The Appendix contains overflow information regarding each of the Diagram subject areas. There are five sections as follows:
- “Further Examination” study papers
- Chapter recap – 2-page summaries
- Strong’s Concordance word analysis
- Jesus’ 31/2-year ministry – a four-Gospel analysis and associated charts
- End Notes – extended comments and source identification on the information
presented in the main body.
1. “Further Examination” Study Papers
Here are the titled index of articles, studies, and research material:
- How Peter and Paul got it right with Jesus
- The Resurrection Status of Jesus
- God raised Jesus
- How sin was defeated
- Basic Bible Teaching about the Devil
- What we will do in the Kingdom of God on earth
- Basic Bible Teaching: Death in Hell, the Grave
1. How Peter and Paul got it right with Jesus
Peter and Paul not only preached using logical reasoning, they witnessed for Christ by means of a radically changed life.
- Peter was a converted fisherman, one of the initial disciples, one of the twelve apostles, and the one who denied his Lord 3 times in the space of a couple of hours. He subsequently repented and became a pillar in the Jewish Christian church in Jerusalem.
- Paul [originally named Saul] was a converted Pharisee, a high-society student of the law and prophets, a fanatical persecutor of the early church, and the one who was stopped in his tracks by the resurrected Jesus. He was completely turned around in 3 days, and became an unstoppable preacher to the Gentiles across the Roman world.
- Two very different men were utterly transformed by the fact of the risen Jesus. Both became star witnesses to the convicting power of Christ’s resurrection. Here’s a sample of what they wrote:
1 Peter 1: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Philippians 3:4…though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Peter and Paul got it right with Jesus. Their message to the reader is this: belief in the risen Christ will transform and empower any person who embraces the path of discipleship to follow the Lord Jesus.
2. The Resurrection Status of Jesus
There is a very instructive opening in the letter to the Hebrews (1:1-4), where the writer sets about describing how Jesus, the Son of God, now enjoys tremendous resurrection status; specifically:
- Jesus is now “much superior to the angels as the name which he has obtained is more excellent that theirs” (v.4). This inherited “name” of course, is the title “Lord Jesus Christ”. The exalted status is emphasized twice more in v. 5, which quotes Ps 110:7 and 2Sam 7:14.
- “When he had made purification of sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (v.3b) = Jesus now has divine status and power, in fulfillment of Ps 110:1. This is a reward, not a reinstatement.
- “He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding all things by his word of power” (v.3a) = Jesus now is the exact expression [Greek character] and precise reproduction in every respect, of his Father. In Mt 28:18, Jesus declared that “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”. Again, this is the reward of worthiness, not a return to former status and glory. This is confirmed v.8-9, which quote the prophecy of Ps 45:6-7.
- “…a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also created the world” (v.2) = a clear statement of son getting an inheritance from a father; the phrase “created the world” appears to be elaborated on in vv. 10- 12, a quote from Ps 102:25-27, and ascribes what God did in the Genesis creation as comparable to what Jesus would be doing with the new creation of the church (see Col 1:15-20).
A separate point is made in Acts 17:30-31.
The responsibility of executing righteous judgment is given to Jesus not only as a reward, but as an appropriate privilege. Think about it. Jesus’ perfect obedience to God led to death, but also resulted in him being raised by the Father and given eternal life. This experience as the Son of man makes the Lord Jesus Christ absolutely the right choice to be the one who resurrects and judges others.
3. God raised Jesus – NT verses
Claim: God raised Jesus, because Jesus was dead.
New Testament verses supporting this claim:
- But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:24);
- This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. (Acts 2:32) 3.
- …and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are
witnesses. (Acts 3:15)
- God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness.” (Acts 3:26)
- …be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well. (Acts 4:10)
- The God of our fathers raised Jesus whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. (Acts 5:30)
- …but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest; (Acts 10:40)
- But God raised him from the dead; (Acts 13:30); but he whom God raised up
saw no corruption.(Acts 13:37)
- …because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your
heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom10:9)
- And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. (1Cor 6:14)
- Paul an apostle — not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead — (Gal 1:1)
- …and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Col 2:12)
4. How Sin was defeated
Paul had written “it was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure” (Rom 7:13). But he was helpless to do anything to eradicate this sin, for he was “carnal, sold under sin” (7:14). However, in the life and body of Jesus, Sin was fully exposed for the terrible thing it was and did to mankind. And Sin was totally defeated. How was this accomplished?
As planned by God who sent His son “in the likeness of sinful flesh” and as lived out by Jesus “according to the Spirit” in perfect obedience, Sin was 100% overcome in its own apparently undefeatable environment. Because of this joint victory over Sin, and thus over Death, God “condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us” (8:3-4). This is how Paul, and disciples like him, are now saved from “the law of sin and death”, in order to serve God in the new life found in Jesus Christ. Read the specific details in Romans 6:20-23, 16-19.
This deliverance from Sin’s grasp could not have been done using any mechanism within the law of Moses such an as animal sacrifice1 it would take the death and resurrection of God’s obedient Son. That’s why Jesus had to have a nature that could be tempted2 yet could resist the temptation and thus never sin3 (cf. Heb 4:15). This fundamental teaching is pointedly emphasized in Hebrews chapter 2, as shown below:
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. 16 For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.
