THE STORY OF JESUS
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John rearranged by Subject & in Date order
Parts 34-40 bring together all the relevant verses from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - in that order.
APPEARANCES OF JESUS AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, Spring c AD30
Key: 1 - Approximate sequence of events, used in the list following
 Golgotha or Calvary - Jesus is taken from the cross and placed in the garden tomb (Mt 27:57; Mk 15:42; Lk 23:50; Jn 19:31)
There is no complete agreement by the various commentators on precisely how many different appearances Jesus made to his disciples
EASTER SUNDAY IN AND AROUND JERUSALEM
 The Garden Tomb - Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb (Mk 16:9; Jn 20:11)
 The Garden Tomb - To Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James the Younger and Joses - Mk 16:1) as they hurry from the tomb (Mt 28:8)
 The Garden Tomb - To Peter (Lk 24:34; "Cephas" in 1Co 15:5)
 The Road to Emmaus - To two disciples on the Emmaus road later in the day (Mk 16:12; Lk 24:13)
 The Upper Room - To the apostles in a house in Jerusalem (Luke 24:36; Jn 20:19). Possibly the Upper Room where the Last Supper was held; Thomas was absent according to John 20:24.
A WEEK LATER
 The Upper Room - To the eleven apostles, including Thomas in a house; probably the same house as  (Jn 20:26; possibly Mk 16:14)
OVER THE NEXT WEEKS IN GALILEE
 The apostles go to Galilee (Mt 28:16a); there Jesus appears to seven of them fishing on the Sea of Galilee (Jn 21:1)
 Jesus appears to the apostles on a mountain and gives his great commission to preach the Gospel to the world (Mt 28:16b)
 More than 500 disciples in Galilee (1Co 15:6)
 To James, his brother (1Co 15:7)
ASCENSION DAY NEAR JERUSALEM
 To the apostles on the Mount of Olives (Olivet), near Bethany, as he ascends to Heaven (Lk 24:50, Acts 1:12)
AFTER HIS ASCENSION
 To Stephen as he is stoned to death in Jerusalem (Ac 7:55)
 To Paul on the road to Damascus (Ac 9:3; 26:13; 1Co 15:8)
 To John in a vision on the island of Patmos (Rev 1:10)
Part 36 - THE EMPTY TOMB
(Matthew 28:1-8,11-15; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-13)
Matthew 28:1-8,11-15 - When the Sabbath (Saturday) was over, just as the first day of the week (Sunday) was dawning ...
- The Sunday morning after the Good Friday of the Crucifixion. In Jewish reckoning, Friday is day one, Saturday day two, and Sunday day three - hence the three days between crucifixion and resurrection -
... Mary from Magdala and the other Mary (mother of James the Younger and Joseph) went to look at the tomb. At that moment there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from Heaven, went forward and rolled back the stone and took his seat upon it. His appearance was dazzling like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. The guards shook with terror at the sight of him and collapsed like dead men. But the angel spoke to the women, "Do not be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here - he is risen, just as he said he would. Come and look at the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead. And, listen, he goes before you into Galilee! You will see him there! Now I have told you my message."
Then the women went away quickly from the tomb, their hearts filled with awe and great joy, and ran to give the news to his disciples. ...
- In verses 9 and 10 (Part 37 following) Jesus stands before them in his first appearance, and tells the women he will see his disciples in Galilee:
(Verse 11 ....) And while they were on their way, some of the sentries went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. They got together with the elders, and after consultation gave the soldiers a considerable sum of money and told them, "Your story must be that his disciples came after dark, and stole him away while you were asleep. If by any chance this reaches the (Roman) governor's ears, we will put it right with him and see that you do not suffer for it." So they took the money and obeyed their instructions. The story was spread and is current among the Jews to this day.
Mark 16:1-8 - When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James (the Younger), and Salome (mother of the apostles James and John) bought spices so that they could go and anoint him. And very early in the morning on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.
"Who is going to roll the stone back from the doorway of the tomb?" they asked each other.
And then as they looked closer, they saw that the stone, which was a very large one, had been rolled back. So they went into the tomb and saw a young man in a white robe sitting on the right-hand side, and they were simply astonished. But he said to them, "There is no need to be astonished. He has risen; he is not here. Look, here is the place where they laid him. But now go and tell his disciples, and Peter, that he will be in Galilee before you. You will see him there just as he told you."
