- Jesus Christ’s Miracles
- Jesus Christ’s Teaching
- Jesus Christ’s Rejection and Death
- Jesus Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension
The life Jesus Christ lived has been unparalleled in word and deed. It culminated in his sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection by God. How we respond to the NT’s testimony to these events and their significance, will determine our eternal destiny.
- Jesus performed miraculous deeds that greatly amazed people
- Jesus delivered people from demons and Satan – demonstrating power over evil
- Jesus delivered people from disease and disorders
- Jesus even raised the dead
- Jesus exercised control over nature, in rescuing and helping people
- Note: Jesus initially did not want his deeds – nor his identity – to be widely known . . .
- . . . but still large crowds came to him from all around
- Jesus’ deeds showed that he is the Messiah, the Christ
- Jesus Christ’s Power from God
- Jesus was a prophet . . .
The earlier section Jesus Christ’s Power from God, also spoke of Jesus’ miraculous deeds, in referring to God as the source of Jesus’ power. The focus of this section is on Jesus’ use of his power in his ministry, which was largely in performing miracles that brought people deliverance from some form of bondage or difficulty. In performing these miracles Jesus demonstrated power over all other forces.
- Luke 4:36 ⇓; Luke 11:14 ⇓
- Jesus did many miraculous deeds with God’s power . . .
- Jesus’ teaching was amazing and powerful – leading people to believe in him . . .
Matt 9:32-33 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” ▤
Matt 12:22-23 Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. 23And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” ▤
Note that “the Son of David” is a messianic title.
Mark 5:35, 41-42 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” ▤ … 41Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. ▤
Mark 6:48a, 51 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the nighta he came to them, walking on the sea. ▤ … 51And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, … ▤
a That is, between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M.
Luke 5:4-9 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, … ▤
Note that in v. 8, Peter was so awestruck by Jesus’ display of power, that in trepidation he acknowledged Jesus’ power and holiness – and his own unworthiness before Jesus.
Luke 9:42-43 While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesusb said to his disciples, … ▤
b Greek he
Luke 5:24-26 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.” ▤
- Jesus’ teaching also astonished people:
- Matt 9:32-33 ⇑; Matt 12:22-23 ⇑; Luke 9:42-43 ⇑
- Matt 4:24 ⇓
- Demons both fear and have to submit to God and Jesus Christ
- Jesus came to destroy Satan’s power and work
- Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection were a triumph over Satan and evil
Luke 13:10-13, 16 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. ▤ … 16And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” ▤
Luke 11:14, 21-22 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. ▤ … 21[Jesus:] When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. ▤
In v. 22 Jesus refers to his own overpowering of Satan – breaking Satan’s stranglehold on Satan’s earthly domain – a truth demonstrated by Jesus driving out demons (v. 14).
Luke 10:17-19 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. ▤
This illustrates that Jesus had power over Satan – “the enemy” (v. 19) – and demons. Note that Jesus may be speaking metaphorically in v. 18; but even if this is the case, it clearly implies that the disciples’ success in exercising the authority he gave over demons was a sign that Satan’s power had been broken.
- Satan had “no hold on” Jesus:
A number of commentators think that Jesus had his sinlessness in view here, i.e. that Satan had no “claim” or power over him because he had never sinned.
- Matt 11:4-5 ⇓
- Jesus performed miraculous deeds that greatly amazed people
- Have faith that God and Jesus Christ will do what you ask
Matt 4:23-24 And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. 24So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. ▤
Matt 8:2-3 And behold, a leperc came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 3And Jesusd stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. ▤
c Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
d Greek he
Mark 6:56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well. ▤
John 5:5, 8-9a One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. ▤ … 8Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. ▤
e Greek he
John 9:1, 6-7, 32 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. ▤ … 6Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. ▤ … [The man:] 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. ▤
Matt 11:4-5 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepersf are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. ▤
f Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
Luke 7:14-15 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesusg gave him to his mother. ▤
g Greek he
Luke 8:53-55 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. ▤
John 11:39, 43-44 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” ▤ … 43When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” ▤
This may primarily be referring to Jesus’ granting of spiritual, eternal life. But his raising of the physically dead, particularly that of all at the end of the age, appears to also be encompassed.
Note that the two previous subsections also show Jesus’ power over what can be considered aspects of nature.
Mark 4:37-41 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” ▤
Mark 6:47-51 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the nighth he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, … ▤
h That is, between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M.
In addition to Jesus being able to walk on water, v. 51 suggests that it was because of him that the wind died down.
Matt 17:27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel.i Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself. ▤
i Greek stater, a silver coin worth four drachmas or approximately one shekel
Presumably Peter followed Jesus’ direction and found a coin in the fish’s mouth. As with Luke 5:4-9 below, arguably this could be showing Jesus’ complete knowledge rather than his power over nature, but more likely the latter or both are evidenced in the two references.