How are they helped? A discussion of a passage in 1John 3: 4-10 explains.
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” is found in 1John 3:8. The context explicitly describes how Jesus “took away sins” and expects disciples to do the same by “doing right”, and “not commit sin”; this demonstrates that they are “children of God” and not “children of the devil”. In the text below, see how the discussion about “devil” vs. “God” is just another way of describing the human- nature conflict of the “flesh” vs “Spirit” (cf. Gal 5:16-26) and explaining who are the true children of God (cf. Rom 8:5-16).
4 Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. 10 By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.
1 see the argument of Heb 9:9-12
2 like any man, Jesus’ temptations came from his own natural desires
3 cf. the temptation-sin process in Jas 1:14-15
5. Basic Bible Teaching about the Devil
What is meant by a “basic Bible teaching”?
Foundation Scripture teaching, i.e., fundamental truths as revealed by God:
- deal with our relationship with God
- deal with matters of eternal life and death
- need to be understood so they can be heeded.
These kind of teachings can be regarded as of “first importance”, since they are essential to understanding and living out God’s revealed truth.
What are the basic teachings in the Genesis story?
- The man and woman had a special relationship with God
- The Creator gave a commandment, and expected it to be obeyed The man and
woman had ‘free choice’
- The serpent presented doubt and a lie to the woman The woman chose to follow
her own desires, and so sinned
- The man chose to listen to his wife, and so sinned
- All three would bear the consequences of their folly God immediately set out to
save Adam & Eve from their sins
- Adam and Eve confessed their wrong behavior
- God provided a symbolic covering for their sins The serpent would continue to be
the enemy of humankind
- The “seed of the woman” would destroy the serpent
How does the Devil get into this?
Rev 12: 9 – ancient serpent is called “the Devil … the deceiver of the whole world” (note: Devil = a name, an attribute)
John 8:44 – “the devil was a murderer from the beginning…when he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (but that was the serpent!)
1John 3:8 – “he who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning” (cf. John 8:44 “you are of your father, the devil” = the seed of the serpent!)
Acts 13:10 – Elymas called “you son of the devil, you enemy of all unrighteousness, full of all deceit and villainy”
1Cor 11:3 – “as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning”
Matt 4:1 – Jesus led by Spirit into the wilderness to be “tempted by the devil” (cf. three temptations & 1John 2:16)
What is meant by “the Devil”?
Greek term – diabolos, to throw through/across; false accuser
NT usage (not in the OT) – slanderer, liar, betrayer, tempter deceiver, the evil one, father of lies, murderer, seducer, name given to the Genesis serpent, father of the Pharisees (who wereintent on killing Jesus), father of Elymas (who was filled withdeceit and villainy), father of Cain (who murdered his brother),father of those who do not do right, symbol of persecuting Nero, personification of what put treachery into the heart of Judas
Demonstrably a shorthand term for “sin which dwells within me” (Rom 7:20, 17) and equated with the serpent, e.g., “sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me” (Rom 7:11); it is “carnal…the mind of the flesh…hostile to God” (Rom 7:14, 8:6-7); it can be resisted and withstood (Jas 4:7, Eph 6:11), and was destroyed by Christ (Heb 2:14).
In short, the Devil is a personification of sinful, human nature a symbolic way of indicating that a serpent is running loose in each human being.
What are the Issues?
Who is responsible for our behavior?
- If the individual, then can’t blame anyone/anything else
- If helpless before an invisible fallen-angel deceiver, then we can blame him
(we are victims!) Who is really in control of our world?
- If the LORD God, then we better fear/count on Him
- If a rebel angel is on the rampage, then God is really not in control, and we
have better fear the Devil
Who or what was destroyed by Christ’s sacrifice?
- If his own human nature with its capability of sin, then we have a representative sacrifice + a victorious Lord!
- If a rebel angel, then Heb 2:14 makes no sense, since that Devil is still very much alive and continues to do evil
All three issues impinge upon our relationship with God:
- personal accountability
- who to fear / trust, and
- appreciation of what Jesus accomplished for himself and for us when he died on the cross.
6. What we will do in the Kingdom of God on Earth
- The King: Jesus (Is 9:7, Lk 1:31-33, Mt 25:31-32)
- The Government: a Monarchy, co-ruled by immortals (Rev 5:10, 20:4, Dan 7:27)
- Territory: the whole earth (Dan 2:35 &44, 7:27, Mt 6:10, Zech 9:10)
- Seat of Government: Jerusalem (Is 2:3, Jer 3:17, Ps 48:2, Mt 5:34-35)
- Subjects: mortal people (Mic 4:1-4, Zech 14:16, Is 65:20-23)
- Renovation of the earth (Ps 72), for water, air, plants, soil, etc.
- Improved health (is 65: 18-20) and longevity of life.