And they got out of the tomb and ran away from it. They were trembling with excitement. They did not dare to breathe a word to anyone.
- Mark's Gospel ends here in most of the early manuscripts.
Luke 24:1-12 - But at the first signs of dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday), they (the women who accompanied Jesus from Galilee and who after his resurrection, had rested throughout the Saturday Sabbath in obedience to the Fourth Commandment) went to the tomb, taking with them the aromatic spices they had prepared. They discovered that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but on going inside, the body of the Lord Jesus was not to be found. While they were still puzzling over this, two men suddenly stood at their elbow, dressed in dazzling light. The women were terribly frightened, and turned their eyes away and looked at the ground. But the two men spoke to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here: he has risen! Remember what he said to you, while he was still in Galilee - that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, and must be crucified, and must rise again on the third day."
Then they did remember what he had said, and they turned their backs on the tomb and went and told all this to the eleven and the others who were with them.
It was Mary of Magdala, Joanna (one of Jesus' earliest women followers and wife of Chuza, Herod Antipas' steward, Luke 8:3), the mother of James (the "other" Mary), and their companions who made this report to the apostles. But it struck them as sheer imagination, and they did not believe the women. Only (the apostle) Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He stooped down and saw the linen clothes lying there all by themselves, and he went home wondering at what had happened.
John 20:1-13 - But on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala arrived at the tomb, very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and noticed that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. At this she ran, found Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved (the apostle John), and told them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don't know where they have put him."
Peter and the other disciple set off at once for the tomb, the two of them running together. The other disciple (the younger John) ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. He stooped and looked inside and noticed the linen cloths lying there but did not go in himself. Hard on his heels came Simon Peter and went straight into the tomb. He noticed that the linen cloths were lying there, and that the handkerchief, which had been round Jesus's head, was not lying with the linen cloths but was rolled up by itself, a little way apart. Then the other disciple, who was the first to arrive at the tomb, came inside as well, saw what had happened and believed. (They did not yet understand the scripture which said that he must rise from the dead.) So the disciples went back again to their homes.
But Mary (Magdalene) stood just outside the tomb, and she was crying. And as she cried, she looked into the tomb and saw two angels in white who sat, one at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had lain.
The angels spoke to her, "Why are you crying?" they asked.
"Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have put him!" she said.
Part 37 - THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS AND HIS APPEARANCES TO HIS DISCIPLES
(Matthew 28:9-10,16-17; Mark 16:9-14; Luke 24:13-44; John 20:14-21:14; Acts 1:1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
Matthew 28:9-10,16-17 - But quite suddenly (as Mary from Magdala and the other Mary ran from the empty tomb), Jesus stood before them in their path, and said, "Peace be with you!" And they went forward to meet him and, clasping his feet, worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go now and tell my brothers to go into Galilee and they shall see me there" ....
Jesus gives his final commission
(Verse 16 ....) But the eleven went to the hill-side in Galilee where Jesus had arranged to meet them, and when they had seen him they worshipped him, though some of them were doubtful.
Mark 16:9-14 - (The Gospel now continues with possibly an ancient addition to Mark's account .....) When Jesus rose early on that first day of the week (the Sunday), he appeared first of all to Mary of Magdala, from whom he had driven out seven evil spirits. And she went and reported this to his sorrowing and weeping followers. They heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him, but they did not believe it.
Later, he appeared in a different form to two of them (disciples, but not apostles of Jesus) who were out walking, as they were on their way to the country (on the road to Emmaus). These two came back and told the others, but they did not believe them either. Still later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at table and reproached them for their lack of faith, and reluctance to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Luke 24:13-44 - Then on the same day we find two of them (disciples) going off to Emmaus, a village (location uncertain) about seven miles from Jerusalem. As they went they were deep in conversation about everything that had happened. While they were absorbed in their serious talk and discussion, Jesus himself approached and walked along with them, but something prevented them from recognising him. Then he spoke to them, "What is all this discussion that you are having on your walk?"
They stopped, their faces drawn with misery, and the one called Cleopas (possibly Clopas, the husband of Mary who was present at the crucifixion) replied, "You must be the only stranger in Jerusalem who hasn't heard all the things that have happened there recently!"
