LIFE OF CHRIST
A Harmony of the Gospels
For a general introduction to the four Gospels and their correlation,
see the Introduction in Book 2 of this
Life of Christ Book 2 consists of events that took place at
approximately A.D. 33-35, when the Man, Jesus, was in
His 33rd year of age.
We will examine:
||The Footprints of Jesus in the Year of Opposition
||The Footprints of Jesus in His Last Months
||The Footprints of Jesus during His Last Days
||The Hours of Jesus upon the Cross
||The Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus
There are many opinions as to the Chronology of the four Gospels.
In this study we will follow, in most parts, the chronological
listings by F. C. Thompson in his
Chain-Reference Bible, in the Comprehensive Bible Helps.
When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their
synagogue, so that they were astonished and said,
did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? (55)
Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary?
And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? (56)
And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this
Man get all these things?" (57) So they were
offended at Him.
Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not
without honor except in his own country and in his own house."
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their
Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His
disciples followed Him. (2) And when the Sabbath had
come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him
were astonished, saying,
did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is
given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!
(3) Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and
brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His
sisters here with us?" So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not
without honor except in his own country, among his own
relatives, and in his own house."
Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His
hands on a few sick people and healed them. (6) And
He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the
villages in a circuit, teaching.
And He went out from there
We are not exactly sure just how long Jesus had been ministering
without a chance to stop and rest, but we do know that He had been going
for some time, almost to the point of exhaustion.
Scripture references and discussion on this portion is found in
Lessons 10-13 of Life of Christ Book 1.
||While ministering to the multitudes, He
was accused of doing His mighty works by the power of Satan
||While this was going on, His
mother and brothers came to get Him, apparently because they
were afraid either for His safety or His sanity
||He left the crowded house in which He
had been ministering, to go to the seaside, to better
accommodate the multitudes
||Having ministered to the multitudes for
some time, He returned to the house (probably Peter's),
the multitudes following
||With the people thronging the house,
He went once again to the seaside, the multitudes still following
||He and His disciples launched into the
Sea of Galilee in a boat, where Jesus finally was able to fall
||But not for long, because a great storm
came upon them, and the disciples woke Him, whereupon Jesus
commanded the waves and the storm to cease
||They landed on the far shore of Galilee
(in the country of the Gadarenes), where they were met by two
||After releasing the men from the
demons, the people of the town ran Him out, probably
because their swine had been destroyed
||They returned by boat to their side of
Galilee, only to be met by the multitudes waiting for Jesus
||Part of that multitude was a man named
Jairus, who wanted Jesus to come to his house to heal his
daughter, who was at the point of death
||On the way, as the ever-present
masses crowded around Him, He stopped to speak with the woman
with the issue of blood
||As He tarried with the woman, the
crowds still pushing and pulling all around Him, word came that
Jairus' daughter had already died
||Jesus came to the house where the girl
lay, met by the customary wailing and screeching of the
mourners, and when He said that the girl was only asleep,
they would not believe Him
||Jesus had everyone leave the house,
except the girl's mother, her father, Peter,
James, and John, and He proceeded to raise the girl from
||As they left the house of Jairus to
return to the house in which Jesus was staying, two blind men
followed Him right into the house, crying out for Jesus to
heal them, which He did
||Leaving the house once again,
there was brought to Him a man possessed with a devil
||After delivering the man from the
demon, as the people marveled, Jesus was once again
accused, by the Pharisees, of casting out devils by the
Prince of devils
It is at this point that Mark picks up the story, and says, "And
He went out from thence."
Considering the facts that Jesus was already exhausted at the beginning of
these above proceedings, and that they had happened one right after the
other with little or no time for Him to rest, it can be supposed that
Jesus was going home to Nazareth to be with His family, and possibly a few
days of relaxation.
Is this not the carpenter's son?
Among the ancient Jews, every father was bound to do four things for his
This was founded on the following just maxim:
||To circumcise him
||(on the 8th day)
||To redeem him
||(on the 40th day-for the price of
5 shekels of the sanctuary, about $2.50)
||To teach him the law
||(by the time he was 12)
||To teach him a trade
||(by the time he was 20)
|"He who teaches not his son
to do some work, is as if he taught him robbery!"
Therefore, Mark records them saying, not only is Jesus the Carpenter's son (as in Matthew), but
|"is not this the carpenter?"
Showing that Jesus was,
His own right, as an adult Jewish male, a carpenter - not only as
Also, as custom had it, Jesus (being the first-born) would not only have been taught the trade,
|but would have been trained to
be head of the business, which would also make Mark's report qualify Jesus
as "the carpenter."
Jesus was known at first in Nazareth, as the son of Joseph the carpenter,
after the Joseph's death, as the
carpenter of Nazareth.
Justin Martyr speaks of the ploughs and yokes that
Jesus made. He worked in the carpenter shop until He was thirty years old. There He developed the strong physique that stood Him in good stead during
those strenuous years of His ministry.
They were offended at Him
The contrast between a peasant of Galilee, who had earned His daily bread
by the sweat of His brow for the first 30 years of His life, with the
Person who delivered those wonderful discourses and performed those
miracles, was too much for His townspeople. They were offended in Him.
Greek word is 'skandalizo'- "scandalize"
|To put a stumbling block or impediment in the way
upon which another may trip or fall.
|To cause a person to begin to distrust one whom he
ought to trust and obey.
In a passive sense, it is:
|To find occasion of stumbling in a person.
|To be offended in a person.
|To see in another what one disapproves of and what
hinders one from acknowledging his authority.
They could not explain Him, so they rejected
They could not understand, so they would not
The Greek word "prophet" (prophetes) means primarily "a forth-teller, one
who speaks out God's message."
The act of predicting future events is only incidental to his chief work.
Except a few sick people
The word "sick" is 'arrostos' - "without strength, weak. .."
This is sickness regarded as constitutional
Expositors remarks that the people of Nazareth were so
consistently unbelieving that they would not even bring their sick to Him
to be healed.
Jesus healed all that came to Him in faith - He met the
need - but He never put on an exhibition to satisfy someone's curiosity.
He marveled because of their unbelief
Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion -
Nazareth supplied the opposite ground of astonishment.
There Jesus found such an amount of
unreceptive response that He was completely astounded.
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for
them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having
no shepherd. (37) Then He said to His disciples, "The
harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. (38)
Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into
|(1) And when He had called
His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean
spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and
all kinds of disease.
(2) Now the names of the twelve apostles are these:
first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew
his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his
brother; (3) Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and
Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and
Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; (4) Simon the
Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
|(5) These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them,
saying: "Do not go into the way of
the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.
(6) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of
Israel. (7) And as you go, preach, saying,
'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' (8) Heal the
sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.
Freely you have received, freely give.
Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,
(10) nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor
sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
| (11) "Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire
who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. (12)
And when you go into a household, greet it. (13) If
the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it
is not worthy, let your peace return to you. (14)
And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you
depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your
feet. (15) Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more
tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of
judgment than for that city!"
