(1) THE STORY OF JESUS
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John rearranged by Subject & in Date order
Sections 1-5 of Part 19 bring together all the relevant verses from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - in that order.
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Year Three - c AD29-30
19.1 JESUS TEACHES ABOUT HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION FOR A FIRST TIME
(Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33; Luke 9:22)
Matthew 16:21-23 - From that time onwards (near Caesarea-Philippi after Simon Peter had declared that Jesus was the Christ) Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he would have to go to Jerusalem, and endure much suffering from the elders, chief priests and scribes, and finally be killed; and be raised to life again on the third day.
Then Peter took him on one side and started to remonstrate with him over this. "God bless you, Master! Nothing like this must happen to you!" Then Jesus turned round and said to Peter, "Out of my way, Satan! ... you stand right in my path, Peter, when you look at things from man's point of view and not from God's"
Mark 8:31-33 - And (after Peter's declaration that Jesus was the Christ) he began to teach them that it was inevitable that the Son of Man should go through much suffering and be utterly repudiated by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He told them all this quite bluntly.
This made Peter draw him on one side and take him to task about what he had said. But Jesus turned and faced his disciples and rebuked Peter.
"Out of my way, Satan!" he said. "Peter, you are not looking at things from God's point of view, but from man's!"
Luke 9:22 - (After Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ, again he tells them not to say a word to anybody) ..... at the same time warning them of the inevitability of the Son of Man's great suffering, of his repudiation by the elders, chief priests and scribes, and of his death and of being raised to life again on the third day.
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19.2 THE TRANSFIGURATION OF JESUS
(Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36)
- God reveals Jesus' divinity to three of the apostles as he appears in a glorified form with the patriarch Moses and the prophet Elijah:
Matthew 17:1-13 - Six days later (after Jesus taught his disciples about his death and resurrection for a first time) Jesus chose Peter, James and his brother John, to accompany him high up on the hill-side (traditionally Mount Hermon or Mount Tabor) where they were quite alone. There his whole appearance changed before their eyes, his face shining like the sun and his clothes as white as light. Then Moses and Elijah were seen talking to Jesus.
"Lord," exclaimed Peter, "it is wonderful for us to be here! If you like I could put up three shelters, one each for you and Moses and Elijah -"
But while he was still talking a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice came out of the cloud: "This is my dearly loved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!"
When they heard this voice the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear. Then Jesus came up to them and touched them.
"Get up and don't be frightened," he said. And as they raised their eyes there was no one to be seen but Jesus himself.
On their way down the hill-side Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about what they had seen until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. Then the disciples demanded, "Why is it, then, that the scribes always say Elijah must come first?"
"Yes, Elijah does come first," replied Jesus, "and begins the world's reformation. But I tell you that Elijah has come already and men did not recognise him. They did what they liked with him, and they will do the same to the Son of Man."
Then they realised that he had been referring to John the Baptist.
Mark 9:2-13 - Six days later (as with Matthew), Jesus took Peter and James and John with him and led them high up on a hill-side where they were entirely alone. His whole appearance changed before their eyes, while his clothes became white, dazzling white - whiter than any earthly bleaching could make them. Elijah and Moses appeared to the disciples and stood there in conversation with Jesus. Peter burst out to Jesus, "Master, it is wonderful for us to be here! Shall we put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah?"
He really did not know what to say, for they were very frightened. Then came a cloud which overshadowed them and a voice spoke out of the cloud, "This is my dearly-loved Son. Listen to him!"
Then, quite suddenly they looked all round them and saw nobody at all with them but Jesus. And as they came down the hill-side, he warned them not to tell anybody what they had seen till "the Son of Man should have risen again from the dead". They treasured this remark and tried to puzzle out among themselves what "Rising from the dead" could mean. Then they asked him this question, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come before Christ?"
"It is quite true," he told them, "that Elijah does come first, and begins the restitution of all things. But what does the scripture say about the Son of Man? This: that he must go through much suffering and be treated with contempt! I tell you that not only has Elijah come already (as John the Baptist) but they have done to him exactly what they wanted - just as the scripture says of him."