"What things?" asked Jesus.
"Oh, all about Jesus, from Nazareth. There was a man - a prophet strong in what he did and what he said, in God's eyes as well as the people's. Haven't you heard how our chief priests and rulers handed him over for execution, and had him crucified? But we were hoping he was the one who was to come and set Israel free ...
"Yes, and as if that were not enough, it's getting on for three days since all this happened; and some of our womenfolk have disturbed us profoundly. For they went to the tomb at dawn, and then when they couldn't find his body they said that they had a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of our people went straight off to the tomb and found things just as the women had described them - but they didn't see him!"
Then he spoke to them, "Aren't you failing to understand, and slow to believe in all that the prophets have said? Was it not inevitable that Christ should suffer like that and so find his glory?"
Then, beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them everything in the scriptures that referred to himself. They were by now approaching the village to which they were going. He gave the impression that he meant to go on further, but they stopped him with the words, "Do stay with us. It is nearly evening and soon the day will be over."
So he went indoors to stay with them. Then it happened! While he was sitting at table with them he took the loaf, gave thanks, broke it and passed it to them. Their eyes opened wide and they knew him! But he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Weren't our hearts glowing while he was with us on the road, and when he made the scriptures so plain to us?"
And they got to their feet without delay and turned back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven and their friends all together, full of the news - "The Lord is really risen - he has appeared to Simon (the apostle Peter) now!"
Then they told the story of their walk, and how they recognised him when he broke the loaf.
Jesus suddenly appears to the disciples
And while they were still talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said, "Peace be to you all!"
But they shrank back in terror for they thought they were seeing a ghost.
"Why are you so worried?" said Jesus, "and why do doubts arise in your minds? Look at my hands and feet - it is really I myself! Feel me and see; ghosts have no flesh or bones as you can see that I have."
But while they still could not believe it through sheer joy and were quite bewildered, Jesus said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of broiled fish and part of a honeycomb which he took and ate before their eyes. Then he said, "Here and now are fulfilled the words that I told you when I was with you: that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must come true."
John 20:14-21:14 - Then she (Mary of Magdala, crying outside the tomb) turned and noticed Jesus standing there, without realising that it was Jesus.
"Why are you crying?" said Jesus to her. "Who are you looking for?"
She, supposing that he was the gardener, said, "Oh, sir, if you have carried him away, please tell me where you have put him and I will take him away."
Jesus said to her, "Mary!"
At this she turned right round and said to him, in Hebrew, "Master!"
"No!" said Jesus, "do not hold me now. I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go and tell my brothers that I am going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
And Mary of Magdala went off to the disciples, with the news, "I have seen the Lord!", and she told them what he had said to her.
In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples had met together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood right in the middle of them and said, "Peace be with you!"
Then he showed them his hands and his side, and when they saw the Lord the disciples were overjoyed.
Jesus said to them again, "Yes, peace be with you! Just as the Father sent me, so I am now going to send you."
And then he breathed upon them and said, "Receive holy spirit. If you forgive any men's sins, they are forgiven, and if you hold them unforgiven, they are unforgiven."
The risen Jesus and Thomas
But one of the twelve, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples kept on telling him, "We have seen the Lord", but he replied, "Unless I see in his own hands the mark of the nails, and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe!"
Just over a week later, the disciples were indoors again and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood in the middle of them and said, "Peace be with you!"
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your fingers here - look, here are my hands. Take my hand and put it in my side. You must not doubt, but believe."
"My Lord and my God!" cried Thomas.
"Is it because you have seen me that you believe?" Jesus said to him. "Happy are those who have never seen me and yet have believed!"
Jesus gave a great many other signs in the presence of his disciples which are not recorded in this book. But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God, and that in that faith you may have life as his disciples.
The risen Jesus and Peter
(Chapter 21 ....) Later on, Jesus showed himself again to his disciples on the shore of Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee), and he did it in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael (also known as Bartholomew) from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee (James and John) and two other disciples were together, when Simon Peter said, "I'm going fishing."
"All right," they replied, "we'll go with you."