Luke 5:4-7 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. ▤
John 2:1-3, 6-10 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” ▤ … 6Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.j 7Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” ▤
j Greek two or three measures (metrētas); a metrētēs was about 10 gallons or 35 liters
John 6:9-14 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. 14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” ▤
- Jesus caused an unproductive fig tree to immediately wither:
Matt 21:18-19 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. 19And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. ▤
Jesus did not make a habit of killing trees, but in part at least he did this to emphatically make a crucial point to his disciples (cf. vv. 21-22).
Apparently Jesus initially did not want his deeds and identity as the Messiah to be widely known because he was wary about the publicity hindering his mission. It would bring overwhelming crowds and false expectations with political complications, all of which would stifle his work (cf. Mark 1:45 ↓).
Mark 1:41-45 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43And Jesusk sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter. ▤
k Greek he; also verse 45
Mark 5:41-43 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. ▤
l Greek he
Note that in this and the following couple of references it is Jesus’ identity in particular that he instructs people not to reveal.
Mark 2:2, 4 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. ▤ … 4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. ▤
Mark 3:7-10, 20 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. 9And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. ▤ … 20Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. ▤
Mark 6:54-55 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. ▤
Luke 6:17-18a And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. ▤
Large crowds came to hear Jesus (cf. Luke 21:38 ↓), as well as because of his deeds.
Luke 8:4, 19 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: ▤ … 19Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. ▤
Luke 21:37-38 And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him. ▤
- Jesus commanded the disciples who were with him not to tell anyone about his transfiguration:
Jesus’ transfiguration was indicative of his messiahship. Telling others about it would have been in effect telling them that Jesus was the Messiah or Christ. Once he had been raised from the dead – with the purpose of his coming being accomplished and basically unequivocal – it would be appropriate and in deed necessary to tell others.
- Jesus was a prophet . . .
- . . . As a prophet, Jesus taught and preached to the people
- Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom of God
- Jesus’ teaching was not his own; what he spoke was from God
- Jesus’ teaching is the truth . . .
- . . . Jesus himself is identified with truth
- Jesus’ teaching was amazing and powerful – leading people to believe in him . . .
- . . . However, many others did not believe Jesus
- Note: Jesus’ use of parables and figurative speech
As a prophet Jesus was a representative and spokesperson of God, speaking and acting on God’s behalf. His speaking role as a prophet included: teaching, admonishing and prophesying (cf. Jesus knew about future events). He further displayed powers of a great prophet in other aspects of his knowledge (cf. Luke 7:39-40 ↓; John 4:17-19 ↓) and by his deeds (cf. Luke 24:19 ↓; Luke 7:14-16 ↓; John 6:14 ↓; John 9:17 ↓).
Note that in the latter part of the verse Jesus refers to the fact that numerous prophets had been killed in Jerusalem (cf. v. 34), the capital and heart of the nation, representative of the nation as a whole.
Matt 21:10-11, 46 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” ▤ … 46And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. ▤
Luke 7:14-16 Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesusm gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” ▤
m Greek he
Luke 7:39-40 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” ▤
Verse 40 and the subsequent verses (cf. vv. 41-47) showed that Jesus not only knew what kind of woman the lady in question was, but also Simon’s thoughts – demonstrating that Jesus was indeed a prophet.
John 4:17-19 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. ▤
In speaking of Jesus as “the Prophet” the people are probably referring to Deuteronomy 18:15-19, where Moses speaks of God raising up a prophet like him (cf. Acts 3:22 ↓).
Here Peter clearly has Jesus Christ in view (cf. vv. 13-26).
Matt 24:1-4 Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 3As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” 4And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. ▤
Jesus makes a prophesy in v. 2 and then in v. 4 he begins a detailed prophesy of the fall of Jerusalem and events of the end times (cf. vv. 4-35). These and other prophecies made by Jesus – indicative of him being a prophet – are mentioned in Jesus knew about future events.
Note that “came out” appears to refer to coming to the world.
n Some manuscripts Galilee
Luke 7:22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, leperso are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. ▤
o Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
p Or brothers and sisters
Similarly in Matthew 23:10 Jesus says to his disciples: “…you have one Teacher, the Christ.”
- Jesus spoke and taught openly:
- The Kingdom of God
- Jesus had the authority to state what was required to enter God’s kingdom
- The kingdom of God came in Jesus Christ’s mission
The kingdom of God (or the kingdom of heaven) was the most prominent theme in Jesus’ teaching.
Matt 4:17, 23 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” ▤ … 23And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. ▤
Even after his resurrection Jesus continued to speak about the kingdom of God.
The kingdom of God was the subject of a number of Jesus’ parables, this verse beginning a group of them (cf. vv. 24-52). Other parables are similarly introduced as illustrating what the kingdom of God is like (cf. 13:24; 18:23; 20:1; 22:2; 25:1; Mark 4:26, 30).
