Life of Christ
Lecture Notes-----
Topic 3.2.5 for Religion 102 / 305
Topics 3.1 - 3.6 for Religion 311
Last revised: 4/7/05
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        When one begins to take seriously the story of Jesus in each of the four canonical gospels, a pattern emerges in the way this story is told. The pattern is much tighter in the Synoptic Gospels in that they use a common overarching structure for telling their story of Jesus. The fourth gospel has its own way of telling the story, but can be correlated to the synoptic gospel framework in a supplementary manner.
        What follows below is an investigation into that structure. The outline for this is the Life of Christ. This includes six major segments in the story: Background and Preparation for Ministry Beginning of Public Ministry The Galilean Ministry The Later Judean-Perean Ministry The Final Week and Crucifixion (Passio Christi) Resurrection and Appearances Background and Preparation for Ministry

Matthew: Mark: Luke: John:
--------- 1:1-2:52

        As reflected in the above list, this segment in the story of Jesus is missing in the Gospel of Mark. For his own purposes, Mark jumps directly into the public ministry of Jesus rather than prepare his readers by providing some details of who Jesus was either from his historical origins (as in Matthew and Luke) or from his spiritual nature (as in John).

---- 1:1-2:52
1. Genealogy: Abraham to David 1:2-6
2. Genealogy: David to Joseph 1:7-16
3. Genealogy: Summary Comment 1:17
4. Angelical announcement to Joseph 1:18-23
5. Joseph's obedience 1:24-25
6. Visit by wise men. 2:1-12
7. Flight to Egypt 2:13-15
8. Slaying of children in Bethlehem 2:6-18
9. Return from Egypt 2:19-23
1. Prologue 1:1-4
2. Announcement of John's birth 1:5-25
3. Announcement of Jesus' birth 1:26-38
4. Mary's visit to Elizabeth 1:39-56
5. John's birth 1:57-80
6. Jesus' birth 2:1-21
7. Jesus' presentation in the temple 2:22-40
8. Jesus' visit to the temple 2:41-52

         In the two synoptic gospels, the background of Jesus is presented in a more historical oriented narrative typically designated the Infancy Narratives by modern scholars. Some general observations are in order:
        (1) From the per centages listed above, Luke (11%) devotes more space to this segment than does Matthew (4%). This is reflected in the specific episodes included in each account.
        Although Matthew contains nine episodes to Luke's eight episodes, Luke provides greater detail in each of these pericopes about the birth and early childhood of Jesus. Additionally, Luke begins with a formal prologue to his gospel account that followed ancient patterns of prologue composition. Important to remember: both gospels deal only with the first three or four years of Jesus' childhood, with the one exception of the Lucan account of Jesus' bar mitzvah at the beginning of puberty around his twelfth birthday. In ancient Jewish tradition a male did not become an adult until his thirtieth birthday, which Luke marks as the beginning of Jesus' public ministry (Lk. 3:23). The canonical gospels are silent about the time from around three years until his thirtieth year with the one Lucan exception (see #8 in above list). Luke simply summarizes all these years with the short statement in 2:52: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor" (NRSV).
        Outside the canonical gospels, however, the NT Apocryphal Gospels attempt to 'fill in the void' with numerous episodes supposedly depicting events in the childhood of Jesus. Mostly they focus on Jesus' early childhood in the same time period of Matthew and Luke. Among these so-called infancy gospels are the Infancy Gospel of James, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the Infancy Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, and the Birth of Mary. They paint a dramatically different picture. Jesus' childhood was no ordinary, normal experience as depicted in Matthew and Luke. To the contrary, the deity aspect overwhelmed Jesus' consciousness even as an infant and dictated his pattern of behavior. As an infant he could think and talk like an adult and had complete awareness of being perfectly divine and possessed full supernatural powers as a child. He performed miracles as a three year old; as a small youngster he offered sage advice to adults, especially religious authorities, that put their ignorance of divine matters to shame; he basically told his parents what to do rather than the other way around. With the contemporary model of the Greco-Roman Theos Aner (God-Man) emphasizing that significant persons had this kind of childhood, later Christians in the second through fifth centuries, with no Jewish roots and a deep anti-semitic bias against things Jewish, reinterpreted Jesus with non-Jewish, Greco-Roman cultural contours to make him more appealing to the people of their day. Never mind that their stories were complete fabrications with no basis in history at all! One can easily see why mainstream Christianity in this era quickly and thoroughly rejected this 'gospels' as worthless accounts about the Jesus of history.
        (2) Each synoptic gospel writer has his own distinct account of this period. No overlapping of episodes occurs between the two accounts.
        The closest thing to an overlap in Matthew (see pericopes 1 and 2 above) and Luke (see pericope 15 below) is the genealology listing. Yet, even here each gospel writer is very distinctive in the presentation of the family tree of Jesus. Matthew traces Jesus' ancestory back to Abraham, while Luke goes back to Adam. Matthew traces the ancestory through Mary, while Luke traces it through Joseph. Matthew traces the lineage forward to Christ, while Luke traces it backward to Adam. Unlike Matthew, Luke places the geneaology at the beginning of Jesus' public ministry section.
        Once Matthew has introduced Jesus through his ancestoral lineage, he turns to a selected number of events highlighting the coming of God's Annointed Deliverer. These include:
        4. Angelical announcement to Joseph 1:18-23
        5. Joseph's obedience 1:24-25
        6. Visit by wise men. 2:1-12
        7. Flight to Egypt 2:13-15
        8. Slaying of children in Bethlehem 2:6-18
        9. Return from Egypt 2:19-23
These events cover the announcement of Jesus' birth with the positive image of Joseph stressed in pericopes 4 and 5. Interestingly, almost no description of Jesus' birth is contained. Only two brief allusions are found in Matthew: (1) "Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way" (1:18); and (2) "he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus" (1:24b-25). These parentheses to the Joseph narratives merely allude to the birth of Jesus. The next mention of Jesus in pericope 6 is to an event happening subsequent to Jesus' birth - the visit of the magi from the area of ancient Babylon where Jews had lived since the exile in the sixth century B.C.E. The hostile response of Herod the Great to their visit prompts the fleeing to Egypt by Joseph in order to save the life of the young Jesus. No mention is made as to where in Egypt they lived, nor of how they lived while there. After Herod's death in 4 B.C.E., Joseph brings his family out of Egypt and resettles at the village of Nazareth in southwest Galilee where Mary had grown up. Containing never more than two hundred residents, the small village was settled after the Babylonian exile and was located not far from the old capital city of  Sepphoris and also was near one of the major north-south trade routes from Damascus to Egypt (see map). Jesus lived out his childhood and youth there until the beginning of his ministry at reaching adulthood on his thirtieth birthday. But Matthew makes no mention of anything that happened during these years.
        After Luke introduces his gospel with a formal prologue in the pattern of many such instances of this genre in ancient literature, he begins his story of the birth and childhood of Jesus. But he concentrates on entirely different events than those found in Matthew.

2. Announcement of John's birth 1:5-25
3. Announcement of Jesus' birth 1:26-38
4. Mary's visit to Elizabeth 1:39-56
5. John's birth 1:57-80
6. Jesus' birth 2:1-21
7. Jesus' presentation in the temple 2:22-40
8. Jesus' visit to the temple 2:41-52
The role of John the Baptizer is highlighted first in pericope 2 with the unusual announcement of his birth to Elizabeth's husband Zechariah, while he was serving one of his rotations as a peasant priest in the temple in Jerusalem. Then follows an announcement to a teenager named Mary living in Nazareth that she is going to give birth to Jesus (pericope 3).  This is followed by a visit of Mary to Elizabeth, a relative, who lived in the hill country, several miles to the south in the province of Judea. No mention is made of Mary's parents and any circumstances of how she traveled from Nazareth to Judea, other than that Elizabeth was well into her pregnancy (1:44). Elizabeth responded with a song of blessing to Mary (1:42-45). Most of pericope 4 is devoted to Mary's song of praise to God for these blessings (1:46-55). After a three month stay with Elizabeth, Mary returned to her parents home in Nazareth (1:56).
        In a parallel fashion to the announcements, the birth accounts of first John and then Jesus follow in pericopes 5 and 6. Most of pericope 5 is devoted to Zechariah's prophecy about God fulfilling his messianic promise to send a deliverer to his people (1:67-79). A simple statement concludes, summarizing John's childhood and youth (1:80): "The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel."  The birth of Jesus is divided into two sections with an explanation of the trip from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea where Jesus was born (2:1-7), and then the visit of the temple shepherds to see the new born infant (2:8-20). The Torah mandated circumcision of Jesus at eight days of age, which included the offical naming of the infant, concludes this narrative (2:21). Unlike Matthew who makes no reference to the growing up years of Jesus, Luke includes one incident, the visit to the temple at age twelve amounting to the ancient bar mitzvah for Jewish boys reaching puberty (pericope 7). This is followed by the narrative of Jesus as a twelve year old boy surpising the Jewish temple authorities with his exception understanding of the Torah (pericope 8). This is conclued by a summary statement about Jesus, similar to the earlier one about John, in 2:52: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor."
        Each gospel writer chooses only a small number of events to include in their infancy narratives. But each event is selected according to the individual gospel writer's purpose for his story of Jesus. Matthew highlights the Jewish side of Jesus' beginnings with prophetic fulfillment and symbolic exodus from Egypt. Luke, on the other hand, stresses the inclusiveness of Jesus' beginnings, along with the very unusual aspects of Jesus' birth, in a pattern reminiscent of the Greco-Roman Bios, the biography of famous individuals.

        (3) Both synoptic gospel accounts treat only the birth and early childhood of Jesus through his first twelve years. This is quite different from modern biographical concerns that demand a full accounting of all the years of the person being described. To modern westerners accustomed to biography patterns, the absence of any mention of the life of Jesus from twelve years to thirty years seems strange. Yet, Matthew and Luke did not deem it necessary to provide a detailed accounting of the first thirty years of Jesus' life. For Mark, these years were not important to his concerns in telling the story of Jesus, and thus no mention of them is made at all. That is not to say that later Christian tradition wasn't interested in these years. In the so-called Apocryphal Infancy Gospels the focus of attention is mainly on these years as legendary stories of fantastic accomplishments of the boy Jesus are set forth in the pattern of the ancient Greco-Roman Theos-Aner (God-Man). The Protevangelium of James, produced in the second century A.D. Syrian Christian circles, focuses on the glorification of Mary as a perpetual virgin who only gave birth to Jesus via supernatural means. The brothers and sisters of Jesus are claimed as being from a previous marriage of Joseph before he married Mary. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, also from the second century A.D., provides numerous stories of spectacular feats of the boy Jesus. Below is an excerpt from the Arabic Infancy Gospel, providing a sampling of this type of legendary material:

37. On a certain day the Lord Jesus, running about and playing with the boys, passed the shop of a dyer, whose name was Salem; and he had in his shop many pieces of cloth which he was to dye. The Lord Jesus then, going into his shop, took up all the pieces of cloth, and threw them into a tub full of indigo. And when Salem came and saw his cloths destroyed, he began to cry out with a loud voice, and to reproach Jesus, saying: Why hast thou done this to me, O son of Mary? Thou hast disgraced me before all my townsmen: for, seeing that every one wished the colour that suited himself, thou indeed hast come and destroyed them all. The Lord Jesus answered: I shall change for thee the colour of any piece of cloth which thou shalt wish to be changed. And immediately He began to take the pieces of cloth out of the tub, each of them of that colour which the dyer wished, until He had taken them all out. When the Jews saw this miracle and prodigy, they praised God.

