THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES ABOUT THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:-
- Explain the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Messiah.
- Explain the concept of the Messiah in the New Testament
- Explain the role of John the Baptist as a link between the Old and the New Testament.
- PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE MESSIAH IN THE
Messiah is a Hebrew word which means “anointed”. It is used in the Old Testament to refer to Kings and priests in Israel because God chose them to serve Him.
Moses was commanded by God to anoint Aaron’s sons to be priests.
Prophecy is a prediction of what will happen in the future
Messianic Prophecies are those predictions that were made by prophets to describe the coming of a righteous king who would rule Israel according to the will of God.
The Messianic Prophecies are:-
- Nathan’s prophecy to Kind David
- Prophet Isaiah’s teachings
- The suffering Servants of the Lord/Yahweh
- Jeremiah’s teachings
- Micah’s prophecy
- The Psalmist’s prophecy
- NATHAN’S PROPHECY
2nd Samuel 7: 3-17
Nathan delivered God’s message to David concerning his Kingdom
- The 1st prophecy was that David was not to build God a temple because God did not want to be confined to a house built by human hands.
- The 2nd prophecy was that David’s son would build God a temple
- The 3rd prophecy talked about the establishment of an everlasting David Kingdom. This was fulfilled in the person of Jesus through His teachings. In the prophecy, we note that:-
- God would ensure that the Kingdom of David lasts forever
- an heir from David’s lineage would always be raised up to seat on the throne
- The king would deliver or save the people of Israel from their enemies. Israel would live in peace
- God would always support such a king
- God would keep the kingdom strong for David’s son
- God would make David’s name great and bless his descendants forever
- God would give Israel their own land
- ISAIAH’S PROPHECY
Isaiah 7: 10-16, 9: 1-7, 61: 1-2
Prophet Isaiah made the prophecy about Immanuel. Isaiah had gone to King Ahaz of Judah to give him a sign of assurance that God would be with him in the threat he faced from Syria and Israel. Syria and Israel had joined forces to attack Judah. King Ahaz was told to trust in God for deliverance from the enemy. The sign was a prophecy which stated:-
“Behold, a young woman (virgin) shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call him Immanuel (God with us)”
This prophecy looks forward to the restoration of Davidic Kingdom under a righteous descendant of David. The king was to have supernatural titles such as:
- Wonderful counselor
- Mighty God
- Eternal Father of Everlasting Father
- Prince of Peace
The future ruler will have a great kingdom to rule. He would rule according to God’s will and this will continue until the end of time
The character of the Messiah is:-
- He has the spirit of God
- He has been sent to preach the Good News to the poor
- He has been sent to bring liberty or freedom to the captives
- He has come to proclaim the year of favor from God
- JEREMIAH’S PROPHECY
Jeremiah 23: 5-6
Jeremiah talks of a righteous king, a descendant of David who would:-
- Rule wisely
- Do what is right and just
- Ensure that Judah is safe from all her enemies and Israel lives in peace
- Be called “The Lord Our Salvation.”
The perfect king would rule in accordance to God’s will and on behalf of God. There would be no sorrow, injustice or fear.
- MICAH’S PROPHECY
Micah says the following about the Messiah
- The messianic king will come from Bethlehem
- He will lead his people with the authority and strength of God
- He will bring the people of Israel peace to fulfill the promises God made to King David
- THE PSALMIST’S PROPHECY
Psalms 41: 9, 110: 1-2
The Psalmist (authors of the book of Psalms) talks of the Messiah being betrayed by a close friend, whom he trusted and shared his food.
We see this being fulfilled when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus just after eating last supper together.
The book also talks about the Messiah being commanded to seat at the right hand of God by God and his enemies being delivered to him.
Jesus said He will be at the right hand of God.
- THE SUFFERING SERVANT
Prophet Isaiah talks about the suffering servant of God with the following characteristics
- The servant will succeed in his work and will be highly honored
- This success and honor will surprise many who have witnessed his suffering
- The servant is despised, rejected and ignored by those who are with him.
- He has nothing attractive. He is very ordinary and simple
- He is harshly treated, arrested, sentenced to death and killed.
- His body is buried with the bodies of rich men
- He endures all that is done to him in humble silence
- He accepts the suffering which should have been received by others for their sins.
- Through his suffering, human beings are reconciled to God.
- It was the will of God that the servant should suffer
- His death is sacrifice to bring forgiveness of sins
- THE CONCEPT OF THE MESSIAH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Examples of references from the New Testament that refer to Jesus the Messiah
- During the birth of Jesus, the wise men from the East came to Jerusalem asking for the king of the Jews whose been born so that they could worship him. (Mathew 2:2)
- Herod asked the Chief Priest and the Scribes where the Christ was to be born (Mathew 2:3)
- After feeding of the five thousand by Jesus, we are told that when Jesus perceived the crowd was to take Him by force and make Him “King”, He withdrew from them to avoid such crowning (John 6:15)
- When Jesus asked His disciples whom they thought He was, Simon Peter answered, “The Christ of God”. (Luke 9: 20)
- During Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the crowd acclaimed Him as a king by singing and praising God saying “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.”
- During the trial of Jesus before the Jewish Religious Council called the “Sanhedrin”, He was asked: “If you are the Christ, tell us” (Luke 22:67)
WAYS IN WHICH JESUS FULFILLED THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE MESSIAH
- Joseph was from the lineage of David, as it had been prophesied. (Luke 1: 26-27)
- During the annunciation of Jesus’ birth, Angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would be given David’s throne and rule forever (Luke 1:32)
- Angel Gabriel told Joseph that Mary’s son would be called Immanuel. (Mathew 1:18-25, Isaiah 7: 14)
- Jesus was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit and not by human intervention (Luke 1:35)
- Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the birth place of David (Luke 2:5)
- The blind beggar of Jericho referred to Jesus as the Son of David (Luke 18: 38)
- Simeon in the Temple refers to Jesus as being able to bring salvation to the whole world. (Luke 2: 29-32)
- Jesus, during his teachings in the Synagogue in Nazareth quoted from Isaiah 61: 1-2 to affirm that He was the Messiah that Isaiah had talked about. (Luke 4: 18-19)
- The works of Jesus (for example raising the dead, casting out demons, healing) is a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of a messiah who would work miracles.
- The passion and death of Jesus relates to Isaiah’s prophecy of a suffering servant. (Luke 23: 1-35)
- THE ROLE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Isaiah 40: 3-5, Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6, Luke 7: 20-35
- John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ
- He announced that God’s reign was near
- He acted as a link between the Old Testament and the New Testament
- He preached about forgiveness and repentance as a way of preparing people for the messiah
- He introduced Jesus to his disciples as the Messiah
- He baptized people with water to prepared them for Jesus who would baptize them with fire and Holy Spirit
- THE JEWISH EXPECTATION OF THE MESSIAH
- They expected a political leader who would overthrow their colonial rulers (Romans)
- The Messiah would rule the world from Jerusalem and receive homage from all the nations of the earth. That is, Jerusalem would a new political centre of the world
- The Messianic Kingdom would be a temporary Jewish Kingdom, like the Roman kingdom, but more powerful
- The establishment of the kingdom would be preceded by cosmic signs
- The messiah would be a descendant of David (royal family)
- He would come after the return of Elijah
- He would not associate with the poor, sinners and Gentiles (non-Jews)
- He would uphold Judaism
- He would perform miracles
- The Messianic kingdom would be accomplished through God’s judgment on Israel’s enemies.
THE INFANCY AND THE EARLY LIFE OF JESUS
By the end of this topic the learner should be able to:-
- Describe the annunciation of the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist
- Explain the birth of John the Baptist
- Explain the birth of Jesus
- Describe the dedication of Jesus
- Explain the boy Jesus at the temple
- THE ANNUNCIATION
- THE BIRTH OF JOHN IS ANNOUNCED
Luke 1: 5-25
The birth of John was announced by Angel Gabriel during the reign of King Herod the Great who ruled in Judea
Zechariah (the name meaning God has remembered) John’s father, came from a priestly family of Abidjan of the Levites. He and John’s mother, Elizabeth (the name meaning God has sworn) was an old couple. Elizabeth was barren.
Angel Gabriel appeared to Zachariah as he was performing his priestly duty.
The angel told him that God has heard his prayers and that his wife was going to have a baby whom they shall name John (the name meaning God is gracious). The angel said the following about John:-
- He will be great in the sight of the Lord
- He will be happily received by both Zachariah and other people
- He will be a He was not to drink any wine or strong drink
- He will be filled with the Holy Spirit from the time of birth
- He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord
- He will go ahead of the Lord, strong and mighty like prophet Elijah
- He will get the Lord’s people ready for Him
- He will bring fathers and children together and turn disobedient people back to the way of thinking of the righteous.
Zachariah, due to his old age, could not believe the Lord’s message. The angel told him that he will be dump until all is fulfilled.
When the people who were waiting for him outside the temple saw him, they knew he had seen a vision in the Temple. He could not speak. His wife conceived and for five months stayed indoors.
- THE BIRTH OF JESUS IS ANNOUNCED
Luke 1: 26-38
Angel Gabriel was sent to go to a town in Galilee called Nazareth to deliver a message to a young woman (Mary). Mary was bestridden to Joseph, a descendant of David.
The angel assured Mary not to be afraid and told her that she will have a child whom she shall name Jesus.
- Jesus would be great and would be called the son of the most high God
- God will make Him a king like His ancestor David.
- Jesus was going to be an everlasting king and his kingdom would have no end.
Mary asked how that can happen and she knew no man (she was a virgin). The angle told her that she will conceive through the power of the Holy Spirit. The angel also told her that her relative, Elizabeth, whom it was said cannot have a child, was six months pregnant.
Mary believed and submitted herself to God’s will.
- MARY VISITS ELIZABETH
Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth after the angel left. As soon as Mary greeted Elizabeth, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt with joy.