- Return to agriculture (Is 2:4) and consequence increase in food production (Ps 72:12-13)
- A pure language (Zeph 3:19)
- A pure religion (Jer 16:19-20, Ps 86:9-10, Is 56:6-8)
- An increase of peace (Is 9:7, Jn 14:27)
- The Faithful will share the divine nature and all that entails (2Pet 1:4):
a. immortality (1Cor 15:53) = forever free from death
b. imperishability (1Cor 15:53) = incorruptible = forever free from sin
c. equal unto angels (Lk 20:36) = cannot die anymore
d. bodies changed to be like Christ’s (Phil 3:21)
e. will be able to eat, since Christ could & angels do (Lk 24:43, Gen
f. will not indulge in sex since like (e) & implied by Lk 20:36
g. relationships will still be recognized, ie: children, parents, Lord,
h. individuals will be recognized as such (Lk 13:28, 24:39)
i. the mind’s potential unleashed ( cf. Mk 2:8, Gen 18:13)
j. certain powers given, by workings of the Holy Spirit + the fact that the
person now has a spiritual body (Joel 2:28-29 cf. Acts 2:1, 1Cor 15:49- 50) E.g. heal, close eyes, instant travel, compassion, sense of judgment, preach
a. teach the people (1Pet 2:9, Mal 2:7, Rom 15:16)
b. act as intermediaries for the people (Heb 5:1)
c. be especially sympathetic with the peoples weaknesses (Heb 4:15)
d. direct sacrifice offerings (?) (Is 66:20-21, Ezek 45:17, Zech 14:6)
a. the wedding ceremony of the Bride and the Lamb (Rev 19:7-9, Mt 22:2,10)
b. the feats of celebration (Lk 22:16) with Jesus himself serving (Lk 12:37) just as he did during the breaking of bread with his disciples.
c. the 12 apostles will share the throne (Mt 19:28) over Israel in
d. the other faithful will also share the throne (Rev 2:27, 3:21, 20:4)
e. their joy will be more work and service (Eph 6:8, Rev 7:15)
f. this joy will be mightily expressed in singing (Rev 5:13, 15:3-4)
To live the eternal life (quality) forever (quantity) with God will be supreme excellence of a man/woman who was designed for that main purpose; God knows what He has in mind for us, and it will be wonderful!
7. Basic Bible Teaching: Death in Hell, the Grave
- When a man dies, the breath of life (spirit) leaves the body, and the person (soul) ceases to exist. Death is a sleep without thought or feeling. Hell is simply the grave, the resting place of all the dead, whether righteous or wicked. The unquenchable fire associated with hell refers to inescapable destruction that results in the total annihilation of the individual. Thus Death is not the separation of an immortal soul from the body, and Hell is not a place of fiery torment for the souls of the wicked.
- The life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind come from God (Job 12:10). God gives to all men “life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24-28 cf. Is 57:16). Consequently, when God takes back his spirit or breath of life, man ceases to live (Job 34:14-15, Ps 104:29-30).
- Specifically, God formed man out of dust, but Adam only became a living soul when God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils (Gen 2:7). Adam did not have a soul; he was a soul, a living being. When Adam died, his body returned to dust, his spirit returned to God who gave it, and Adam became a dead soul (Gen 3:19, Eccles 12:7, Ps 146:4). The same fate occurs to both men and beasts: “they all have the same breath…all go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again” (Eccl 3:19-20 cf. Gen 6: 21-23, Ps 49:12-14).
- Dead people are said to be asleep in the dust of the earth (Dan 12:2 cf. Jn 11:11-14, Acts 7:60). Some will sleep a perpetual sleep, i.e., remain dead forever (Jer 51:39,57, Job 14:12, Is 26:14) while others have hope of resurrection (1Thes 4:13-16, Jn 5:25- 29). But one fate comes to all, whether good or evil: the living go to the dead, to Sheol, the grave, where there is total nothingness (Eccl 9:2-10, Is 38:18).
- The Bible has many words translated “hell”.
- “Sheol”, the O.T. word for hell, and “Hades”, its N.T. equivalent, refer to the
grave or pit (Ps 30:3, 49:9-14, Is 14:9-19, Ezek 32:17-32) where the body “wastes
away” and “is eaten by worms” (Job 17:13-16, Ps 30:9, Is 14:11, 66:24).
- Another N.T. word, “Gehenna”, picks up this same concept of hell (Mk 9:43- 48), and adds the idea of ongoing garbage-dump fire which burns the body until it
is consumed (Mt 10:28, Heb 12:29, Is 30:30-33, 33:14).
- This fire is described as unquenchable since nothing can stop its destructive
power (Is 34:10, 47:14, 1:31, 66:24, Jer 4:4, 7:20, 17:27) and as eternal, since the destruction will not be forgotten (Jude 7,Jer 20:11, 23:40) and nothing will undo the condemnation to extinction (2Pet 2:6 cf. Gen 19:24, Deut 29:23, Lam 4:6).
a. where Jesus likened his body in the tomb to Jonah in hell, the whale’s belly
(Jonah 2:1-2, Mt 12:40) and
b. where Jesus’ body in Sheol is equated with his soul in Hades (Acts 2: 24-31,
Victory in Christ will overcome the grave (1Cor 15:55-57 cf. Hos 13:14).
2. Chapter Recap
The following Chapters are recapped:
1 – Resurrected
2 – Dead Body
3 – Living Person
4 – Born of Woman
5 – Spiritual Body
Content at a glance
This section provides a summary sheet for each of the Chapters in Part 1 of the workbook. The layout is designed so that you can photocopy the two side-by-side pages to form a single summary sheet. The information is displayed as follows:
The graphic identifies the Chapter subject. The Claim and Conclusion statements are brought across from the Chapter text in the main body. The References are the essence of the fuller, context quotation used in the detailed discussion. When there are multiple quotes, they are grouped together.