38. And Joseph used to go about through the whole city, and take the Lord Jesus with him, when people sent for him in the way of his trade to make for them doors, and milk-pails, and beds, and chests; and the Lord Jesus was with him wherever he went. As often, therefore, as Joseph had to make anything a cubit or a span longer or shorter, wider or narrower, the Lord Jesus stretched His hand towards it; and as soon as He did so, it became such as Joseph wished. Nor was it necessary for him to make anything with his own hand, for Joseph was not very skilful in carpentry.

39. Now, on a certain day, the king of Jerusalem sent for him, and said: I wish thee, Joseph, to make for me a throne to fit that place in which I usually sit. Joseph obeyed, and began the work immediately, and remained in the palace two years, until he finished the work of that throne. And when he had it carried to its place, he perceived that each side wanted two spans of the prescribed measure. And the king, seeing this, was angry with Joseph; and Joseph, being in great fear of the king, spent the night without supper, nor did he taste anything at all. Then, being asked by the Lord Jesus why he was afraid, Joseph said: Because I have spoiled all the work that I have been two years at. And the Lord Jesus said to him: Fear not, and do not lose heart; but do thou take hold of one side of the throne; I shall take the other; and we shall put that to rights. And Joseph, having done as the Lord Jesus had said and each having drawn by his own side, the throne was put to rights, and brought to the exact measure of the place. And those that stood by and saw this miracle were struck with astonishment, and praised God. And the woods used in that throne were of those which are celebrated in the time of Solomon the son of David; that is, woods of many and various kinds.

40. On another day the Lord Jesus went out into the road, and saw the boys that had come together to play, and followed them; but the boys hid themselves from Him. The Lord Jesus, therefore, having come to the door of a certain house, and seen some women standing there, asked them where the boys had gone; and when they answered that there was no one there, He said again: Who are these whom you see in the furnace?' They replied that they were kids of three years old. And the Lord Jesus cried out, and said: Come out hither, O kids, to your Shepherd. Then the boys, in the form of kids, came out, and began to dance round Him; and the women, seeing this, were very much astonished, and were seized with trembling, and speedily, supplicated and adored the Lord Jesus, saying: O our Lord Jesus, son of Mary, Thou art of a truth that good Shepherd of Israel; have mercy on Thy handmaidens who stand before Thee, and who have never doubted: for Thou hast come, O our Lord, to heal, and not to destroy. And when the Lord Jesus answered that the sons of Israel were like the Ethiopians among the nations, the women said: Thou, O Lord, knowest all things, nor is anything hid from Thee; now, indeed, we beseech Thee, and ask Thee of Thy affection to restore these boys Thy servants to their former condition. The Lord Jesus therefore said: Come, boys, let us go and play. And immediately, while these women were standing by, the kids were changed into boys.

Quite obviously these stories paint a very different picture of Jesus as a boy than is found in the canonical gospels. Luke's summary statement, (2:52) "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor," strongly asserts that Jesus had a normal childhood and youth. His consciousness of being the divine Son of God did not come until the beginning of public ministry. Absolutely no indication exists in the canonical sources that Jesus' performed miracles before the beginning of public ministry as an adult. In fact, John 1:11 indicates that the turning of the water into wine at Cana was the first miracle that Jesus did. Therefore, the legendary nature along with the Gnostic theological assumptions behind most all these documents renders them of little use in learning historical information about Jesus as a child and a boy. But they do serve as a strong warning against allowing contemporary culturally driven models becoming the authoritative filter through which we understand Jesus. Else, we remake Jesus into an image that suits our fancies, rather than allowing the canonical texts to shape our understanding.

       (4) The literary sub-genre of this material is Infancy Narrative. For an extensive bibliography on research done in this area, see my Annotated Bibliography: 1.2.1 Infancy Narratives. In the ancient world the dramatic, extraordinary beginnings of important people were considered to be an essential mark of a superior life that rose above the ordinary. Without it, one would have had a difficult time being regarded as anymore than 'run of the mill.'  The pagan birth legends are a part of the literary drive behind the infancy narratives in Matthew and Luke, although the Jewish infancy narrative tradition also played an important role, perhaps the more important model for the canonical gospel writers. The birth of Moses (Exod. 2:1-10) stands as a beginning point here, and was extended in the OT Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal materials. To be sure, the non-canonical infancy gospels are driven in large part by the pagan birth legend tradition in second and subsequent centuries Greco-Roman cultural reinterpretation of apostolic Christianity.

---- 1:1-2:52
  1. Prologue: The divine Word and creation 1:1-5
2. Prologue: John's witness to the Word in creation 1:6-8
3. Prologue: Reactions to the Word in creation 1:9-13
4. Prologue: The Word and the community of believers 1:14
5. Prologue: John's witness to the Word in the community of believers 1:15
6. Prologue: Reaction to the Word in the community of believers 1:16-18

        In the fourth gospel, an entirely different approach to introducing Jesus is taken. ThePrologue to the fourth gospel sets forth foundational concepts about Jesus that become the theological basis for telling the story of Jesus in the remainder of the gospel account. The pericope is crafted in skillfully composed step parallelism poetic structure at the informal level of through structure, as is illustrated by the following diagram:
A  1-5     In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
     B    6-8     There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
      C     9-13     The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
A’     14     And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
    B’     15John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”
      C’     16-18From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Analysis of the Text:
ALogos                        light
  B    John/witness
                 received     light
A’    Logos              grace and truth
  B'   John/witness
    C'             received   grace and truth
        The central theme of both sections, vv. 1-13, 14-18, is the Logos, in as much as it serves as the header for each section. Thus the central theme of the entire prologue is Logos. Understanding the main point of the prologue then will depend upon an accurate understanding of this key term. The boundary markers to the first section, vv. 1-13, is the repetition of the word light. In the second section, vv. 14-18, the repeated phrase grace and truth  serves the same role. The center strophe to each section focuses upon the witness of John the Baptist. The movement in each section flows from the Logos through the witness of John to the response of receiving the Logos through John's witness. The conceptual structure of the first section, vv. 1-13 is universal: the Logos and all of creation including humanity. The Logos manifests himself, is witnessed to by John, but only a very small segment of humanity responds with acceptance. The step, advancement of thought to a new level, occurs in section two, vv. 14-18, where the Logos is received both Jew and Gentile in a fuller experience that brings the 'receiver' face to face with Almighty God himself. The Logos reveals himself to the world in vv. 1-5 and is largely rejected inspite of John's witness. But in the section section, vv. 14-18, to those receiving the Logos He reveals himself dramatically as the Shekina glory of God who tabernacled with His people, v. 14 , and John's witness, v. 15,  highlights that superior revelation. The second receiving section, vv. 16-18, opens up dramatically larger experiences of encounter. Each of the three strophes of both sections contains an advancement of thought in the second section parallel to that in the first section.
        The first section (vv. 1-13) develops the theme of the Logos in relation to the created order of things. A climax is reached in the dominant rejection of the Logos as redeeming Light in the C section, but in spite of this some respond favorably and become the nucleus of a new community of faith (1:12-13). This transitions into the section section (vv. 14-18), which develops the theme of the Logos in relation to the believing community. Here, where positive reception of the Logos prevails, "grace and truth" become the dominant tones of this relationship. The divine glory/presence reveals itself in the tabernacling of the Logos with his new people. John has a witness to this community; the consequence is that the community is overwhelmed by the bestowal of divine grace and truth.
        The conceptual structure set forth here in the prologue becomes the interpretative filter through which the story of Jesus is told in each of the subsequent pericopes in the remainder of the fourth gospel. This is part of what gives the fourth gospel its very distinctive character and tone. The Bible student must first grasp this introductory 'theology of the Logos' if he/she is to correctly exegete any subsequent pericope. Beginning of Public Ministry

        Once again, the synoptic gospels differ significantly from the fourth gospel in the way the public ministry of Jesus begins. In the synoptics, the focus is on the role of John the Baptizer preparing the way for Jesus. This is followed by the accounts of his temptation and baptism. Then public ministry is launched in Galilee. The fourth gospel does focus on John (see pericopes 7 and 8 below), but launches into Jesus' public ministry without narratives relating Jesus' temptation and baptism. Although Galilee is the geographical location for a few of the episodes, Jerusalem plays an important role in this beginning period as well, unlike the synoptic gospels that make no mention of Jerusalem at this point in Jesus' ministry.
A. The public ministry of John the Baptist
3:1-12 1:1-8 3:1-20 1:19-34
10. John the Baptizer 3:1-12 1. John the Baptist. 1:2-8 09. Beginning of John's ministry 3:1-6
10. John's preaching of repentance 3:7-9
11. John's ethical instruction 3:10-14
12. John's preaching of the Messiah 3:15-17
13. John's imprisonment 3:18-20
7. The witness of John the Baptist 1:19-28
8. The Lamb of God 1:29-34
        John stands out in the gospel accounts as a strange figure who pops on the scene with a powerful message that distrubs and causes controversy.
B. The Beginning of Jesus' Public Ministry
        The launching of public ministry by Jesus is signaled in the syoptic gospels by two pivotal events: Jesus' baptism and temptation. Mark's account condenses these two events into a very brief narrative with few details. Matthew and Luke, both utilizing their Marcan and Q sources, develop these two narrative into greater detail while maintaning their individual perspectives. The Johannine gospel goes a very different direction with a series of events narrated that do not intersect the synoptic gospels at any point. These events take place both in Judea and in Galilee, while the synoptic accounts focus on events taking place only in Judea.
3:13-4:11 1:9-13 3:21-4:13 1:35-4:42
11. The baptism of Jesus 3:13-17
12. Jesus was led into temptation 4:1-2
13. Stones into bread 4:3-4
14. Pinnacle of the temple 4:5-7
15. Kingdoms of this world 4:8-10
16. Jesus resisted temptation 4:11
2. Jesus' baptism. 1:9-11
3. Jesus' temptation. 1:12-13
14. Jesus' baptism 3:21-22
15. Genealogy: Joseph and Adam 3:23-38
16. Jesus was led into temptation 4:1-2
17. Stones into bread 4:3-4
18. Kingdoms of this world 4:5-8
19. Pinnacles of the temple 4:9-12
20. Jesus resisted temptation 4:13
9. The first disciples 1:35-51
10. The first miracle at Cana in Galilee 2:1-11
11. Interlude at Capernaum 2:12
12. The cleansing of the temple 2:13-22
13. Interview with Nicodemus 2:23-3:21
14. Further witness of John the Baptist 3:22-36
15. Woman of Samaria 4:1-42 The Galilean Ministry

        The formal public ministry of Jesus, as recorded by the synoptic gospel writers, took place primarily in the northern part of ancient Palestine, in the Roman province of Galilee. Over half of the space devoted to the story of Jesus in both Matthew and Mark narrates events taking place here. Luke devotes about one-fourth of his gospel to this segment of Jesus' ministry, and the Johannine gospel de-emphasizes the significance of Galilee considerably with only 15% of its story given over to events taking place in Galilee.
        How this period of ministry unfolded can be debated from these sources, but two pivotal turning points seem to signal shifts in the direction that Jesus' ministry took. The first was the appointment of the twelve disciples as the inner circle of followers that Jesus would give special training to and who would then be entrusted with the responsibility to continue his ministry once Jesus had ascended back to the Heavenly Father after his resurrection. The second turning point, at least in the synoptic gospel framework, was the execution of John the Baptizer. Through the use of a flash-back literary device, the execution of John that took place earlier signals a new phase of activity for Jesus. Up to this point the growing opposition to Jesus had stemmed largely from the Jewish religious authorities based primarily in Jerusalem. But after Herod executed John somewhat reluctantly he became concerned about rumors that John had come back to life in the person of Jesus. He then turned on Jesus in opposition. With the combined religious and political hostility targeting Jesus, the remaining time spent in northern Palestine was largely outside of the Roman province of Galilee that Herod controlled. In the adjacent provinces Herod had little or no political influence and thus Jesus was safer from arrest. These two turning points become the basis for the outline listing below, since they create three detectable segments of ministry by Jesus in northern Palestine.
        At the end of this period Jesus will leave Galilee headed south to Judea where the last segments of public ministry will occur.

