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Page 8: The Life of Christ Following the Harmony of the Gospels

An ongoing series on the life of Christ, following the Harmony of the Gospels found in the Thompson Chain Bible.  We are beginning at Jesus' baptism (paragraph 47) and will continue until His ascension. The gospel harmonies attempt to place each event of the life of Christ in order and give the relevant scripture as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Index   Page, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Back to 121: The Five Thousand Fed
Down to 123: Many Miracles Performed

122: Jesus Walks on the Sea: Mt. 14:22-33; Mk. 6:45-51; Jn. 6:15-21

Matthew 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

Matthew 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

After the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus forced His disciples to get in the boat and depart for the other side. Jesus quieted and dismissed the crowd, who were intent on starting a civil uprising and declaring Him king. Jesus then went up on a mountain to pray, where he spent several hours, until about three or four in the morning.

A fierce storm developed, and no doubt with the aid of the lightning flashes , Jesus observed the disciples straining at the oars of the boat. They had only rowed twenty or thirty furlongs (NASV: three or four miles) and were in fear of sinking.

Suddenly, Jesus appeared. The disciples saw someone walking on the water and thought it was a ghost. Jesus reassured them by saying, " Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid".

Peter cried out, “Lord if it is You, let me come to You.” Jesus said, “Come on.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk towards the Master. However, he looked away just long enough to take note of the fierce wind and towering waves. He cried out, “Lord, save me.” Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and lifted Peter up. He then reprimanded Peter for his lack of faith.

As Jesus and Peter got in the boat, the winds ceased. The disciples whose hearts were hardened and who had not really learned a lesson from the feeding of the five thousand, worshiped Him and affirmed that he was indeed the Son of God.

Conclusion and Application:

Jesus sent the disciples away, lest they be caught up in the furor of making Him a king. No doubt they had thoughts in their minds of who was going to have the right hand position in the new kingdom (Mt. 18;1; Mk 9;34, 10:37).

Jesus left the adoring crowd and sought God in prayer. It may be hard to consider, but His human nature had to have been flattered and tempted by the prospect of being made king. We remember that satan made the same offer at the Mount of Temptation (Mt. 4:9; Lu. 4:7).

Have you noticed that negative things always seem to come on the heels of great blessing?

We’ve usually hard on Peter for taking his eyes off of Jesus and sinking, but at least he got out of the boat.

Jesus reacts immediately when we cry out, “Lord save me, I’m sinking,” just like He did for Peter. Jesus only reprimanded Peter’s lack of faith after He had him safely in hand, not while Peter was thrashing about in the water.

When we consider how the wind and the wave obey the voice of Jesus , we affirm with the disciples, “Surely You are the Son of God!”

Back to 122: The Five Thousand Fed
Down to 124: Discourse on the Bread of Life

123: Many Miracles Performed: Mt. 14:34-36; Mk. 6:53-56

Matthew 14:34 ¶ And when they had crossed over, they came to the land, unto Gennesaret.
35 And when the men of that place knew him, they sent into all that region round about, and brought unto him all that were sick,
36 and they besought him that they might only touch the border of his garment: and as many as touched were made whole.

When the sea calmed, the boat landed in the area of Gennesaret, which was somewhat south of Capernaum, which may have been the intended destination. Many of the people of this area had been present when Jesus fed the five thousand. They had returned home by land while the twelve were trapped in the storm.

When word spread that Jesus was present, the people brought all of their sick and lame to Jesus. Perhaps, borrowing from the woman of their region who had been healed by touching the Master’s garment, they asked permission to do likewise. All who touched his garment were healed.

Conclusion and application:

Jesus had compassion on people that He knew would soon desert Him. They had received the natural bread that He had miraculously provided. They had come to Him for healing of their natural bodies. However, when Jesus made it clear that His kingdom was spiritual rather than natural, many of these same people would turn their back and follow Him no more.

Back to 123: Many Miracles Performed
Down to 125: xxxxxx

124: Discourse on the Bread of Life Jn. 6:25-59

After the boat had landed and Jesus finished ministering to the people of Gennesaret, He and His group continued on to Capernaum. Here, He was found teaching in the synagogue. A group of antagonistic followers found him and marveled how He had arrived. They had taken note that there was only one boat which had crossed the sea, after the feeding of the five thousand.

Jesus knew their hearts and simply stated that they were only seeking Him for the natural bread that He had provided. Jesus told them to not work for food that perishes, but rather for the food that produces eternal life. Jesus Himself was soon to provide this food at Calvary.

The rabbin of that day taught that there were specific Works of God for each hour of the day. The question was then put to Jesus, “What must we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He (God) has sent.”

