\Behold, I have come to do Thy will\." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, \sat down at the right hand of God\, 13 waiting from that time onward \until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet\. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.


15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 #"\This is the covenant that I will make with them\ \After those days, says the Lord\: \I will put My laws upon their heart\, \And upon their mind I will write them,\"# {He then says}, 17 #"\And their sins and their lawless deeds\# #\I will remember no more.\"# 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer {any} offering for sin.


Here, too, we give an extract from the argument of Hebrews:


The Law, a shadow of the coming good but not the reality, could never by its sacrifices make the wor­ship­pers whole; other­wise they would stop coming for forgive­ness since their con­sciences wouldn't bother them.  Rather the repeated sacrifices were a repeated reminder of sin, as animal blood cannot really take it away.  In fact, God predicted the remedy in Psalm 40 where, when Jesus comes into the world, He says:  "You didn't really want animal sacrifices, but you made me a body/slave.  I've come, O God, as predicted in Scripture, to do Your will."  As the passage notes, God wasn't really satisfied with animal sacrifice (though He commanded it); but by Jesus doing God's will, He takes away the first covenant to establish the second.  By one act in offering His body, Jesus makes us holy, while the repeated sacrifices of the earthly priests can never take away sin.  And this is what the Holy Spirit says in Jeremiah 31:  "This is the covenant I will make with them... their sins I will remember no more." (10:1-18)


Sacrifices of the Old Covenant (1-4)

shadows, not reality

don't perfect worshipers

must be repeated

reminders of sin


Prediction of Christ's Sacrifice (5-10)

commentary on Ps 40:6-8

sacrifice not desired (but required)

replaced by obedience of One predicted

takes away 1st covenant to establish 2nd


Contrast w/ OT Sacrifice (11-14)

repeated vs once

can't remove sins vs can & did

still sinners vs perfected


Confirmation from OT Itself (15-18)

quotes Jer 31:33-34

new covenant promised

internalized law

sins forgiven/forgotten

Worksheet to Prepare for Session 12


Read over all the resurrection accounts once each, and list below the appearances of Jesus in order as given in each account.  Then try to see if you can make a harmony of the appearances (just a list in order).


Matthew 28                 Mark 16          Luke 24           John 20-21                  1 Cor 15:4-8



See “Suggested Scenario for Post-Resurrection Appearances” in appendix, pages 57-58.















Harmony: Post-Resurrection Appearances in Order:

Session 12: Jesus' Resurrection


Small groups meet (15 min) to discuss worksheets, pros and cons of various harmoni­zations.


The NT Accounts (1 Cor 15:1-11)


1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.


3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scrip­tures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,


5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred breth­ren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.


9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then {it was} I or they, so we preach and so you believed.


Appearances listed in 1 Cor 15:


Cephas (Peter)




Over 500




All the apostles



Liberal substitutes


















For specific responses to liberalism and its theories, see:


John Wenham, Easter Enigma: Are the Resurrection Accounts in Con­flict?  (Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Academie, 1984).

Gary Habermas and Antony Flew, Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?  The Res­urrection Debate (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987).

Craig Blomberg, The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (Downers Grove, IL: InterVar­sity, 1987), pp 100-110.

Michael J. Wilkins and J. P. Moreland, eds., Jesus Under Fire:  Modern Scholar­ship Reinvents the Historical Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), chap. 6.

Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone? (New York: Century, 1930).

Worksheet to Prepare for Session 13


Read over the ascension account (Acts 1:1-11) twice in different versions.


1. What indications of place and time does Luke give us here?

            40 days after resurrection, on Mount of Olives


2. What promise does Jesus give the disciples?  What promise do the angels give the disciples?

            Coming of Holy Spirit

            Return of Jesus


3. What are the disciples to be doing while Jesus is gone?  Do you suppose this applies to us as well as to them?

            To be witnesses of Jesus

            Sounds like it does



Read once carefully Matt 24:1-31 and 25:31-45.