And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out
two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.
He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff
-- no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts -- (9)
but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.
|(10) Also He said to them, "In whatever place you enter a
house, stay there till you depart from that place. (11)
And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart
from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony
against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that
|(12) So they went out and preached that people should
repent. (13) And they cast out many demons, and
anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
|(1) Then He called His
twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over
all demons, and to cure diseases. (2) He sent them
to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
And He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither
staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics
(4) "Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there
depart. (5) And whoever will not receive you, when
you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet
as a testimony against them."
|(6) So they departed and went through the towns, preaching
the gospel and healing everywhere.
He was moved with compassion
This is characteristic of Jesus, and should be of believers.
that drawing and agitation of the innermost parts at the sight of any
distressed or miserable object.
It causes revolting action in the
innermost being (according to the Greek word, 'esplagchnisthe', it
involves the intestines, or bowels) to bring deliverance from such
unlawful and inhuman misery and suffering.
Mintert says, "to be moved with
pity from the very inmost bowels. It is an emphatic by which the bowels
and especially the heart is moved."
Whereas pity and sympathy alone can be
|Compassion cannot be passive
|It is ALWAYS ACTIVE -
6 examples of the compassion of Jesus:
||For the Multitude
||Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32
||For the Unfortunate
||For the Leper
||For the Bereaved
||Luke 7:13; John 11:35
||For His Enemies
Compassion = Love In Action
This is the first place where the word is used.
||one sent forth as a messenger or agent, the
bearer of a commission, a messenger
The verb used in Mark 6:7 "send them forth" is 'apostellein' from 'apostello'
I send forth:
A messenger, A message, An agent, or a command.
In Mark 6:7 it is in the present tense (in Mark 6:7) - "He
began to be sending them forth."
They were merely learners (disciples) until Christ gave them authority.
Apostle in the Old Testament
||Many scholars believe that the rabbinic office of
the shaliach -- attested by 150 A.D. -- constitutes the proper
background for understanding the New Testament term "apostle."
||The shaliach was established as a legal institution in rabbinic Judaism
to insure that an appointed "messenger"
was given due regard as the legal representative of his sender.
||The shaliach functioned with the full
authority of the one who commissioned him.
||According to Jewish tradition, "A man's agent
(shaliach) is like to himself"
Berakoth 5:5; Rosh ha-Shanah 4:9; compare 1 Sam 25:40-41; 2 Sam
|| The "sending" and
commissioning of the great prophetic figures Moses and Isaiah
(Ex 3:10; Isa 6:8) where the Hebrew verb for sending,
shalach, is translated by apostello in the
Septuagint as divine spokesmen surely influenced the New
Testament word, "apostle."
||We may also note that the same "sending"
terminology is applied to other noteworthy characters such as Elijah
(2 Kings 2:2,4,6), Jeremiah (Jer 1:7), and Ezekiel (Ezek 2:3,4).
Apostle in the New Testament
(from Holman Bible Dictionary. (c) Copyright 1991 by Holman Bible
Publishers. All rights reserved.)
||Jesus originally gave the title to His
closest circle of friends, the twelve (Luke 6:13).
||He especially indicated their status as emissaries
He had set apart to announce the good news of the kingdom (Matt
10:1-23; Luke 8:1; 9:1-6).
||After the resurrection, the term was expanded by the
early church to refer not only to the twelve, but to a wider
circle of authoritative preachers and witnesses of the resurrected
Lord (Acts 14:4,14; Rom 16:7; 1 Cor 4:9; 15:5-9; 2 Cor 11:13; Gal
||The term "apostle" did not, however, have limitless application in
the New Testament period. It extended to gospel witnesses other than
the twelve but not to all proclaimers of the gospel. It was never so
broad in New Testament use as to be an ancient equivalent to the
modern term "missionary." The term "apostle," most immediately
brought to mind its central function: to preach the gospel; but all
those who preached the gospel were not designated "apostles." There
is, for example, a striking absence of the term with reference to
Timothy (2 Cor 1:1; Phil 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1), Sosthenes (1 Cor 1:1), and Silas (1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1), who
were certainly not only Paul's fellow workers but also preachers of
the gospel (compare 2 Cor 1:19). Thus, others in the Pauline
missionary party were called, for example, "brother," "fellow
worker," or "bond servant" (Rom 16:3; Phil 2:25; Col 4:7-14; 1 Thess
3:1); but the term "apostle" had a more exclusive, and thus more
||James the brother of Jesus (Matt 13:55) was
certainly no follower of his Brother during His ministry (Mark
3:21,31-35; John 7:3-5). He still became an
"apostle" and leader of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:1-21;
Gal 1:18,19) following his encounter with the resurrected Lord
(1 Cor 15:7).
||In a similar way, Paul's vision of, and
calling by, the resurrected Lord won for him the designation
"apostle" (1 Cor 9:1; 15:8-11; Gal 1:11-2:10).
Gave them power
The word "power" used here is 'exousia' -delegated authority -
|"...and gave them authority and power. ..."
The verb, "gave" is in the
imperfect tense, and means that He not only gave them one lump sum of power,
He was continuously giving.
It could be translated "And He kept on giving them
He was continuously giving them power and
|ALL kinds of Disease
|ALL kinds of Weakness and Infirmity
|ALL demons (Devils, or any and all
power of Satan)
Began to send them out two by two
Mark tells us that Jesus sent them out by two's.
Matthew does not
explicitly say it as does Mark, however this list of the twelve in Matthew
10:2-4 is the only one that lists them by twos:
|Simon Peter and Andrew
James and John.
Philip and Bartholomew
Thomas and Matthew.
James of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus
Simon Zelotes and Judas Iscariot
(There are three other lists - Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14;
Acts 1:13 See Lesson 7 of Life of Christ
He commanded them
In Matthew 10:5-42 Jesus instructs the twelve on their mission.
directory divides itself into three distinct parts:
||Contains directions for the brief and
temporary mission on which they were now going
forth, with respect to:
|The Places they were to go to
|The Works they were to do
|The Message they were to bear
|The Manner in which they were to conduct
||Contains directions of no such limited
and temporary nature, but opens out into the permanent exercise of
the Gospel ministry until the close of the Gospel dispensation.
||Is of wider application still, reaching
not only to the work of the ministry in every age, but to the
service of Christ in the widest sense.