In The Christ of the Gospels, page 271, J.W. Shepard explains how that a lintel has been found in the ruins of the ancient synagogue of Capernaum. This lintel depicts a pot of manna and is ornamented with a flowing pattern of vine leaves and grape cluster. It’s purpose was to remind people of the miracles of Moses and the greater miracles that Messiah was to produce. Perhaps this graphic depiction was in full view during the discussion and debate that was to follow.

So the question was put to Jesus (vs, 30) , ‘What sign are you going to produce?”

It appears that in their thought they attributed the giving of the manna in the wilderness to Moses, rather than unto God. Jesus simply stated, “Moses did not give the bread from heaven, it was my Father. perhaps some were convinced, at least momentarily, and said, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.”

The discourse is now building to the critical point. In the words that follow Jesus affirms His deity and the fact that he has come down from heaven to provide the true bread. He will soon give Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin. There is no middle ground here. Either believe and follow Jesus, or cling to their carnal expectations and dead tradition and walk away.

John 6:35 Jesus said unto them. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said unto you, that ye have seen me, and yet believe not.
37 All that which the Father giveth me shall come unto me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Jesus stated that He had not come to do His own will, but rather the will of His Father. It is that Father’s will that we believe on His Son and be resurrected at the last day and have eternal life.

40 For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Those who were not receiving the Lord’s words began to murmur. “How can this fellow claim to have come down from heaven, when we know His parents. Of course the implication was that He had been an illegitimate child.

Once again, Jesus asserts His Deity:

44 No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day.

Jesus also implies (vs. 45-46) that if they are not receiving His words, it is because they have not been drawn by His Father. He was the Father’s emissary. He had come from God and only He had seen God. ( See Jn. 1:1-2,14, 14:9, 17:20-21, I Jn. 5:20).

Many years before, as Israel wandered in the wilderness, God supplied manna from heaven to sustain them. This of course was a type of the true Bread from Heaven. That generation ate the manna, but eventually they all died. Jesus boldly proclaimed the He was the Bread of Life. If anyone eats this bread he will never die. One eats the bread of life by believing on Jesus. If we do so, we are assured of eternal life.

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
48 I am the bread of life.

51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.

In the culture of the day, when one had been taught the word of God and understood it, it was said that he had eaten it (compare Ps. 16:24; 119:103; Ezekiel 3:3).

Jesus foretold His coming death. His body would be broken and His blood spilled for the sins of the world. The following scripture is not a reference to the Lord’s supper which we take as a remembrance of the His suffering. It is an invitation to appropriate the Lord’s death to ourselves and to be assured of living with Him eternally.

53 Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves.
54 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Back to 124: Discourse on the Bread of Life
Down to 126: The Pharisees Rebuked

125: Defection of Some of the Disciples Jn. 6:60-71

John 6:60 ¶ Many therefore of his disciples, when the heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?

In His Discourse on the Bread of Life, Jesus claimed a prior existence as God (John 1:1,14). He refused to be the Messiah that met the carnal expectation of the Jews of that day. His was a spiritual kingdom. It would be necessary for Him to die and ascend back up to heaven, where he would pour out His Spirit upon all who would receive it.

66 Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Many who had followed Him to see signs and miracles, now chose to totally desert Him. They simply had never been called of the Father to receive eternal life, else they would have believed.

Jesus then turned to His immediate disciples, and asked, “Are you going to leave me also?”

67 Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away?

Peter spoke up and stated that they had nowhere to go. They had seen instant healing, the dead raised and the seas calmed, all by a simple word. They were convinced that he indeed was the Holy One of God.

68 Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God.

Sadly, unbelief had penetrated the inner circle of twelve chosen disciples. Jesus simply stated, “One of you is a devil.”

Conclusion and Application:

Has Jesus ever failed to meet our preconceived expectations? Yes, He usually exceeds them. Has he promised a bed of roses? No, just the opposite, He promised a cross of suffering. However, we have the promise that if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him (II Timothy 2:12).

Seemingly, we in the western world have been immune from suffering. We have an over abundance of material goods and have come to think of this as our due. We have freedom of religion which we take for granted. I often wonder how strong my faith would be if I was illiterate and lived in Haiti amidst constant hunger and disease? I’ve never been taken to jail for preaching, but many in the former Soviet Union spent years in Siberian labor camps for preaching the gospel. This didn’t stop them. Upon release, they picked up where they left off. I wonder, what would I have done? What are my expectations?

I have no way of knowing how I would react under such conditions, but I am confident of one thing. Jesus, and Jesus alone, has the words of eternal life. I have no where else to go!