The numbered Points are a distillation of the ideas raised about the Reference quote. Similarly, the So-What statements are a distillation of the comments made in the expanded discussion about the Points and the Reference quote. Due to space limitations, not every point and comment made in the main body could be included in the summary.
Each of the numbered References has two or more Points, which are introduced by the # that corresponds to Referenced; this way, the reader can see what Points are connected to what Reference. The So-What statements line up with the associated Points to provide a visual connection.
Chapter 1 – Recap
Claim – God raised His son Jesus from the dead. This is an historical fact, not merely a teaching. This action vindicated all that Jesus had been teaching and doing for the past 31/2 years. This man was not only alive again after being buried in a tomb for three days, but was transformed from a human to a divine nature. This reality became a matter of “first importance” when preaching the gospel (1Cor 15: 3). The fact of Jesus’ resurrection by God is the critical, core teaching of the Gospel, and the cornerstone of Biblical Christianity.
Understanding the truth about the resurrected Jesus will compel you to discard your misconceptions and share the true Bible teaching with others.
Conclusion – The fact of Jesus’ resurrection by God is the cornerstone of Biblical Christianity. Preaching and teaching the resurrection of Jesus to eternal life is a matter of first importance, as is his exaltation as a man who is given the title ‘Lord Jesus Christ’. The resurrection of Jesus confirmed the promises God made to Abraham and David. Resurrection to eternal life is the substance of the Christian hope. It is also the means whereby the faithful dead can be made alive again to serve in the Kingdom on earth.
The “truth” of the resurrection of Jesus Christ takes an uncompromising position against all other world religions and the skeptics of Scripture. It also is in opposition to:
#1 – 1Cor 15: 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
#2 – Acts 2:24 But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
#3 – 1Cor 15:1-4 Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, 2 by which you are saved, if you hold it fast–unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures,
#4 – Acts 13:33 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus;
#5 – Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.
#6 – Phil 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
#7 – Jn 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
#8 – Acts 24:15 having a hope in God which these themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.
#1 – 1. The resurrection is not an assertion but a conclusion based on evidence. The resurrected Jesus is a Bible fact.
#2 – 1. God raised the dead Jesus.
#3 – 1. The ‘fact’ of Jesus’ resurrection is absolutely fundamental, a core teaching of Biblical Christianity, a ‘first principle’ of the NT gospel of Jesus Christ.
#4 – 1. By killing Jesus, the Jewish leaders were fulfilling predictions of the prophets.
#5 – 1. Everyone who is made of flesh is under “the law of sin” in their body. 2. Jesus broke the hold of sin and death, giving us hope and deliverance from sin.
#6 – 1. Jesus chose to take on and perform the role of a servant, and so in humility, he emptied himself of all human aspirations.
#7 – 1. Jesus was and is the means by which people can be raised from the dead.
#8 – 1. The teaching of the resurrection was consistent with the law and the prophets.
The eternal life given to Jesus entailed a body that cannot die and cannot sin. This Scripture teaching is unique in world religion and philosophy. Any religion that teaches an “immortal soul” is in conflict with basic Bible teaching. No reward or punishment is given to people at their death; that outcome depends on the verdict of Jesus the judge when he returns. All men die unless they turn from their sins. God wants to save people from their sins and perdition.
God and Jesus are clearly distinct beings. Thus the doctrine of the Trinity is non-Biblical. The sacrificial death of Jesus fulfilled OT prophecy. Salvation is not found in a crucified, dead Jesus, but in a risen, living Lord. The assertion that “everything was accomplished at the cross of Jesus” falls short of the full, true Bible teaching.
There is a place for Bible-based dogmatism. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are at the heart of the full gospel of Christ as well as being symbolized in the act of baptism of a disciple. The doctrine of a triune God takes away from the true: glory achieved by Jesus in the power of his Father.
Jesus and his apostles cited OT passages as proof of the resurrection. The promises made to Abraham and David are essential to rightly understanding the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Those men and women who have been baptized into Christ are considered the offspring of faithful Abraham and heirs of the same promise.
Jesus set men free from sin by his resurrection to eternal life, not his death on the cross. Jesus was God’s means of overcoming the “law of sin and death”, first for himself, and then for all who would believe in and follow him. A disciple’s #1 enemy is him/herself.
Jesus expects his disciples to work with him and like him, a man who is gentle and lowly in heart; when they do, his “yoke is easy”. The “Lord Jesus Christ” is an expanded title that indicates a special anointing by God. The exaltation of Jesus is depicted as a ‘risen’ Lamb worthy to be praised, having conquered Death and the grave.
God gave Jesus the power to resurrect and judge the dead. Giving this privilege makes no sense if there are co-equal gods. God has given Jesus the role of being the resurrection source and the executor of judgment. Jesus’ criteria are simple: hear my word and believe in him who sent me. Faithful disciples will be granted eternal life.
The Christian hope rests entirely on the resurrection of Jesus. No other world religion has such a teaching. No true Bible teaching will displace it from a central, foundation position. Teaching that man has an ‘immortal soul’ and ‘going to heaven for Christ’s reward’ is to teach error. Eternal life in God’s Kingdom on earth is true teaching.