It is a strong confirmation of this threefold division, that each part
closes with the words, "Assuredly (or verily) I say unto you " (Vs. 15, 23, 42).
||Instruction for the immediate mission
||Go ... to ... the House of Israel
||And you shall be to Me a kingdom of
priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall
speak to the children of Israel.
||But you shall be named the priests of the
LORD, they shall call you the servants of our
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall
||... It was necessary that the word
of God should be spoken to you first;
but since you reject it ... behold, we turn to the Gentiles.
||But when they opposed him and blasphemed
... he said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads; I
am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
|Acts 28:27, 28
||For the hearts of this people have grown
dull ... the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they
will hear it!
||...the gospel of Christ...to the Jew
first, and also to the Greek.
||Tribulation and anguish, on every soul of
man who does evil,
of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.
||But glory, honor, and peace to everyone
who works what is good,
to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
God is true to His promises. He gave Israel every chance and opportunity
to be what He promised they could be. Israel was to receive the Gospel
first out of PRECEDENCE, not
And as you go
They were to:
||Preach the kingdom of heaven
||(it is "at hand", or already here)
||Heal the sick
||Raise the dead
||Cleanse the lepers
||Cast out devils
Although they were not to charge any fees for the above services, they
were not to take with them:
||Any money of any kind
||(gold, silver, brass)
||Anything extra for the journey
||(neither 2 coats- actually, these were
under-garments -, extra shoes, or staff- other than what they were
wearing or using at the moment)
||("scrip" is translated sometimes as "wallet" -this
was called 'tormil' by the rabbins; it was a leathern pouch hung
about their necks, in which they put their victuals. ...This was
properly called the "shepherd's bag.")
When they came to a town, they were to:
||Inquire who is worthy
||(of a good character)
||Stay at the first house that will
||(They were not to make a "trial run" to
see where they would rather stay)
||Bless those who accept them
When they left a town or house, they were to:
||Leave their peace and
blessings from those who accept them
||Retract their peace and
blessings from those who reject them
||Renounce completely those who reject
||(to shake the dust of any city of
Israel from off one's clothes or feet was an emblematical action,
signifying a renunciation of all farther connection with them, and
placing them on a level with the cities of the heathen).
From the description of this first mission of the twelve, we learn these
important facts about the Gospel:
||(the kingdom of heaven)
||(the total release from the power of
||(must come first the urgency)
||(more important than any other interest
||(refer to Luke 22:35)
||(they were not to gad about, but to
continue until done)
||(its acceptance results both physical,
(16) Behold, I send you out as sheep in
the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as
doves. (17) But beware of men, for they will deliver you
up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. (18)
You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a
testimony to them and to the Gentiles. (19) But when
they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should
speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should
speak; (20) for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit
of your Father who speaks in you.
(21) Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a
father his child; and children will rise up against parents and
cause them to be put to death. (22) And you will be
hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will
be saved. (23) When they persecute you in this city,
flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone
through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
I send you out
||(Helpless unless guarded by the shepherd)
||(carnivorous - their main activity is
finding something to eat)
||Jesus referred to the false prophets as
||"My sheep hear my voice. ..and they
||"...a stranger will they not follow."
||"But though we, or an angel from
heaven, preach any other gospel...let him be accursed."
||Be wise as serpents
||(they never unduly expose themselves to
||Be harmless as doves
||(they never provoke enmity , and they
do not fight back when attacked)
|In the Amplified
||" be wary and wise as serpents, and be
innocent -harmless, guileless and without falsity -as doves.".
||" the serpent was more subtle and crafty than
any living creature of the field..."
|To be "harmless as doves"
implies a meaning of gentleness.
In other words
||Beware of men
||Deliver you up to the councils
| In addition to the
Sanhedrin or Council there were councils of an inferior
degree. There is some obscurity in connection with their
history and construction:
||They are supposed to
have been originated by Moses (Deuteronomy 16:18)
||In later times there
were two of them in Jerusalem, and one in Palestine.
||The rabbins say there
was twenty-three judges to each of these councils
every place where the population was a hundred and twenty , and three
judges where the population was less.
||Josephus, however, says
that there were seven judges to each council, and
that each judge had two Levites to assist him.
||These councils had
power not only to judge civil cases, but also such
criminal cases as did not come within the
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, or Sanhedrin.
||In the provinces they
at first met in the market place, but afterward in a
room adjoining the synagogue.
||Some writers suppose
that these local provincial councils are identical
with the "elders" and "rulers
of the synagogue," so often mentioned in
the New Testament.
Scourge you in their synagogues
|The discipline of the
was severe. Besides excommunication, scourging was
||The number of the
stripes was limited by law to forty save one
This is not to be confused with the Roman scourging,
who had no such law
||To prevent the
possibility of excess, by mistake in counting, the
legal number was reduced by one, or a total of 39
||It is said,
however, that in aggravated cases the stripes
were laid on with greater severity than usual
||The rabbins reckon 168
faults to be punished by scourging; in fact,
all punishable faults to which the law has not
annexed the penalty of death
||Burder says: "The
offender was stripped from his shoulders to his
middle, and tied by his arms to a pretty low
pillar, that he might lean forward, and
the executioner might more easily come at his back.
It is said that, after the stripping of the
criminal, the executioner mounted upon a
stone, to have more power over him, and
then scourged him both on the back and chest with
thongs made of an ox's hide, in open court,
before the face of the judges."
||DO NOT WORRY
||(The King James says "take no
||Now therefore go, and I will be
with thy mouth
|Isaiah 51: 16
||And I have put my words in thy
||I will make my words in thy mouth
|Luke 21: 15
||For I will give you a mouth and
wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not Be able to
gainsay nor resist
|1 Corinthians 2:13
||...not in words which man teaches, but which the Holy Ghost
NOTE: In Matthew 9:5 Jesus specifically told them not to go to the
However, in this situation, in Matthew 10:18, He tells them that one of the reasons for
their persecution is to be a witness to the Gentiles.
||Service in Every Age
||It is enough for the Disciple to be as his Master
(24) "A disciple is not above his
teacher, nor a servant above his master. (25) It is
enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant
like his master. If they have called the master of the house
Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!
(26) Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered
that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
(27) "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what
you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. (28) And
do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But
rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
(29) Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one
of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.
(30) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
(31) Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many
(32) "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also
confess before My Father who is in heaven. (33) But
whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father
who is in heaven.
(34) "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did
not come to bring peace but a sword. (35) For I have
come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her
mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; (36)
and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' (37)
He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of
Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of
Me. (38) And he who does not take his cross and follow
after Me is not worthy of Me. (39) He who finds his life
will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
(40) "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me
receives Him who sent Me. (41) He who receives a prophet
in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he
who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall
receive a righteous man's reward. (42) And whoever gives
one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a
disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his
|It is enough
||IT IS ENOUGH
||TO BE LIKE
||Fear them not
||Jesus says of them who persecute,
for all things will be brought to justice
(Nahum 1:2; Romans 12:19)
||Be not afraid
||Jesus says of them who kill the body,
for they are not able to touch the soul
||Jesus says, promising that those
who confess Him before men, He will confess before His Father
Jesus told the disciples that they were to
BEWARE of men,
but not to FEAR
In these three "fear not's" we find:
||Nothing that shall not be known
||The soul is safe with Him
||You are of more value than many
||Proclaim upon the housetops
||To Him who has all power
||You are of more value
I did not come to bring peace
|Brother shall deliver up Brother to death
||A man at variance against his father
|Father shall deliver up the Child to death
||The daughter at variance against her mother
|Children shall deliver up Parents to death
||The daughter in law against her mother in law
|Ye shall be hated of all men
||Foes shall be of his own household
|He that endures to the end shall be saved
||He that loses his life for My sake shall find it
Excerpts from Farrar
He at once warned and comforted them by reminding them of what He Himself
had suffered, and how He had been opposed. Let them not fear. The God who
cared even for the little birds when they fell to the ground - the God by
whom the very hairs of their head were numbered - the God who held in His
hand the issues, not of life and death only, but of
ETERNAL life and of ETERNAL death, and who was therefore more to be feared than the wolves of
earth - He was with them. They were being sent forth into a world of
strife, which would seem even the more deadly because of the peace that it
rejected. Even their nearest and dearest might side with the world
against them. But they who would be His true followers must for His sake
give up ALL; must even take up their cross and follow Him. But then, for
their comfort, He told them that they should be as He was in the world; that they who receive them should receive Him; that to lose their lives
for His sake would be to more than find them.