- Jesus also sent his disciples out to preach the kingdom of God:
- John 8:40 ⇓
- Note: Jesus Christ is the Word of God
- God’s word was spoken by Jesus Christ
- Jesus spoke what God wanted him to say
John 7:14-17 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,q when he has never studied?” 16So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17If anyone’s will is to do God’sr will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. ▤
q Or this man knows his letters
r Greek his
Verse 17 indicates that doing what one knows of God’s will, leads to the realization that Jesus’ teaching does come from God; obedience leads to spiritual discernment.
John 14:10b, 24b The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. ▤ … 24… And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. ▤
John 8:26, 28 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” ▤ … 28So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. ▤
John 3:31b-34 He who comes from heaven is above all. 32He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. ▤
Jesus “bears witness to what he has seen and heard” from God (v. 32; cf. John 8:26, 28 ↑), in essence teaching that had come from God. In believing Jesus’ testimony, one confirms or acknowledges that God is truthful as he is the one from whom it originated (v. 33).
Isa 50:4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. ▤
God would give the Messiah “words of wisdom” (NLT) to know what to say during his mission, here in particular what to say to strengthen the weary.
This appears to speak of God enabling the Messiah to speak powerful words in his teaching.
With Psalm 45 being seen by many as messianic, the middle clause quite possibly alludes to God’s influence on what the Messiah would speak.
- Jesus made known to his disciples everything he had learned from God:
John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants,
s for the servant t does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. ▤
s Greek bondservants
t Greek bondservant; also verse 20
John 5:19, 24-25 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Fatheru does, that the Son does likewise. ▤ … 24Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. ▤
u Greek he
In the ESV, Jesus is recorded using the expression “Truly, truly, I say to you” a total of 72 times. Almost all these instances refer to his teaching, asserting it to be the truth – as is the case with the three occurrences here.
John 8:40, 45-46 … but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. ▤ … 45But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? ▤
John 18:37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” ▤
Matt 22:16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.v ▤
v Greek for you do not look at people’s faces
God’s grace and a fuller revelation of truth came through Jesus Christ and his mission (cf. v. 14 ⇓), including in his teaching.
Here Jesus most likely is meaning that his and John’s wisdom or teaching is “shown to be true” (GNT; cf. AMP) “by the lives of those who follow it” (NLT, cf. CEV, GNT).
Jesus did not just simply teach the truth, he is “the truth” – the embodiment of truth. (cf. BBC)
As with v. 17 in the previous subsection, this probably is primarily speaking of grace and truth being imparted through Jesus Christ (and so is quite pertinent to the previous subsection). But the wording also closely associates Jesus’ person with the truth, indicative of the fact that in Jesus was the manifestation of truth (cf. John 14:6 ↑).
The phrase “the truth is in Jesus” is probably inclusive of but not necessarily primarily referring to Jesus’ teaching. It appears to point to what the Ephesians had “heard about him and learned about him” (CEV).
- Jesus is true:
The fact that the crowd listened to Jesus “gladly” points to his teaching being outstanding.
John 4:41-42 And many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” ▤
Note that “you … do not need anyone to question you” may be implying that Jesus’ teaching was so clear and emphatic – with him no longer speaking figuratively (cf. v. 29) – that there was no need for any questions. Additionally or alternatively, they possibly had in mind that he answered their questions before they could be asked (cf. NCV).
Matt 13:54-58 … and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. ▤
Matt 26:63-65 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. ▤
John the Baptist appears to be implying that largely people did not accept Jesus’ message (cf. NLT).
John 6:36, 60, 64-66 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. ▤ … 60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” ▤ … [Jesus:] 64But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. ▤
John 7:5, 12 For not even his brothers believed in him. ▤ … 12And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” ▤
John 8:37, 45-46 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. ▤ … 45But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? ▤
John 10:24-26 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. ▤
This indicates that those who do not believe, do not belong to Jesus Christ – not being of his “flock”.
John 12:37-42 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; … ▤
In vv. 39-41 John indicates that Isaiah’s words about God judicially closing people’s minds to God’s message were fulfilled in Jesus with his message (cf. Matt 13:3a, 10-16 ⇓).
- Unlike some skeptics claimed, Jesus’ words were not those of a demon or a mad man:
John 10:20-21 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” ▤
A parable is a simple story used to illustrate a spiritual truth. Jesus frequently used parables in his teaching. In illustrating rather than “spelling out” spiritual truth, Jesus’ parables encouraged his listeners to think hard about what he said, encouraging spiritual discernment and hunger – readying them to be able to accept more direct teaching and also more difficult concepts. In conjunction with this, Jesus’ parables often had underlying meanings hidden from all but those who sincerely sought the truth and were prepared to carefully consider what he said. (See also the comment below on Matthew 13:3a, 10-16.) In addition, by using parables Jesus made it more difficult for his enemies to use anything he said against him.