        The time frame for this period of ministry is not absolutely certain. Most NT scholars will suggest about a two to two and one half year period for the Galilean ministry segment. If Jesus began public ministry in 27 AD then this period will extend at least to the fall of 29 AD, if not beyond. The first two phases of Galilean ministry will consume the bulk of this time period, with the third phase most likely occupying just a few months of time. Also, the locale of ministry in the first two phases is inside the province of Galilee, whereas the third phase depicts ministry activity most in the adjacent provinces outside the Roman province of Galilee.
A. Phase One: To the Choosing of the Twelve
4:12-12:21 1:14-3:19a 4:14-7:50 4:43-5:47
17. Prophetic preaching 4:12-17
18. Four fishermen called 4:18-22
19. Preaching and healing tour in Galilee 4:23-25
20. Sermon: Narrative introduction 5:1-2
21. Sermon: Beatitudes 5:3-12
22. Sermon: The kingdom and the world 5:13-16
23. Sermon: Jesus and the Law 5:17-20
24. Sermon: Anger 5:21-26
25. Sermon: Adultery 5:27-30
26. Sermon: Divorce 5:31-32
27. Sermon: Oaths 5:33-37
28. Sermon: Retaliation 5:38-42
29. Sermon: Love for enemies 5:43-47
30. Sermon: Perfection 5:48
31. Sermon: Practicing piety 6:1
32. Sermon: Almsgiving 6:2-4
33. Sermon: Prayer 6:5-15
34. Sermon: Fasting 6:16-18
35. Sermon: Treasure in Heaven 6:19-21
36. Sermon: The light of the body 6:22-23
37. Sermon: God and mammon 6:24
38. Sermon: Worry 6:25-34
39. Sermon: Judging others 7:1-5
40. Sermon: Pearls thrown to swine 7:6
41. Sermon: Asking and Receiving 7:7-11
42. Sermon: The Golden Rule 7:12
43. Sermon: The narrow gate 7:13-14
44. Sermon: Tree known by its fruit 7:15-20
45. Sermon: I never knew you 7:21-23
46. Sermon: Two foundations 7:24-27
47. Sermon: Narrative climax 7:28-29
48. Leper cleansed 8:1-4
49. Centurion's servant healed 8:5-13
50. Peter's mother-in-law healed 8:14-17
51. Conversation with would-be follower 8:18-22
52. Calming the storm 8:23-27
53. Gadarene demoniacs healed 8:28-34
54. Paralytic healed and forgiven 9:1-8
55. Calling of Matthew 9:9-13
56. Question about fasting 9:14-17
57. Ruler's daughter and a woman healed 9:18-26
58. Two blind men healed 9:27-31
59. Mute demoniac healed 9:32-34
60. Tour of Galilee with compassion for people 9:35-38
61. The Twelve chosen 10:1-4
62. The Twelve commissioned 10:5-15
63. Coming persecutions 10:16-25
64. Whom to fear 10:26-31
65. Confessing Christ publicly 10:32-33
66. A sword rather than peace 10:34-39
67. Rewards 10:40-42
68. The Twelve sent out 11:1
69. Question from John the Baptist 11:2-15
70. Unrepentance condemned 11:16-24
71. Praise and an invitation 11:25-30
72. Plucking grain on the Sabbath 12:1-8
73. Man with withered hand healed 12:9-14
74. Withdrawal and more healings 12:15-21
04. The Gospel of the Kingdom 1:14-15
05. Four fishermen called 1:16-20
06. Sabbath exorcism at Capernaum 1:21-28
07. Peter's mother-in-law and others healed 1:29-34
08. Preaching and healing tour in Galilee 1:35-39
09. Leper cleansed 1:40-45
10. Paralytic healed and forgiven 2:1-12
11. Calling of Levi 2:13-17
12. Question about fasting 2:18-22
13. Plucking grain on the Sabbath 2:23-28
14. Man with withered hand healed 3:1-6
15. Withdrawal and more healings 3:7-12
16. The Twelve chosen 3:13-19a
21. Popular teaching 4:14-15
22. Rejection at Nazareth 4:16-30
23. Sabbath exorcism at Capernaum 4:31-37
24. Peter's mother-in-law and others healed 4:38-41
25. Preaching tour in Galilee 4:42-44
26. Four fishermen called 5:1-11
27. Leper cleansed 5:12-16
28. Paralytic healed and forgiven 5:17-26
29. Calling of Levi 5:27-32
30. Question about fasting 5:33-39
31. Plucking grain on the Sabbath 6:1-5
32. Man with withered hand healed 6:6-11
33. The Twelve chosen 6:12-16
34. Sermon: People assembled 6:17-19
35. Sermon: Beatitudes 6:20-23
36. Sermon: Woes 6:24-26
37. Sermon: Loving enemies 6:27-36
38. Sermon: Judging others 6:37-42
39. Sermon: Warnings 6:43-45
40. Sermon: Conclusion 6:46-49
41. Centurion's servant healed 7:1-10
42. Widow's son raised at Nain 7:11-17
43. Question from John the Baptist 7:18-35
44. The woman in Simon's home 7:36-50
16. Healing of nobleman's son 4:43-54
17. Healing of the paralytic in Jerusalem 5:1-9
18. Hostile reaction to the healing 5:10-18
19. Jesus' claim to authority 5:19-29
20. Evidence for the claim 5:30-47
B. Phase Two: To the Withdrawals from Galilee
12:22-14:12 3:19b-6:29 8:1-9:9 ----
75. Beelzebub accusation 12:22-37
76. Demand for a sign 12:38-42
77. Return of unclean spirit 12:43-45
78. True kinship 12:46-50
79. Teaching in parables 13:1-2
80. Parable of the sower 13:3-9
81. Purpose of parables 13:10-17
82. Parable of the sower explained 13:18-23
83. Parable of the tares 13:24-30
84. Parable of the mustard seed 13:31-32
85. Parable of the leaven 13:33
86. Use of parables 13:34-35
87. Parable of the tares explained 13:36-43
88. Parable of the buried treasure 13:44
89. Parable of the costly pearl 13:45-46
90. Parable of the net 13:47-50
91. Parable of the householder 13:51-52
92. Rejection at Nazareth 13:53-58
93. John's death 14:1-12
17. Beelzebub accusation 3:19b-30
18. True kinship 3:31-35
19. Teaching in Parables 4:1-2 
20. Parable of the sower 4:3-9
21. Purpose of parables 4:10-12
22. Parable of the sower explained 4:13-20
23. Candle under a bushel 4:21-25
24. Parable of the seed growing secretly 4:26-29
25. Parable of the mustard seed 4:30-32
26. Use of parables 4:33-34
27. Calming the storm 4:35-41
28. Gadarene demoniac healed 5:1-20
29. Ruler's daughter and a woman healed 5:21-43
30. Rejection at Nazareth 6:1-6
31. Twelve sent out into Galilee 6:7-13
32. John's death  6:14-29
45. Traveling Companions 8:1-3
46. Parable of the sower 8:4-8
47. Purpose of parables 8:9-10
48. Parable of the sower explained 8:11-15
49. Candle under a bushel 8:16-18
50. True kinship 8:19-21
51. Calming the storm 8:22-25
52. Gadarene demoniac healed 8:26-39
53. Ruler's daughter and a woman healed 8:40-56
54. Twelve sent out in Galilee 9:1-6
55. John's death 9:7-9
C. Phase Three: To the Departure to Jerusalem
14:13-18:35 6:30-9:50 9:10-56 6:1-7:9
94. 5,000 fed 14:13-21
95. Walking on water 14:22-33
96. Sick healed in Gennesaret 14:34-36
97. Tradition of the elders on cleanness 15:1-9
98. What defiles 15:10-20
99. Canaanite woman's daughter healed 15:21-28
101. 4,000 fed 15:29-39
102. Refusal to give a sign 16:1-4
103. Leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees 16:5-12
104. Confession of messiahship 16:13-20
105. Prediction of death and resurrection 16:21
106. Rebuke of Peter 16:22-23
107. Demands of discipleship 16:24-28
108. Transfiguration 17:1-3
109. Peter's mistake 17:4-8
110. Question about Elijah 17:9-13
111. Demoniac boy healed 17:14-20
112. Prediction of death 17:22-23
113. Temple tax 17:24-27
114. Greatness is childlikeness 18:1-5
115. Resist the temptation to offend 18:6-9
116. Love all God's sheep 18:10-14
117. Offending brother 18:15-20
118. Show mercy 18:21-35
33. 5,000 fed 6:30-44
34. Walking on water 6:45-52
35. Sick healed in Gennesaret 6:53-56
36. True cleanness 7:1-23
37. Syrophoenician woman's daughter healed 7:24-30
38. Deaf mute healed 7:31-37
39. 4,000 fed 8:1-10
40. Refusal to give a sign 8:11-13
41. Leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod 8:14-21
42. Blind man healed at Bethsaida 8:22-26
43. Confession of his messiahship 8:27-30
44. Prediction of death and resurrection 8:31-32a
45. Rebuke of Peter 8:32b-33
46. Demands of discipleship 8:34-9:1
47. Transfiguration 9:1-4
48. Peter's mistake 9:5-8
49. Question about Elijah 8:9-13
50. Demoniac boy healed 9:14-29
51. Prediction of death 9:30-32
52. Greatness is childlikeness 9:33-37
53. He who is not against us is for us 9:38-41
54. Resist the temptation to offend 9:42-50
56. 5,000 fed 9:10-17
57. Confession of messiahship 9:18-20
58. Prediction of death and resurrection 9:21-22
59. Demands of discipleship 9:23-27
60. Transfiguration 9:28-31
61. Peter's mistake 9:32-36
62. Demoniac boy healed 9:37-43
63. Prediction of death 9:44-45
64. Greatness is childlikeness 9:46-48
65. He that is not against us is for us 9:49-50
66. Rebuke of James and John 9:51-56
21. 5,000 fed 6:1-15
22. Walking across the sea 6:16-21
23. Bread of Life discourse in Capernaum synagogue 6:22-59
24. Division among his followers 6:60-71
25. Unbelief of Jesus' brothers 7:1-9