(Life of Christ by Dr. Frederic W. Farrar Copyright: 1949)
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus
(2) and said to his servants, "This is John the
Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers
are at work in him."
For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him
in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's
wife. (4) Because John had said to him, "It is not
lawful for you to have her." (5) And although he
wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because
they counted him as a prophet.
But when Herod's birthday was celebrated, the daughter of
Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. (7)
Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she
So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, "Give me John
the Baptist's head here on a platter."
And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and
because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given
to her. (10) So he sent and had John beheaded in
prison. (11) And his head was brought on a platter
and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it,
and went and told Jesus.
Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known.
And he said, "John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and
therefore these powers are at work in him."
(15) Others said, "It is Elijah."
And others said, "It is the Prophet, or like one of the
But when Herod heard, he said, "This is John, whom I beheaded;
he has been raised from the dead!"
For Herod himself had sent and laid hold of John, and bound him
in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's
wife; for he had married her. (18) Because John had said
to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's
(19) Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to
kill him, but she could not; (20) for Herod feared
John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected
him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him
Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a
feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of
Galilee. (22) And when Herodias' daughter herself
came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with
him, the king said to the girl, "Ask me whatever you want, and I
will give it to you." (23) He also swore to her,
"Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom."
So she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?"
And she said, "The head of John the Baptist!"
(25) Immediately she came in with haste to the king and
asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John
the Baptist on a platter."
And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths
and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse
her. (27) Immediately the king sent an executioner
and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded
him in prison, (28) brought his head on a platter, and
gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his
corpse and laid it in a tomb.
Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he
was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen
from the dead, (8) and by some that Elijah had
appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen
Herod said, "John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I
hear such things?" So he sought to see Him.
For the sake of Herodias
Herod Antipas, to whom, on the death of Herod the Great, had fallen
the tetrarchy of Galilee, was about as weak and miserable a prince as ever
disgraced the throne of an afflicted country . Cruel, crafty, and
voluptuous like his father, he was also, unlike his father, weak in war and
vacillating in peace. In him, as in so many characters that stand
conspicuous on the stage of history, infidelity and superstition went
hand in hand. But the morbid terrors of a guilty conscience did not save
him from the criminal extravagances of a violent will. He was a man in
whom were mingled the worst features of the Roman, the Oriental, and the
It was the policy of the numerous princes that owed their very
existence to Roman intervention, to pay frequent visits of ceremony
to the Emperor at Rome. During one of these visits (possibly
to condole with Tiberius on the death of his son Drusus, or his mother Livia) Antipas had
been the guest of his brother Herod Philip (not the tetrarch of that name, but a son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, daughter of Simon the Boethusian, who having been disinherited by his father, was living at Rome
as a private person). Here the snares of Herodias, his brother Philip's
wife; entangled Antipas and he repaid the hospitality he had received by
carrying her off.
Everything combined to make the act as
detestable as it was ungrateful and treacherous. The
Herod' s carried intermarriage to an extent that only prevailed in
the worst and most dissolute of the Oriental and post Macedonian
|Herodias being the daughter of
Aristobulus was not only the sister- in-law, but also the
niece of Antipas; she had already borne to her husband
(Philip) a daughter, who was now grown up.
had himself long been married to the daughter of Aretas, or Hareth,
Emir of Arabia.
|Neither he nor Herodias were young enough to
plead even the poor excuse of youthful passion.
|Antipas promised on his return from Rome to
make her his wife, and she exacted from him a pledge that he
would divorce his innocent wife, the daughter of the Arabian
|The sole temptation on his side was an
impotent sensuality; on hers an extravagant ambition.
preferred a marriage doubly adulterous and doubly incestuous to a life
spent with the only Herod who could not boast even the fraction of a
From this moment began for Herod
Antipas a series of annoyances and misfortunes, which only
culminated in his death years afterwards in discrowned royalty and unpitied exile. Herodias became from the first the
evil genius of his house. The Arabian princes, without waiting to be
divorced, indignantly fled, first to the border castle of Machaerus, and
then to the rocky fortresses of her father . He, in his just indignation, broke off all amicable relations with his quondam son-in-law, and
subsequently declared war against him, in which he avenged himself by the
infliction of a severe and ruinous defeat. The people were scandalized and
outraged. Family dissensions were embittered. Nor was this all. Sin, and
the adulterous union had to be cemented with a prophet's blood.
And Herod ... heard him
In the bright and gilded halls of
anyone of those sumptuous palaces that the Herods delighted to
build, the dissolute tyrant may have succeeded perhaps in
shutting out the deep murmur of his subject's
indignation; but there was one voice that reached him, and agitated his
conscience, and would not be silenced. It was the voice of the great
He summoned John to his presence.
Like anew Elijah before another Ahab. His words - the simple
words of truth and justice - the calm reasonings about
righteousness, temperance, and the judgment to come -
fell like flakes of fire on that hard and icy conscience.
Herod, alarmed perhaps by the fulfillment of the old curse of
the Mosaic Law in the childlessness of his union, listened with some dim and feeble hope of future amendment. He even did many things gladly because of John. But there was
that he would not do - and that was, give up the guilty love that mastered
him, or dismiss the haughty imperious woman who ruled his life after
ruining his peace. "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife," was the blunt declaration of the dauntless Prophet.