Matt 13:3a, 10-16 And he told them many things in parables ▤ … 10Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. 15For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. ▤
Mark 4:24-25 ↓ and Luke 8:18 introduce the statement in v. 12 with “Pay attention to what you hear …” and “Take care then how you hear …”. Along with the context, these introductions suggest that the statement in v. 12 is implying that those who are receptive to spiritual truths (cf. v. 16) will receive more, while those who are not (cf. vv. 14-15) will lose what little they have. (See also Mark 4:21-25 below and comment.) Verse 13 then indicates that Jesus used parables in part to conceal spiritual truth – or at least certain teachings – from those who were not receptive to it. As such, his use of parables was instrumental in the spiritual dullness of those who had in themselves – in conjunction with God’s judgment (cf. John 12:37-42 ⇑) – become hardened to spiritual truth (vv. 14-15).
Mark 4:33-34 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything. ▤
Note that the parallel passage in Matthew adds that Jesus’ use of parables was a fulfillment of prophecy: ‘This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”’ (Matt 13:35)
The reasons for Jesus’ use of figurative speech would appear to be the same as for his use of parables.
Here Jesus is probably meaning that after his resurrection he would speak plainly about God. Perhaps the reason was that through his death and resurrection the disciples would gain a greater maturity, a better perspective and a clearer understanding. As such they would better be able to accept certain concepts. Some commentators consider that enlightenment through the coming Holy Spirit is in view.
- The veiled meaning in Jesus’ teaching was to be disclosed to those who listened carefully:
Mark 4:21-25 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” ▤
Commentators differ in their interpretation of this. But the lamp (v. 21) may well refer to Jesus’ teaching given through parables (cf. vv. 1-20), the meaning of which is intended to be disclosed (v. 22) to those who are willing to listen closely (vv. 23-25).
- Jesus was rejected
- Jesus was despised
- Jesus faced intense opposition, with efforts to kill him
- Jesus’ betrayal and arrest
- The unjust condemnation of Jesus – who was innocent of any charge
- The horrific suffering and death of Jesus
- The events following Jesus’ death and his burial
- Jesus’ suffering and death (and resurrection) were planned . . .
- . . . It was God’s will that Jesus die – for everyone
- Jesus suffered and died willingly
- Isa 53:3 ⇓
- . . . However, many others did not believe Jesus
- But the Jews largely rejected Jesus Christ . . .
- The Jews’ negative response to Jesus Christ brought God’s judgment
Jesus was rejected by the Jewish people as a whole, but in particular by the Jewish religious leaders.
Matt 21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;w this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? ▤
w Greek the head of the corner
The Jews refused to believe that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of this key “stone” being rejected (v. 7; cf. Acts 4:11 ↓, 1Pet 2:4, 7 ↓). Jesus was in fact the “cornerstone” who would complete God’s plan of salvation for humankind – and be the most significant part of God’s people.
x Greek This one
y Greek the head of the corner
1Pet 2:4, 7 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, ▤ … 7So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”z … ▤
z Greek the head of the corner
a Greek to his own things; that is, to his own domain, or to his own people
b People is implied in Greek
Matt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! ▤
The people’s unwillingness to respond to Jesus’ longing to “gather” them demonstrates their rejection of him. The following references also show ways in which Jesus was rejected.
Similarly John 4:44 says, “For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.”
Simeon was speaking of Jesus, when he was an infant.
John 9:16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. ▤
c Or forsaken
d Or pains; also verse 4
e Or and knowing
f Or sickness; also verse 4
g Or as one who hides his face from us
This is from the fourth of the four servant songs in Isaiah (52:13-53:12). The passage as a whole depicts the sufferings of the messianic Servant and the resulting atonement for God’s people – a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus. A number of references from the passage are included in the remainder of this chapter.
h Some manuscripts children (compare Luke 7:35)
John 8:48, 52-53 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” ▤ … 52The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” ▤
Regarding the use of “Samaritan” as a slur (v. 48), the Samaritans were a mixed race, in part descendant from the Israelite tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel. Many of the Jews despised the Samaritans, contemptuous of them as a people and of their religious practices. Regarding the charge that Jesus was demon-possessed (vv. 48, 52), in Matthew 9:34 the Pharisees similarly link Jesus with demons, and Satan: ‘But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”’
John 15:18, 24-25 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. ▤ … 24If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ ▤
In conjunction with being despised, Jesus was hated by many.
- At one time Jesus’ family even thought he was out of his mind:
Matt 21:45-46 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. ▤
Note that v. 45 speaks of how the Jewish leaders’ intense opposition was aroused in part by parables and teachings of Jesus that were condemnatory of them (cf. vv. 33-34).