Chapter 2 – Recap
Claim – A resurrection first requires the death of the one to be raised. Jesus was dead. He had died on the cross, his body taken down, hastily prepared for burial, and laid in a tomb. For three days, Jesus ceased to exist. The dead body of Jesus on the cross symbolized the victory of Jesus over sin.
Understanding the truth about the dead body of Jesus will compel you to discard your misconceptions and share the true Bible teaching with others.
Conclusion – Jesus died by crucifixion on a tree. No bones were broken, but his side was pierced by a Roman soldier. His dead body was taken down, bound in linen cloths with spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (Jn 19:40). The body was put in Joseph’s new tomb, whose great stone door was later sealed at the request of the chief priests and with the authorization of the Roman governor. For “three days” according to Jewish reckoning and his own prediction, Jesus ceased to exist.
The reality of Jesus’ death and burial had been prophesied in the Old Testament, and now had been fulfilled. Since he was a mortal human being, Jesus could and did die. However, his time in the grave would be short, since he had destroyed the power of sin represented by the serpent as foretold in Gen 3:15. The “law of sin and death” was to be superseded by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, the resurrected man.
Jesus likened himself to a dead snake on a pole. This shocking picture is not one of a victim but of victory. When Jesus died, it was the end of sin in and for him. While crucifixion is certainly a terrible and very painful thing, the cross of Jesus was the end of suffering and a superlative triumph over his #1 enemy.
#1 – Jn 19:33 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; 33 but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
#2 – Jn 19:38 After this Joseph of Arimathe’a, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body..
#3 – Is 53:9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
#4 – Jn 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” /
#5 – 1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.
#6 – Heb 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.
#1 – 1. The soldier piercing Jesus’ body with a spear doubly assured that Jesus was dead.
#2 – 1. Jesus was clearly dead on the cross – it was not a faint. His was the dead body taken down – no mistaken identity.
#3 – 1. Joseph buried Jesus in his own tomb, fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 53:9 that the one “smitten by God” would be buried in a rich man’s tomb.
#4 – 1. Like the bronze serpent on the pole, Jesus’ dead body on the cross showed the defeat of sin and means of salvation.
#5 – 1. Since Jesus died, there was a dead body, which could be buried, and then also raised from the grave.
#6 – 1. It was through Jesus’ death that the devil was destroyed. This happened at the cross.
None of Jesus’ bones were broken during his crucifixion and death. This was a clear fulfillment of OT prophecy; Jesus was the flawless Passover lamb, who was also the Christ to take away the sin of the world. Men tried to thwart God’s purpose, but He foiled their evil deeds by raising Jesus from the dead, just as was prophesied.
The death state is clearly explained in Scripture. Since Jesus was dead; he knew, thought and felt nothing. Unless God intervened, Jesus had no hope of future existence or reward – the grave was his end. Joseph and Nicodemus were converted to believe in Jesus, and thus were not afraid to demonstrate their new faith in public and by their action.
Jesus predicted that after he was killed, he would rise again in three days. The Jewish leaders who plotted his death and saw him die on the cross were so worried about his dead body somehow coming out of the tomb, they took special precautions against such a thing happening. In doing so, they made the case for a resurrected Jesus extraordinarily strong. The actions of wicked men were turned into powerful evidence for the truth: it had to be God who raised Jesus.
The prophecy in Genesis 3:15 – the battle between the serpent and the seed of the woman – was fulfilled by Jesus. The serpent’s sinful thinking and behavior are still manifest in human beings today. It needs to be destroyed. Jesus pointed to himself as an example of how sin can be put to death in a person. Sin can be defeated by the disciple who finds salvation in Christ.
Jesus ceased to exist as a living person. But after a short ‘sleep’ in the tomb, God raised him up. These events establish the pattern of what will happen to those who die believing in Christ: they “fall asleep”, waiting for Jesus to return and resurrect them. Jesus died for our sins; not “in the place of” – as a substitute – but rather “on behalf of” – as our representative and the example to follow.
Analyzing and aligning the text of Hebrews 2, 1John 3 and Romans 8 show that their teaching about sin and the devil is the same, only in different words. Scripture uses the term “devil” to represent sinful human nature. To incorrectly identify the ‘devil’ [e.g., to think it is a fallen rebel angel] means your effort to resist it is likely misplaced! The Colossians 2:11-14 passage reinforces the teaching on how Jesus ‘destroyed his devil / condemned sin’ when he died on the cross. Men’s bondage to “the law of sin and death” and bondage to the law of Moses were both removed by the resurrected Jesus.
Chapter 3 – Recap
Claim – Life precedes death. Jesus existed. He was a real human being who ate and drank, who worked and got tired, and who had both friends and enemies.
Jesus was the superlative human being, who lived for the praise of God’s glory. For an intense 31/2 years, he preached the good news of God and went about doing good. He healed people physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Because he loved them, Jesus lay down his life for his friends, and prayed for his enemies. His enemies would kill him, but his friends would see him alive again!
Conclusion – Jesus chose to serve God every day of his life, and successfully did so for his entire lifetime. He was clearly no ordinary man, nor even an extraordinary man, but a unique man. He was a person prepared by God to do a job that no one else had done or could do (cf. Is 59:16-17, Rom 3:9-24). It would start with a unique birth, and continue on in every stage of Jesus’ life, as his Father perfected him through a process of discipline and suffering.
