Jesus' public ministry comes to a close on Tuesday of Passion Week. This episode reviews the major themes developed by the Gospels in the two years of His ministry to Israel and examines the short record of events on Wednesday, including Judas' agreement with the Jewish authorities to betray Jesus.
All resources referencing Isaiah 40
On Sunday of Passion Week, crowds gather to laud Jesus as He enters into Jerusalem on a donkey. The Gospels make it clear that Jesus is acting in accordance with Old Testament prophecy, that He is indeed the one they are expecting. This episode details the events of Jesus' journey into the city and also clarifies a common misunderstanding about the sentiment of the crowds during Passion Week.
While Jesus was still in the wilderness, priests and Levites from Jerusalem came to Bethany beyond the Jordan to question John the Baptist. Crowds had gathered to John in the wilderness. Could he be the promised Christ? Learn more about this significant moment in this episode.
The significance of John's message to the nation of Israel is only heightened when we see that he is baptizing. Yet it is important to remember the audience of his proclamation was not Gentiles, but the Jews, the physical descendants of Abraham. This episode examines the importance of baptism and how offensive it would have been for John to call the Jews to be baptized.
The story of John the Baptist precedes the ministry of Jesus in all four Gospels and is critical for rightly understanding why Jesus says what He says and does what He does. John speaks to the people of Israel of soon judgment and gives an urgent plea for repentance. The God of Israel was coming in person to reckon with His people and divide them. This episode begins to develop the details of John's message to Israel, some of which may be surprising to you!
In 166BC, the Jews revolted against their Greek oppressors in a time historians call the Maccabean Revolt. After the Jews violently fought and regained control of Jerusalem, leaders would be set in place over the next century that would cause Israel to stray from the Lord, setting the stage for a Roman takeover in 63BC. Learn more in this episode about what happened and why it's significant to the life and message of John the Baptist and the broader story of the Gospels.
As Mary and Joseph are in the Temple to offer their sacrifice and present Jesus before a priest, a righteous man named Simeon approaches them and takes up Jesus in his arms. Luke tells us that Simeon was "waiting for the consolation of Israel", and that the Spirit had told him that he would not die before he saw the king ("the Lord's Christ") who bring that "consolation" to pass. This episode examines the details of Luke 2 verses 25 through 32.
God could have announced the birth of Jesus to the elite ruling class in Jerusalem, but He chose to tell the outcasts of Jewish society. A lowly band of shepherds were the first to hear of the birth of "Christ the Lord" in Bethlehem. This episode discusses the political and military implications of the weighty phrase, "Christ the Lord" and links it to the developing story of the Gospels.
An extended supplemental episode on the meaning of "Messiah" / "Christ" can be watched here...
After at least 9 months of being mute, Zechariah's son John is born. His tongue is loosed and he prophesies that his child will "go before the Lord to prepare his ways". Mary returns to Nazareth, seemingly after John was born, and walks into perhaps the hardest season of her life thus far. She had returned home after 3 months and was showing her pregnancy. What must this have been like for this "highly favored" young woman? Find out in this episode.
The LORD, the Creator of all, clothes Himself with unapproachable light as a garment (Psalms 104:2, 1 Timothy 6:16), yet there was a time in history where He humbly clothed Himself with human skin and tabernacled among us. In the 89 chapters of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we are privileged to behold the life of our Maker, the Man we call Jesus of Nazareth.
Seeing Jesus as the LORD changes the way we read the first four books of the New Testament that we call the Gospels. This single truth is what makes the Gospels exceedingly important to our growth in the knowledge...