Hitherto, indeed, the
timidity or the scruples of Herod Antipas had afforded John - so far
as his mere life was concerned - a precarious protection from the
concentrated venom of an adulteress's hate. But at last
what she had failed to gain by passionate influence she succeeded in
gaining by subtle fraud. She knew well that even from his
prison the voice of John might be more powerful than all the
influences of her fading beauty, and might succeed at last in tearing from her forehead that guilty
crown. But she watched her opportunity, and was not long in gaining her
When Herod's birthday was celebrated
The Herodian princes, imitating the luxurious example of their great
prototypes, the Roman emperors, were fond of magnificent banquets and
splendid anniversaries. Among others they had adopted the heathen fashion
of birthday celebrations, and Antipas on his birthday - apparently at Machaerus - prepared a banquet for his courtiers, and generals, and
When Herodias' daughter danced
Dancers and dancing - women were at that time in great request. The
Passion for witnessing these too often indecent and degrading
representations had naturally made its way into the Sadducean and semi-pagan court of these usurping Edomites. A luxurious feast of the period
was not regarded as complete unless it closed with some gross pantomimic
But he had not anticipated for his guests the rare luxury of seeing a
princess - his own niece, a granddaughter of Herod the Great, and of
Mariamne, a descendant, therefore, of Simon the High Priest, and the great
line of Maccabaean princes - honoring them by degrading herself into a
scenic dancer. Such dancing was almost an unprecedented thing for women
of rank, or even respectability. It was mimetic and licentious, and
performed only by professionals with loose morals.
Give me here ... on a platter
The girl flew to her mother, and said, "What shall I ask?"
exactly what Herodias expected.
In darkness and in secrecy the scene
was enacted, and if any saw it their lips were sealed; but the executioner
emerged into the light carrying by the hair that noble head, and then and
there, in all the ghostliness of recent death, it was placed upon a dish
from the royal table. Salome received it and carried the hideous burden to
her mother. It was a bitter termination of his birthday feast.
Herod heard about Jesus
When Herod heard of the works of Jesus, he gave a most emphatic
He could not forget that sight of John's head dripping with
blood as the gold platter was brought:
It could be literally translated: "Whom I, I beheaded, John, he it is, he
is risen from among the dead."
||The emphatic words in a Greek sentence
are at the beginning - "Whom I beheaded."
||The "I" is emphatic, since it
appears as a personal pronoun in the Greek text, and also in
the verb form.
||The demonstrative pronoun "this
one" is also emphatic.
In the lives of Antipas and Herodias we find a long history of:
When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a
deserted place by Himself.
when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot
from the cities.
And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude;
He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, "This is
a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the
multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy
(16) But Jesus said to them, "They
do not need to go away. You give them something to eat."
And they said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two
(18) He said, "Bring them here to Me."
Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And
He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to
heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the
disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
So they all ate and were filled,
they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.
(21) Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men,
besides women and children.
Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things,
both what they had done and what they had taught. (31)
And He said to them, "Come aside by
yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."
there were many coming and going, and they did not even have
time to eat. (32) So they departed to a
deserted place in the boat by themselves.
But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran
there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and
came together to Him.
And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude
moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not
having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and
said, "This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late.
(36) Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding
country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have
nothing to eat."
(37) But He answered and said to them, "You
give them something to eat."
they said to Him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth
of bread and give them something to eat?"
(38) But He said to them, "How many
loaves do you have? Go and see."
when they found out they said, "five, and two fish."
Then He commanded them to make them all sit down in groups on
the green grass. (40) So they sat down in ranks, in
hundreds and in fifties. (41) And when He had taken
the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven,
blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to
set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all.
So they all ate and were filled.
And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the
fish. (44) Now those who had eaten the loaves were
about five thousand men.
And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they
had done. Then
took them and went aside privately into a deserted place
belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him;
received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and
healed those who had need of healing.
When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to
Him, "Send the multitude away, that they may go into the
surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for
we are in a deserted place here."
(13) But He said to them, "You give
them something to eat."
they said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish,
unless we go and buy food for all these people." (14)
For there were about five thousand men.
He said to His disciples, "Make them sit
down in groups of fifty." (15) And they did
so, and made them all sit down.
(16) Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and
looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them
to the disciples to set before the multitude.
So they all ate and were filled,
twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.
After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is
the Sea of Tiberias.
Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs
which He performed on those who were diseased. (3)
And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His
Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. (5)
Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude
coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where
shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" (6)
But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would
do. (7) Philip answered Him, "two hundred denarii
worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of
them may have a little."
One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to
Him, (9) "There is a lad here who has five barley
loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"
Then Jesus said, "Make the people sit
down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men
sat down, in number about five thousand. (11) And
Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He
distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those
sitting down; and likewise of the fish,
as they wanted. (12) So when they were filled, He
said to His disciples, "Gather up the
fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost."
Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with
the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by
those who had eaten. (14) Then those men, when they
had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the
Prophet who is to come into the world."
The feeding of the five thousand is the first major incident in the life
of Jesus before His last visit to Jerusalem, which is recorded by all four
Generally it may be said that the Synoptic narratives are
given in broad outline, as part of a prolonged ministry. John's narrative
is part of an isolated episode, but at the same time individual in detail:
|In the synoptics
(the 3 Gospels)
|Those actively involved were "the
disciples," or "the twelve" and Jesus
||It is more specifically Jesus, and
Philip, and Andrew
Departed to a deserted place
||Jesus had just heard that John the
Baptist had been beheaded
||Herod was seeking to see Him
||His own disciples were back from their
tour, and were in need of rest
A city called Bethsaida
This is another
north-east of the Sea of Tiberias.
This Bethsaida was a village in Gaulonitis (now Jaulan) and enlarged
to be the capital by Philip the tetrarch
(half brother of Antipas, and
future husband of Salome) who called it Julias, after Julia, the daughter
of Emperor Augustus.
They ran ... from all the cities
They ran together, excited and exciting, each town on the way contributing
its rill to the growing stream of eager human beings - what a picture! The
ultimate result - a congregation of over 5,000!
Where shall we buy bread?
This Jesus said aside to Philip as He saw the multitudes coming.
left Philip with this question unanswered as He ministered to the
To test him
Literally, "trying" him, to see whether he could meet the difficulty.
was an exercise of faith.
Philip overlooked the obvious as he had just returned from their first
||Where was their power to heal the sick?
||Where was their power to raise the dead?
||Where was their power to cleanse the leper?
||Where was their power to cast out the demons?
||Where was their power to provide food, clothes, and
These five things Philip himself had experienced first-hand, and had
returned to Jesus with a glowing report -
yet he was at a loss to answer,
"Where shall we buy bread?"
Two hundred denarii
The Greek text has "denarion," a silver coin. Approximately $35.00.
was possibly the sum total they had in their possession, and Philip,
limiting God to what he could see in the natural, said: "It isn't enough.
It is totally impossible!"
The day was now far spent
They had two evenings:
||began at 3:00
||was at sunset
At this time it was between the two, as Matthew 14:23 refers to the second
YOU give them something to eat
The "you" in the Greek text is intensive.
The disciples had just suggested
that the crowd be sent away to buy
They saw the need for the people to get something to eat, and Jesus
replied, "You, EVEN YOU, give them to eat."
Expositors notes that as far as the disciples were concerned, they
were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and nothing could be done!
How many loaves do you have?
Jesus did not ask the disciples to give anything they did not already
He only asked that they give to Him what they did have.