        This third segment of Jesus' ministry in northern Palestine lasts just a brief period of no more than two to three months just prior to his departure south to Judea where he will spend the remaining time leading up to the celebration of the Jewish Passover in the spring of AD 30. It is at this celebration that he is arrested and then executed by the Roman authorities.
        The defining marker of the beginning of this period of ministry in northern Palestine is the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, the only miracle of Jesus to be recorded by all four gospel writers. As is obvious from the above charts, Mark and Matthew contain the most detailed accounting of this period of activity, while John has the shortest account with only five pericopes. A careful reading of these gospel texts will reveal that most of the recorded activity of Jesus during this period occurs outside the Roman province of Galilee. Because of the personal danger to Jesus once Roman governmental opposition to Jesus linked up with the religious opposition of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, Jesus conducted most of his ministry in the adjacent provinces where Herod had no jurisdiction. Quick trips across Galilee from one province to another will punctuate his activity. Additionally, this period stresses growing focus on preparing the Twelve for what would lay ahead in Jerusalem. Thus, ministry time is more divided between public actions and private actions with just the Twelve. The Later Judean-Perean Ministry
        As a casual observation of the pericopes listed below dramatically suggests, this segment of Jesus' public ministry follows a different pattern of treatment than the others do. Mark as a source provided very little information for the other gospel writers to use. Only Matthew followed it closely. Luke picked up but a very few of the Marcan pericopes at the tail end of his depiction of this ministry segment. Thus the amount of attention devoted to this segment varies greatly. Mark (8%) and Matthew (6%) devote very little space to it. But Luke (35%) and John (28%) provide great attention to this phase of Jesus' public ministry. And most of their material is unique to their individual gospel accounts; only four episodes comprise triple tradition material:

Pericope: Matthew Mark Luke
Little children blessed: 120 56 114
The rich young man 121 57 115
Prediction of his death 123 58 116
Blind Bartimaeus healed 125 60 117

        In addition, a couple of double tradition pericopes emerge from an observation between Mark and Matthew:

Pericope: Matthew Mark
Teaching about divorce 119 55
Request of James and John 124 59

      Some of the Lucan pericopes in this section have parallels in Matthew and Mark but have been placed in earlier segments of Jesus' ministry by these two gospel writers. These include:

Pericope: Luke Mark Matthew
Conversation with would-be followers 67 ---- 51
Seventy sent out 68 (31) (62)
Seventy returned 69 (31) (62)
Jesus' thanksgiving 70 71
Teaching on prayer 73 ---- 33
Beelzebul accusation 74 17 75
Demand for a sign 76 40 76
Light and darkness 77 ---- 36
Denouncing the Pharisees 78 (36) 97
Fearless confession 79 ---- 64
Earthly possessions and Heavenly treasure 81 ---- 38
Watching for the return of the Son of Man 82 77 143
The coming crisis 83 ---- 66
Parable of the mustard seed 86 25 84
Parable of the leaven 87 ---- 85
The narrow gate into the kingdom 88 ---- 43
Lament over Jerusalem 90 ---- 139
Parable of the great supper 94 ---- 133
Cost of discipleship 95 ---- 66
Divorce 104 (55) (119)
Stumbling blocks 106 (54) (115)
Faith 108 (50) (111)
As can be easily observed from the above table, Luke makes random use of Mark and especially his Q source for inserting substantial amounts of material in this Later Judean-Perean phase of ministry. He pulls material from his sources in order to develop some themes for this part of his story of Jesus, along with using other uniquely Lucan material (the remaining pericopes).
        Apart from these parallels the remaining material, especially in Luke and John, stand as unique to each of these gospel writers. In spite of devoting considerable space to this part of their story of Jesus, the two gospel writers do not overlap one another at any point.
        Reconstructing this segment with some sense of what took place is very difficult. The Lucan material here (9:51-18:14) is known as the Lucan Travel Log (also called the Lucan Greater Interpolation) and stands together somewhat as a unit of text material. The linking of this material in Luke to the fourth gospel is somewhat tenuous, but rests upon a presupposition of the Johannine timeline functioning around three journeys of Jesus in John: to the Feast of Tabernacles (7:2ff); to Bethany at the raising of Lazarus (11:17f); and to the final Passover (12:1). The Lucan narrative intersects this structure at three points: 7:51; 13:22; and 17:11. The net result is the proposal adopted below from A.T. Robertson's A Harmony of the Gospels. For a detailed discussion of the issues involved, see pages 276-279. This proposal is set forth in the most tentative fashion, mostly as a basis for analysis of the pericopes. It should not be taken as a rigid assumption of the chronology of Jesus' activity during this period of time.
        Ministry actions are located in two places geographically: Perea and Judea. These were the two Roman provinces located in southern Palestine adjacent to one another separated by the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. Note the map below:
Judea was where Jerusalem was located. In Perea just across the Jordan River to the east was the region where John the Baptizer had been active earlier.
A. Early Judean Phase
---- ---- 9:57-13:21 7:10-10:39
67. Conversation with would-be follower 9:57-62
68. Seventy sent out 10:1-16
69. Seventy returned 10:17-20
70. Jesus' thanksgiving 10:21-24
71. Parable of the Good Samaritan 10:25-37
72. Visit to Martha and Mary 10:38-42
73. Teaching on prayer 11:1-13
74. Beelzebub accusation 11:14-26
75. True blessedness 11:27-28
76. Demand for a sign 11:29-32
77. Light and darkness 11:33-36
78. Denouncing the Pharisees 11:37-54
79. Fearless confession 12:1-12
80. Parable of the rich fool 12:13-21
81. Earthly possessions and Heavenly treasure 12:22-34
82. Watching for the return of the Son of Man 12:35-48
83. The coming crisis 12:49-59
84. Need for repentance 13:1-9
85. Crippled woman healed 13:10-17
86. Parable of the mustard seed 13:18-19
87. Parable of the leaven 13:20-21
26. Divided opinion at Feast of Tabernacles 7:10-13
27. Debate over Jesus' authority 7:14-24
28. Is He the Christ? 7:25-31
29. Officers sent to arrest Jesus 7:32-36
30. Offer of living water 7:37-39
31. Divided reaction of people 7:40-44
32. Rejection by religious leaders 7:45-52
[33. The woman caught in adultery 7:53-8:11]
34. Light of the world 8:12-20
35. Claim to authority 8:21-30
36. The truth will make you free 8:31-38
37. Your father the devil 8:39-47
38. Claim to deity 8:48-59
39. Blind man healed 9:1-12
40. Negative reaction to healing 9:13-34
41. Spiritual blindness 9:35-41
42. The sheepfold 10:1-6
43. The Good Shepherd 10:7-21
44. Debate in Solomon's Colonnade 10:22-39
        The tenor for this section in Luke is actually set in 9:51 with the statement, "When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go up to Jerusalem" (RSV). Thus Luke's "Last Journey to Jerusalem" (9:51-18:14) has a dark tone surrounding it. The realization of death ahead in Jerusalem was very real for Jesus. Although not looking forward to it, Jesus realized this was a significant part of the Father's will for him and thus he began the journey southward out of Galilee toward Jerusalem determined to not deviate from the Heavenly Father's leadership over his life. In Luke's interpretation of the significance of Jesus life and work, Jerusalem played a central role. It would be the place where Jesus confronted the Jewish religious leadership head-on with their departure from the divine will revealed in the Old Testament scriptures. It would be the place where this confrontation resulted in Jesus' death -- a seeming victory for the religious leaders. But a few days later this seeming victory would be reversed in Jesus' glorious resurrection. Thus Jerusalem would be the scene of Jesus' greatest triumph! Not the place of his defeat!
        This section in the Johannine account begins with Jesus' attending the Feast of Tabernacles (#26). This several day long festival began on Tishri 15, five days after Atonement; this would be about mid-October on our calendar.  This episode came on the heels of a confrontation with his brothers in Galilee described in Jn 10:1-9. Jesus' attendance at the festival was initially in secret without letting anyone know he was present. But with his public teaching during the middle of the celebration, he encountered confrontation and amazement from the pilgrims attending the festival at the temple. The whole city then engaged in a discussion over whether or not Jesus was the expected Messiah (#28). The authorities sought to arrest him, but were unsuccessful (##31-32). What followed in the Johannine narrative is a series of teachings of Jesus with the healing of the blind man (#39). Jesus then retreated east across the Jordan into Perea (#45).
        The Lucan text (9:57-13:21) is comprised mostly of a series of teachings of Jesus. Interspersed is a visit to the home of Mary and Martha (#72) and the healing of a crippled woman (#85).
B. Early Perean Phase
---- ---- 13:22-17:10 10:40-42
88. The narrow gate into the kingdom 13:22-30
89. Warning against Herod 13:31-33
90. Lament over Jerusalem 13:34-35
91. Healing of a man with dropsy 14:1-6
92. Places of honor 14:7-11
93. Choice of guests 14:12-14
94. Parable of the great supper 14:15-24
95. Cost of discipleship 14:25-35
96. The criticism of the Pharisees 15:1-2
97. Parable of the lost sheep 15:3-7
98. Parable of the lost coin 15:8-10
99. Parable of the lost son 15:11-32
100. Parable of the unjust steward 16:1-9
101. Faithful stewardship 16:10-13
102. Rebuke of Pharisees 16:14-15
103. Law and the Kingdom 16:16-17
104. Divorce 16:18
105. Parable of the rich man and Lazarus 16:19-31
106. Stumbling blocks 17:1-2
107. Forgiveness 17:3-4
108. Faith 17:5-6
109. Parable of unprofitable servant 17:7-10
45. Retreat into Perea 10:42-44
        The Johannine text provides little details about Jesus' activity in Perea (#45), apart from a busy schedule of teaching with a positive response from the crowds who came out to hear him. The lingering influence of John the Baptizer created an openness to the teaching of Jesus that he did not experience in Jerusalem.
C. Later Judean Phase
---- ---- ---- 11:1-54
46. Delayed visit to Bethany 11:1-16
47. Conversation with Martha 11:17-27
48. Conversation with Mary 11:28-37
48. Lazarus raised 11:38-44
49. Plot to kill Jesus 11:45-53
50. Retreat to Ephraim 11:54
        The exclusive Johannine source for this information is contained in John 11, and focuses on the death and raising of Lazarus. When Jesus arrived in Bethany just outside Jerusalem he stepped back into dangerous territory. In the touching scene of him showing concern and love for the two grieving sisters, one of the greatest spiritual declarations uttered from his lips was made with the statement, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live" (11:25, NRSV). In dramatic fashion Lazarus was raised back to life, and this convinced some of the bystanders to believe in Jesus (11:45). But it also prompted an assasination plot against him by the religious leaders that forced Jesus to flee northward to the Samaritan town of Ephraim (11:54). From here Jesus crossed over the Jordan River and joined the Jewish pilgrims streaming down from Galilee headed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.
D. Later Perean Phase
        The synoptic gospels, especially Mark and Matthew, focus on the journey down the east bank of the Jordan River from Galilee to Jericho before crossing the Jordan into the province of Judea. This journey southward was to celebrate the Jewish Passover in the springtime. Most all the pericopes in this section contain teaching material, with the Twelve as a major target. See the above introductory section for the double and triple tradition pericopes in this section.
19:1-20:34 10:1-52 17:11-19:27 ----
119. Teaching about divorce 19:1-12
120. Little children blessed 19:13-15
121. The rich young man 19:16-30
122. Parable of the workers 20:1-16
123. Prediction of death 20:17-19
124. Request of James and John 20:20-28
125. Two blind men healed 20:29-34
55. Teaching about divorce 10:1-12
56. Little children blessed 10:13-16
57. The rich young man 10:17-31
58. Prediction of his death 10:32-34
59. Request of James and John 10:35-45
60. Blind Bartimaeus healed 10:46-52
110. Ten lepers cleansed 17:11-19
111. Coming of the Kingdom 17:20-37
112. Parable of the widow and the unjust judge 18:1-8
113. Parable of the Pharisee and the publican 18:9-14
114. Little children blessed 18:15-17
115. The rich young man 18:18-30
116. Prediction of his death 18:31-34
117. Blind Bartimaeus healed 18:35-43
118. Zaccheus 19:1-10
119. Parable of the pounds 19:11-27

        At this point in the Lucan narrative both Mark and Matthew pick up the story line again. Notice here that only some of the Lucan material overlaps Mark and Matthew creating triple tradition.