Luke 9:28-36 - About eight days after these sayings (about his death and resurrection), Jesus took Peter, James and John and went off to the hill-side to pray. And then, while he was praying, the whole appearance of his face changed and his clothes became white and dazzling. And two men were talking with Jesus. They were Moses and Elijah - revealed in heavenly splendour, and their talk was about the way he must take and the end he must fulfil in Jerusalem. But Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep and it was as they struggled into wakefulness that they saw the glory of Jesus and the two men standing with him. Just as they were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is wonderful for us to be here! Let us put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." But he did not know what he was saying. While he was still talking, a cloud overshadowed them and awe swept over them as it enveloped them. A voice came out of the cloud, saying "This is my Son, my chosen! Listen to him!"
And while the voice was speaking, they found there was no one there at all but Jesus. The disciples were reduced to silence, and in those days never breathed a word to anyone to what they had seen.
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19.3 JESUS TEACHES ABOUT HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION FOR A SECOND TIME
(Matthew 17:22-23; Mark 9:30-32; Luke 9:43b-45)
Matthew 17:22-23 - As they went about together in Galilee (after healing the boy with epilepsy either in Caesarea Philippi or Galilee), Jesus told them, "The Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men, and they will kill him. And on the third day he will be raised to life again." This greatly distressed the disciples.
Mark 9:30-32 - Then they left that district (Caesarea Philippi or Galilee) and went straight through Galilee (towards Capernaum). Jesus kept this journey secret for he was teaching his disciples that the Son of Man would be betrayed into the power of men, that they would kill him and that three days after his death he would rise again. But they were completely mystified by this saying, and were afraid to question him about it.
Luke 9:43b-45 - And while everybody was full of wonder at all the things they saw him do (such as healing the epileptic boy), Jesus was saying to the disciples, "Store up in your minds what I tell you nowadays, for the Son of Man is going to be handed over to the power of men."
But they made no sense of this saying - something made it impossible for them to understand it, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
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The Last Months - c AD29-30
19.4 JESUS TEACHES ABOUT HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION FOR A THIRD TIME
(Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34)
Matthew 20:17-19 - Then, as he was about to go up to Jerusalem (from the Perea area across the River Jordan), Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and spoke to them as they walked along. "Listen, we are now going up to Jerusalem and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes - and they will condemn him to death. They will hand him over to the heathen to ridicule and flog and crucify. And on the third day he will rise again!"
Mark 10:32-34 - They were now on their way up to Jerusalem (as in Matthew) and Jesus walked on ahead. The disciples were dismayed at this, and those who followed were afraid. Then once more he took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to him.
"We are now going up to Jerusalem," he said, "as you can see. And the Son of Man will be betrayed into the power of the chief priests and scribes. They are going to condemn him to death and hand him over to pagans who will jeer at him and spit at him and flog him and kill him. But after three days he will rise again."
Luke 18:31-34 - Then Jesus took the twelve on one side and spoke to them, "Listen to me. We are now going up to Jerusalem and everything that has been written by the prophets about the Son of Man will come true. For he will be handed over to the heathen, and he is going to be jeered at and insulted and spat upon, and then they will flog and kill him. But he will rise again on the third day."
But they did not understand any of this, His words were quite obscure to them and they had no idea of what he meant.
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The Last Week in Jerusalem - Spring c AD30
19.5 .... AND BEFORE HIS ANOINTING AT BETHANY
Matthew 26:1-2 - When Jesus had finished all this teaching (at the close of Matthew's Fifth and final Discourse, "The End-times and the Second Coming") he spoke to his disciples, "Do you realise that the Passover will begin in two days' time; and the Son of Man is going to be betrayed and crucified?"
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The three year ministry of Jesus comes to an end. In the chapters and verses following, Jesus makes his final and triumphal entry into Jerusalem. After further confrontations with the Jewish religious establishment, he moves inevitably towards arrest, trial, sentence and death by Roman crucifixion.
Thus the earthly work of this man, unsurpassed in his obedience to God, his humanity, his love, and his teaching is over. In the eyes of most of his followers, his failure to bring about the kingdom of heaven on earth is total.
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J.B.Phillips, "The New Testament in Modern English", 1962 edition, published by HarperCollins, is presented here with the kind permission of Mrs Vera Phillips and the J.B.Phillips estate