Back to 125: Defection of Some of the Disciples
Down to 127: The Tour of Phoenicia

126: The Pharisees Rebuked: Mt. 15:1-20;   Mk. 7:1-23

1 ¶ Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

No doubt, it appeared to the Pharisees and their ever present committee of investigation that the ministry of Jesus was self destructing. He had refused to become a political Messiah. He had greatly reduced His following by forcing His disciples to choose between the spiritual and the natural.

They observed Jesus’ disciples eating without washing their hands, in violation of the oral tradition of the elders. The oral tradition of the elders was simply a collection of commentaries (Mishnah) explaining and expanding upon the laws given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. At this time this collection of commentaries handed down by the rabbin was held to be superior to the written inspired law of God .

It must have been hard to be a Pharisee in that day. They washed everything they came in contact with for fear of defilement. Their religious opponents, the Sadducees are said to have stated that the Pharisees would wash the sun, if it were possible.

The disciples were guilty of a grave offense, actually punishable by death, and Jesus didn’t deny it. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for caring more about their traditions, such as the washing of pots and pans than the precepts of God. He recalled the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 29:13) concerning hypocrites who honored God with their lips, while their hearts were far removed from Him.

Next came a stinging rebuke concerning how these people cared for their elderly parents. Moses had commanded that parents be honored, with the promise of long life for doing so (Ex. 20:12). However, tradition said that anything dedicated for the use of God could not be affected, even if it meant that the old folks went hungry. All one had to say when they were approached for aid by their parents was "Corban" (this has been dedicated as a gift to God and you can’t have it), and the old folks had to look elsewhere for help.

Of course, this became a handy dodge, the crafty Pharisees didn’t necessarily lose control of their dedicated possessions. They were all good ole boys who belonged to the inner circle of the temple, and just like the cliques and political clubs of today, they all watched out for each other.

Jesus then called the nearby people to come closer. He told them that nothing external , such as eating with dirty hands, could defile a man, only that which proceeded from the heart.

Later, His closer disciples asked for an explanation. Jesus explained that anything that enters the mouth, went into the belly and was naturally eliminated. He then explained the things that do defile us, all originate from the heart.

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Conclusion and Application:

Do we have any modern traditions that annul the word of God? I believe we do. Have we kept people from entering the kingdom because they did not conform to our rules and regulation? I know we have and we will be held accountable.

God help us to totally submit our own hearts to be conformed to the Spirit of His Word (De 6:5; Mt 22;37). We do not want to be like these Pharisees who blocked the door to the kingdom of heaven (Mt 23:13). They wouldn’t enter and wouldn’t allow anyone else to enter either.

Back to 126: The Pharisees Rebuked
Down to 128: The Daughter of the Syro-Phoenician Women Healed

127: The Tour of Phoenicia: Mt. 15:21-28; Mk. 7:24-30

Matthew 15:21 ¶ Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

Jesus traveled about 30 miles northeast. into the gentile region of Phoenicia which lay on the Mediterranean coast. His purpose in going there was to leave the political domain of King Herod. He was already banned from the synagogues of Judea where the religious leaders were seeking to kill Him. After this latest confrontation His life would be in danger in Galilee also.

Back to 127: The Tour of Phoenicia
Down to 129: Journey to Decapolis

128: The Daughter of the Syro-Phoenician Women Healed: Mt. 15:22-28; Mk. 7:25-30

Matthew 15:21 ¶ Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

There was no escaping, as His fame preceded Him. A gentile woman came and fell at His feet, worshiping Him. “Lord, my daughter is possessed with a devil, please cast it out of her.” This area was not all that far from where Jesus had cast the devil out of the Gadarrene demoniac. This woman knew that Jesus was her only remedy and she was not about to give up.

Jesus uttered what seems like a very hard and uncharacteristic statement. Using the imagery of little pet dogs being allowed to sit under the dinner tables in the great houses of the day’ Jesus stated that it wouldn’t be fitting to take the children’s meat and feed it to the dogs for salvation was of the Jews.

Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, the son of David, the seed of Abraham. The gospel would need to be preached by His Jewish apostles starting at Jerusalem, first. To have started an extensive campaign in a gentile region would have raised so much hostility that His ministry would be ended. Also it would be necessary for Him to be crucified by His own people to fulfill scripture.

Be that as it may, this woman had a problem and Jesus was the answer. She wasn’t about to give up. She answered Jesus with wit and perhaps a bit of sarcasm:

Mark 7:28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.

Jesus was moved by her display of faith. He sent her home. There, she would find her daughter healed and delivered.