Matthew 19:1-20:34
Mark 10:1-52 Luke 17:11-19:27
120. Little children blessed 19:13-15
121. The rich young man 19:16-30
123. Prediction of death 20:17-19
125. Two blind men healed 20:29-34
56. Little children blessed 10:13-16
57. The rich young man 10:17-31
58. Prediction of his death 10:32-34
60. Blind Bartimaeus healed 10:46-52
114. Little children blessed 18:15-17
115. The rich young man 18:18-30
116. Prediction of his death 18:31-34
117. Blind Bartimaeus healed 18:35-43 

        Although these four pericopes stand as triple tradition, they are inserted somewhat differently sequentially. Luke follows his Marcan source sequentially at this point, whereas Matthew reverses the sequence of the first two periocopes (#s 120 and 121). Additionally, in Matthew's pattern, there are two men healed (#125) rather than just one as in Mark (#60) and Luke (#117). This pericope merits further attention as an illustration of tendencies in the synoptic gospel writers in the use of their sources.

Blind Bartimaeus healed
Matthew 20:29-34
Mark 10:46-52 Luke 18:34-43
29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" 31 The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, "Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!" 32 Jesus stood still and called them, saying, "What do you want me to do for you?" 33 They said to him, "Lord, let our eyes be opened." 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him. 46 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49 Jesus stood still and said, "Call him here." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; get up, he is calling you." 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again." 52 Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. 35 As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." 38 Then he shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 39 Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 40 Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, 41 "What do you want me to do for you?" He said, "Lord, let me see again." 42 Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has saved you." 43 Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.

        This healing miracle of Jesus is narrated by all three synoptic gospel writers, but in their own distinctive ways. Several of these distinctives surface with just a casual reading the the three depictions:
        (1) Mark includes more narrative details than either Matthew or Luke. This is rather typical of the Marcan writing style. Althought the shortest of the three synoptic gospels, this shortness is mainly due to the inclusion of fewer pericopes than either Matthew or Luke and not because of brevity of narrative details inside each of the overlapping pericopes with the other two gospel writers.
        (2) Although all three gospel writers locate this event as taking place in the town of Jericho (see above map), they differ in the spatial location of the miracle. Mark (v. 46) indicates that the miracle took place as Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho. Matthew follows his Marcan source (v. 29), but Luke locates the miracle as taking place as Jesus and his disciple were coming into Jericho (vv. 35-36).
        (3) Luke follows his Marcan source indicating that a single individual was the recepient of Jesus' healing action. Although Mark identifies him as "Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar" (v. 46), Luke only picks up his blind condition and his begging (v. 35). Matthew, however, describes "two blind men sitting by the roadside"  (v. 30). Matthew tends to identify Jesus' actions as taking place with two individuals rather than one.
        (4) Luke follows his Marcan source by stressing the role that the faith of the blind man played in the healing experience. Matthew, on the other hand, stresses the compassion of Jesus as prompting the healing action.
        Inspite of these distinctions, the essential storyline of the healing narrative is the same in all three gospels. (1) The beggars were sitting by the roadside in Jericho as Jesus and his disciples passed by. (2) When informed that Jesus was passing by, they began shouting out for Jesus to take pity on them. (3) The people standing by them told them to be quiet but more persistent cries were the response. (4) Jesus stopped and addressed the beggars standing in front of them asking what they wanted from him. (5) They replied that they wanted to see again. (6) Jesus honored the request by granting sight to these blind men. (7) The healed men then followed Jesus.
        This pericope follows the traditional structure of ancient miracle stories by (1) identifying the need for miraculous action, (2) describing the miraculous action, and (3) depiciting the results of the miraculous action on first the person in need, and secondly upon the by-standers who witnessed the action (Luke stresses this part). This is the 32nd miracle story of the 35 specific miracle narratives contained in the four gospels, highlighting the tendency of the gospel writers to gradually reduce the number of miracles narratives at they approach the accounting of the greatest miracle of all that happened in the resurrection of Jesus.

        Some of the pericopes in this second stand only as double tradition, rather than triple tradition material. These are charted below.

Agreements between Mark and Matthew
Matthew 19:1-20:34 Mark 10:1-52
119. Teaching about divorce 19:1-12
124. Request of James and John 20:20-28
55. Teaching about divorce 10:1-12
59. Request of James and John 10:35-45
        Matthew has followed his Marcan source in the same sequence here, as well as including these two pericopes. The Marcan "Teaching about divorce" (Mk. #55 & Mt. #119) has been alluded to in abbreviated form in Luke 16:18 (#104) in the Early Perean Phase (sec. B above), and the "Request of James and John" is not included in the Lucan narrative at any point.
        The Matthean M material (i.e., found only in Matthew) is pericope #122 Parable of the workers 20:1-16, while the uniquely Lucan material (L) includes pericopes
110. Ten lepers cleansed 17:11-19
111. Coming of the Kingdom 17:20-37
112. Parable of the widow and the unjust judge 18:1-8
113. Parable of the Pharisee and the publican 18:9-14
118. Zaccheus 19:1-10
119. Parable of the pounds 19:11-27
Thus we see Luke's tendency to use additional sources beyond Mark and Q to supplement his story of Jesus. The result is many additional rich insights about Jesus that we would otherwise have no knowledge of.

        This final leg of the transitional period of ministry between Galilee and the Passion Week in Jerusalem provides us glimples into important teachings of Jesus, as well as  reactions of the masses of people as Jesus moved toward his fate at the hands of the Jewish religious leaders and the Romans in Jerusalem. The Final Week and Crucifixion (Passio Christi)

        The final seven days of Jesus' earthly life are traditionally known as the Passio Christi (the Suffering of Christ), since they narrate the events leading directly to his arrest and crucifixion. As is obvious from the percentages listed below, these seven days occupy a major place in the gospel accounts. Also, the four gospel narratives are closer to one another in their description, both in framework and narrative details, here than in any other segment elsewhere in the story of Jesus.
        The charting out of the sequence of events during these seven days is easier than in other segments of the story of Jesus in the gospels. Yet, some challenges do exist. One of the difficulties has to do with the timing of the 'Annointing at Bethany' pericope charted here on the first Saturday. This is based on the Johannine narrative, rather than the synoptic narratives. In Mark and Matthew this event would come on Tuesday evening after Jesus had finished the busy day of teaching and confrontation in the temple inside Jerusalem. But the Johannine sequence suggests the event took place at the end of the sabbath on Saturday evening. See Jn. 12:1ff, "Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him...." Matthew and Mark do not provide as specific time markers as does John. Another tension is the location of the event. In Matthew and Mark, the dinner took place in the home of Simon the leper (Mt. 26:6 and Mark 14:3), while in John the dinner was at the home of Lazarus (Jh. 12:1). The tension between these spatial markers could suggest two separate events, but the almost identical narrative details in the bulk of the story across all three gospels make that hypothesis very unlikely.
        Another challenge in this segment of the Jesus' story has to do with the Johannine timing of the Last Supper and thus of the crucifixion, over against that in the synoptic gospels. The Johannine text suggests to some extent  that the Last Supper took place on Wednesday evening with the arrest and crucifixion taking place the following day on Thursday. One possible indicator of this comes in Jhn 13:1: "Now before the festival of the Passover..." naturally suggests Wednesday evening, since the Passover celebration officially began at sundown on Thursday evening. Yet, Jhn. 20:31 suggests that Jesus was crucified on Friday, the day of Preparation for the Passover celebration that concluded at sundown on Friday evening when the sabbath began. A.T. Robertson in his A Harmony of the Gospels, pp. 281-284, has a helpful synopsis of five critical texts in the fourth gospel that must be treated in seeking a resolution of this issue: 13:1f.; 13:27; 18:28; 19:14; 19:31. Many NT scholars are convinced that, although some natural tension does exist here, the reconciliation of John with the synoptics on at least the basics is possible without distorting the natural meaning of the texts.
        Some awareness of the geography of these events is important.

Bethany was located on the road to Jericho just east of the city itself. Jesus and the disciples will spend each evening with friends in Bethany and then walk the relatively short distance into the city of Jerusalem each day, spending most of the time in or near the temple on the northeast side of the city.
A. Friday, arrival at Bethany
---- ---- ---- 11:55-57
51. Plot against Jesus 11:55-57

        John 11:55-57 details a plot made against Jesus right at the outset of this final week of his earthly life (NRSV): "55 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, 'What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?' 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him." Thus these final days of Jesus' life were cast under the dark cloud of religious opposition to him that was actively seeking to apprehend him in order to silence his message. In the synoptics, this same fate had been already anticipated with the three separate occasions when Jesus had predicted his arrest and death in Jerusalem: first prediction in Mk. 8:31-33 //Mt 16:21-23 // Lk 9:22; second prediction in Mk 9:30-32 //Mt 17:22-23 // Lk 9:43b-45 // Jn 7:1; third prediction in Mk 10:32-34 //Mt 20:17-19 //Lk 18:31-34.

B. Saturday, prophetic anointing
26:6-13 14:3-9 ---- 12:1-11
150. Anointing at Bethany 26:6-13  79. Anointing at Bethany 14:3-9 52. Dinner at Bethany 12:1-8
53. Plot against Lazarus 12:9-11

        For the sequential issue of exactly when this took place see the introductory section above. Matthew and Mark contain this episode, which somewhat parallels a similar one in John. Luke omits any reference to it. John additionally details a plot to kill Lazarus as well because of his witness after Jesus had raised him from death.

Mt. 26:6-13 Mk. 14:3-9 Jh 12:1-8
        6 Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8 But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, "Why this waste? 9 For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor." 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her."          3 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. 4 But some were there who said to one another in anger, "Why was the ointment wasted in this way? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor." And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her."  1 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5 "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?" 6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7 Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." 