He would only ask of us that we give ourselves to Him
|He will bless it
He may need to break it
But he WILL use it
And it will be enough
The largest loaf was about 5 or 6 inches in diameter, about 1
inch thick or the size of three slices of
our bread, and more solid. It was not light bread. One man could easily
eat one loaf; some could eat several loaves.
Barley loaves -
Barley bread was the food of the poor.
Sit down in groups
The word for "sit down" is the word used of a person reclining on a couch
at a banquet.
It means, "to lean up."
The raised head of the couch would
be at the table side and the person dining would lean up on the couch.
Here, the command was merely to recline on the green grass and wait to be
The words "in groups" originally meant "a drinking party ," then "the
party of guests of any kind, without the notion of drinking."
seated like companies at tables open at the end.
The Jewish dining room was arranged like the Roman:
|Three tables forming three sides of a square
With divans or couches following the outside line of the tables
The open end of the square admitted the servants who waited at table
This explains the arrangement of the multitude here
described by Mark.
|The people reclined, literally, "in table-companies"
Arranged like guests at a table
Some companies of a hundred and some of fifty
In squares or oblongs open at one end
So that the disciples could pass along the inside and distribute the
He broke and gave
The verb form for "broke" is in the aorist tense in the Greek, which is an
instantaneous act that took place and was completed.
The verb form for "gave" is in the imperfect tense, which is a
act that began to take place, with no reference to the end.
Jesus, as the bread of life, the true bread from heaven, was broken once
and for all, but He began to give out, and there is no end to Him. This
phrase can be translated "He broke, and kept giving out."
They were all filled
This is an expression of COMPLETE SATISFACTION
Elisha by the gift of miracles multiplied bread from 20 loaves to feed
100 men (2 Kings 4:42-44).
Christ must have multiplied bread equal to 5,000 to 20,000 such loaves.
He also multiplied the fish to as much as the 5,000 men could eat
and had 12 baskets over (Mark 6:43).
Gather up the fragments (broken pieces)
Not only was there plenty for complete satisfaction of the present, but
also there is ample provision for the
The "lost" in this phrase is "destroyed, wasted."
This speaks of the
ABUNDANCE in Christ:
"Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price. (NKJV)
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house.
I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread. (NKJV)
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you,
always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance
for every good work. (NKJV)
Ephesians 3 :20
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask
or think, according to the power that works in us.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by
Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go
before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.
(23) And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up
on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He
was alone there.
But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the
waves, for the wind was contrary.
Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking
on the sea. (26) And when the disciples saw Him
walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!"
And they cried out for fear. (27) But immediately
Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good
cheer! It is I; do not be afraid."
And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me
to come to You on the water."
(29) So He said, "Come." And
when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water
to go to Jesus. (30) But when he saw that the wind
was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried
out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
(31) And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and
caught him, and said to him, "O you of
little faith, why did you doubt?"
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
(33) Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped
Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God."
When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
(35) And when the men of that place recognized Him, they
sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all
who were sick, (36) and begged Him that they might
only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it
were made perfectly well.
Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go
before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the
multitude away. (46) And when He had sent them away,
He departed to the mountain to pray.
Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea;
and He was alone on the land. (48) Then He saw them
straining at rowing, for the wind was against them.
about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on
the sea, and would have passed them by. (49) And
when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a
ghost, and cried out; (50) for they all saw Him and
were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to
them, "Be of good cheer! It is I; do not
Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And
they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and
marveled. (52) For they had not understood about the
loaves, because their heart was hardened.
When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret
and anchored there. (54) And when they came out of
the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, (55)
ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry
about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was.
(56) Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the
country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him
that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many
as touched Him were made well.
Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and
take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the
mountain by Himself alone.
(16) Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the
sea, (17) got into the boat, and went over the sea
was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. (18)
Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing.
So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus
walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were
afraid. (20) But He said to them, "It
is I; do not be afraid."
Then they willingly received Him into the boat,
immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
When evening came
This was the second evening, at about 6:00 PM, or when the sun was setting.
In the middle of the sea
John 6:19 says they had rowed about 3 or 4 miles (25 furlongs).
The Sea of Galilee at its
broadest point was about 40 furlongs,
or 6 miles.
Therefore, they were in the middle, almost 3 miles from shore.
Fourth Watch of the night
The day was divided into 12 hours, from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
was divided into 4 watches:
||6:00 PM to 9:00
||9:00 PM to 12 midnight
||12 midnight to 3:00 AM
||3:00 AM to 6:00
Consider the disciples' predicament:
||The rest they went across to get, they
still have not had
||They had been rowing in the boat for at
least 9 hours, possibly as long as 10 or 11 hours
||They were tossed by the waves because
of a great and violent wind that was blowing
||It was the darkest hour of the night
||And they were alone - Jesus was not
with them physically
He would have passed them by
The word for "would have" is 'thelo' - I desire.
The word for "passed by" is 'parelthein'
which could mean several things, depending on the context:
||Came to the side of
||To pass by
||And various other renderings, according
to the context
Matthew, Mark, and John all record:
Jesus had no intention of walking
right on past them. His purpose was to COME TO THEM.
||Jesus went to them
||He came to them
||Jesus ... drawing near the boat
they saw Him through the storm Mark says, "they supposed it was a ghost",
|(This is a different word than that used of our
"spirit", or the "Spirit" of God. This is
actually "phantom" or "apparition". To sailors
it was a sign of ship wreck)
Jesus assured them that there was
nothing to fear.
In view of the context, this phrase would best be
translated "He was desiring to go to their side."
Be of good cheer, it is I
Literally this is "be of good cheer, I Am."
This is the same structure as
when Jesus said (John 8:58) "before Abraham was I Am."
And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I
AM has sent me to you.' (NKJV)
The fact that He IS is all the assurance
|It may be dark
It may seem that all is lost
It may seem that there is no way out
It may seem that we are alone
It may seem that the problems of life are too great
It may seem that He has abandoned us
But we have this assurance
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God.
For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake
The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms. (NKJV)
No matter how "low" we feel, we can look down and see ... the
everlasting arms holding us up!
In fact, Jesus said they should not only not fear, but they should be
of good cheer - or get real happy!
Why? BECAUSE HE IS HERE!
When he saw the wind ... he was afraid
The importance of what we "see" cannot be over stated:
||Eve SAW that the tree was:
Human reasoning would say, "Have some!" -
BUT SHE DISOBEYED GOD!
||Lot SAW the plain of Jordan,
Human reasoning would say, "That is the best place to take your
flocks and herds." -
BUT HE FORGOT GOD!
||Achan SAW, then
COVETED, then TOOK
Human reasoning would say, "You worked for it, take it." -
BUT HE DISOBEYED GOD!
||Turn away my EYES from
LOOKING at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
||Looking Backward Destroys
||Looking Heavenward Glorifies
||Looking at Difficulties Depresses
||Looking at Jesus Inspires
||Looking at Circumstances makes Possibilities
||Looking at Jesus makes Impossibilities Possible
The discourse on the bread of life can be separated into 3 parts:
Answers the Questions of the Multitude
|(22) On the following day, when the
people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that
there was no other boat there, except that one which His
disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat
with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone --
(23) however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the
place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks --
(24) when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not
there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to
Capernaum, seeking Jesus. (25) And when they found
Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when
did You come here?"