Conclusion and Application:

Jesus is moved by our faith much more than our pedigree. He is not affected by our denomination or understanding of doctrine as much as He is by our simple believing Him and being persistent.

Back to 128: The Daughter of the Syro-Phoenician Women Healed
Down to 130: Deaf and Dumb Man Healed

129: Journey to Decapolis: Mk. 7:31

31 ¶ And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

Jesus continued His retreat from the centers of Jewish population and influence. He and His band traveled to the area of Decapolis in northeastern Galilee close to the Sea of Galilee. This region was gentile, consisting of ten cities built by the followers of Alexander the Great when his army disintegrated after his death in 323 B.C. The cities were rebuilt by the Romans in 65 B.C.

Back to 129: Journey to Decapolis
Down to 131: Many Miracles Performed

130: Deaf and Dumb Man Healed: Mk. 7;32-37

For Jesus, there was no escaping His fame and notoriety. A man was brought to Jesus who was deaf and unable to speak clearly. because speech is a learned ability, it would appear that this man had once been able to hear. Those who brought the man urged Jesus to simply touch him.

Mark 7:32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.
33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

Jesus put his fingers in the man’s ears and touched his tongue with His own spittle and looking to heaven in prayer, he commanded “Be opened,” and immediately the man could both hear and speak clearly.

Jesus desired that the crowd not tell it abroad, but the more he urged them to restraint, the more they spread it abroad.

Mark 7:37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Back to 130: Deaf and Dumb Man Healed
Down to 132: The Four Thousand Fed

131: Many Miracles Performed: Mt. 15:29-31

Jesus left this area and traveled to the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. He went up into a mountain and sat down. Perhaps He was seeking rest and solitude and no doubt looking for a place to pray. The news had traveled of His healing the deaf mute. A large crowd followed Him up the mountain. They brought a large number of lame and blind, the maimed and many other types of maladies. Jesus healed them all. The people glorified the God of Israel.

Matthew 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:
31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.

Back to 131: Many Miracles Performed
Down to 133: The Sign Seekers rebuked

132: The Four Thousand Fed: Mt. 15:32-38; Mk. 8:1-9

Once again a large crowd was pressing Jesus, listening to His words and eager to see His miracles. They had followed Him for three days without regard for food or physical comfort. Jesus was moved with compassion over this situation. Many had traveled a great distance. Jesus felt that they would be unable make it back home if they did not eat. The disciples asked just how they were to supply food to so many people in the wilderness. had they forgotten The Feeding of the Five Thousand

It was determined that the only food available was seven loaves and a few fish. Once again, Jesus gave thanks for the bread. He broke it in pieces and continually passed it to his disciples who gave it to the people. A few small fish were brought to Jesus and these He also blessed and distributed to the crowd until all were full.. Nothing was wasted, seven baskets were taken up for future use.

Jesus sent the multitude away and went by boat, across the southern part of the Sea of Galilee to Magdala (Dalmanutha).

Conclusion and Application:

It is hard to imagine a meeting so spiritually intense that a great crowd of people would forget about eating for three days.

Jesus is always mindful of our situation and is easily moved with compassion.

It seems the disciples had already forgotten the feeding of the five thousand. Do we sometimes forget?

Back to 132: The Four Thousand Fed
Down to 134: A Blind Man healed at Bethsaida

133: The Sign Seekers rebuked: Mt. 16:1-4; Mk. 8:10-12

Matthew 16:1 ¶ The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

When Jesus and His disciples stepped ashore they were met by a coalition of otherwise natural enemies, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees were the religious bigots who were nationalistic and opposed to Herod and Roman rule. They held to a strict interpretation of all the law of Moses and all of the rabbinical writings that pertained to it.

The Sadducees controlled the Jewish church of the day and they did not believe in the resurrection. They were more politicians than spiritual leaders. They had their working arraignments with both Herod and the Romans.

However, their common enemy was Jesus and it was easy for them to forget their differences, if only they could destroy Him . Tertulian is quoted as saying that, “Christ is always being crucified between two thieves.”

They asked Jesus specifically for a sign from heaven. They had no doubt heard about the feeding of the four thousand. Their thinking was that anybody under the influence of Satan, or of magic, could do such a feat. A sign from heaven would be a different matter. Perhaps He could make the sun stand still as Joshua had done?

Jesus had striven with both groups several times in the past. He knew their hearts. He knew that they had no intention of accepting Him and He was not about to fall into their trap.