Physically, Jesus was a human being exactly like the rest of mankind. This was necessary for him to become and qualify as the ‘perfect’ sacrifice. For example, Jesus could be tempted, but he never yielded to the temptation, and therefore he never sinned. He focused completely on his assignment, which was to preach and enact the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He determined to be obedient to God in every way, even if it meant being falsely condemned to death and giving up his own will.
It was fitting that Jesus was not only mortal, but had free choice. He chose not to sin, and was killed for it! That life of obedience was the necessary path that led to eternal life, first for Jesus, and then for all who would follow the same path (cf. 1Cor 15:23).
#1 – Phil 2:7 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men…
#2 – Lk 4:43 And when it was day he departed and went into a lonely place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them; 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.“
#3 – Heb 5:9 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9 and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
#4 – Heb 10:5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me;
#5 – Heb 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
#6 – Mt 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
#7 – Mt 4:23 And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.
#8 – Jn 15:13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.
#1 – 1. Jesus was in the “form of God” in his role and mindset, not his physical nature.
#2 – 1. God sent Jesus to preach, and Jesus made this assignment a priority.
#3 – 1. When Jesus was alive as a human being, he prayed to God for help, and was “heard for his godly fear”.
#4 – 1. The ‘body prepared’ for sacrifice by God would work in conjunction with Jesus’ response of “I come to do thy will”.
#5 – 1. Jesus was a flesh-and-blood man who shared human nature in every respect.
#6 – 1. Jesus knew the outcome of doing God’s will, but he still committed to do it.
#7 – 1. Jesus had the power to heal people completely and instantly; he was a loving, caring, master physician of all ills.
#8 – 1. Jesus ‘lay down his life’ (a) for the sheep and (b) for his friends.
Jesus’ ongoing choice to always obey his Father resulted in a life that always served the purpose of God. He used his free will to choose what divine angels do by nature. Unlike Adam who evidently presumed to “seek equality with God”, Jesus did not presume to take advantage of his status as God’s Son. Romans 5:12-21 compares and contrasts Adam & Jesus; the comparison is only valid if Jesus was a human being with choice, and thus not the triune God-the-Son.
Jesus preached the good news of the Kingdom of God. This message entailed the land of Israel, the throne in Jerusalem, and peace and righteousness under the Messiah. However, the call for repentance and acceptance that Jesus was the Christ challenged the Jews. The full gospel includes the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and is incomplete if only the name of Jesus Christ is preached.
Though God’s Son, Jesus still had to learn obedience. His reverential fear was his freewill choice, and not inherent in his human nature. Jesus was unique as the only human being to never serve self but always serve God. The teaching that God and Jesus are co-equal beings takes away from the real struggle Jesus experienced and the significance of his being perfected for “a single sacrifice for sins”.
For Jesus, doing the will of God meant obeying gladly, with all his heart, mind, soul and strength. He loved doing it, because he loved his Father, and loved mankind. Jesus is the perfect example in how to be a “living sacrifice”: giving your whole self in the purpose of God and using your God-given talents to serve those you encounter.
Jesus benefited from his own sacrifice, and was used by God to open the way for others to follow. It is not Bible truth to teach that Christ pre-existed before his birth or that Jesus is part of a triune God. It is impossible to get it right with Jesus without knowing who he truly is.
Jesus’ asking for other possibilities proves he had free will right up until the end; he was not a God-man who must inevitably to right. Jesus agonized in Gethsemane to do right. His victory proves that the power of God coupled with a willing spirit does overcome the flesh.
Jesus often tied the physical healing with the forgiveness of sins (e.g., woman with flow of blood, crazy-man Legion, the paralytic). He could also raise the dead and did so on three different occasions (cf. a daughter, a son, Lazarus) as proof that God was the source of his power and therefore people should believe that he spoke for God.
Jesus began laying down his life from the start of his ministry, not just when he went to the cross. His “sheep” are those who hear and obey his voice; his “friends” are those who love, i.e., seek out the welfare and ultimate good of others. To not so love is to perish.
Chapter 4 – Recap
Claim – Jesus was born of Mary. His birth was unique, in that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, the power of God. Thus Jesus did not have a human father, but he was “the only begotten son of God”. Because Mary had not had sexual intercourse with Joseph [the man to whom she was engaged when she got pregnant by means of the Holy Spirit], Mary was definitely a virgin. This circumstance had been prophesied in the Old Testament Scripture, and was wonderfully fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Understanding the truth about Jesus being “born of woman” will compel you to reject false teaching on that topic and share the true Bible teaching with others.
Conclusion – Jesus was a descendant of both king David and the patriarch Abraham (Matthew 1:1). As shown in the family tree given in Luke 3:23-38, Jesus was also an offspring from the first man Adam and his wife Eve. Like every other human being since creation, Jesus was born of a woman. His mother Mary was a virgin, and it was by the power of the Holy Spirit of God that Jesus was conceived. Thus Jesus was the “only-begotten” Son of God. This unique event was a necessary first step in God’s plan to save the world, both Jew and Gentile, both men and women, from sin and perdition.
#1 – Lk 1:31 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
#2 – Lk 1:35 And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
#3 – Jn 18:37 Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.”