        To be certain, several temporal and spatial challenges exist in this pericope. The Marcan and Matthean sequence places this on Tuesday evening, rather than Saturday evening as does John. The location of the dinner is in the home of Simon the leper in Mark and Matthew, while it was in the home of Lazarus in John. An unnamed woman annointed Jesus in Mark and Matthew, while she is identified as Mary, the sister of Martha in John. The annointing was of Jesus' head in Mark and Matthew, while it was of Jesus' feet in John. Mark and John identify the value of the spices as 300 denarii while Matthew simply says a large sum. In Matthew the disciples fuss about this action being wasteful, while Mark leaves the hostile reaction more general, "some who were there...". John, however, identifies the protestor as Judas. All three gospels record a somewhat similar response by Jesus: it was a preparation of Jesus for his burial after crucifixion. Mark and Matthew add the extra statement that this woman will always be remembered for her kind, thoughtful action toward Jesus. These differences, while not making an adequate argument to two separate events, do present difficulties in understanding the details of the events of that evening.
        The essential point of these narratives, however, is clear: Jesus affirmed the action of the woman who had more spiritual perception about coming events than did his own disciples. She had made great sacrifice both financially and action wise in order to show her compassion for Jesus. Their negative reaction, while within the boundaries of Jewish law and expectations for genuine piety among Jews of that day, missed an important point. The benevolent action of giving to the poor in Jewish tradition was more motivated by the desire to accumulate 'good works' against the day of final judgment, than it was an expression of concern for the poor. Jesus' reaction was aware of these issues and he refocused attention back on the sincere expression of compassion by the woman.
        In the Johannine narrative, Jesus' presence in Bethany was made known to a large number of people who responded with curiosity to both him and Lazarus [Jn 12:9-11 (NRSV)]: "9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus." The determination of the religious leaders to eliminate the influence of Jesus reached bazaar levels when they resorted to plotting murder. Something should have clicked in their heads: "Look, our anger is leading us to violate one of the most basic laws of the Torah." But it didn't, and they persued their intention to get rid of Jesus. If nothing else, this passage warns us about the power of religion and anger. When mixed together at high levels, a volatile combination is created that can produce horrifically evil actions.

C. Sunday, Messianic Manifestation
21:1-11 11:1-11 19:28-44 12:12-19
126. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem 21:1-11
127. Cleansing the temple 21:12-17
 61. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem 11:1-11 120. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem 19:28-44
121. Cleansing the temple 19:45-46
54. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem 12:12-19

        Palm Sunday, as it is labeled among Christians today, was a celebratory time that created high excitement in the city of Jerusalem. All four gospel accounts record this event, while preserving their individual perspective in narrating this significant evet.

Mt 21:1-11 Mk 11:1-11 Lk 19:28-44 Jn 12:12-19
        1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, "The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately. " 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, 5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey." 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!" 10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" 11 The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."          1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, "Why are you doing this?' just say this, "The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.' " 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!" 11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.          28 After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, "Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, "Why are you untying it?' just say this, "The Lord needs it.' " 32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" 34 They said, "The Lord needs it." 35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that 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 heaven!" 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." 40 He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out." 
        41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44 They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God."
        12 The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord — the King of Israel!" 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: 15 "Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!" 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. 17 So the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to testify. 18 It was also because they heard that he had performed this sign that the crowd went to meet him. 19 The Pharisees then said to one another, "You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!" 

        When Jesus entered Jerusalem on this Sunday morning, the pattern and the strategy was different from what it would be the remaining days when he would return to Jerusalem each morning from Bethany. This first morning after the Jewish sabbath day he made a triumphal entry into the city presenting himself in prophetic fulfillment as the promised Annointed One who had come to bring deliverance to God's people. Matthew cast this in the framework of Isaiah 62 11 [10 Go through, go through the gates, prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, clear it of stones, lift up an ensign over the peoples. 11 The Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: Say to daughter Zion, "See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him."] and Zech. 9:9 [9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 He  will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war-horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.]. This was a part of a popular stream of Jewish messianic expectation current in Jesus' day that the long-awaited Messiah would make his appearance during the Passover, assembing an army on the Mount of Olives then entering the Holy City to cast out all foreign, corrupting influence. From Jerusalem he would begin a deliverance of the Promised Land that would restore the Israelite nation to its glory days during the reigns of David and Solomon. Thus Jesus' manner of entering the city symbolically suggested to the throngs of people present for Passover celebration that he was claiming to be their Messiah. And their response described in all four gospel accounts suggests that they so understood the actions of Jesus. He made his entrance much to the shock and dismay of the religious authorities. Their fear was mostly that Jesus would create an uproar in the city that would bring down harsh, swift retribution from the Roman authorties who held the religious leaders responsibile first and foremost for keeping order during times of religious celebration.
        The second episode on this day was the cleansing of the temple, recorded here only in Matthew and Luke.

D. Monday, Messianic Authority
21:12-22 11:12-18 19:45-48 12:20-50
128. Cursing the fig tree 21:18-22 62. Cursing the fig tree 11:12-14
63. Cleansing the temple 11:15-18
122. Daily teaching in the temple 19:47-48 55. Request of some Greeks 12:20-26
56. Jesus' commitment to the passion 12:27-36a
57. Rejection of Jesus in unbelief 12:36b-43
58. Unbelief judged 12:44-50
E. Tuesday, Controversy and Teaching
21:23-26:16 11:19-14:11 20:1-22:6 ----
129. Objections raised by Sanhedrin 21:23
130. Dilemma of John's authority 21:24-27
131. Parable of the two sons 21:28-32
132. Parable of the wicked tenants 21:33-46
133. Parable of the great supper 22:1-14
134. Paying taxes to Caesar 22:15-22
135. Question about the resurrection 22:23-33
136. The greatest commandment 22:34-40
137. David's son 22:41-46
138. Denouncing the scribes and Pharisees 23:1-36
139. Lament over Jerusalem 23:37-39
140. Temple destruction predicted 24:1-2
141. Signs of the Times 24:3-31
142. Lesson of the fig tree 24:32-35
143. The unknown day and hour 24:36-44
144. Parable of the unfaithful servant 24:45-51
145. Parable of the ten virgins 25:1-12
146. Parable of the talents 25:13-30
147. Judgment of the sheep and goats 25:31-46
148. Prediction of death 26:1-2
149. Plot of the Sanhedrin 26:3-5
151. Betrayal agreement 26:14-16
64. Lessons from the fig tree 11:19-25
65. Objections raised by Sanhedrin 11:27-28
66. Dilemma of John's authority 11:29-33
67. Parable of the wicked tenants 12:1-12
68. Paying taxes to Caesar 12:13-17
69. Question about the resurrection 12:18-27
70. The greatest commandment 12:28-34
71. David's son 12:35-37
72. Denouncing the scribes 12:38-40
73. The widow's offering 12:41-44
74. Temple destruction predicted 13:1-2
75. Signs of the times 13:3-27
76. Lesson of the fig tree 13:28-31
77. The unknown day and hour 13:32-37
78. Plot of the Sanhedrin 14:1-2
80. Betrayal agreement 14:10-11
123. Objections raised by Sanhedrin 20:1-2
124. Dilemma of John's authority 20:3-8
125. Parable of the wicked tenants 20:9-18
126. Paying taxes to Caesar 20:19-26
127. Question about the resurrection 20:27-40
128. David's son 20:41-44
129. Denouncing the scribes 20:45-47
130. The widow's offering 21:1-4
131. Temple destruction predicted 21:5-6
132. Signs of the times 21:7-28
133. Lesson of the fig tree 21:29-33
134. Be ready 21:34-36
135. Teaching ministry in the temple 21:37-38
136. Plot of the Sanhedrin 22:1-2
137. Betrayal agreement 22:3-6
F. Wednesday, rest (no record)

G. Thursday, farewells

26:17-46 14:12-42 22:7-46 13:1-17:26
152. Last Supper Preparations 26:17-19
153. Prediction of betrayal 26:20-25
154. Institution of Lord's Supper 26:26-30
155. Prediction of Peter's denial 26:31-35
156. Gethsemane 26:36-46
81. Last Supper Preparations 14:12-16
82. Prediction of betrayal 14:17-21
83. Institution of Lord's Supper 14:27-31
84. Prediction of Peter's denial 14:27-31
85. Gethsemane 14:32-42
138. Last Supper Preparations 22:7-13
139. Passover meal 22:14-18
140. Institution of Lord's Supper 22:19-20
141. Prediction of betrayal 22:21-23
142. Dispute about greatness 22:24-27
143. Future role in the Kingdom 22:28-30
144. Prediction of Peter's denial 22:31-34
145. Two swords 22:35-38
146. Gethsemane 22:39-46
59. Last Supper: Disciples' feet washed 13:1-20
60. Last Supper: Prediction of betrayal 13:21-30
61. The new commandment 13:31-35
62. Prediction of Peter's denial 13:36-38
63. Question of Thomas 14:1-8
64. Request of Philip 14:9-14
65. The promise of the Spirit 14:15-21
66. Question of Judas 14:22-24
67. Parting words of comfort 14:25-31
68. Abiding in love bears fruit 15:1-17
69. Expecting the hatred of the world 15:18-16:4a
70. Being encouraged and taught by the Spirit 16:4b-15
71. Paradoxical discipleship 16:16-24
72. Overcoming the world 16:25-33
73. High priestly prayer 17:1-26
H. Friday, Redemptive Accomplishment
26:47-27:61 14:43-15:47 22:47-23:56 18:1-19:42
157. Arrest in the garden 26:47-56
158. Trial before Caiaphas 26:57-68
159. Peter's denial 26:69-75
160. Trial before Sanhedrin 27:1-2
161. Judas' death 27:3-10
162. Trial before Pilate 27:11-26
163. Mockery of the soldiers 27:27-31
164. Simon of Cyrene 27:32
165. Vinegar refused 27:33-34
166. Parting his garments 27:35
167. His accusation 27:36-37
168. Two thieves 27:38
169. Mockery 27:39-44
170. Jesus' Death 27:45-50
171. Temple veil torn 27:51
172. Resurrection of saints 27:52-53
173. Centurion's declaration 27:54
174. Women watched 27:55-56
175. Burial 27:57-61
86. Arrest in the garden 14:43-50
87. The young man who fled 14:51-52
88. Trial before the high priest 14:53-65
89. Peter's denial 14:66-72
90. Trial before the Sanhedrin 15:1
91. Trial before Pilate 15:2-15
92. Mockery of the soldiers 15:16-20
93. Simon of Cyrene 15:21
94. Wine refused 15:22-23
95. Parting his garments 15:24
96. His accusation 15:25-26
97. Two thieves 15:27-28
98. Mockery 15:29-32
99. Jesus' Death 15:33-37
100. Temple veil torn 15:38
101. Centurion's declaration 15:39
102. Women watched 15:40-41
103. Burial 15:42-47
147. Arrest in the garden 22:47-53
148. Peter's denial 22:54-62
149. Mockery in high priest's house 22:63-65
150. Trial before the Sanhedrin 22:66-71
151. Trial before Pilate 23:1-5
152. Trial before Herod 23:6-12
153. Trial before Pilate 23:13-25
154. Simon of Cyrene 23:26
155. Words to the women 23:27-31
156. Two thieves 23:32-33
157. Parting his garments 23:34
158. Mockery 23:35-57
159. His accusation 23:38
160. Repentant thief 23:39-43
161. Death 23:44-46
162. Centurion's declaration 23:47
163. People's response 23:48
164. Disciples and women watch 23:49
165. Burial 23:50-56
74. Arrest in the garden 18:1-11
75. Trial before Annas (1) 18:12-14
76. Peter's denial (1) 18:15-18
77. Trial before Annas (2) 18:19-24
78. Peter's denial (2) 18:25-27
79. Trial before Pilate 18:28-38a
80. Jesus sentenced to die 18:38b-19:16a
81. Way to Golgotha 19:16b-17
82. Two thieves 19:18
83. His accusation 19:19-22
84. Parting his garments 19:23-24
85. Women watched 19:25
86. Jesus' word to Mary 19:26-27
87. Vinegar accepted 19:28-29
88. Death 19:30
89. Jesus' side pierced 19:31-37
90. Burial 19:38-42
I. Saturday, Guard posted at the Tomb
27:62-66 ---- ---- ----
176. Guard at the tomb 27:62-66
(NRSV): 62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, "After three days I will rise again.' 64 Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, "He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first." 65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can." 66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. Resurrection and Appearances


        The story of Jesus' resurrection is told around two frames of reference in all four gospels: (1) the depiction of the resurrection with the women as the initial witnesses, and (2) isolated appearances of the resurrected Jesus to his disciples. The one exception to this pattern is the Gospel of Mark, which in its original version ended at 16:8 with the witness of the women to the resurrected Jesus. Verses 9-20, the so-called Longer Ending, were added several centuries after the original writing of the document in order to make Mark end like the other gospels did. For more details, see below under section B.