(26) Jesus answered them and said, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the
signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
(27) Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the
food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man
will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
(28) Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may
work the works of God?"
(29) Jesus answered and said to them, "This
is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."
(30) Therefore they said to Him," What sign will You
perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will
You do? (31) Our fathers ate the manna in the
desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to
(32) Then Jesus said to them, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from
heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
(33) For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world."
(34) Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread
(35) And Jesus said to them, "I am
the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he
who believes in Me shall never thirst. (36) But I
said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.
(37) All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the
one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. (38)
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the
will of Him who sent Me. (39) This is the will of
the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should
lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. (40)
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees
the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I
will raise him up at the last day."
A city built by Herod Antipas between A.D. 16 and 22, on the western shore
of the Sea of Galilee, or the
Tiberias, as John,
writing for non-Jewish readers, calls the lake.
It was named, of course, after the reigning emperor, Tiberius, reflecting the pro-Roman policy
consistently followed by the Herod's.
The city is said to have occupied
the site of Rakkath, an old town of Naphtali, and also to have included the
site of the graveyard of Rakkath.
According to Josephus, since it was
built over a graveyard is was dubbed unclean.
Herod built ambitiously - the
ruins indicate a wall three miles long. There were a
palace, a forum, and a great synagogue. Jewish boycott, however, compelled
Herod to populate his new town with the lowest elements of the land.
Tiberias still exists today.
You ate of the loaves
The work - that you believe
Faith is put as a MORAL ACT OF WORK.
The work of God is to BELIEVE.
includes all the works that God requires.
|The Jews' question contemplates
|Jesus' answer directs them to
This simple formula contains the complete solution of the relation of
faith and works.
See the "Mathematics
|FAITH is the
LIFE of works
|WORKS are the
NECESSITY of faith
Our fathers ate the manna
||A possible insinuation that Moses' miracle was
|-instead of feeding thousands once, this fed
millions daily for years.
||There was a tradition that ''as the first Redeemer
(Moses) caused the manna to fall from heaven
|-even so should the second Redeemer causes the
manna to fall."
Moses did not give you the bread
Jesus refutes the argument of the Jews, by proving that:
||It was not Moses, but God, who gave the
manna in the wilderness.
||This bread was not the
TRUE bread, but was merely a type of it.
||God had given them now a bread
infinitely more excellent.
||He Himself is that heavenly nourishment
of which He spoke, and who was
typified by the manna in the desert.
To show that He Himself was the true bread from heaven, He proves two
||That His doctrine was the true
nourishment of the soul,
|and that those who were to be put in possession
of the blessings promised in it must come to God by faith.
||That He would give His body for the life
of the world:
|that as bread is the staff that supports the
natural life of man,
|so the salvation procured by His death
should be that by which the bodies and souls of believers
should be preserved unto life eternal.
Answers the Murmuring of the Jews
|(41) The Jews then complained about Him,
because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."
(42) And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph,
whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I
have come down from heaven'?"
(43) Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do
not murmur among yourselves. (44) No one can come to
Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him
up at the last day. (45) It is written in the
prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore
everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
(46) Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is
from God; He has seen the Father. (47) Most
assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting
life. (48) I am the bread of life. (49)
Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
(50) This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that
one may eat of it and not die. (51) I am the living
bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread,
he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My
flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
(52) The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves,
saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
(53) Then Jesus said to them, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of
Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. (54)
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and
I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For My
flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. (56)
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in
him. (57) As the living Father sent Me, and I live
because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because
of Me. (58) This is the bread which came down from
heaven -- not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He
who eats this bread will live forever."
(59) These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in
The same word is constantly used in the Septuagint (LXX) of the murmuring of Israel in the wilderness.
little they had changed over the centuries!
He who believes
||Is drawn by the Father
||Hears His instructions
||(v. 45 & 37)
||Accepts the salvation offered
||Is given to Jesus
||Is nourished by the bread of life
||Is not lost, but is raised up at the last day
||Is made a partaker of eternal life
Your fathers ate manna ... and are dead
It was an opinion of the Jews that their fathers who perished in the
wilderness, should never have a
|Jesus takes them on their own ground:
|You acknowledge that your fathers who fell in
the wilderness shall never have a resurrection;
|therefore that manna is not the bread that
preserves to everlasting life, according even to your own concession.
|That bread neither preserved their bodies
|nor entitled them to eternal life
|But those who receive the salvation of Jesus shall
not only be raised again in the last day,
|but shall inherit life forever.
He Reveals His Person
The Bread of Life
John 6: 32-40
||The Bread of God is a Person from heaven,
and He gives life, not just to the Jews (as Moses did) but to
the whole world!
The way to receive this Bread is to come and take it; and this
Bread will give life not only today, but also life in the future at
||Note the reaction of the Jews who denied
||Jesus said that God was His Father,
||but they said Joseph was His father.
It is interesting to compare the manna to Jesus Christ:
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP
Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)
||It came from heaven at night
||Christ came from heaven when
men were in darkness.
||It fell on the dew; Christ
||He was born of the Spirit of
||It was not defiled by the
||Christ was sinless, separate
||It was small, round, and
||Suggesting His humility,
eternality, and purity
||It was sweet to the taste
||Christ is sweet to those who
||It had to be taken and eaten
||Christ. must be received and
appropriated by faith
||It came as a free gift
||Christ is the free gift of
God to the world
||There was sufficient for all
||Christ is sufficient for all
||If you did not pick it up,
you walked on it
||If you do not receive Christ,
you reject Him and walk on Him (see Heb 10:26-31)
||It was wilderness food
||Christ is our food in this
pilgrim journey to heaven
He reveals the Process of Salvation
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992
by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)
|The lost sinner does not seek God (Rom 3:11)
|so salvation must begin with God. (Luke
There is none who understands; there is none who seeks
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was
|How does God draw people to Christ?
|To eat earthly bread sustains life for a time,
|but the person will ultimately die
|To receive the spiritual Bread (Christ)
|Christ clearly states (v. 51) that He will give His flesh
for the life of the world.
|The Jews revolted at this (v. 52) because eating human flesh was
contrary to Jewish law.
they confused the physical with the spiritual.