The Holy Spirit filled Elizabeth and she realized that Mary was going to have a baby who will be the Messiah. She told Mary that Mary was blessed among all women.
Mary replied in form of a hymn that is commonly known as the Magnificat
Main points on the Magnificat are:-
- God comes to the help, not of the rich and the powerful, but of the poor and the simple.
- God humbles the proud and exalts the lowly
- God fills the hungry with good things and send the rich away empty handed
- God keeps his promise, the one He made to the ancestors of Israel.
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months then left.
- THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Luke 1: 57-80
Elizabeth had her child and one week after during circumcision told her neighbors that the child’s name was John. The neighbors and relatives thought that the child will be called Zachariah after his father, but the mother insisted on John.
So they went and asked Zachariah. Zachariah asked for a writing tablet and wrote John as the child’s name. Soon after Zachariah was able to speak again the neighbors were afraid and news spread far.
Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and sang an hymn that is commonly known as the Benedictus
Contents of the Benedictus
- Zachariah praises God for remembering the promises He made to Israelites’ ancestors of sending a Messiah.
- He says God would rescue them from their enemies
- He acknowledges the role of John as being the forerunner of Jesus
- He says that John would go ahead and prepare the way for Christ. He will be telling people that they will be saved and have their sins forgiven.
- THE BIRTH OF JESUS
Joseph and Mary went from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, the birth place of King David.
This was because Augustus Caesar, the emperor at the time, had ordered a census to determine payment of taxes and those eligible for military recruitment. People were supposed to be counted from their original home area.
While in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child. Jesus was born in a stable where Joseph and Mary had settled for the night. There was no place available to rest for all rooms were booked.
Mary wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger.
An angel of God appeared to some shepherds who were spending the night in the field taking care of their flocks. They were terrified but the angel assured them. He told them that their savior is born that day in David’s town. He told them that they will find him wrapped in strips of cloth and laying in a manger.
Suddenly, a group of other angels appeared singing praise to God.
After the angels message, the shepherds went to visit the baby. They found Him in a manger as they had been told by the angels.
They told those around what they angel had told them. They were surprised. The shepherds then left praising God for all that they had heard and seen.
- THE DEDICATION OF JESUS
Luke 2: 21-40
On the eighth day of Jesus’ birth, He was named and then taken to the temple in Jerusalem for purification and dedication. According to Jewish customs, mother was unclean after birth and needed to be purified. Dedication of male first born sons to God was also done as per tradition. Jesus was also circumcised on that day.
In Jerusalem, there was a man named Simeon. He was God fearing and was waiting for Israel to be saved. The Holy Spirit had assured him that he will not die until he sees the promised Messiah.
Simeon was led by the spirit into the Temple. When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus, Simeon took the child in his arms and gave thanks to God. He said the following about Jesus:-
- Jesus will bring salvation to the people.
- He will reveal God’s will to the Gentiles
- Jesus was God’s choice for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel
- Many people will speak against Him
- Sorrow will break His Mother due to His suffering
In the Temple, there was also an 84 year old prophetess named Anna. She had been widowed after seven years. She spent all her days in the temple praying and fasting.
- She prophesied that Jesus would set the people free
Mary and Joseph went back to Nazareth in Galilee. Jesus grew to maturity and filled with wisdom and God’s favor was with Him.
- THE BOY JESUS AT THE TEMPLE
Luke 2: 41-52
Jesus’ parents went to the Temple for the Passover Festival as they have done every year. This time, Jesus was twelve years old. The parents started going back home after the festival but then realized that Jesus was neither with them nor among their relatives.
They searched for Him the whole day but they did not find Him. So they went back to Jerusalem. On the third day, they found Him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard Him were amazed at His intelligent answers. His parents, when they saw Him, they told Him that they had been terribly worried trying to find Him.
Jesus asked why they had to look for Him. He asked them “Don’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
The parents did not understand Him. So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth where He was obedient to them. He grew both in body and wisdom gaining favor with God and people.
JOHN THE BAPTIST AND JESUS
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:-
- Outline the teachings of John the Baptist
- Apply the teachings of John the Baptist in daily life.
- Describe the baptism and temptation of Jesus
- Explain the relevance of baptism and temptation of Jesus to Christians today
- THE PREACHING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Luke 3: 1-20
John the Baptist started his preaching during the reign of Emperor Tiberius Caesar, and Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judea and Herod Antipas the ruler of Galilee.
The following teachings can be drawn from John the Baptist’s preaching.
- He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
John the Baptist urged his listeners to have total change of heart and confess their sins so that God would forgive them.
His baptism was in preparation for those who would be ready to be baptized with fire and Holy Spirit.
- He warned people about God’s judgment
John rebuked his listeners. He told them to repent or face God’s judgment. They should not just cling on to being blessed Abraham’s descendants. God can turn stones to make Abraham’s descendants. They should hence repent or perish.
- He announced the coming of the Messiah as judge
John’s listeners began to wonder whether he was a Messiah. John however told them that one was coming who is greater than Him. Who will baptize them with Holy Spirit? And will bring God’s judgment for those who have ignored God’s laws.
- He preached social justice
John taught the following on justice and responsibility
- Those who have, should share with those who do not have
- He emphasized the need for firmness and honesty in their dealings. For example, tax collectors were advised not to collect more than what be required of them.
- Soldiers were advised not to take things from others forcefully nor accuse people falsely
- He condemned King Herod’s immoral behavior including marrying his own brothers wife, Herodias.
He was later put in prison by Herod Antipas for his fearless condemnation of the marriage.
THE RELEVANCE OF JOHN’S TEACHINGS ON OUR DAILY LIFE
- It challenges Christians to be fair, honest and jut in their dealings with other people
- It teaches that Christians should avoid being hypocritical in their society
- It challenges Christians to know that God will judge us for our wrong doing.
- It challenges Christians to repent their sins sincerely, seek for forgiveness and be baptized
- John challenges Christians to make the world a better place to live in by avoiding corruption, immorality and hypocrisy at all levels in society.
- THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
Luke 3: 21-22
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in River Jordan. John was baptizing other people and Jesus came and got baptized as well.
As Jesus prayed during baptism, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit came down upon Him in bodily form like a dove.
\a voice came from heaven saying “you are my own dear son, I am pleased with you”
Possible reasons why Jesus got baptized
- Jesus wanted to confirm and show His approval of John’s ministry.
- He saw it as God’s plan for saving humankind
- He saw it as the last act of preparing those who were ready to receive the Messiah in person
- He saw it as a way of fulfilling Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah
- He wanted to identify Himself with the sinful humankind
- It showed His acceptance of the work of salvation which was to be completed through His suffering
- Baptism provided an opportunity for the manifestation of the Holy Trinity, that is God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
Note: – the voice from heaven was a confirmation to Jesus that He was God’s Son and that God
Was with Him and approved His mission
-The Holy Spirit descending showed that the Holy Spirit will give Jesus courage and
Guidance in the work He was about to start.
- THE TEMPTATIONS OF JESUS
Luke 4: 1-13
Soon after Jesus was baptized, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He was tested by the devil. Jesus stayed in the wilderness for 40 days eating nothing. He was hungry when it was over.
Jesus was tempted in three ways. These are:-
- He was told by the devil to turn stones into bread if indeed He was the son of God.
Jesus answered and said that the scripture says that man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.
- The devil took Him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world. He told Jesus that he will give Him all that power and wealth. The devil said these have been given to him and that he can give them to whoever he chooses. All will belong to Jesus if Jesus were to worship him.
Jesus answered and told the devil that the scripture says that we should worship the Lord our God and serve Him only.
- Then the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem and set Him on the highest point of the Temple. He told Him that if indeed He was the Son of God, He should throw Himself down from. This is because the scripture says God will order his angels to take good care of Him and the angels will hold Him up with their hands so that not even Jesus’ feet will be hurt on the stones.
Jesus answered that the scripture says that one should not put the Lord your God to test.
- THE RELEVANCE OF BAPTISM AND TEMPTATIONS OF JESUS TO CHRISTIANS TODAY
- The relevance of Jesus’ baptism
- Baptism qualifies the new convert to become a member of a Christian denomination
- Through baptism, Christians identify themselves with Jesus Christ and all that He stands for
- Through baptism, Christians receive the power of the Holy Spirit
- Baptism unites Christians as members of the Body of Christ which is the Church. Therefore all barriers of race, creed, gender and class are broken
- It is a symbol of death and resurrection. One dies to sin and rises to new life.
- Through baptism, one is considered a child of God
- Baptism effects complete forgiveness of sins
- Baptism prepares Christians for the Kingdom of God
- Relevance of Jesus’ temptations
- Since Jesus was tempted, He fully understood our difficulties when we are tempted and is ready to help us
- We learn that God does not tempt us beyond our strength
- Since Jesus was tempted, Christians too must also expect to be tempted
- Through temptations and trials, our faith is strengthened
- Christians should turn to the Bible for guidance when tempted
- We should seek the Holy Spirit as it will enable us to conquer the devil
GOD MEETS US IN JESUS CHRIST-ST LUKE’S GOSPEL
THE GALILEAN MINISTRY
JESUS BEGINS HIS WORK IN GALILEE
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:-
- Explain why Jesus was rejected at Nazareth
- Describe and appreciate the healing at Capernaum
- Describe the call of the first disciples
- Explain why Jesus faced opposition from the Pharisees and the Scribes
- JESUS’ MINISTRY IN GALILEE AND HIS REJECTION AT NAZARETH
Luke 4: 14-30
After Jesus’ temptation, Jesus went back to Galilee. He taught in the Synagogues and was praised by everyone.
Synagogue is a place where Jews worship God on every Sabbath day.