Matt 26:3-4 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. ▤
Luke 4:28-30 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30But passing through their midst, he went away. ▤
The people were incensed by Jesus’ prior admonishment of them (cf. vv. 23-27).
Luke 11:53-54 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say. ▤
John 5:16-18 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 18This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. ▤
John 7:1, 19, 25 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jewsi were seeking to kill him. ▤ … [Jesus:] 19Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” ▤ … 25Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? ▤
i Or Judeans
John 8:37, 40 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. ▤ … 40but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. ▤
John 10:30-33, 38-39 I and the Father are one.” 31The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” ▤ … [Jesus:] 38but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. ▤
John 11:48-53 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. ▤
Acts 4:26-27 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’j— 27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, … ▤
j Or Christ
Verse 26 is part of a quotation from a messianic psalm (Psalm 2), spoken of in v. 27 as being fulfilled in the conspiracy against Jesus.
- Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus as an infant:
Matt 2:7-8, 11-13, 16 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” ▤ … 11And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. 13Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” ▤ … 16Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. ▤
Herod had been alarmed by the wise men’s claim that a child had been born who would be king of the Jews (cf. vv. 1-3). Seeing Jesus as a threat, he tried to kill him.
Luke 22:3-6 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. ▤
Matt 26:45-50 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.k See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” 47While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”l Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. ▤
k Or Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
l Or Friend, why are you here?
In his account Luke records Jesus’ poignant question of Judas: “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48b)
John 18:2-13 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”m Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6When Jesusn said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servanto and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” 12So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. ▤
m Greek I am; also verses 6, 8
n Greek he
o Greek bondservant; twice in this verse
For comment on v. 6, see the comment on John 18:3-11 – under Jesus showed great strength of character, being courageous and composed.
- Judas’s remorse and suicide:
Matt 27:3-5 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus
p was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. ▤
p Greek he
Mark 14:53, 55-56, 61-64 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. ▤ … 55Now the chief priests and the whole Councilq were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. ▤ … 61But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. ▤
q Greek Sanhedrin
Matt 27:1-2, 17-26 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. ▤ … 17So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” 24So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood;r see to it yourselves.” 25And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourgeds Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. ▤
r Some manuscripts this righteous blood, or this righteous man’s blood
s A Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing imbedded pieces of bone and metal
Luke 23:4, 13-15, 20-24 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” ▤ … 13Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. ▤ … 20Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, 21but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” 22A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” 23But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. ▤
This is spoken by one of the criminals crucified with Jesus.
Matt 27:26-31 Then he [Pilate] released for them Barabbas, and having scourgedt Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. 27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters,u and they gathered the whole battalionv before him. 28And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. ▤
t A Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing imbedded pieces of bone and metal
u Greek the praetorium
v Greek cohort; a tenth of a Roman legion, usually about 600 men
Matt 27:32-38 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. ▤
Note that it is generally thought that Jesus refused the drink offered to him (v. 34) so as to remain fully conscious, enduring the full ordeal by which he would pay for the sins of the world.
Matt 27:39-44 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. ▤
Matt 27:45-46, 50 Now from the sixth hourw there was darkness over all the landx until the ninth hour.y 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ▤ … 50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. ▤
w That is, noon
x Or earth
y That is, 3 P. M.
No reason is given for the cause or significance of the darkness (v. 45). It was unlikely the result of an eclipse; Luke 23:45 simply adds “the sun’s light failed.” It would appear to have been a divine act, indicative of the gravity of what had taken place. In v. 46, Jesus’ cry (cf. Luke 23:46 ↓; John 19:30 ↓) suggests that the intimate relationship between himself and God had in some way or sense been impaired.
Luke 23:33-34, 46 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”z And they cast lots to divide his garments. ▤ … 46Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. ▤
z Some manuscripts omit the sentence And Jesus . . . what they do
John 19:28-30 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ▤
Having the sour wine fulfilled Psalm 69:21. The use of a branch of the hyssop plant (v. 29b) may point to the use of hyssop in the celebration of the Passover (cf. Ex 12:22), underlining the parallel of Jesus’ death with that of a Passover lamb.
Isa 53:7-8 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? ▤
The Hebrew rendered “he was cut off” (v. 8b) indicates a violent death.
- Jesus’ care of his mother while on the cross:
John 19:25-27 … but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. ▤
Matt 27:51-54 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Sona of God!” ▤
a Or a son
To enter the Most Holy Place of God’s presence the high priest – the only one permitted to do so – went through a curtain. The tearing of the curtain of the temple in two from top to bottom (v. 51) symbolically announced that there was no longer any barrier to people directly entering into God’s presence; no longer was this privilege confined to just the high priest. For comment on the holy people being raised to life (vv. 52-53), see Matt 27:52-53 – under Jesus Christ’s resurrection was essential for our resurrection.