He rebuked then as wicked and adulterous hypocrites who could discern the weather, but were unable to discern the signs of the times. The only sign they would be given was His approaching death. Just as Jonah, He would spend three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Once again Jesus was forced to leave His antagonists. He went by ship once more to Bethsaida which was near his family’s home at Capernaum. Jesus had spent several weeks in the regions that werte semi-pagan. There He could get some respite from the persecusions of his enemies and be able to instrust His disciples in things relating to the kingdom.

The Mark account continues in vss. 14-21 with Jesus admonishing His disciples to beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees.

Back to 133: The Sign Seekers rebuked
Down to 135: Peter's Confession of Christ

134: A Blind Man healed at Bethsaida: Mk. 8:22-26

22 ¶ And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

When they came to Bethsaida, somebody brought a blind man to Jesus and asked for His touch. It was not in Jesus’ best interest to make a big stir. It would be safer if He simply refuse the request and move on.

He took the man by the hand and led him out of the town. Here, he spit on the man’s eyes and asked what he saw. The man could only see vague outlines of men. Jesus touched him again and the man could see clearly.

Jesus sent the man home with emphatic instructions to not tell anyone of the miracle he had received that day.

Conclusion and Application

Jesus was incapable of turning anyone aside and refusing to hear their cry for help. He hasn’t changed a bit (John 6:37; Hebrews 4:16). If you need His touch, just ask. He is just as close as the mention of His name.

The man wasn’t completely healed with the first touch. If we don’t get all that we ask for at first, ask again (Luke 18:1-8)!

Back to 134: A Blind Man healed at Bethsaida
Down to 136: The Transfiguration

135: Peter's Confession of Christ: Mt. 16:13-19; Mk. 8:27-29; Lu. 9:18-21

Matthew 16;13 ¶ When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

The popularity of Jesus was waning. Those who would have made Him king, now scorned Him. He was constantly beset by the opposition of the Pharisees and Sadducces. Somewhat earlier he had been forced to leave Judea. Later He was rejected twice in His home region of Galilee. He had spent the last few weeks wandering in semi-pagan areas where He could continue the instruction and teaching of His disciples.

He asked His disciples, “Just whom do men say that I am?” Some, such as the guilty Herod, thought He was John the Baptist, returned from the dead. Some said Elijah and others Jeremiah. Others simple said perhaps He was one of the prophets. After all of His mighty works, they were blinded to the fact that God Almighty was in their midst clothed in a cloak of humanity.

Well so much for the fickle crowd, Jesus made the question a bit more personal, “But whom say ye that I am?”

Peter answered without hesitation, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter was not the only one of the twelve to be convinced of the Lord’s Deity (John 1:41-45), nor was this the first time that he made this confession (John 6:69). The revelation of the Lord’s Deity was not something that man had given to Peter, it came directly from the Father in heaven.

Jesus conferred upon Peter, The Keys to the Kingdom with the power to bind and loose.

Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The Luke account continues (vs.. 21-27) with the admonition to keep it quiet for a while. The cross and all of it’s suffering was drawing closer, and anyone who confessed Jesus as Lord would be given a cross also. He must make a choice. Do I confess Him and possibly lose my life here, or do I deny Him and be denied by Him at the eternal judgment?

Conclusion and Application:

Who is He, a good man, a prophet, or God Almighty clothed in flesh? I believe you know the answer. Jacob prophesied of His coming and called Him Shiloh (Gen. 49:10). He is Immanuel, God with us (Isa. 7:14). He is the child born and the Son given, the mighty God and the everlasting Father (Isa. 9:6). He is the Holy One of Israel in our midst (Isa. 12:6). He is the suffering Servant who bore my sin and disease (Isa 53). He is Jesus, the Alpha and Omega ,the First and the last , and beside Him there is no God (Isa 412:4, 44:6; Rev 1:8, 22:13)

The Keys to the Kingdom were given to Peter as the spokesman for the other apostles. The eleven stood with him when he used the keys at Pentecost. The convicted crowd cried out “What shall we do?” Peter responded, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). He used the keys again when Samaria received the preaching of Philip by being baptized in the name of the Lord. He laid his hands on them and they were baptized with the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:16-17). Peter used the keys again when Cornelius and his household were baptized with the Spirit as Peter preached the resurrection of Christ. He baptized them in water in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:47-48).

The keys to the kingdom are still held by the church. The message has not changed. It is still repentance and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ with the promise of being baptised with the Holy Ghost.

The church has authority in as far as it remains true to the word of God and the commandments of Jesus.

There is a price to be paid, in other words a cross to be carried, when we confess Jesus as Lord. The time may not be too far distant where that confession will cost you your life.

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Last modified: 03-22-2018
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