On the Sabbath day, Jesus went to the Synagogue in Nazareth where He was brought up. He was handed the book of Prophet Isaiah to read. He opened and read where it is written “the Spirit of God is upon me, because He has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lord has come when the Lord will save His people.”
Jesus handed over the scripture to the attendant and went and sat down. All eyes were fixed on Him. Jesus said to them that that day, that part of the scripture as was being read has come to pass.
They were all well impressed with Him and marveled at His eloquence. However, when they realized that He was claiming to be the expected Messiah, they became hostile to Him. They asked around whether He is not the son of Joseph.
Jesus responded by telling them that a prophet is never accepted by his own people. He went on to give examples of non-Israelites who had received God’s favor during prophets Elijah and Elisha’s time. This made His listeners even more hostile that they tried to kill Him by throwing Him down a cliff.
Reasons why Jesus was rejected at Nazareth
- Jesus had claimed that the prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled in Himself and that He was the Messiah the anointed one of God, whom they had been longing for
- Jesus did not perform the kind of miracles He had performed in Capernaum. These include healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, casting out demons from those possessed and even raising the dead
- He accused the listeners that their forefathers had rejected God’s prophets by persecuting them
- Jesus had told the audience that the good news was first offered to the Jews but they had rejected it, so it would be made available to the Gentiles.
- JESUS HEALS IN CAPERNAUM
Luke 4: 31-44
- Jesus heals a man with an evil spirit
Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, where He taught the people on the Sabbath. The people were all amazed with the way He taught because He spoke with authority.
In the Synagogue, there was a man with an evil spirit (demon) in him. The demon in him made him scream out in loud voice asking Jesus what He wanted with them. They recognized Jesus as being from Nazareth and asked Him what He wanted with them and whether He was there to destroy them. They also said that they knew who Jesus was and that He was God’s holy messenger.
Jesus ordered the spirit to be quiet and come out of the man.
The demon threw the man down in front of the people and left him without doing him any harm.
The people were all amazed and asked one another what kind of words Jesus used. Just with authority and power Jesus gives orders to the evil spirit and they come out. Report about Jesus spread in the region
- Jesus healed Simon’s mother-in law
After Jesus left the Synagogue, He went to Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in law was suffering from a fever and Jesus was asked to heal her. Jesus commanded the fever to leave her and she was healed immediately.
In the evening of the same day, Jesus carried out another healing. People suffering from various diseases and demon possession were brought to Him. He healed and exorcised demons from those who were possessed. The people wanted to keep Jesus in that are but Jesus informed them that the Good News of God’s Kingdom was meant for all people.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM JESUS’ HEALING IN CAPERNAUM
- Jesus is the Son of God
- Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God and destroy the kingdom of Satan.
- Jesus has power over evil spirits or demons.
- Faith and prayer are necessary for healing
- Jesus came to save human beings from the slavery of sin
- JESUS CALLS THE FIRST DISCIPLES
Luke 5: 1-11
A disciple is a follower or a learner.
Jesus chose disciples from among the many people who followed Him to listen to His teachings. These were to continue with His teachings
One day Jesus was standing on the shores of Lake Gennesaret (also called the Sea of Tiberius or Sea of Galilee) from where He taught the word of God to the people.
Jesus saw two boats on the beach. The fishermen had left them and were washing the nets.
Jesus got into one of the boats which belonged to Simon. He sat in the boat and taught the crowd. When He had finished teaching, He asked Simon to cast the net into the sea for a catch.
Simon said that they had worked all night and took nothing but, at Jesus’ word, he will let the nets down.
Then Simon and his partners John and James, the sons of Zebedee let down their nets and caught such a large number of fish that the nets almost broke.
Simon Peter was deeply moved by the miraculous catch of fish. He fell on his knees before Jesus and urged Him to go away from him for he was a sinful person.
James and John too were amazed at the miraculous catch of fish.
Jesus told Simon not to be afraid for from that time on, he would be catching men. This meant he was going to be one of the disciples of Jesus and will be winning people to the Kingdom of God.
The three me, left everything and followed Jesus. There was also Andrew, Simon’s brother.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM THE CALL OF THE FIRST DISCIPLES
Christians learn that:-
- God still calls people today to serve Him in various capacities
- God can choose anybody to serve Him regardless of their status in society
- Those called by God are expected to be humble
- Christians should trust in God
- Those who are called should repent their sins
- God can intervene in peoples’ lives through miracles
- Christians should work together as a team
- There is hope for those who follow Jesus
- God reveals Himself to people in everyday activities
- Christians’ vocation may require renunciation of family ties and occupation
- JESUS FACES OPPOSITION
Luke 5: 12-6:11
Jesus was mainly opposed in His preaching and teachings about Good News by the Jewish religious leaders. These were:-
- The Pharisees
- The Scribes and
- The Sadducees
- THE PHARISEES
The word Pharisee means separated.
It applied to Jewish religious group which had separated themselves from the common people. They also called themselves the “righteous” implying that they had a close relationship with God.
Characteristics of the Pharisees
- They believed in the Law of Moses and accepted the first five books of the Bible as God inspired
- They upheld and insisted on observance of the oral traditions of the elders
- They believed in the teachings of the prophets and other writings of the Old Testament
- They stressed on the external observance of the Law and neglected the inner righteousness
- They had a duty together with the scribes to pass on the religious traditions of the Jews from generation to generation
- They believed in the existence of angels and regarded them as intermediaries between God and human beings
- They believed in the existence of demons and Satan
- They believed in and waited for the Messiah of God
- They believed in the resurrection of the dead
- They believed in the judgment of God for all humankind at the end of time
- Politically, they were strong nationalists who resisted all foreign influences and power.
- THE SCRIBES
The word Scribe means a writer
Originally, the Scribes specific work was to make new, exact copies of the handwritten manuscripts of the Jewish scriptures
They were either drawn from the Pharisees or Sadducees. They were accepted as experts in the content and application of the law
They were called Rabbi (teacher)
They were represented in the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Religious Council)
They ran Rabbinical Schools where the Jewish male youth went to learn the Mosaic Law at the age of 13 years.
- THE SADDUCEES
These were a wealthy and influential group who were members of the Jerusalem Priesthood.
The Chief Priests were drawn from the Sadducees.
They believed only in the divine authority of the Law of Moses and the Pentateuch. They regarded all other books of the Old Testament as not divinely inspired and therefore rejected them.
They rejected the Pharisees’ belief in:-
- Resurrection of the dead
- Last judgment
- Coming of the Messiah and
- Angels and Demons
They also rejected the oral traditions of the Pharisees
They represented the majority of the members of the Sanhedrin
They were hated by the poor unlike the Pharisees who were popular and respected by them
They were enemies with the Pharisees mainly on religious matters. They however, joined together to oppose Jesus.
REASONS WHY THE SCRIBES, THE PHARISEES AND THE SADDUCEES OPPOSED JESUS
- Jesus’ claim to have power to forgive sin
- Jesus’ association with tax collectors and sinners
- Jesus’ attitude towards the Sabbath
- Jesus’ failure to observe the law of fasting
- The popularity of Jesus
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM JESUS’ OPPOSITION
- Christians should not condemn those who are different from them
- Church leaders should make rules that promote the development or growth of the Church
- Christians should be ready to assist the needy regardless of the opposition they may face in the processes.
THE SERMON ON THE PLAIN
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:-
- Explain the choosing of the twelve disciples
- Identify Jesus’ teachings on qualities of true discipleship
- Explain Jesus’ teachings on the Sermon on the Plain and apply the teachings to daily life
- THE CHOOSING OF THE TWELVE DISCIPLES
After Jesus was condemned by the Pharisees at the Synagogue for healing a man with paralyzed hand on a Sabbath day, He went up to a hill to pray. He spent the whole night praying there. The next day, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He named apostles.
Apostles means one who is sent or missionaries
Jesus’ Apostles are those that witness His resurrection and accompanied Him throughout His ministry
The apostles are:
- Simon (whom He named Peter)
- Andrew Simon’s brother
- John brothers
- James son of Alphas
- Simon the Zealot
- Judas son of James
- Judas Iscariot
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM JESUS CHOOSING OF THE 12 APOSTLES
- Christians must willingly carry on with Jesus’ work of spreading the Good News through preaching, healing, community services etc
- We should always remember to consult with God in all our undertakings. That is through prayers, retreats, bible studies
- Evangelization is a continuous process. Christians have a duty to witness for Christ
- Christians should undertake training in various aspects of Christian ministry in order to carry out Jesus’ work effectively.
- JESUS’ TEACHING ON THE QUALITIES OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP
Luke 6: 20-49
True disciples, according to Jesus, should have the following qualities
- Perseverance in the face of persecution
- Unwavering faith in Jesus
- Love for enemies
- Obedience to Jesus’ teachings
- Implementers of Jesus’ teachings
- They were to be generous
- They were to exercise self-criticism before judging others
- The disciples were to show compassion to others
- THE SERMON ON THE PLAIN
Luke 6: 17-49
After selecting the 12 apostles, Jesus delivered a sermon to the disciples and crowds that followed Him. The purpose of the sermon was to teach the crowd the meaning of true discipleship and to prepare the disciples for their mission of spreading the good news. The sermon on the plain is divided into the following areas:-
- Blessings and woes
- Love of enemies
- Judging others
- Evidence of good/true discipleship
- Hearing and doing
- BLESSINGS AND WOES
These are also referred to as Beatitudes in other version
Jesus has a message for the poor, the rich, those who hunger, those who are full, those who weep and those who laugh.
The beatitudes are:-
- Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them
- Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them
- Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised them
- Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully
- Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them
- Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God
- Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them His children
- Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them
- Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are Jesus’ followers. Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven.
Teachings from the beatitudes
- Jesus promises blessings to those who accept to be His followers
- He announces curses for those who reject the condition for the discipleship
- Discipleship entails
- an unconditional love even for enemies,
- Doing good without expecting any returns.
- Showing mercy for others,
- Praying for those who mistreat you.