Matt 27:57-61 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. ▤
- The securing of Jesus’ tomb:
Matt 27:62-66 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard
b of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. ▤
b Or Take a guard
Such security measures ensured no one could underhandedly take Jesus’ body from the tomb. Certainly the Roman guards would not have complied with any such plan, as its removal would quite probably have cost them their lives.
- The OT also says he would suffer and die, for people’s sins – but then be raised and exalted
- For the OT speaks of the sufferings and resurrection of the Christ as fulfilled in Jesus . . .
- Prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ death . . .
- . . . Further OT Scriptures fulfilled or reflected in Jesus’ death
- Prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ resurrection
Note that the phrase “three days and three nights” is commonly understood to be referring somewhat figuratively to three days or parts thereof.
Matt 20:17-19 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” ▤
Matt 26:2, 18, 45 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” ▤ … 18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” ▤ … 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.c See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. ▤
c Or Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
In v. 45, “is betrayed” has the sense “is about to be betrayed” (cf. NIrV).
Luke 18:31-33 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” ▤
The timing and circumstances of Jesus’ death were part of God’s plan and could not be hastened. Note that similarly 8:20b says, “… no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.”
John 12:23, 27, 32-33 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. ▤ … 27“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. ▤ … 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. ▤
In v. 23 Jesus appears to be referring to his death, resurrection and exaltation. Verses 32-33 indicate that the manner of his death was foreordained.
John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. ▤
d men and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4
The “testimony” refers to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sins, given at the proper time, presumably the time God had set.
1Pet 1:10-11 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. ▤
- God is love – as epitomized in him giving his only Son, to save us
- Prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ death . . .
- . . . Further OT Scriptures fulfilled or reflected in Jesus’ death
John 11:50-52 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. ▤
God prophesied Jesus’ death and its effect through Caiaphas – who “did not say this of his own accord” (v. 51) – indicative of it being God’s will.
Acts 3:15, 17-18 … and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. ▤ … 17“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. ▤
Acts 4:27-28 … for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. ▤
Gal 1:3-4 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, … ▤
As well as referring to God’s fullness dwelling in Christ, “God was pleased to …” (v. 19) appears to also refer to what follows, indicating that it likewise was of God’s will (cf. AMP, CEV, GNT, NIrV, NRSV).
Heb 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. ▤
1Pet 1:18-20 … knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you … ▤
“He was foreknown” (v. 20) suggests that Christ was chosen and destined (cf. AMP, CEV, GNT, NCV, NIV, NKJV, NLT, NRSV) by God to bring redemption through his death (v. 19).
- OT prophecy indicates that it was God’s will that the Messiah should die:
Isa 53:4, 10 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. ▤ … 10Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;
e when his soul makes f an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. ▤
e Or he has made him sick
f Or when you make his soul
Further such prophecies are listed in The OT also says he would suffer and die, for people’s sins – but then be raised and exalted. Note that here the Lord’s will (v. 10) was not just to crush him and cause him to suffer, but also to resurrect him (by which he would see his spiritual “offspring” – those who would believe him) and have him live on forever (“prolong his days”).
- Gal 1:3-4 ⇑
- Because he had willingly suffered death, God exalted and glorified Jesus Christ
- Jesus Christ died for our sins . . .
- . . . He offered himself to God, as a sacrifice for our sins
- Jesus Christ loves God’s people – as he showed when he gave his life for them
Matt 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. ▤
The fact that Jesus explained his suffering and death beforehand suggests that he would undergo it willingly.
Luke 22:20-22 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.g 21But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” ▤
g Some manuscripts omit, in whole or in part, verses 19b-20 (which is given . . . in my blood)
John 10:11, 14-15, 17-18 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. ▤ … 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. ▤ … 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. ▤
Heb 10:5-10 Consequently, when Christh came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” 8When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. ▤
h Greek he
The quotation from Psalm 40:6-8 is applied in such a way as to indicate that Jesus Christ willingly came to offer himself as a sacrifice for sin in accordance with God’s will (v. 10).
This and 53:12 below are messianic verses which portray the Messiah’s willingness to suffer and die in line with God’s will.
Isa 53:12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,i and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,j because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. ▤
i Or with the great
j Or with the numerous
- Jesus willingly endured the shame of a death on a cross:
Heb 12:2 … looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. ▤
- God raised Jesus from the dead, by his power . . .
- . . . The Holy Spirit is linked to Jesus’ resurrection
- Jesus’ body was not found in his tomb
- Jesus was raised in a bodily form
- Jesus appeared to people after his resurrection
- Jesus was taken up to God in heaven
- Because he had willingly suffered death, God exalted and glorified Jesus Christ
Regarding the reason why it was not possible for death to hold Jesus Christ (v. 24b), Peter’s thought may be that: as God’s justice had been satisfied by Jesus’ death, it was neither necessary nor permissible under God’s justice for him to remain there; and/or it was not possible for him who has life in himself to be kept by death.