#4 – Gal 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
#5 – Mt 1:23 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).
#6 – Jn 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
#1 – 1. Mary was a virgin, but she was not ‘immaculate’ [sin-free]. She was specially chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus; the choice was obviously fitting.
#3 – 1. Jesus was born king of the Jews. His family tree tracked back to king David, who was king over the 12 tribes of Israel, coming from the tribe of Judah [root word for Jews] 2. Being king of the Jews will have a future fulfillment when Jesus returns to reign in Jerusalem over all the world.
#4 – 1. Mary was a Jewess, Jesus was her boy, and both were obligated to keep the Law of Moses. Jesus did, but went much further: instead of an animal sacrifice, he made a single solitary sacrifice of himself.
#5 – 1. The amazing prophecy in Isaiah about a virgin giving birth was fulfilled literally in Mary.
#6 – 1. Jesus was the only begotten son of God. Adam was created, but Jesus was conceived.
To accept the Bible explanation of the virgin birth is to acknowledge that this is when Jesus came into existence like every other human being. He was born of a normal woman, had a nature that could sin, had a normal flesh-and-blood body, had free will, and feared God. God fathered a Son. Given the straightforward meaning of the relationship of ‘father’ and ‘son’, Jesus came into existence after God. Therefore, Jesus was not co-eternal or co-existent with God, as is claimed by Trinitarian teaching.
Jesus is the ‘seed’ of David, and will be the one to fulfill the promises that God made to David concerning a Kingdom in Israel that will last forever. Jesus is also the one prophesied to be the child born to take on the everlasting government of Israel as “Wonderful Counselor…Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6-7). Jesus taught and practiced ‘servant leadership’ during his ministry, and stated that is how thing will be run in the Kingdom of God on earth when he returns as king. His disciples are to emulate God and Jesus in their servant-leadership.
Mary was a faithful but ordinary woman. The worship of Mary is not only misguided, it is wrong. Roman Catholic Church teaching about Mary is obviously at odds with the teaching of Scripture. Jesus was a Jew, whom God sent to save mankind regardless of race. Racial hatred against the Jews [anti-semitism] is not right.
The Holy Spirit conception of Jesus was an act of God that made it possible for Mary, a maiden who had no prior sexual involvement with a man, to become pregnant. The rest of the story is easy to accept. However, this ‘virgin birth of Jesus’ is often rejected by higher critics and skeptics. A competent Bible student lets the Bible speak for itself, and is not sidetracked by the critics and skeptics.
God sent his only son, Jesus, into the world, knowing he would be killed, but that it would elicit people’s conviction and repentance. Christianity is unlike any other world religion: it offers a solution to man’s sinfulness and inevitable perdition. God shows mankind the way to overcome sin & death: through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Chapter 5 – Recap
Claim – In direct contrast to the physical, flesh-and-blood body that he once had, Jesus was given a spiritual body, which is immortal [cannot die] and incorruptible [cannot sin]. He is still a man – not now with human nature but with God’s divine nature.
In this resurrected body, he was still recognized as Jesus. He talked, walked, was touched and ate. Now that he could not die or sin anymore, Jesus was perfect for the role of high priest on behalf of all believers everywhere. His kind of glorious body will be the reward given to faithful disciples.
Understanding the truth about Jesus having a spiritual body will compel you to reject false teaching on that topic and share the true Bible teaching with others.
Conclusion – The resurrected Jesus had a spiritual body that could neither die nor sin. It was an indestructible life. It was divine nature, just like his Father’s. He was still recognized as Jesus – a man who talked and walked, could be touched, eat and cook. Now that he was immortal & incorruptible, he was perfect for the role of high priest on behalf of all believers everywhere – from that first day of eternal life up to today and forevermore. The body he now has, and the life he now lives, is precisely what is offered to faithful disciples. What a reward for those who trusted Jesus! What an end for the faithless.
The reward of being given a spiritual body occurs when Jesus returns from heaven, not when a believer dies. Death then only has a temporary victory. Since there is no ‘immortal soul’ in a human being, it is incorrect to think that the ‘departed souls of dead saints live in heaven’. It is correct to believe that one day, Jesus will end Death forever. That experience can be yours!
#1 – 1Cor 15:44 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. …. 44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.
#2 – Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.
#3 – Heb 7:16 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchiz’edek, 16 who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life.
#4 – 1Cor 15:53 Lo! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.
#6 – Lk 24:42-43 As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them… 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.“… 41 “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.
#7 – Mt 28:9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.
#8 – Jn 21:7 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus… 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!“.
#9 – Jn 14:19 “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also.
#1 – 1. There is a spiritual body. It is compared to and contrasted with the physical body.
#2 – 1. Jesus was glorified by God when He raised him from the dead.
#3 – 1. Jesus was given an indestructible body.
#4 – 1. “Imperishable” means “incorruptible” = cannot be corrupted, by rot or by sin.
#6 – 1. A spiritual body can eat, as illustrated by Jesus eating fish after his resurrection.
#7 – 1. A spiritual body can be touched, as shown by the women taking hold of the risen Lord.
#8 – 1. A spiritual body can be recognized as a regular person, as John did with Jesus.
#9 – 1. “I am alive forevermore” demonstrates that his resurrected body would last forever.