- God loves us unconditionally despite our sinfulness
- When we show love to our enemies, we exhibit God’s love in us
- Discipleship requires acknowledging one’s shortcomings and avoiding criticizing others
- True disciple is one whose faith is evident in good actions
- LOVE OF ENEMIES
Luke 6: 27-36
Jesus taught His disciples the following concerning love of enemies:-
- To love their enemies and do good to those who hate them
- To bless those who curse them and pray for those that mistreats them
- If someone strikes them on one cheek, they should turn to them the other cheek as well.
- If someone took their cloak, they should not stop them from taking their tunic as well
- They are to give to anyone who asks them
- If anyone takes what belongs to them, they should not demand it back
- They should do to others what they would want them to do to them
- He warned them not to love only those who love them, not to do good to only those are good to them, not to lend only those that they expect repayment.
- They should instead love their enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back
- Their reward will be great and they will be sons of the Most High who is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
- They should be merciful just as their father is merciful
- JUDGING OTHERS
Luke 6: 37-42
Jesus taught His disciples the following on judging others:-
- Do not judge, and you will not be judged
- Do not condemn and you will not be condemned
- To forgive and they will be forgiven
- To give and it will be given to them in good measure
- Not to look at the speck in their brother’s eyes and pay no attention to the plank in their own eyes.
- He also warned through a parable that a student cannot be above his teacher nor can a blind man lead another blind man.
- EVIDENCE OF GOOD DISCIPLESHIP
Luke 6: 43-45
Jesus used the image of a tree and its fruit to demonstrate that a good person is known by his/her actions.
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.
He concludes by saying that out of the abundance of one’s heart, the mouth speaketh.
- HEARING AND DOING
Luke 6: 46-49
Jesus cautioned those who called Him Lord, Lord and yet they do not do what He says. He says those who put His words into practice are like a wise man who builds his house upon the rock. When flood struck, the house is not shaken,
But that that hears His words and not put them into practice is like a man who builds his house without a foundation. The moment torrent stuck, the house collapses.
Hence Christians should build a firm foundation in Jesus to overcome any temptation
RELEVANCE OF THE SERMON ON THE PLAIN TO CHRISTIANS
The teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the plain are relevant to Christians in the following ways:-
- The goal of a Christian should be to inherit the Kingdom of God. any tribulations and trials a Christian encounters should be a preparation for the kingdom
- Christians should love their enemies. Jesus forgave those who crucified Him
- Christians should examine themselves before passing judgment on others
- Christians should be steadfast in faith as this can protect one from succumbing to temptations
- A Christian should be willing to hear God’s word and proclaim it.
- A Christian should promote peace. Jesus taught that we should turn the other cheek when we are hit
- Christians should be generous
SOME WORKS AND TEACHINGS OF JESUS
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:-
- Explain and appreciate Jesus’ works of compassion
- Emulate Jesus example by showing compassion to others
- Narrate the parables of Jesus
- Relate the significance of the parable to daily life
- Describe the mighty works of Jesus
- Explain the significance of the teaching from the mighty works of Jesus to Christians today.
- JESUS’ WORKS OF COMPASSION
- THE HEALING OF THE CENTURION’S SERVANT
After Jesus came from the hill where He gave the Sermon on the Plain, He went back to Capernaum.
A Roman Officer (a Centurion) there had a servant who was very sick and about to die the servant was dear to the Centurion.
When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to ask Him to come and heal his servant.
The elders went to Jesus and begged Him to go and heal the servant. This was because the Centurion was good to the people and had even built a Synagogue for them.
Jesus agreed and went with them to the Centurion’s house. When He was about to reach there, the Centurion sent messengers to ask Him not to come into his place.
He said that he was not worthy to go before Jesus and neither did he deserve to have Jesus come into his house.
He asked Jesus to just give the order and his servant will get well. He said even him, he had authority to command his junior officers and even his servants to do his will and they obey
Jesus was surprised when He heard this; He turned around to the crowd following Him and told them He had never found faith like this, not even in Israel.
The messengers went back to the officer’s house and found the servant well.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN
- Just like the Centurion believed that Jesus’ word could heal, so should Christians believe in Jesus’ power and Lordship
- Christians should know that Jesus has power to heal all forms of illnesses
- Just as the Centurion had great love for his servant, Christian employers should treat their workers with compassion
- Christianity is a universal religion, regardless of race, tribe, gender and creed
- The Centurion humbled himself despite his status, hence leaders should humble themselves and seek God’s help
- Christians should show compassion to the needy just as Jesus was compassionate to the Centurion’s servant and healed him.
- THE RAISING OF THE WIDOW’S SON IN NAIN
Luke 7: 11-17
Jesus went to a town called Nain in Galilee accompanied by His disciples and a large crowd. Just as He arrived at the gate of the town, a funeral procession was coming out. The dead man was the only son of a woman who was a widow, and a large crowd from the town was with her.
When the Lord saw her, His heart was filled with pity for her, and He told her not to cry. Jesus then walked over and touched the coffin, and the men carrying it stopped.
He then commanded the dead man by saying
“Young man! Get up, I tell you!”
The dead man sat up and began to talk and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
The people were filled with fear and praised God by saying that a great prophet had appeared among them and that God had come to save His people.
This news about Jesus went out through all the country and the surrounding territory.
LESSONS FROM THE RAISING OF THE WIDOW’S SON
- Jesus has power over death. This gives hope to Christians that even when they die, they will rise again to life with Jesus in heaven
- Jesus is a great prophet. He is a fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament
- Jesus empathizes with the suffering. He saw a widow weeping and pitied her.
- Traditional laws should not hinder a Christian from performing acts of compassion. Jesus touched the coffin of the dead son although by doing this, He broke the Jewish ceremonial law.
- ASSURANCE TO JOHN THE BAPTIST
Luke 7: 18-35
John sent out two of his disciples to go to Jesus and ask Him whether He was the one he (John) heard was going to come or whether they should expect someone else.
The disciples went to Jesus and asked Him the question, but at the same time, Jesus cured many people of their sicknesses, diseases and evil spirits, and gave sight to many blind people.
Jesus answered John’s messengers by telling them to go back and tell John what they had seen and heard.
After the disciples of John had gone, Jesus paid tribute to John. He acknowledged that John was the greatest of all the prophets.
He went on to portray John as His forerunner. He described him as a man of strong character who could not be swayed like a person who lived in luxury like a prince in a palace.
The Pharisees and Scribes had disregarded John and even refused to be baptized by him.
- THE FORGIVENESS OF THE SINFUL WOMAN
Luke 7: 36- 8:3
Simon, a Pharisee, had invited Jesus to have dinner with him at his house. In the same town, there was a sinful woman (prostitute) when she heard where Jesus was, she came with perfumed oil.
She stood behind Jesus, crying, wetting His feet with her tears and then drying them using her hair. She kissed them and poured perfume on them.
Simon wondered if indeed Jesus was a prophet because he believed Jesus would have known that the woman was sinful and would have stopped her from touching Him.
Jesus, who knew Simon’s thoughts, gave him an analogy (story) of two men who owed money to a money lender. One owed 500 silver coins and another 50 coins. Since neither could pay, the money lender forgave them both by cancelling their debts.
Jesus asked which of the two men would love the money lender more. Simon said the one who owed him more.
Jesus hence said that since the woman had great sins, she loved Jesus more and had even showed so by her actions
Therefore, those who are forgiven more, shows more love, but those who are forgiven little, shows only a little love.
Jesus told the woman that her sins have been forgiven.
Those sitting at the table wondered who Jesus was as He forgives even sin.
Jesus later travelled through towns together with His 12 disciples and women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases.
These were Mary (Magdalene), Joanna and Susanna and many other women who used their own resources to help Jesus and his disciples.
- JESUS TEACHES IN PARABLE
A parable is a short story or description which teaches something or answers some questions
Reasons why Jesus used Parables
- To avoid open confrontation with the Pharisees.
- To confuse the Pharisees so that they will not be able to accuse Him
- To separate true disciples from onlookers
- To explain unfamiliar messages in a language that His hearers could understand
- To provoke His listeners into thinking critically
- To make His listeners understand issues from different point of view
- To be able to explain the nature and growth of the kingdom of God to His listeners
Note: write all the parables used by Jesus
- THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
Luke 8: 4-15
A great crowd had gathered before Jesus and He told them this parable
Once, there was a man who went out to sow as he scattered the seeds in the field, some of it fell:-
- Along the foot path, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate them up.
- Some of it fell on rocky ground, and when the plants sprouted, they dried up because the soil had no moisture.
- Some of the seed fell among thorny bushes, which grew up with the plants and chocked them.
- And some seeds fell in good soil; the plants grew and produced corn, a hundred grains each.
Jesus explains the parable of the sower
The disciples asked Jesus the meaning of the parable and He gave out the following:-
- The seeds that fell along the foot path stand for those who hear the word of God but Devil come and take the message away from their hearts in order to keep them from believing and being saved.
- The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who hear the message and receive it gladly. But it does not sink deep into them, they believe only for a while but when temptations come, they fall away.
- The seeds that fell among thorny bushes stand for those who hear, but the worries and riches and pleasures of this life crowd in and choke them, and their fruits never ripens
- The seeds that fell in good soil stand for those who hear the message and retain it in a good and obedient heart, and they persist until they bear fruit.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
- Christians should not despair for there is a good harvest at the end
- Christians should not allow such things as worries, riches and pleasures of life to pre-occupy their mind as one may never have room to listen and internalize God’s word.
- THE PARABLE OF A LAMP UNDER A BOWL
Luke 8: 16-118
In this parable, Jesus taught that no one can light a lamp and cover it with a bowl or hide it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand to illuminate a room.
In this parable, Jesus is the light and the disciples are those on home the light shines
The disciples had a duty to pass on what they had learnt from Jesus to other people and not to keep it to themselves. He advised the disciples to listen to Him carefully and hear correctly.