He reveals the Power of Salvation
|Jesus is the Living Word (John
||He was "made flesh" for us (1:14)
|The Bible is the Written Word.
||Whatever the Bible says about Jesus, it
also says about itself.
|(Luke 1:35 and 2 Tim 3:15)
||Both are holy
|(John 14:6; 17:17)
||Both are Truth
|(John 8:12; Ps 119:105)
||Both are Light
|(John 5:21; Ps 119:93)
||Both give life
|(1 John 5:18; 1 Peter 1:23)
||Both produce the new birth
|(Rev 4:10; 1 Peter 1:23)
||Both are eternal
|(1 Cor 1:24; Rom 1:16)
||Both are the power of God
|The conclusion is obvious:
|When you receive the Word into your heart, you
receive Jesus Christ.
|We "eat His flesh" by
partaking of the Word of God.
|"I am the living Bread," said Jesus in
|In Matt 4:4 He said, "Man shall not live
by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the
mouth of God."
|Peter grasped the meaning of
the sermon, for in John 6:68 he said, "To whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life."
Answers the Question of the Disciples
|(60) Therefore many of His disciples,
when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can
(61) When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples
complained about this, He said to them, "Does
this offend you? (62) What then if you should see
the Son of Man ascend where He was before? (63) It
is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The
words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
(64) But there are some of you who do not believe."
For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not
believe, and who would betray Him. (65) And He said,
"Therefore I have said to you that no one
can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
(66) From that time many of His disciples went back and
walked with Him no more. (67) Then Jesus said to the
twelve, "Do you also want to go
(68) But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we
go? You have the words of eternal life. (69) Also we
have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son
of the living God."
(70) Jesus answered them, "Did I not
choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"
(71) He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it
was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
This is the key to understanding everything Jesus has said in verses
Just as in the parables and with the
Samaritan woman, here Jesus speaks of
and from the platform of natural examples.
|It is a
||SPIRITUAL FOOD AND DRINK
|But no less
According to Hebrews 11:1, Faith is the SUBSTANCE.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence
of things not seen. (NKJV)
Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to
Jesus, saying, (2) "Why do Your disciples transgress
the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands
when they eat bread."
He answered and said to them, "Why do you
also transgress the commandment of God because of your
tradition? (4) For God commanded, saying, 'Honor
your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or
mother, let him be put to death.' (5) But you say,
'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you
might have received from me is a gift to God" -- (6)
then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made
the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. (7)
Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
(8) "These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And
honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
(9) And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the
commandments of men.'"
When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear
and understand: (11) Not what goes into the mouth
defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a
Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the
Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"
(13) But He answered and said, "Every
plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.
(14) Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind.
And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
Then Peter answered and said to Him, "Explain this parable to
16 So Jesus said, "Are you also still
without understanding? (17) Do you not yet
understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach
and is eliminated? (18) But those things which
proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a
man. (19) For out of the heart proceed evil
thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false
witness, blasphemies. (20) These are the things
which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not
defile a man."
Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him,
having come from Jerusalem. (2) Now when they saw
some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with
unwashed hands, they found fault. (3) For the
Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their
hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.
(4) When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat
unless they wash. And there are many other things which they
have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers,
copper vessels, and couches.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples
not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread
with unwashed hands?"
He answered and said to them, "Well did
Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is
far from Me. (7) And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
(8) For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the
tradition of men -- the washing of pitchers and cups, and many
other such things you do."
He said to them, "All too well you reject
the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. (10)
For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He
who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'
(11) But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother,
"Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban" -- '
(that is, a gift to God), (12) then you no longer
let him do anything for his father or his mother, (13)
making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which
you have handed down. And many such things you do."
When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to
them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand:
(15) There is nothing that enters a man from outside which
can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are
the things that defile a man. (16) If anyone has
ears to hear, let him hear!"
When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples
asked Him concerning the parable. (18) So He said to
them, "Are you thus without understanding
also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from
outside cannot defile him, (19) because it does not enter
his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all
foods?" (20) And He said, "What
comes out of a man, that defiles a man. (21) For
from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,
adulteries, fornications, murders, (22) thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye,
blasphemy, pride, foolishness. (23) All these evil
things come from within and defile a man."
The washing of the hands here was not for purposes of
cleanliness, but for ceremonial reasons.
These religious leaders were constantly looking for some charge to
bring against Christ. This apparently was an official committee from
the Council at Jerusalem. They accused Christ's disciples of
violating the traditions of the Jewish elders by not going through the
ceremonial washings when they ate.
Keep in mind that the Pharisees honored their traditions above the written
Word of God.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1992 by SP
Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)
"It is a greater offense to teach anything contrary to the voice of
the Rabbis, than to contradict Scripture itself."
|Rabbi Eleazer said,
"He who expounds the Scriptures in opposition to the tradition has
no share in the world to come."
Why do you also transgress
the commandment of God because of your tradition?
The Pharisees had just accused the disciples of "transgressing the
tradition of the elders."
Jesus answers that instead, the Pharisees
transgress the commandment of God BECAUSE of
Here are some curious illustrations from the old
showing the value that they set on traditions:
||"The words of the scribes are lovely,
above the words of the law' for the words of the law are weighty and
light, but the words of the scribes are all weighty."
||"The words of the elders are weightier
than the words of the prophets."
||"A prophet and an elder, to
what are they likened? To a king sending two of his servants
into a province. Of one he writes thus: Unless he shows you my seal,
believe him not; of the other thus: Although he shows you not my
seal, yet believe him. Thus it is written of the prophet: He shall
show thee a sign or a miracle; but the elders thus: According to the
law which they shall teach thee."
The "Corban" (a Hebrew word which has been transliterated through the
Greek and into the English) refers to a
gift of offering to God.
It was right to make such offerings because God
had commanded them; but Jesus
charges the Pharisees with placing their traditions above the Divine
For instance, God ordained honor and obedience to parents; but
the Pharisees, by their explanation and abuse of the law of "Corban," completely nullified the law of parental honor.
No wonder the Savior
charged the Pharisees with "Making the word of God of none effect" through
|Their traditions taught that whatever was Corban,
that is, a gift consecrated to God, could not be alienated for any
|But in the application of this principle, which in
itself is correct enough, they manifested a wonderful ingenuity of
|If, for instance, parents desired help, and the son
should say, "My property is Corban," it released him from all
obligations to sustain his parents.
|Nevertheless, strange to say, it did not bind him
to consecrate his substance to sacred uses.
|He could use it for his own purpose, or give it to
whom he pleased, except to those to whom he had said, "It is
Out of the heart
Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts ... Or "evil reasoning's"
more immediately referring to those corrupt reasoning's which had
stealthily introduced and gradually reared up that hideous fabric of
tradition that at length practically nullified the unchangeable principles
of the moral law of God.
But the statement is far broader than this - that
the first shape that the evil that is in the heart takes, when it begins
actively to stir, is that of "considerations" or "reasoning's",
or "rationalizations" on certain
In the heart of an unregenerate man, the principles and seeds of all sin
And iniquity is always conceived in the heart before it is
spoken or acted.
There is no hope that a man can abstain from outward sin
with a degenerated heart.|
This is why God wants to give us "a new heart."
If out Attitudes and Motives are right - our Actions will be right.
It has been said:
"We are like a tube of toothpaste - when we are squeezed - what is inside
- comes out!"