So they went out and got into the boat and during the night caught nothing at all. But just as dawn began to break, Jesus stood there on the beach, although the disciples had no idea that it was Jesus.
"Have you caught anything, lads?" Jesus called out to them.
"No," they replied.
"Throw the net on the right side of the boat," said Jesus, "and you'll have a catch."
So they threw out the net and found that they were now not strong enough to pull it in because it was so full of fish! At this, the disciple that Jesus loved (John) said to Peter, "It is the Lord!"
Hearing this, Peter slipped on his clothes, for he had been naked, and plunged into the se The other disciples followed in the boat, for they were only about a hundred yards from the shore, dragging in the net full of fish. When they had landed, they saw that a charcoal fire was burning, with a fish placed on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring me some of the fish you've just caught."
So Simon Peter got into the boat and hauled the net ashore full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three altogether. But in spite of the large number the net was not torn.
Then Jesus said to them, "Come and have your breakfast."
None of the disciples dared to ask him who he was; they knew it was the Lord.
Jesus went and took the bread and gave it to them and gave them all fish as well. This is already the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples after his resurrection from the dead.
Acts 1:1-5 - My dear Theophilus, In my first book (the third Gospel) I (Luke) gave you some account of all that Jesus began to do and teach until the time of his ascension. Before he ascended he gave his instructions, through the Holy Spirit, to the special messengers of his choice. For after his suffering he showed himself alive to them in many convincing ways, and appeared to them repeatedly over a period of forty days talking with them about the affairs of the kingdom of God.
Jesus' parting words before his ascension
On one occasion, while he was eating a meal with them, he emphasised that they were not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father's promise.
"You have already heard me speak about this," he said, "for John used to baptise with water, but before many days are passed you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit."
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 - Together with Jesus' instructions to Paul for the Lord's Supper, this is one of the few other direct references to the Gospel story in the rest of the New Testament:
For I (Paul) passed on to you Corinthians first of all the message I had myself received - that Christ died for our sins, as the scriptures said he would; that he was buried and rose again on the third day, again as the scriptures foretold. He was seen by Cephas (the apostle Simon Peter), then by the twelve (or eleven remaining apostles), and subsequently he was seen simultaneously by over five hundred Christians, of whom the majority are still alive, though some have since died. He was then seen by James (brother of Jesus and later head of the church in Jerusalem), then by all the messengers. And last of all, as if to one born abnormally late, he appeared to me!
Part 38 - HIS COMMISSION TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD
(Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18; Luke 24:45-50; John 21:15-23; Acts 1:6-8)
Matthew 28:18-20 - But Jesus (after he met the eleven in Galilee) came and spoke these words to them, "All power in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. You, then, are to go and make disciples of all the nations and baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you and, remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the world."
Mark 16:15-18 - Then (after his appearances to Mary of Magdala, the two disciples on the Emmaus Road, and the eleven apostles, and continuing the ancient addition to Mark ....) he said to them, "You must go out to the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. He who believes it and is baptised will be saved, but he who disbelieves it will be condemned. These signs will follow those who do believe: they will drive out evil spirits in my name; they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up snakes, and if they drink anything poisonous it will do them no harm; they will lay their hands upon the sick and they will recover."
Luke 24:45-50 - Then (after Jesus had eaten with the disciples, and showed them how his death and resurrection had fulfilled prophecy) he opened their minds so that they could understand the scriptures, and added, "That is how it was written, and that is why it was inevitable that Christ should suffer, and rise from the dead on the third day. So must the change of heart which leads to the forgiveness of sins be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
"You are eye-witnesses of these things. Now I hand over to you the command of my Father. Stay in the city (of Jerusalem), then, until you are clothed with power from on high."
Then he led them outside as far as Bethany, where he blessed them with uplifted hands.
John 21:15-23 - When they had finished breakfast (of fish at the lake-side) Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others?"
"Yes, Lord," he replied, "you know that I am your friend."
"Then feed my lambs," returned Jesus. Then he said for the second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
"Yes, Lord," returned Peter. "You know that I am your friend."
"Then care for my sheep," replied Jesus. Then for the third time, Jesus spoke to him and said, "Simon, son of John, are you my friend?"
Peter was deeply hurt because Jesus' third question to him was "Are you my friend?", and he said, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I am your friend!"