Jesus also cautioned the disciples that their mission involved giving in order to receive. If they did not preach God’s word and bear fruit, they would lose even the little measure of spiritual knowledge that had been given to them.
- JESUS’ TRUE FAMILY
Luke 8: 19-21
Jesus’ mother and brothers came to him, but were unable to join Him because of the crowd. Someone said to Jesus that His mother and brothers were standing outside and wanted to see Him.
Jesus responded by saying that His mother and brothers are those who hear and head to God’s word
Jesus wanted the people to understand the divine nature of His work. He was the son of God and those who heeded His teachings were therefore closer to Him than human relations.
- THE MIGHTY WORKS OF JESUS
The works of Jesus are called miracles.
Miracles are extraordinary events that seem to go against the laws of nature
The miracles of Jesus can be divided into four groups:-
- Nature miracles for example, the calming of the storm
- Raising of the dead for example raising of Jairus’ daughter
- Healing miracles for example the healing of the Centurion servant
- Exorcism/casting out evil spirits for example the Gerasene Demoniac
- THE CALMING OF THE STORM
Luke 8: 22-25
One day Jesus got into a boat with His disciples and asked that they go to the other side of the lake.
As they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep. Suddenly a strong wind blew down on the lake and the boat began to fill with water. The disciples were afraid that they would drown
They woke Jesus and asked Him to save them before their boat capsized. Jesus rebuked the winds and waves. They died down and there was great calm. Jesus asked the disciples where their faith was.
But the disciples were amazed and afraid and asked one another who Jesus was as He even gives order to the winds and waves and they obey Him.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM JESUS’ CALMING OF THE STORM
- Christians should depend on Jesus to help them overcome temptations
- Christians learn not to give up their faith in the face of persecution. They should trust in Jesus who would deliver them from the persecution they face.
- Christians should have complete faith in Jesus so as to be able to overcome all problems in their lives
- THE HEALING OF THE GERASENE DEMONIAC
Luke 8: 26-39
Jesus and His disciples sailed on over to the territory of Gerasa, which is across the lake from Galilee. As Jesus stepped ashore, He was met by a man from the town who had demons in him. The man was naked and lived in the caves for burial.
When he saw Jesus, he cried loudly then threw himself down at Jesus feet. He shouted out Jesus’ name and called Him Son of the Most High God. He asked Jesus what He wanted with him and begged Jesus not to punish him.
Jesus asked the man what his name was. The man said legion which implied that he had many demons. Legion stands for 2000 to 6000 soldiers in a battlefield.
The demons begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss. Abyss is a deep immeasurable space-infinite. It is a hole so deep or a space so great that it cannot be measured.
The demons had seized the man many times and even though he was imprisoned by chains, he would break the chains and be driven by the demons into the desert.
The demons begged Jesus to send them into a large herd of pigs that were grazing nearby. They went out of the man and into the pigs. The whole herd rushed to the cliff and threw themselves into the lake where they drowned.
The men taking care of the pigs ran off and spread the news in the town. People came and found Jesus with the demon possessed man who was now well and sited at Jesus’ feet.
The people in the town asked Jesus to go away because they were afraid. Jesus got into the boat and left.
The man begged Jesus to allow him to go with them but Jesus sent him away and asked him to go back home and tell what God had done for him.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM THE HEALING OF THE GERASENE DEMONIAC
- Christians learn to constantly fight against powers of evil.
- Christians learn that Jesus’ power conquers evil
- God will not allow a person’s tribulations to defeat their faith
- Christians should put more value to human life than on material thins
- THE RAISING OF JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER
Luke 8: 40-56
When Jesus returned the other side of the lake, the people welcomed Him.
Jairus, an official in the local Synagogue, arrived. He threw himself down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to go to his home and heal his twelve year old daughter who was dying.
While Jesus was on His way, a messenger from Jairus house came and told Jairus that his daughter had died and told him not to bother Jesus anymore.
Jesus heard the messenger and told Jairus not to be afraid but to only believe and his daughter will be well.
When Jesus arrived at the house, He did not allow anyone to go in with Him except Peter, John and James and the child’s father and mother.
The people were mourning for the child but Jesus told them not to cry, the child was not dead as she was only sleeping
The people laughed at Him because they knew that she was dead.
Jesus took the child by the hand and commanded her to get up. Life returned to the girl and she got up at ones. Jesus ordered her parents who were astonished, to give her something to eat and instructed them not to tell anyone what had happened.
- THE HEALING OF THE WOMAN WITH THE FLOW OF BLOOD
Luke 8: 43-48
While Jesus was heading to Jairus home, the people were crowding Him from every side. Among them, was a woman who had suffered severe bleeding for twelve years? She had spent all she had on doctors but no one had been able to cure her.
She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak and her bleeding stopped at once.
Jesus asked who had touched Him. Everyone denied it and Peter went ahead and told Him that people were all around Him and crowding Him.
Jesus said that someone had touched Him as He knew it when power went out of Him.
The woman, who knew that she had been found out, came trembling and threw herself at Jesus’ feet
She told Him why she had touched Him and how she had been healed.
Jesus called her His daughter and told her to go in peace for her faith had made her well.
THE TEACHINGS ABOUT JESUS FROM HIS MIRACLES
- They show Jesus’ compassion to those suffering
- They show Jesus as the Lord of life
- They show that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament
- They affirm that Jesus came to save the world from sin.
- They show that Jesus is universal savior. He healed both the Jews and the Gentiles, men, women, adults and the young.
- They are manifestation of God’s love and concern for His people through Jesus Christ
- They evoke faith that is through Jesus Christ, God’s work of creation and salvation continues.
- They are an integral part of Jesus’ teachings. They suppliant His teachings of preaching the word.
- They were performed as a response to an affirmation of faith on the part of those who were in need.
- Through healing, Jesus showed His concern for total well being of humankind. This included physical, spiritual and mental aspects
JESUS AND THE TWELVE DISCIPLES
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
- Outline the roles and responsibilities Jesus gave His 12 disciples during their commissioning
- Explain Jesus’ feeding of five thousand people
- Identify who Jesus is and His destiny
- Describe the transfiguration of Jesus
- Explain Jesus’ teachings on faith and humility
- THE COMMISSIONING OF THE TWELVE DISCIPLES
Luke 9: 1-9
Jesus called His 12 disciples together and gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and cure diseases.
Then He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
He told them not to carry anything for their journey such as food, money, an extra shirt or a bag.
He told them where they will be welcomed; they should stay in that house until they leave the town.
Where they will not be welcomed or faced rejection, they were to make gesture of shaking the dust off their feet. This was to act as a warning to them of impending judgment day.
Herod heard of the mighty works the disciples of Jesus were doing and he was perplexed. He wondered about the true identity of Jesus. Some people thought that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead while others thought that Elijah had returned. He wished to meet Jesus in person.
- JESUS FEEDS THE FIVE THOUSANDS
Luke 9: 10-17
The disciples of Jesus came back from their mission and reported to Jesus what they had done. Jesus took His followers to a quiet place in Bethsaida to rest. However, they were followed by the multitude that was keen to listen to Him.
Jesus turned and preached to them about the kingdom of God and healed the sick.
When it reached evening, the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him to send the people away so that they (the people) could go to the villages and find food and lodging.
Jesus instead told the disciples to give them something to eat.
The disciples told Jesus that all they had was five loaves and two fish and asked whether they should go to the market and buy food for the crowd. There were about 5,000 men.
Jesus told the disciples to make the people sit down in groups of about 50 each
After this, Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, thanked God for them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.
They all ate and 12 baskets were left over.
LESSONS LEARNT FROM JESUS’ FEEDING OF 5,000 PEOPLE
- Jesus was not only concerned with spiritual food which was attained through preaching the word but also with people’s physical needs. Christians should not only preach the gospel but also cater for people’s social and economic needs.
- The feeding of 5,000 people was foretaste of the Messianic banquet prophesied by prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 25:6)
- Jesus’ prayer, points to the spiritual feeding of the Church in the celebration of the Eucharist. This is seen in the way Jesus took the bread and broke it during the last supper
- Jesus had divine power.
- THE PERSON OF JESUS AND HIS DESTINY
Luke 9: 18-27
One day, when Jesus was praying alone, the disciples came to Him. Jesus asked them what the people said He is.
The disciples told Him that some people said that He was John the Baptist; others said that He was Elijah while others said that He was one of the prophets of long ago and has come back to life.
Jesus then asked the disciples who they say He is.
Peter said that He was God’s Messiah.
Jesus told them not to tell anyone and then He went ahead and gave them the nature of His Messiahship. He told them that the Son of Man would suffer, be rejected by the elders, the Chief Priests and the teachers of the law. He will be put to death but three days later, He will be raised to life.
Jesus also told them that anyone who wanted to come to Him must forget themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.
He said anyone who wanted to save his life will lose it but anyone who lost his life for Jesus’ sake, will save it.
He said that one does not gain anything if they win the whole world but they are themselves lost or defeated.
He said that if people are ashamed of Him and His teachings, then He will be ashamed of them when He comes in His glory and the glory of God and that of the Holy angels.
- THE TRANSFIGURATION
Luke 9: 28-37
Transfiguration may refer to change of form or transformation of body into heavenly glory
About a week after Jesus spoke of His death and suffering, He took Peter, John and James with Him and went up a hill to pray.
While He was praying, His face changed its appearance, His clothes became dazzling white.
Suddenly, two men were there talking with Him. They were Moses and Elijah. They appeared in heavenly glory and talked with Jesus about the way in which He would soon fulfill God’s purpose by dying in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions were sound asleep, but they woke up and saw Jesus’ glory and the two men who were standing with Him.