The “glory of the Father” in part points to God’s “glorious power” (GNT, NLT; cf. NCV).
Eph 1:19-20 … and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, … ▤
Acts 13:32-37 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, “‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ 34And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ 35Therefore he says also in another psalm, “‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ 36For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. ▤
The quotation in v. 33 in its original context is a reference to a Davidic king’s coronation, in which the king entered into a unique relationship with God – reflective of God’s promise to David regarding one of his sons (cf. 2Sam 7:14). Most likely Paul is implying that it has been ultimately fulfilled in God’s resurrection of Jesus Christ, in which God begot or gave life to Jesus Christ and subsequently exalted him as Lord of all. Having stated his case that Jesus Christ is the promised savior in who the messianic writings of the OT had been fulfilled (cf. vv. 23-33), in v. 34 Paul contends that God had to have raised Jesus for him to be given the messianic blessings promised to David. In vv. 35-37 Paul adds further evidence to his argument.
For comment, see Heb 13:20 – under Jesus Christ’s blood ratified the new covenant.
Rom 1:3-4 … concerning his Son, who was descended from Davidk according to the flesh 4and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, … ▤
k Or who came from the offspring of David
This appears to indicate either that the Holy Spirit played a critical role in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (cf. NLT), or that the Holy Spirit powerfully showed that Jesus Christ’s resurrection demonstrated that he was the Son of God.
1Tim 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: Hel was manifested in the flesh, vindicatedm by the Spirit,n seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ▤
l Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which
m Or justified
n Or vindicated in spirit
The Holy Spirit vindicated Jesus’ claims about himself by enabling him to perform miracles and in particular by his resurrection.
1Pet 3:18-19 For Christ also sufferedo once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19in whichp he went and proclaimedq to the spirits in prison, … ▤
o Some manuscripts died
p Or the Spirit, in whom
q Or preached
In v. 18, some translations use “Spirit” (NIV®, NKJV, NLT) rather than “spirit”, which would make this passage relevant to this subsection.
- Jesus himself had spoken of taking up his life after laying it down:
John 10:17-18 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. ▤
Jesus had also spoken of raising his own body in 2:18-22 (cf. Jesus Was Raised in a Bodily Form below). See also Acts 2:24 and comment in the previous subsection.
Matt 28:1-7 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where her lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” ▤
r Some manuscripts the Lord
Luke 24:1-7 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” ▤
Luke 24:22-24 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see. ▤
Note that the final clause probably refers to the disciples in question not seeing the resurrected Jesus – though like v. 23a it could be speaking of them not seeing his body in the tomb (cf. NIrV, NLT).
John 20:1-12 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’s head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples went back to their homes. 11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. ▤
s Greek his
- Jesus was raised on the third day:
Matthew 28:1-7, Luke 24:1-7 and John 20:1-9 above likewise indicate that Jesus had risen by the morning of the Sunday (cf. Mark 16:1-7) – i.e. on the third day following his death on the previous Friday morning. The phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures” appears to refer to him being “raised on the third day” rather than just to him simply being raised. As such it may well have Hosea 6:2 in view, seeing Jesus as fulfilling what is said there of Israel: “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.” Jesus reference to Jonah in Matthew 12:40 may also be in view: “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
- Matt 28:9 ⇓; John 20:17 ⇓; John 20:27 ⇓; Acts 10:40-41 ⇓
- On Jesus Christ’s return, their bodies will be made imperishable, glorious and spiritual – like Christ
John 2:18-22 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. ▤
In speaking here of the resurrection of his body, Jesus appears to indicate that it would be raised in bodily form. Note that the “Scripture” (v. 22b) refers in particular to OT prophecies which speak of the Messiah’s death and resurrection (cf. The OT also says he would suffer and die, for people’s sins – but then be raised and exalted, and Prophecies fulfilled in Jesus’ death . . .; . . . Further OT Scriptures fulfilled or reflected in Jesus’ death).
Luke 24:36-43 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish,t 43and he took it and ate before them. ▤
t Some manuscripts add and some honeycomb
The fact that Jesus had “flesh and bones” (v. 39), ate food (vv. 42-43; cf. Acts 1:4 ⇓; Acts 10:41 ⇓) and had nail marks in his hands and a hole in side (cf. John 20:24-29 ⇓), shows that he had been raised in the body in which he had been crucified.
This at least suggests that Jesus was raised in bodily form.
The term “bodily” denotes a “bodily form” (AMP, NASB, NIV). Opinions differ over whether this is referring only to Jesus’ time on earth or also to after his resurrection and ascension. If the latter is the case in, then this verse supports the assertion that Jesus Christ was raised in a bodily form.
- Following his resurrection Jesus did not have normal physical limitations:
John 20:19, 26 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” ▤ … 26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” ▤
Luke 24:31 in the following subsection also shows that Jesus not have normal physical limitations. For it says that on one occasion when Jesus had been with two of his followers “he vanished from their sight”.