A. The Empty Tomb
        For a more detailed study of the Empty Tomb pericope in each of the gospel accounts see "Encounters" (based on Mt. 28:1-10) and "Easter Sunday" (based on Lk. 24:1-12) Bible studies which were taught initially as Sunday School lessons at the First Baptist Church of Shelby, NC. These files are in the Adobe pdf format.
28:1-10 16:1-8 24:1-12 20:1-10
177. Resurrection appearance to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary 28:1-10 104. Angelic appearance to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary 16:1-8 166. Angelic appearance to the women 24:1-12 91. Discovery of empty tomb by Mary Magdalene 20:1-10

        Resurrection morning is not described in great detail, at least what happened inside the tomb where Jesus' dead body lay. Instead, the impact of Jesus coming back to live in a new glorified body is the focus of all four gospel accounts. Yet, each gospel writer has a distinct perspective on these events, as is evident from the table below listing the scripture texts:

Matthew 28:1-10 Mark 16:1-8 Luke 24:1-12 John 20:1-10
        1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he F219 lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, "He has been raised from the dead,F220 and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you." 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."          1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.F136         1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they did not find the body.F200 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5 The womenF201 were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the menF202 said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. F203 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again." 8 Then they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.F204         1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their homes. 
F219: Other ancient authorities read [the Lord] 
F220: Other ancient authorities lack [from the dead] 
F136: Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8. One authority concludes the book with the shorter ending; others include the shorter ending and then continue with verses 9-20. In most authorities verses 9-20 follow immediately after verse 8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful. 
F200: Other ancient authorities add [of the Lord Jesus] 
F201: Gk [They] 
F202: Gk [but they] 
F203: Other ancient authorities lack [He is not here, but has risen] 
F204: Other ancient authorities lack verse 12 

       As these verses clearly indicate, each gospel writer had individual sources that they drew from. Still the basic elements and characters of the story are in common: (1) angels and (2) women going to the tomb. Matthew adds a personal encounter of the women with Jesus (Mt. 28:9-10). John will have a version of this in the subsequent pericope in his narrative. Luke and John contain segments narrating Peter and/or Peter and John coming to the tomb to check out the story of the women. In all accounts the women first went to Peter and the disciples to report what they had seen. Their reaction is handled somewhat differently by the gospel writers.
        The individual distinctives especially surface with the different narrative details about these two basic elements. Each gospel writer has a different way to describe the angel(s) who were present. Although some of the women's names appear in common as composing those who went to the tomb, the gospel writers will include different names or different numbers of women who were present.
        Matthew comes the closest to describing the resurrection moment itself when he associated it with an earthquake and the descent of the angel who rolled away the stone blocking the entrance to the tomb.
        Time and some place markers in the narrative will differ somewhat. For Matthew it was "After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning..." But Mark states "When the sabbath was over,.... 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen,..." Luke's perspective is "1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn,..." John has a somewhat different take on the situation with his "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,..."
        In order to more fully comprehend the historical/literary issues involved in this pericope, you need to complete the following analysis:

Matthew Mark Luke John
1)  S1-empty tomb scene verses: 
     Time it took place:
           After the sabbath:
           First day of the week: 
           Just as the sun war rising:
           After the sun had risen:
           While it was still dark:
      Earthquake mentioned 
      Guards fainted
      Angelic instructions:
            Don’t be afraid
            He is risen
            See where he was laid
           Go tell his disciples
           Meet Jesus in Galilee
verses: 1-7
verses: 1-7
verses: 1-7
verses: 1
2)  S2-Women’s Departure scene
     Jesus’ appeared to women:
     They flee in fear not speaking:
verses: 8-10
verse: 8
3)  S3-Women’s report scene
     Report to the entire group:
     Report to Peter & John:
verses: 8-11
verse: 2
4)  S4-disciples’ tomb visit scene:
     Looking into the tomb: 
     Going into the tomb: 
   verse: 12a 
verses: 3-10a
5) S5-disciples’ return home
    The disciples return home
verse: 12b
verse: 10b
6) Identity of the women: 
    Mary Magdalene:
    other Mary
    Mary, mother of James
    other women
7) Identity of messengers: 
    angel of the Lord 
    young man dressed in white robe
    two men in dazzling clothes
B. The Appearances to His Disciples
28:9-20 (16:9-20) 24:13-53 20:11-21:25

         This second section contains, mostly, a series of appearances by Jesus to different segments of his disciples at different times and in various locations.The one exception is the first pericope recorded by Matthew in 28:11-15. Matthew seeks to provide proof of Jesus' resurrection by recounting the report of those guarding Jesus' tomb to the temple authorities. The remaining pericopes, then, describe appearances of the resurrected Jesus. Interestingly, no duplication of accounts exist, apart from the so-called 'Longer Ending' of Mark 16:8-20. This text was a much later addition to the gospel of Mark, which originally ended at 16:8.
         Before examining the various pericopes, the issue of the ending of Mark needs some attention. The issue relates to what was added later to the second gospel in order to bring the document to a close more like the other three gospels. By the fifth century of the Christian era individuals were becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the seeminly 'abrupt' ending of the Marcan gospel with the empty tomb narrative and the closing statement regarding the women who had seen the angel at the tomb of Jesus: "So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid."Consequently, revisions of this gospel began appearing which provided a more common type ending of the gospel with resurrection appearances to the apostles. Two essential versions -- with numerous variations of each -- began showing up in the various manuscript copies of the Marcan gospel.
        The so-called 'shorter version' reads (NRSV):"And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out throught them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation."Although this version naturally brings the gospel to a close, the language of the words, especially in the second sentence, reflect later church father kinds of expressions which are never found anywhere else in the New Testament. This, coupled with the very late and insignificant manuscript evidence, leaves the likelihood of this being a part of the original writing of the document virtually impossible.
        The so-called 'longer version' reads (NRSV):

"9 #[Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. 12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

14 Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.F137 15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good newsF138 to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes in their hands,F139 and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.F140 #]


F136: Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8. One authority concludes the book with the shorter ending; others include the shorter ending and then continue with verses 9-20. In most authorities verses 9-20 follow immediately after verse 8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful.

F137: Other ancient authorities add, in whole or in part, [And they excused themselves, saying, "This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits. Therefore reveal your righteousness now"--thus they spoke to Christ. And Christ replied to them, "The term of years of Satan's power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was handed over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, that they may inherit the spiritual and imperishable glory of righteousness that is in heaven."]

F138: Or [gospel]

F139: Other ancient authorities lack [in their hands]

F140: Other ancient authorities add [Amen]

        As can be easily noted from the above quote of the verses from the NRSV, along with the footnotes, this longer ending includes four specific resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples. However, these merely summarize and/or expand on accounts contained already either in the gospel of Luke or of John. Considerable variation in the wording of this longer ending can be found extensively in the later manuscript copies of the gospel document, indicating the existence of numerous versions of this longer ending by the sixth century of the common era. Comments on the specifics will follow in the discussion of each pericope below.
        What is one to make of this? For one thing, principles of textual analysis strongly imply that neither of these endings was a part of the original writing of the second gospel. Thus, they should not be regarded as a part of the sacred text. Instead, they comprise later comments along the same lines as the section headings and study notes found in many translations today. The theology presupposed in the longer ending especially is highly questionable at several significant points, especially the validation of snake handling and of drinking poison as signs of true discipleship (cf. 16:16). These views are inconsistent with the remainder of the New Testament and become a degrading signal of what true discipleship means. The wise pastor and Bible student will read them for insights into how later religious beliefs were superimposed down on to Jesus and the apostles, but will avoid preaching or teaching from these verses as a sacred scripture text.
        A second issue needing attention is that not all the resurrection appearances of Jesus are described in the four canonical gospels. Two other texts in the New Testament record appearances of Jesus to his disciples before his ascension back to Heaven: Acts 1 and 1 Cor. 15.
        Acts 1:1-11 (NRSV) reads:
1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. "This," he said, "is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."

To be sure, this account is largely a summary of Luke's final appearance account in his gospel at 24:50-53.
        In 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Paul mentions six appearances, at least four of which, are not recorded in any of the four gospels (NRSV):
1 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain. 3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit 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 has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
The first appearance mentioned by Paul was personally to Peter. This is not recorded by any of the gospel writers. The second appearance was "to the twelve" which could have been one of the several mentioned in the gospel accounts. The third appearance was to the five hundred disciples. No such account is recorded in the gospels, although sometimes this is related to the single appearance to the disciples in Galilee recorded by Matthew in 28:16-20. The fifth appearance was to James, the Lord's half-brother, and nowhere else recorded in the New Testament. Then finally Paul mentions his Damascus road encounter with the risen Christ recorded in Acts 9.
        One observation needs to be made that is common to all the accounts, both in the four gospels and elsewhere in the New Testament. All the accounts record appearances by Jesus only to his disciples, never to anyone who was hostile or opposed to Jesus. From a modern historigraphical viewpoint this poses problems of credibility since none of these accounts provides any 'objective facts' regarding the resurrection of Christ. But the New Testament writers weren't trying to prove historically the resurrection of Jesus. As eye-witnesses to the resurrected Lord, the issue of whether or not Jesus had been raised from the dead was a non-issue. They had seen him personally and directly. Much more important was the religious meaning of the resurrection. It became the confirmation of the redemptive death of Jesus as the sacrifice for humanities' sinfulness. It also became the basis of hope for a personal resurrection at the second coming of Jesus for those who surrender their lives to the risen Christ. Christ's resurrection establishes him clearly as the divinely annointed deliverer and as the divine Son of God with all power and authority.
 1. The Bribing of the soldiers
28:11-15 ---- ---- ----
178. Report of the guard 28:11-15
(NRSV): 11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan to give a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 telling them, "You must say, "His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14 If this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story is still told among the Jews to this day.
        In analyzing this pericope, several interesting aspects surface. (1) This is the third time Matthew has uniquely brought up the subject of the guards related to Jesus' crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. In 27:62-26 is the account of guards being posted at the tomb of Jesus supposedly to prevent the thief of his body by his disciples as a basis for claiming Jesus' resurrection. Then in 28:4 these guards are so shocked by the earthquake and especially by the descent of the angel to Jesus' tomb that they faint dead away.  Now in 28:11-15 some of them make their report to the Jewish temple authorities who in turn bribe them to lie about what actually happened that Sunday morning. (2) Who were these guards? From 27:65-66, we learn that these troops were made up from elements of the Jewish temple police, rather than Roman military troops. This is the reason their report was made directly to the temple authorities, rather than the Roman governor. In the temple authorities' desire to prevent word of Jesus' resurrection from gaining credibility, they devised a plan to bribe the soldiers to say that although their mission was to prevent the thief of Jesus' body by his followers (27:62-64), they had failed to prevent this from happening. They were promised protection from retribution by the Roman military commander who could punish them with execution for dereliction of duty by sleeping on the job.