Peter told Jesus that it was good that they were around and that they will make three tents. One for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah
While Peter was still speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow. The disciples were afraid as the cloud came over them. A voice said from the cloud
“This is my son, whom I have chosen-listen to Him”
When the voice stopped, Jesus was left alone. The disciples kept quiet about all that they had seen
THE SIGNIFICANCE/PURPOSE OF THE TRANSFIGURATION
- The voice from Heaven confirmed ones more that Jesus was the true Son of God, and that He was doing God’s will
- To strengthen the faith of the apostles, so that they would continue with His work after His death
- Moses represented the Law, while Elijah represented the Prophets. Their appearance signified that they were handing over. This showed that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament law and prophecy
- The cloud was a symbol of God’s presence
- Jesus’ mission was no longer a secret.
- The transfiguration marked the onset of His passion which would lead to His death.
- JESUS’ TEACHING ON FAITH AND HUMILITY
Luke 9: 37-50
THE HEALING OF A BOY WITH AN EVIL SPIRIT
The next day after transfiguration, Jesus took the three disciples he was with (Peter, John and James) down from the hill.
A man from the crowd asked Jesus t heal his son who was being attacked by spirits throwing him down and foam forms in his mouth. The man said that he had asked his disciples to heal him but they were defeated. Jesus questioned the faith of the disciples. He also asked them for how long must He stay with them. He then asked the man to bring the boy.
The demon knocked the boy and threw him down as he was coming. Jesus gave a command to the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
The people were amazed.
GOD MEETS US IN JESUS CHRIST-ST LUKE’S GOSPEL
THE JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
SOME MAJOR TEACHINGS OF JESUS
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
- Explain the duties and privileges of discipleship
- Explain what it means to be a committed follower of Jesus by
- Describing the parable of the Good Samaritan
- Describing Jesus’ visit to Mary and Martha
- Explaining Jesus’ teaching on prayer
- Explain Jesus’ teachings on how to use God’s power to overcome evil
- Explain Jesus’ teachings on hypocrisy, wealth and watchfulness
After the Galilean Ministry, Jesus made up His mind and set out on His way to Jerusalem. The Journey to Jerusalem was important to Jesus because it is at this city that He would be rejected and killed by Jewish religious authorities.
On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus went through towns and villages teaching on matters of discipleship, the Kingdom of God, Wealth and Poverty. He also healed the sick. His teachings encourage His disciples to grow in faith.
- THE DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF A DISCIPLESHIP
Luke 9: 51-62
During Jesus journey to Jerusalem, people continued to follow Him. Some of them became His disciples. Jesus gave those who volunteered to follow Him some conditions.
One person was eager to follow Jesus and said: “I will follow you wherever you go”
Jesus responded and said; “Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
By saying this, Jesus made it clear that following Jesus means accepting homelessness and enduing hardship because Jesus did not have a permanent dwelling place.
Jesus invited another man to follow Him but he requested to be allowed to fulfill his family obligation of ‘burying his brother’
Jesus response to him was: “leave the dead to buy their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God”
In telling him this, Jesus meant that family obligation must be set aside in order for ne to proclaim the kingdom of God.
A third person declared his willingness to follow Jesus but still felt he had an obligation to bid his family farewell first.
Jesus responded by telling him “No one who put his hands to plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
This meant that Jesus demands on unwavering committed to follow Him and cutting family ties or occupation.
LESSONS LEARNT ON DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF DISCIPLESHIP
- As a Christian, following Jesus implies meeting certain conditions. These are:
- As a disciple one is in self denial of certain privileges such as comfort of homes and works and must also be ready to suffer.
- To be a disciple, one ought to put all their resources both financial and intellectual to missionary work
- To be a disciple, one has to be a committed to spreading the gospel of Jesus
- Disciples of Jesus should be loyal to Him and not be distracted by anything else.
- THE MISSION OF THE SEVENTY TWO
Luke 10: 1-24
At the start of the journey to Jerusalem, Jesus chose 72 disciples and sent them on a mission to preach and heal. This number (72) indicates that the mission of Jesus is for the whole world.
In His instructions, Jesus informed the 72 that the task was enormous, since there were many people waiting to hear the good news but the disciples were few.
The task was challenging because they would not be well received by all, and they would be totally dependent on the hospitality of those they would meet in the villages. Jesus gave them the following instructions:
- They were not to curry money, food or clothing. They were to depend totally on the hospitality of the local people.
- They were to preach peace in the house they entered.
- They were to heal the sick and preach the kingdom of God.
- They were to shake off dust from their feet where they are rejected.
If they people continually rejected Jesus, they would face severe judgment, worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.
After their mission, the disciples returned and reported their success to Jesus. They reported that: They were able to drive out demons in the mighty names of Jesus.
Jesus responded: “I saw Satan fall like lighting from heaven.”
Jesus meant that the kingdom of Satan w being defeated by God. He cautioned the disciples against placing too much importance in their power over demons, but rather they should be glad they are members of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus rejoices at seeing the power of God in the work of the disciples. He gives thanks to God for revealing Himself to the lowly and not the rich, to the simple and not the proud.
He closes the prayer by expressing the privileges of the disciples witnessing the presence of the Messiah. They had witnessed the manifestation of the Kingdom.
THE RELEVANCE OF JESUS TEACHING ON DISCIPLESHIP TO CHRISTIANS
- Christians should continue to evangelize and ensure that the gospel reaches all people.
- Christians should not tire in evangelizing even in the face of hospitality or resistance. He encourages His disciples to bless those who rejected their mission.
- Christians have a duty to take care of the servants of God.
- Christians should be involved in the healing ministry of Jesus in all its dimensions, such as exorcism, deliverance, medical care, restoration of relationships and pastoral care.
- Christians have the assurance of God’s power to overcome evil.
- Christians should be cautious of their ability to cast out evil spirits; they should be humble and acknowledge God’s power in their actions.
- A COMMITTED FOLLOWER OF JESUS
Luke 10: 25-11:1-13
Committed means dedication and devotion to certain responsibility. A committed person is one who feels obliged to perform his / her duties seriously
The stories of the Good Samaritan, Jesus visits to Mary and Martha and Jesus’ teaching of prayer are used to explain what it means to be a committed follower of Jesus.
- THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
Luke 10: 25-37
A teacher of the law came to Jesus to test His understanding of the Mosaic Law. He asked Jesus, “What must I do to receive everlasting life”
Jesus responded by asking him what the law says and his interpretation of it.
The teacher said that the law said that one should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with your entire mind, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Jesus told him he was right and then told him to go and do the same so as to receive eternal life.
The teacher of the law was puzzled about who a neighbor was.
To explain the concept of a neighbor, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan.
‘A man was attacked while on his way to Jericho. A Levite and a priest passed him and did not help.
According to Jewish law, it was forbidden for priests and Levites to come into contact with blood or a corpse because this rendered them unclean.
A Samaritan passed by and stepped to help the wounded man. He bandaged the wounds of the victim and took him to an inn and met all the expenses.
Jesus told the law teacher to behave like the Good Samaritan and help those in need.
LESSONS LEARNT FROM THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
From this story, a committed follower of Jesus is:-
- One who understands the law and obeys it
- One who understands that a neighbor is anybody who requires help regardless of their social status?
- One who uses the resources selflessly to help the needy
- One who is not restricted by cultural and religious practices in responding to a needy situation
- One who is compassionate, kind and generous
- One who shows solidarity with the suffering, this includes identifying with the needy and being ready to experience their suffering.
- JESUS VISIT MARTHA AND MARY
Luke 10: 38-42
On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus visited Martha and Mary who were sisters in their house.
While Martha was busy with preparing a meal, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening to His teachings
Martha complained to Jesus that Mary had left her to do all the work.
Jesus answered her by saying “Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things. But just one is needed, Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her.”
LESSONS LEARNT BY CHRISTIANS FROM JESUS’ VISIT TO MARY AND MARTHA
- Women are encouraged to participate in Christian ministry at all levels just as Mary did
- A committed follower should create time to read and listen to the word of God. They should attend church services.
- They should ensure that the worries and commitment of daily life do not override their commitment to God’s word.
- Pastors/ priests should make pastoral visits to the homes of their members.
- Christians should support the servants of God in their ministry by providing material support.
- JESUS’ TEACHING ON PRAYER
Luke 11: 1-3
Prayer is a way of talking to and with God
Reasons why people pray
- To honor God
- To request for favors
- To offer thanksgiving
- To confess and seek forgiveness for wrong doing.
- To seek God’s protection
- To intercede on behalf of others
Prayers express a variety of human feelings and attitudes relating to humankind and their relationship with God. Such sentiments are love, adoration, praise, faith, trust, repentance, respect, thanksgiving and silent communication
Prayer can be offered by an individual or a group of people.
Jesus prayed often during His life and ministry. He usually retreated to a quiet place and prayed.
One day, when Jesus was out praying, His disciples were watching Him. When He had finished, the disciples asked Him: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught His disciples.”
In response, Jesus taught them the following prayer which is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer.
Note: read Luke 11:2-4 and write the Lord’s Prayer
EXPLANATION OF THE LORD’S PRAYER
The Lord’s Prayer has six petitions which are explained as follows:-
- Jesus addressed God as “Father”
When Jesus addressed God as Father, He showed His unique and intimate relationship with God. Committed Christians should establish an intimate relationship with God by addressing God as their Father.
- Honoring God’s Holy Name- Hallowed be thy name:
Jesus honored His Father by accepting His Life and Ministry. A Christian should give God full glory, honor and praises.
- Declaring the Kingdom of God-The Kingdom Come
God’s Kingdom is the rule of God in the hearts of people. The petition asks God to establish His rule/peace in peoples’ hearts.
- Asking God to provide for our daily need. –Give us each day our daily bread
This petition means that God can be trusted to provide for our individual needs. We should ask God for our daily needs in order to admit that we depend on Him.