Like all men, Jesus was born mortal, and did not have an ‘immortal soul’. He was the first man to be given immortality. God gave Jesus the power to give this same new nature to faithful disciples. This reward is given when Jesus returns from heaven, not when a believer dies. Since there is no ‘immortal soul’ in man, it is incorrect to think that the ‘departed souls of dead believers live in heaven’.
When believers die, it is likened to a ‘sleep’ from which Jesus will wake them when he returns to the earth to raise the dead and reward the faithful. Eternal life is given as a reward, “further clothing” the mortal human being with immortality. This further indicates that man does not already have any inherent immortal component.
Faithful disciples have the prospect of unconstrained service as priests in the Kingdom of God. The reward of Jesus is more work from bodies that excel in service, not for endless vacationing.
Never dying and never sinning enable an everlasting relationship with God for the faithful from all the ages. This is how those disciples rewarded with eternal life will be able to rule with Christ for a “thousand years” in the Kingdom age.
Appearing in a real body as a real person was irrefutable evidence for the disciples who saw the resurrected Jesus. Their faith was based on substance, not on wishful thinking. This is the kind of faith expected of disciples from the beginning of the Scripture record.
Before he appeared to any of the twelve, Jesus provided a face-to- face encounter with faithful women, the first being Mary Magdalene. Such women are singled out as great examples in the Gospel record.
Jesus’ essential behavior is the same after his resurrection as before. Taking on a spiritual body appears to not change one’s character or personality. Jesus knew the needs of the early church, and provided the necessary leaders. He continues to do the same for his church today.
When Christ’s actual resurrection took place, Jesus was proven to be a true prophet. Jesus and God came back to work in the lives of the apostles by means of the Holy Spirit. Of those who are raised, some will receive eternal life, some will be cast out and die a second time. Jesus is the judge of these things, and he will not make a mistake.
3. Strong’s Concordance word analysis
The following pages contain the on-line information provided by the Family Life website www.crosswalk.com, under the tab Bible Study Tools, as derived from “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible” written by James Strong and first published in 1894. The information displayed is from the option using KJV with Strong’s Numbers and selecting the underlined word from the KJV text. The data is intended to be self- explanatory.
The reference material is listed alphabetically by the English word being analyzed. Here is the list of the words:
- 1. Breath
3. Discipline (chasten)
6. Hell (Gehenna, Hades, Sheol)
8. Incorruption (imperishable)
4. Jesus’ 3 1/2 year Ministry – A Four Gospel Account Analysis
There are many books4 and articles that have been written that have tried to ‘harmonize’ the Gospel accounts. It is an excellent exercise to undertake. Anyone can take it on. It is simply a matter of close reading, making notes, and figuring out what did/did not come before something else. Then there is the matter of putting all the accounts together, which can reveal a very exciting story [see the feeding of the 5000 discussion below]. There are still some gaps and question marks in what I have put together, but it is sufficiently accurate and comprehensive to assist in understanding of what really happened to Jesus during his 3␣ year ministry, especially during the final week.
I discovered that John’s Gospel was strictly chronological, and revolved around four Passovers. Three of them are explicitly identified in John’s record, and the 4th can be deduced.
If you were only looking at Mark’s Gospel, you would think that Jesus met his four disciples on the beach and called them to follow, only days after his temptation in the wilderness. Using the information of John’s Gospel reveals that the events recorded in his chapters 1-4 took place before the encounter on the beach and that Peter and Andrew knew and traveled with Jesus already. The call to become “fishers of men” did not happen in the first meeting these men had with Jesus.
If you were only looking at Luke’s Gospel, you could easily conclude that immediately after the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus went to his home town in Nazareth. Presumably it was some of the people he grew up with that tried to throw Jesus off a cliff. It was just like one of the temptations faced by Jesus earlier. However, working out the correct chronology shows that several months had passed between the wilderness challenge and the rejection in Nazareth. So why did Luke place the event immediately after the temptation account? You figure it out.
Jesus continued to heal right up to the end of his ministry. He was an unflagging preacher and teacher, but evidently made it a point to also “do good” to men, women and children on a very practical level.
Did you know that the ‘miraculous’ feeding of the 5000 men (not counting women and children) took place immediately after Jesus learned about the murder of John the Baptist? Also, the incredible feat of Jesus’ walking on the water took place after dismissing the crowd who wanted to make him king. There was real danger of the twelve apostles being seduced, so Jesus commanded them to get into the boat and head across the lake. They spent futile hours rowing in a fierce wind, while Jesus spent those same hours in prayer. Then he went out to them in the storm, walking because he had no boat, and evidently handling the waves. This is when Peter asked to come out to Jesus, and Peter also walked on the water. When both finally climbed back into the bouncing vessel, Jesus told the wind to cease – and it did! All this in probably less than 24 hours, and all four Gospels have a version of this incredible time in Jesus’ life.
After the Jewish leaders had condemned Jesus to death and turned him over to the Roman governor to be crucified, the Gospel records reveal that among Pilate, Herod and Roman centurions, Jesus was declared innocent seven times! And yet these Gentiles caved in to the Jewish demand. What a travesty of justice!
4 One of the books I used was Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, 5th edition, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996; the section referenced was “Harmony of the Gospels”, p. 302-307