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.
All resources referencing John
The baptism of Jesus is a very familiar scene to many, but there is so much confusion about it. Why was Jesus baptized and how does it tie into the greater story of the Gospels and the Old Testament? This episode looks at those moments in Bethany beyond the Jordan and connects Jesus' baptism to His identity as God's "son", the promised descendant of David who would rule as king from Jerusalem.
The Gospels are often seen as a collection of random events where Jesus is haphazardly wandering Israel, healing and giving good sermons while getting angry at the Pharisees. On the contrary, Jesus was being very purposeful with His movements and His words. This episode introduces the structure, chronology, and geography of Jesus' 2-year public ministry.
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.
All four Gospels tell us about John the Baptist, making him an extremely important figure in the story of Jesus. Who was John and how do the writers of the Gospels present him? These are critical questions to ask if we are to rightly understand the words and mission of Jesus. This episode develops the context and setting of John's ministry from Luke 3 and Matthew 3.
The Gospels only give us one glimpse into the years of Jesus' life between his birth and the start of His ministry, and its significance is momentous. When Jesus was twelve years old, He journeyed to Jerusalem for the Passover feast with His family. This episode looks at His visit and begins to lay a framework for rightly seeing His self-understanding.
The entourage of Magi from the East meet with Herod in Jerusalem and follow the star they saw to Bethlehem, where they find the Child Jesus and present Him with three gifts. The gold, frankincense, and myrrh each represent something very unique about Jesus. In this episode, we examine the significance of the gifts and ponder what life might have been like in Bethlehem at the time.
Luke 2 tells us about an aged Jew, Simeon, who had been eagerly waiting for the fulfillment of all of God's promises to Israel. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that the child Jesus would be the One who would bring all that the Prophets had promised to pass. But Jesus would be much more - according to Simeon, He would divide Israel and cause the truth about how Israel really felt about God to be exposed.
In today's culture, "Christ" is often a synonym for "Jesus" or perhaps His last name. "Messiah" is a synonym for "Savior" and often just means "the one who died on the cross for us". While there is some measure of truth to those things, "Christ" and "Messiah" have largely been misunderstood. You may be surprised when you find out what the Bible is really saying when the scriptures use those words!
This video is a supplement to Episode 21 of Opening Up the Gospels. Watch the original episode...
What does the helpless Babe lying in an animal feed trough tell us about what God is like? In the story of Jesus' birth as recorded in Matthew and Luke, we are given a window into His breathtaking meekness and humility. From the circumstances leading up to His birth to that beautiful moment in Bethlehem, God forever declared His love and desire for the creatures He made to be with Him and to see His glory.