- Asking God to forgive our sins as we forgive others-Forgive us our sins, for us we forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
We trust God to forgive us. For all the wrongs we commit. God will forgive us if we also forgive others.
Jesus acted as an example for Christians on forgiveness. He prayed to His Father to forgive those who crucified Him as they did not know what they were doing.
- Pleading with God not to bring temptation-And lead us not into temptation
This petition implies that God might allow people to a time of trial or temptations. However, when we are faced with trials, God will provide us with victory over satanic temptations.
Prayer gives us strength, courage and will to face challenges.
After teaching His disciples the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus went on to give further teaching on Prayer. He gives an incident of a person who goes to a friend at midnight to ask for bread to entertain an unexpected visitor. The friend did not want to wake up; nevertheless, he did wake up and gave the man everything he needed.
In this story, Jesus taught His disciples hospitality, and the need to be concerned with the well being of others. The incident also teaches us the need to persist in prayer.
Jesus taught that God answers prayers. He encourages His disciples to “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find: Knock and the door will be opened to you”
Jesus emphasizing that Christians should pray at all time without seizing for God will grant their requests.
Jesus concludes His teachings on prayer by comparing how an earthly father treats his children with hoe God responds to those who pray to Him. If earthly fathers could give good things to their children, God will give us much more, including the Holy Spirit, if we ask Him.
- THE USE GOD’S POWER TO OVERCOME EVI
- JESUS AND BEELZEBUB
Luke 11: 14-23
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.
However, some doubted His power and said; “It is Beelzebub, the chief demon, who gives Him the power to drive them out” other people wanting to trap Jesus, asked Him to perform a miracle to prove He was using God’s power to drive out demons. Jesus knew what they were thinking. In response, Jesus used three arguments to counter the accusations:
- Satan cannot fight against himself
Any country or family that divides itself in group that fights each other will not last for long. He said such a family will fall apart. If Satan’s Kingdom has groups fighting each other, it cannot last.
- The question on the power of other exorcists
He also reminded them that, their own followers were driving out demons. He wondered what power their exorcists were using.
- If He was using the power of Beelzebub, then why the other exorcists not facing similar accusations.
He then told them that it was by mean of God’s power that He drove out demons and this proved that the Kingdom of God had come to them.
- THE RETURN OF THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT
Luke 11: 24-28
Jesus explained that when an evil spirit is cursed out, it travels across the country looking for a place to rest. If it fails to get someone to posses, it returns to its original place and finding the place unoccupied, brings along seven other spirits which are worse than itself., when this happens, the person becomes worse than He or she was before.
When Jesus taught and advanced these arguments lauded his mother for bridging Him to life and nursing Him. She was commending Jesus for His great power to drive out demons. In response, Jesus advised that it was valuable to hear and obey God’s word.
- THE SIGN OF JONAH
Luke 11: 29-32
The Jews demanded a greater miracle to prove that Jesus was the Messiah; Jesus described them as evil because they had failed to accept and acknowledge God’s presence in the mighty works He had performed. He told them that no miracle will be given except the one of Jonah who was a “sign for the people of Nineveh”
God had sent Jonah to the Ninevites to proclaim His judgment because of their sins. The Ninevites heeded Jonah’s warning, repented and escaped judgment.
Likewise, Jesus who was greater than Jonah had a message of Judgment because of the peoples’ unbelieving nature. If they did not repent, they will face punishment from God.
Likewise, the queen of Sheba, a non-Jew, came from the South listen to the Wisdom of Solomon. Jesus is greater than Solomon and if the people do not listen to His message, the queen of Sheba will bear testimony against them. This means that if the Jews refused to listen to Jesus, the Gentiles will receive God’s salvation.
- THE LIGHT OF THE BODY
Luke 11: 33-36
Jesus also taught about the light of the body. He said that no one lights a lamp, and then hides it. Instead, it is put on a lamp stand to provide light for people.
The eye is like a lamp of the body, when one’s eye is okay, the whole body is full of light. If the eyes are poor, the whole body will be in darkness. This light is the word of God. The Jews who receive it are supposed to be transformed by it so as to transform others.
What lessons do Christians learn from Jesus teaching on the use of God’s power to overcome evil?
- Jesus has power to drive out demons. His power is stronger than that of Beelzebub, the Chief Demon.
- God’s power is greater than Satan’s
- When a demon possessed person is healed, he or she should be filled with the Holy Spirit to avoid repossession.
- Christians are called the light of the world as Jesus is. They should transmit God’s message to everybody with courage.
- They are also called listen and accept God’s word so that when the day of judgment comes, they will be saved
- Christians should be like the Ninevites who believed Jonah’s word and repented, and the queen of Sheba who believed that Solomon’s wisdom was from God.
- Christians should believe in Jesus’ teachings
- JESUS’ TEACHING ON HYPOCRISY, WEALTH, AND WATCHFULNESS
LUKE 11: 37-12:59
- FEARLESS CONFESSION WITHOUT HYPOCRISY
Hypocrisy means being insincere, dishonest or pretending
Confession refer to act of a person admitting that they have done wrong or committed a mistake and then asking to be forgiven.
Honesty refers to a state of being sincere, trustworthy and upright. An honest person is fair and just in character and behavior.
- Jesus attacks the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law
Luke 11: 37-54, 12: 1-3
What warnings did Jesus highlight on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees?
Jesus was invited to a Pharisees house to eat with Him; the Pharisees noticed that He ate without washing His hands. Jesus used this incident to teach the disciples on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.
- The washing of hands, cups and dishes was done ceremoniously. There were rules that were to be followed on how the washing was to be done. The Pharisees observed the rules strictly. According to them, to omit a single rule was very wrong and called for punishment. Jesus responded by informing them that, it was more important to pay attention to issues of charity than to external appearances.
- Jesus criticized the Pharisees on their tithing habits. They paid one tenth of the seasoning herbs such as mint and rue which was meant to support the work of the priests and Levites. While it was important to do this, they neglected justice and the love of God
- He also criticized them, because they loved their reserved seats in the Synagogues and to be greeted with respect in market places. Though going to the temple was a noble thing the Pharisees concerns on the outward appearance and desire to be noticed as righteous people was wrong.
- Jesus also criticized the teachers of the law or the scribes. The Scribes were experts of the Mosaic Law and had all information on what a person was expected to do and what they were not allowed to do. But they had failed in their primary duty of making the people understand the true interpretation of the law of God.
- Jesus accused the teachers of the lay of behaving like their ancestors who persecuted and killed God’s prophets. Likewise, Jesus anticipates His own martyrs- like death in the hands of the religious leaders
- Fearless confession without hypocrisy
Luke 12: 8-12
Jesus encouraged His disciples not to fear those who kills the body but cannot afterwards do anything worse. But rather, they were to fear God who is able to destroy both the body and the soul. They were to be ready to stand for Jesus and confess their loyalty to Him publicly without faring the consequences. Those who would witness the name of Jesus to the world, Jesus in turn will be proud of them and the angels. Even if they will be taken before authorities and were accused of speaking in the name of Jesus, they were not to worry because the Holy Spirit would guide them on what to say. He went on to state that, every sin is forgivable except the sin against the Holy Spirit.
- MATERIAL POSSESSION
Luke 12: 13-34
Jesus taught the correct attitude towards material possessions. He demonstrated this by telling the parable of the Rich Fool
The rich man had harvested a good crop from his land. He realized that his barns were not big enough to take in the entire harvested crop. He therefore decided to pull down the old barns so that he could build bigger ones. He would then store the crop in the new barns and he was aware that it would take care of him for a long time. He would then tell himself “take life easy, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.”
Unfortunately, he did not live to enjoy his wealth because that same night, God told him “You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?”
Jesus taught this parable to teach that we should not put our trust in material wealth but in God who controls our lives.
Jesus went on to teach His disciples that they were not to worry about the food they needed to stay alive or the clothes they need for their bodies. They were not to be preoccupied with what they will eat or drink because God in heaven knows that they need these things.
Jesus gave the example of birds of the air and the wild flowers. The birds do not plant seeds or gather a harvest, yet God feeds them and takes care of them.
The wild flowers do not work or make clothes for themselves, yet not “even King Solomon with all his wealth had clothes as beautiful as one of the flowers.”
God looks after birds and flowers. He will in turn take greater care of His people who are more important than birds or flowers. It is more important to be concerned about God’s Kingdom than personal needs. If we concentrate more on material possessions, we are likely to forget God.
Jesus does not condemn material possession. What He condemns is how it is possessed and used. The rich should give part of their wealth in alms. By so doing, they are rendering services to God.
- WATCHFULNESS AND READINESS
Luke 12: 35-59
To be watchful is to be alert, attentive and being on the lookout.
Readiness implies a state of preparedness, eagerness and willingness.
Jesus used several illustrations to show how important it was to be ready and watchful.
- Watchful servants
Jesus gave an example of the watchful servants who stayed ready waiting for the master’s return from a wedding feast by being properly dressed and with their lamps lit.
In the same way, the disciples of Jesus were to be watchful and ready for Jesus’ return. When the master finds them ready, he will wait upon them.
We should always be ready because the “Son of Man” will come at an hour when you are not expecting Him. This refers to His second coming on the Day of Judgment.
- The Faithful or Unfaithful servants
In this parable, Jesus explains that the faithful and wise servant is the one that the master will find acting responsibly.
The master has put him in charge of other servants and to run the household.
When the master returns unexpectedly and finds him doing what is right, he will be happy and promote him to be in charge of his property.
If the servant behaves irresponsibly and mistreats the other servants, then the master will punish him surely. The disciples should always be prepared so that when God comes, He will find them ready and doing what is right.
- Jesus, the cause of Division
Jesus’ coming in the world was in two fold. It brought unity and division. It distinguished faith from doubt. It may even have caused division among members of the same family.