Matt 28:8-10 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” ▤
Mark 16:9, 12, 14 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. ▤ … 12After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. ▤ … 14Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. ▤
Note that “he appeared in another form” (v. 12) seems to be intended to contrast to how he appeared to Mary Magdalene (v. 9). As such it may simply be speaking of him appearing as a traveler rather than as a gardener.
Luke 24:13-16, 28-32 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven milesu from Jerusalem, 14and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. ▤ … 28So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” ▤
u Greek sixty stadia; a stadion was about 607 feet or 185 meters
John 20:14-18 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,v “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. ▤
v Or Hebrew
John 20:19-20, 24-29 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. ▤ … 24Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin,w was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” ▤
w Greek Didymus
John 21:12-14 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. ▤
Acts 1:3-4 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4And while stayingx with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; … ▤
x Or eating
Note that vv. 6-8 record what might be a further, separate conversation between Jesus and his followers.
Acts 10:40-41 … but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. ▤
It is not stated why God chose only certain people to see Jesus Christ, rather than have him be seen by all the people. The reason may well largely concern faith. The NT only records Jesus being seen by those who had already believed. Since the time of Abraham, God’s plan of bringing righteousness and salvation has involved a requirement of faith in him and what he says. Allowing Jesus to be seen by all the people would have significantly lessened a need or place for faith.
1Cor 15:4-8 … that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. ▤
Note that in v. 8 Paul is referring to Jesus Christ’s post-ascension appearance to him on the road to Damascus.
- Jesus Christ is the high priest of God’s people – representing them before God in the superior heavenly sanctuary
- Following his death and resurrection, God exalted Jesus Christ to his right hand . . .
Acts 1:9-11 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” ▤
The woman most likely symbolizes either the messianic community, Israel or believing Jews. The “male child” is the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The second statement is often understood by commentators to refer to Jesus Christ’s ascension.
Eph 4:8, 10 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” ▤ … 10He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) ▤
Jewish thought understood there to be different heavens. Apparently Paul is asserting that in conjunction with Jesus Christ being taken into God’s presence in heaven itself, Christ ascended higher and is supreme over all other “heavens” (v. 10). Note that the clause “fill all things” (v. 10) appears to speak of Jesus Christ not only being throughout the whole universe, but also being supreme throughout it.
- Jesus Christ will remain in heaven until God’s appointed time:
Acts 3:20-21 … that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. ▤
- Following his death and resurrection, God exalted Jesus Christ to his right hand . . .
- . . . and God made Jesus Christ Lord of all
Phil 2:8-11 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ▤
Verses 10-11 speak of all people in the future acknowledging Jesus Christ’s status, which itself is a current reality.
A number of commentators consider this to be referring to Christ’s exaltation after his life of “righteousness”, which of course included his obedience unto death.
Heb 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. ▤
Heb 12:2 … looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. ▤
The “joy that was set before him” points to the glory that would be his for enduring the cross, notably being seated at God’s right hand – the place of honor and power above all others.
1Pet 1:11, 21 … inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. ▤ … 21who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. ▤
Rev 5:9, 11-12 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, ▤ … 11Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” ▤
Presumably the reason as to why Jesus Christ, the “Lamb” who was slain, was worthy to receive the glory and accompanying wonderful blessings (v. 12), was the same as to why he was deemed worthy to open the scroll (v. 5a) – i.e. he suffered death so as to purchase people for God from all nations (v. 5b).
Isa 52:13-15 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;y he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— 15so shall he sprinklez many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. ▤
y Or shall prosper
z Or startle
The meaning of “sprinkle” (v. 15) is not altogether clear. Most likely it either means “cleanse” (NLT text note, cf. CEV) or “startle” (ESV text note, NLT, NRSV, cf. NCV). Regarding the remainder of v. 15, such would be or will be the exaltation of the messianic servant that kings will be “speechless with amazement” (GNT) when they see his exaltation, and understand who he is and what he has accomplished. Possibly Christ’s return is in view here.
Isa 53:12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,a and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,b because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. ▤
a Or with the great
b Or with the numerous
The segments “a portion with the many” or “with the great” (text note) and “divide the spoil with the strong”, appear to allude to a victorious commander dividing up the spoils of battle. They speak of the messianic servant being given “the honors of one who is mighty and great” (NLT, cf. GNT).
c Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which
d Or justified
e Or vindicated in spirit
- As well as in his subsequent exaltation, Jesus Christ was glorified in his death and resurrection:
John 13:31-32 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. ▤
Here Jesus’ death, resurrection and exaltation appear to all be in view. Possibly the glory associated with what Jesus accomplished in his death and resurrection is primarily in view in v. 31, with his subsequent glorification on his ascension then being spoken of in v. 32.