"Then feed my sheep," Jesus said to him. "I tell you truly, Peter, that when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you liked, but when you are an old man, you are going to stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and take you where you do not want to go." (He said this to show the kind of death - by crucifixion - by which Peter was going to honour God.)
Then Jesus said to him, "You must follow me."
Then Peter turned round and noticed the disciple whom Jesus loved (the apostle John) following behind them. (He was the one who had his head on Jesus' shoulder at supper and had asked, "Lord, who is the one who is going to betray you?") So he said, "Yes, Lord, but what about him?"
"If it is my wish," returned Jesus, "for him to stay until I come, is that your business, Peter? You must follow me."
This gave rise to the saying among the brothers that this disciple (John) would not die. Yet, of course, Jesus did not say, "He will not die,", but simply, "If it is my wish for him to stay until I come, is that your business?"
Acts 1:6-8 - This (the disciples waiting in Jerusalem after Jesus' death and resurrection as he commanded, until the coming of the "power from on high" - the promised baptism of the Holy Spirit) naturally brought them all together, and they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
To this he replied, "You cannot know times and dates which have been fixed by the Father's sole authority. But you are to be given power when the Holy Spirit has come to you. You will be witnesses to me, not only in Jerusalem, not only throughout Judea, not only in Samaria, but to the very ends of the earth!"
Map - Locations where the Original Apostles Preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ According to Various Ancient Traditions
Paul the Apostle - Paul figures prominently in the Acts of the Apostles and his letters are a large part of the Letters of the New Testament. He also played a vital role in taking the Gospel to Gentiles and in developing a theology of Christianity proving it be a new religion and not a Jewish cult. Over the centuries, he has therefore been described by some commentators as the "inventor" of Christianity. But to place Paul into perspective within the Christian story, as important, as brilliant, as brave, as loyal to Christ as he was, a number of points should be borne in mind:
(1) It was Jesus during his ministry on earth, who preached the Gospel in Judea and beyond - and not only to Jews (for example Matthew 8:5-13 and 15:21-28, Luke 17:11-19);
(2) Of the apostles, it was Peter who first brought Gentiles into the Christian fold (Acts 10), and other Jews who converted many Gentiles in Syrian Antioch (Acts 11:19) before Paul's arrival there;
(3) The church in Rome was already established by the time Paul wrote his letter to the Romans;
(4) The areas evangelized by Paul - Cyprus, the the south and western half of Asia Minor, and Greece - cover only a part of the locations in the Map above traditionally visited by the original apostles.
Part 39 - JESUS ASCENDS TO HEAVEN
(Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:51-53; Acts 1:9-11)
Mark 16:19-20 - After these words to them (the commission to preach the Gospel to the world, Mark's Gospel concludes .....), the Lord Jesus was taken up into Heaven and was enthroned at the right hand of God. They went out and preached everywhere. The Lord worked with them, confirming their message by the signs that followed.
Luke 24:51-53 - While he was in the act of blessing them he was parted from them and was carried up to Heaven. They worshipped him, and turned back to Jerusalem with great joy, and spent their days in the Temple, praising and blessing God (while awaiting baptism in the Holy Spirit).
Acts 1:9-11 - When he had said these words (the commission to preach the Gospel after the disciples had received the Holy Spirit) he was lifted up before their eyes till a cloud hid him from their sight. While they were still gazing up into the sky as he went, suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them and said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This very Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come back in just the same way as you have seen him go."
Part 40 - EPILOGUE TO THE GOSPELS
John 21:24-25 - Now it is this same disciple (the apostle John) who is hereby giving his testimony to these things and has written them down. We know that his witness is reliable. Of course, there are many other things which Jesus did, and I suppose that if each one were written down in detail, there would not be room in the whole world for all the books that would have to be written.
In a short time, the disciples, totally demoralised by the death of Jesus are transformed. They are soon taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ fearlessly to much of the known world and often in the face of every form of opposition, persecution, and soon, brutality, torture and death.
The Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of the New Testament reveal part of this early story that continues to the present day.
Acts carries on after the four Gospels without a break
to Contents List
back to Harmony of Jesus
Maps by Gordon Smith can be used without further permission. Please quote http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/JBPhillips.htm