4. What questions do the disciples ask that Jesus (presumably) is answering here?

            When will these things (“not one stone…”) happen?

            What will be the sign of your coming & of the end of the age?



5. What sorts of events will characterize these times?

            See list on page 55.




6. What is the crucial event that should cause people in Judea to flee to the moun­tains?

            Abomination of desolation



7. What immediately follows the great tribulation?

            Signs in sun, moon, stars

            Return of Son of Man



8. How does Matt 25:31-46 resemble Matt 7:24-29?

            Salvation is demonstrated by works.

Session 13: Jesus' Ascension and Return


No small groups this week.


Jesus' Ascension (Acts 1:1-11)


1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over {a period of} forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.


4 And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," {He said,} "you heard of from Me;

5 for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."


6 And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."


9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; 11 and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."


Acts is sequel to Gospel of Luke


Luke's Gospel: Jesus began to do and teach


Jesus presented alive by many convincing proofs


Wait for the Spirit


You will be witnesses


Taken up in cloud


Angels' message

Jesus' Return (Matt 24:1-31; 25:31-46)


24:1 And Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He answered and said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down."


3 And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him pri­vately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what {will be} the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" 4 And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. 5 "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. 6 "And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for {those things} must take place, but {that} is not yet the end. 7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against king­dom, and in various places there will be famines and earth­quakes. 8 "But all these things are {merely} the beginning of birth pangs. 9 "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. 10 "And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. 11 "And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. 12 "And because lawless­ness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. 13 "But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. 14 "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.


15 "Therefore when you see the \abomination of desola­tion\ which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader under­stand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; 17 let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; 18 and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. 19 "But woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days! 20 "But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath; 21 for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. 22 "And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short. 23 "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There {He is,'} do not believe {him.} 24 "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 "Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 "If therefore they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilder­ness,' do not go forth, {or,}' Behold, He is in the inner rooms, 'do not believe {them.} 27 "For just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 "Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.


29 "But immediately after the tribulation of those days \the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall\ from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, 30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the \Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky\ with power and great glory. 31 "And He will send forth His angels with \a great trumpet\ and \they will gather together\ His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.


Jesus' prediction re/ temple buildings


The disciples' questions


Jesus' response:


Watch out for false Christs


The beginning of "birth pangs":





false prophets


Gospel to whole world


Then the end:

abomination of desolation  (see Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11)

great(est) tribulation

false Christs/prophets

2nd coming unmistakable

signs in heavens


Son of Man returns


Gathers his elect



25:31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 "And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.



34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me {something} to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righ­teous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? 38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, {even} the least {of them,} you did it to Me.'


41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me {nothing} to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 44 "Then they themselves also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


The "Sheep and Goat" Judgment


Done to these "brothers" = done to Jesus


Not done to them = not done to Jesus


Feeding hungry and thirsty


Hospitality to strangers


Clothing the needy


Visiting sick and prisoners


Disobedient go to eternal punishment



Righteous to eternal life




The term “firstborn” has two uses:


(1) actual firstborn: eldest son in family


(2) legal firstborn: one who receives the double-portion of the inheritance & responsibilities as firstborn (rule over family; take care of parents)


In the Abrhamic line, it is interesting that these were distinct for the first four generations!



/     \

                                                        (1) Ishmael         (2) Isaac

                                                                                    /     \

                                                                        (1) Esau     (2) Jacob

                                                                                                /     \

                                                                                    (1) Reuben  (2) Joseph

                                                                                                            /     \

                                                                                          (1) Manasseh  (2) Ephraim



Suggested Scenario for Post-Resurrection Appearances





1 Cor 15


Mk 16


Mt 28


Lk 24




















Mary Magdalene




























2 on Road














10 Apostles














11 Apostles














7 at Seaside














11 on Mountain




























Apostles at meal














Aps at ascension














Paul nr Damascus