        Why did Matthew bring the guards into the story of Jesus, while the other gospel writers make absolutely no mention of them? On the generally accepted assumption of the Matthean community being largely a group of Jewish Christians in the late 60s to 70s of the first Christian century who were being pressured to abandon their Christian faith and return to their Jewish religious roots in the synagogue, the reason becomes relatively clear. Matthew needed to address a rumor regarding the resurrection of Jesus that Matthew declared (28:15b) was still being spread in Jewish circles at the time of his writing of this gospel document some three or four decades after Jesus' resurrection. Through this emphasis upon the guards, Matthew sought to discount this false report about what happened to Jesus' missing corpse. To a Jewish readership trying to decide whether Jesus was authentic or a fraud, the issue of whether or not he had been raised from the dead had special significance. If this widely circulated false explanation of what happened to his corpse were accepted by Matthew's readers, then their confidence in the credibility of the claims of Jesus set forth in the proclaimed gospel would be seriously shaken. How successful Matthew was in this strategy with his initial readers, we can't tell, but his aim and method do provide us some insights regarding how to counteract similar tales about the authenticity of Jesus' resurrection that occasionaly float around in our world today.

2. To the Eleven in Galilee
28:16-20 ---- ---- ----
179. Resurrection appearance to the eleven in Galilee 28:16-20  

        In Matthew's single resurrection appearance, Jesus met his disciples in Galilee as had been indicated by both the angel and Jesus himself to the women at the tomb (28:6-10).

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
        In this Matthew brought his story of Jesus to a dramatic close with the command of the risen Christ to his followers to evangelize the entire world! The meeting took place on an unnamed mountain in the northern province of Galilee, where Jesus had spent the bulk of his public ministry. In a setting of mixed ethnic groups of Jews and non-Jews unlike Judea in the south which was almost purely Jewish,  the universal command to disciple had more credibility and naturalness. No time markers are found inside the pericope, leaving us uncertain about how much time elapsed from the resurrection on Sunday to this subsequent event.
        Additionally, the structure of the command focuses on discipling all nations, with the participle poreuqevnte" (poreuthentes) more correctly translated as 'as you go' presupposing the movement of disciples beyond Jewish soil in Palestine. The command grows out of Jesus' claim to possess universal authority (v. 18). The follow-up activities to discipling the nations are (1) baptizing them as a public expression of commitment to Jesus and (2) giving the converts thorough instruction in the details of their new religious faith. The command is buttressed by the promise of Jesus' spiritual presence with them in the carrying out of this mission.
        This commissioning genre periocpe brings the Matthean gospel to an interesting climax. The Jewish orientation of Jesus' public ministry received special attention in Matthew's gospel, yet at the climax of his story the emphasis falls on the responsibility of Jesus' followers to reach out to Gentiles in a massive effort to evangelize. Some have been bothered by this inconsistency internally inside the gospel account. But if the original OT promise to Abraham that through his descendants all the world would be blessed is kept in view, the intent of Matthew is easier to comprehend. Jesus' focus in public ministry was to attempt to call his own Jewish people back to the original promises of God to their ancestors. Now the risen Christ who had accomplished his divinely given mission on earth re-commissions his followers to carry out the original promise to Abraham to become a blessing to non-Jews by taking the gospel message of salvation in Jesus to the entire world. As his followers in the twenty-first century we are still under these same marching orders to evangelize the entire world.
3. To the Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus
---- (16:12-13) 24:13-35 ----
[106. Jesus' appearance to two disciples 16:12-13] 167. Jesus' appearance to the two on Emmaus road 24:13-35

Mk 16:12-13 Lk 24:13-35
        12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.         13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?" 19 He asked them, "What things?" They replied, "The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him." 25 Then he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?" 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. 29 But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

        The obvious summary nature of the later Marcan addition indicates an attempt to 'straighten out' Mark with a resurrection appearance drawn from the Lucan gospel narrative. Mk 16:12 compresses Lk 24:13-32 into a single summarizing statement. Mk 16:13 does the same thing to Lk 24:33-35. Although clearly not a part of the original Marcan gospel, the text does provide an ancient example of one approach to summarizing an earlier source. Additionally, it indicates a Jerusalem city bias against the rural countryside around Jerusalem with its spatial marker, "walking into the country" (poreuomevnoi" eij" ajgrovn). I'm not sure the residents of Emmaus would have appreciated this way of referring to them. Additionally, the second statement assumes an interpretative stance not justified by the Lucan text: a negative reaction by the disciples to this report. Luke provide no indication of how the other disciples responded to the report of these two individuals. From this pericope Luke moved directly into Jesus' appearance to the group in Jerusalem (24:36-49, cf. #168 below). The Lucan text (24:36) only suggests that the disciples were in the process of discussing the report (tau'ta aujtw'n lalouvntwn) when Jesus showed up in their midst. No hint of disbelief is suggested by Luke. Thus the later Marcan summary is more of a highly interpretative and rather questionable condensing of the Lucan account.
        The Lucan narrative provides interesting insight into this resurrection appearance. The time frame assumed inside the account is derived indirectly from Cleophas' respond to the inquiry of this mysterious stranger who had joined them what walking along: (1) 24:18 - "in these days"; (2) 24:21 - "it is now the third day since these things took place"; (3) 24:22 - "They [the women] were at the tomb early this morning." From these indicators we can conclude that the assumed day was Sunday, the resurrection day. From the time indicator in 24:29 "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over," the conversation between these men and Jesus took place in the late afternoon and early evening.
        The spatial markers identify generally the location of the episode. It took place in three locations: scene (1) [vv. 13-27] along the seven mile mountain road leading from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. The small village of Emmaus is thought to have been located either northwest or southwest of Jerusalem, as is reflected in the Easton's Bible Dictionary online article: "Emmaus, hot baths, a village 'three-score furlongs' from Jerusalem, where our Lord had an interview with two of his disciples on the day of his resurrection (Luke 24:13). This has been identified with the modern el-Kubeibeh, lying over 7 miles north-west of Jerusalem. This name, el-Kubeibeh, meaning 'little dome,' is derived from the remains of the Crusaders' church yet to be found there. Others have identified it with the modern Khurbet Khamasa i.e., 'the ruins of Khamasa', about 8 miles south-west of Jerusalem, where there are ruins also of a Crusaders' church. Its site, however has been much disputed." Scene (2) [vv.28-32] in the village at the home of at least one of the two disciples, if not both of them. Scene (3) [vv. 33-35] in Jerusalem later on in the evening at the unnamed place where the disciples had gathered.
        The literary structure of this dialogical narrative type pericope breaks down clearly into the three above indicated scenes. They merit some attention.
        Scene 1 (vv. 13-27) - the conversation with the stranger while walking on the road to Emmaus. Two disciples of Jesus were leaving Jerusalem late Sunday afternoon headed home in the village of Emmaus, some seven miles outside Jerusalem. While walking along this mountain road toward home they were discussing the events of the day that had proven to be confusing and disturbing. The risen Jesus joined them as they were walking along and began the conversation with the natural question (v. 17), "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" They were surprised by his lack of knowledge about the events of the day related to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection over the past three days, and thus they summarized the events (vv. 18b-24) to him, concluding with the declaration that they had not personally seen the risen Christ even though the women who went to the tomb had reported him gone and alive. At that point the narrative shifts over to Jesus who launches into a defense of this Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah based on passages from two of the three sections of the OT: Moses and the prophets. This took enough time that they arrived at the village by the time he was through. His actions suggested he was going to continue walking down the road beyond Emmaus, and they felt compelled to act as good hosts by inviting him into their home for dinner as an act of hospitality. All the while they did not recognize him either from his physical appearance or his voice. Luke hints this may have been caused by divine intention with his statement (v. 16): "but their eyes were kept from recognizing him."
        Scene 2 (vv. 28-32) - the astounding insights of this stranger while conversing over dinner at the home in Emmaus. This second scene is in some ways the high point of the narrative since in it Jesus is recognized by the two disciples. When they arrived in the village of Emmaus the two disciples extended hospitality to this stranger following long established patterns of Jewish piety. Their invitation was accepted and Jesus went home with them to share a meal and table fellowship. With a common ancient insight it was at table fellowship that Jesus was recognized. In general the mealtime and the lively discussion that accompanied it were considered the best places to get to really know a person. Modern western culture still follows this thinking to some extent.
        With tones of the supernatural ozzing from the narrative, Luke affirmed that once Jesus was recognized he vanished from sight, evidently fulfilling his objective of making an appearance to these two disciples. At that point the disciples reflected back on their experiences leading up to this moment with the observation: "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" This provided confirmation that this person was really who they thought he was. Both their eyes and their hearts were affirming the report of the women earlier in the day: Jesus was indeed risen from the dead!
        Scene 3 (vv. 33-35) - the report to the disciples later on that evening back in Jerusalem. Such exciting news as this had to be shared, especially with those back in Jerusalem who were still dependent on the testimony of excited women that Jesus was alive (the Lucan narration develops this progression). Thus they made the seven mile trip back into Jerusalem to share their experience with the apostolic leaders and the larger circle of disciples. Their recorded words to the apostles is somewhat surprising, however: "The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!" For the first time an appearance by Jesus to Peter is affirmed as having already taken place. The narrative then procedes to describe their sharing of their own experience with Jesus earlier that afternoon and evening.

4. To the Disciples in Jerusalem
---- (16:14-18) 24:36-49 ----
[107. Jesus' appearance to eleven disciples 16:14-18]  168. Jesus' appearance to the disciples in Jerusalem 24:36-49
5. The Ascension of Jesus
---- (16:19-20) 24:50-53 ----
[108. Jesus' ascension 16:19-20]  169. Jesus' ascension 24:50-53
6. To Mary Magdalene
---- (16:9-11)  ---- 20:11-18
[105. Jesus' appearance to Mary Magdalene 16:9-11]  92. Jesus' appearance to Mary Magdalene 20:11-18
7. To the Disciples in Jerusalem
---- ---- ---- 20:19-23
93. Jesus' appearance to ten disciples 20:19-23
8. To the Disciples with Thomas present
---- ---- ---- 20:24-29
94. Jesus' appearance to eleven disciples 20:24-29
95. Conclusion: Purpose of the book 20:30-31
9. To the Seven Disciples at the Sea of Tiberias
---- ---- ---- 21:1-23
96. Epilogue: Appearance to the disciples on sea shore 21:1-14
97. Epilogue: Peter's encouragement 21:15-19
98. Epilogue: Death of the beloved disciple predicted 21:20-23
99. Epilogue: New Conclusion 21:24-25


1Taken from Lorin L. Cranford, A Study Manual of the New Testament, 2 vols. (Fort Worth: AlphaGraphics, 1981), 1:36-37. All rights reserved.

2Per cent (%) of verses in this section to total verses of the book.

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Note the structure set up in following example:
28. Paralytic healed and forgiven 5:17-26
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