These divisions came as a result of people rejecting Jesus yet His ultimate goal was to establish a kingdom of peace.
The disciples were cautioned to watch out for the divisions that would arise as a result of their loyalty to Jesus.
- Understanding the signs
A watchful person identifies the signs of the weather. For example, when there are clouds, we know that it is likely to rain. When the south wind blows, we know that it is going to be hot.
Just as people can predict the weather, they should also be watchful for signs of the Kingdom of God, present in the person of Jesus and make a positive response towards Him.
- Making peace
If someone brings a lawsuit against you, this should act as a sign that this person will take you to court. As a watchful person, you will do your best to settle the dispute with the person before getting to the court. If you are not watchful, you will be taken before a judge and you could eventually end up in jail.
In view of the present times, a person should be as wise before God as an offender before a magistrate. This means that a person should make peace with God now before the Day of Judgment
WHAT LESSONS DO CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM JESUS TEACHINGS ON WATCHFULNESS AND READINESS?
- They should follow God’s commandments and the teachings of Jesus. They should accept Jesus as Lord and savior.
- They should accept suffering on account of their faith in Jesus Christ.
- They should confess their sons and seek forgiveness.
- They should act responsibly and be ready for the second coming of Jesus by providing services to God and other people.
- They should be committed followers of Jesus by accepting His baptism
- They should continue with preaching the gospel especially to those who have not heard it.
- They should be able to identify the signs of God’s presence among Christians.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:
- Explain and apply the teachings of the Kingdom of God to daily life.
- Explain and appreciate the spiritual teaching given by Jesus through the parable of the feast.
- Narrate the parable of the lost sheep
- Explain and apply the parable and teaching in daily Christian life.
- THE GROWTH OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
Luke 13: 1-35
The term Kingdom of God refers to God’s authority or rule over His people and the world He created.
God’s Kingdom was present in the Life and Ministry of Jesus. It was manifested in His teachings, miracles and casting out of demons. With the coming of Jesus, the kingdom of Satan had been defeated and God’s Kingdom had been established.
This chapter shall discuss teachings about the Kingdom of God, for example, the parables of the Mustard Seed, the Yeast and the Great Feast.
The kingdom of God continues to spread today through the work of the Church. Those who accept the teachings of Jesus belong to God’s Kingdom
- THE CALL TO REPENTANCE
Luke 13: 1-5
Repentance means making resolution to turn away from doing wrong. A repentant person turns away from sins and asks for forgiveness from God. Everybody is a sinner and he/she needs to repent and ask for God’s forgiveness.
Some people who were with Jesus told Him that Pilate had killed some Galileans when they were offering sacrifices to God. Jesus responded by informing them that the fact these people were killed did not mean that they were worse sinners than other Galileans. He used this incident to tell the audience that if they do not turn from their sins, they will all die just as those killed by Pilate.
Jesus also informed His audience of the eighteen people who were killed in Siloam when the tower fell on them. He pointed out that this did not mean that they were worse sinners than others.
The two illustrations are given to stress the need to turn away from sin. Those who died were not necessarily guilty or sinners.
Jesus expects His disciples to repent to avoid judgment and in order to inherit God’s Kingdom.
- THE PARABLE OF THE UNFRUITFUL FIG TREE
Luke 13: 6-9
Jesus told His audience the parable of a fig tree. A man had a fig tree that grew in his vineyard. For three years, he went looking for figs from the tree but there was none. The man told his gardener to cut it down as it was unproductive. The gardener pleaded with the master not cut it down but to give it a chance for more years. The gardener promised to dig around the fig tree and put some fertilizer. He told the farmer to cut the tree down if it does not yield fruits in the following year.
The unproductive fig tree represents people who do not listen to Jesus’ teachings, especially the Jewish people at the time of Jesus.
God gives people another chance to repent in the same way the master gave the fig tree another chance to reproduce fruit.
Jesus is the gardener who pleads for us before God.
- JESUS HEALS A CRIPPLED WOMAN ON A SABBATH
Luke 13:- 10-17
One day, Jesus was teaching in a Synagogue. There was a woman who had an evil spirit that had kept her sick for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten herself.
When Jesus saw her, He called out and said, “Woman, you are free from your illness.” Jesus placed His hands on her and she was healed. She straitened herself up and praised God.
The official of the Synagogue was annoyed that Jesus was healing on a Sabbath.
Jesus observed that the same Jews who were hostile to Him for healing on the Sabbath untied their donkey or oxen and fed them on that day. Jesus emphasized on human life saying it was more important than animal life or even observing the Sabbath.
Jesus came to set people free from the bondage of sickness and Satan. Jesus’ work of liberation is continuous and had to be performed even on a Sabbath. Jesus was teaching the leaders that human life was more important than animal life.
- THE PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED
Luke 13: 18-19
Jesus compared the growth of the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed. He said that when a man plants a mustard seed in the field, it grows and becomes a tree and birds make nests in its branches.
The mustard seed is very small. When planted, it grows into a big tree and ones planted; it grows fast and is difficult to control. It attracts many birds, which like to eat its small black seeds.
The growth of God’s Kingdom may have a small and humble beginning. Ones God’s Kingdom is established; it grows and spreads to all corners of the earth. The Kingdom of God attracts many people.
- THE PARABLE OF THE YEAST
Luke 13: 20-21
To show that the Kingdom of God grows secretly, Jesus told the parable of the yeast. He compared the Kingdom of God to a woman who takes some yeast and mixes it with flour until the whole batch of dough rises.
God’s Kingdom grows secretly and in a way that only God knows. The Kingdom of God has small beginnings but eventually grows, spreads and reaches many people.
- THE NARROW DOOR
Luke 13: 22-30
Jesus went through towns and villages teaching people. A person asked Him whether just a few people would be saved. Jesus response was that His followers should make every effort to go through the narrow door. This means that to participate in the banquet of the Kingdom of God, people must repent their sins.
The narrow door is the one that leads Jesus’ flowers to the Kingdom of God. His followers should make sure they enter through this door before the owner of the house locks it up. The narrow door will not remain open forever. Those who succeed in entering through the narrow door will have the privilege to sit down at the feast of the Kingdom of God. Those who try to enter the door when it is closed will be disappointed and are likely to suffer.
Those who wish to follow Jesus must make the right decision to repent in time. People from all corners of the earth are invited to enter the Kingdom of God through the narrow door.
Christian should heed Jesus’ call to enter the Kingdom of God through repentance.
- JESUS ANTICIPATES HIS REJECTION
Luke 13: 31-35
Jesus was advised by some Pharisees to go elsewhere because Herod wanted to kill Him. Jesus told them to inform Herod that He would continue on His Journey to Jerusalem, healing the sick and driving out demons. He had to travel to Jerusalem, the appointed place of His death.
Jesus lamented over Jerusalem because of her rejection of God’s messengers. God would abandon Jerusalem for rejecting Jesus.
Jerusalem was a religious centre for Jews and a seat of authority. The city would be the site of Jesus’ death. Jerusalem would eventually acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah who brings salvation to Israel and to the rest of the world.
- GREAT FEAST OF ALL WHO ARE PREPARED
- JESUS HEALS A SICK MAN
Luke 14: 1-6
Jesus was invited to the house of the leading Pharisee for a meal on a Sabbath. While in the house, a man whose limbs were swollen came to Jesus for healing. The Pharisees watched Him closely to see what He would do.
Jesus asked the Pharisees whether or not the law allowed healing on the Sabbath. The Pharisees did not answer. Jesus reminded that if they had a son or an ox that fell in a well on a Sabbath; they would pull them out. He went ahead and healed the man.
Jesus had to bring salvation to the sick man through healing. Jesus had healed the sick man even on a Sabbath because healing is one way through which He established the Kingdom of God.
- THE INVITED GUESTS
Luke 14: 7-14
Jesus was in the house of a leading Pharisee. He observed that some invited guests were choosing the best places at the table.
He taught the disciples that when invited, they should not take seats of honor. The seats of honor may have been reserved for more important guests than themselves. This would bring embarrassment to a guest who would have to give his/her seat to the honorable guest.
He taught that when invited, one should take the lowest place. The host may notice you and elevate you to the seats of honor. Such an act would bring honor to an invited guest.
Jesus also advised that one should not only invite one’s relatives, friends, neighbors or rich for they are likely to invite them back. One should rather invite those who are least likely to invite them to their houses such as the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind.
Jesus taught about humility and hospitality. Those who humble themselves will be elevated. Those who elevate themselves will be humbled. The Kingdom of God belongs to those who humble themselves.
- THE PARABLE OF THE GREAT FEAST
Luke 14: 15-24
Jesus told the parable of the Great Feast in response to a man’s observation, “How happy are those who will sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God.”
Jesus told of a man who held a feast and invited some important people to attend it.
When the feast was ready, the host sent his servants to inform the invited guests that the feast was ready. The invited guests could not attend the feast as they had important commitments.
- The first man said he had bought a field and had to go and look after it.
- The second one said he had bought seven pairs of oxen and he was going to try them out.
- Another one said he had just married.
The host was furious for this let down. He was determined to go on with the feast.
He sent his servants to the streets and alleys of the town to invite the poor, the crippled and the blind. The room was still not full.
The host sent his servants again to the country roads and lanes to call more people for the feast until the room was full.
Jesus showed that the Kingdom God is like a great feast. The Pharisees, the Scribes and the Jewish people were the first to be invited but, they ignored Jesus.
Those first invited may never enter the Kingdom God.
God’s Kingdom is for all, Jews and Gentiles.
Following Jesus means sacrificing those things we consider important to us.
Those who never expected to be at dinner are invited such as the poor, the crippled and the blind, these represents the Gentiles whom the Jews despised.
- THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
Luke 14: 25-35
Jesus emphasized that entering the Kingdom of God demanded committed discipleship. To be a disciple of Jesus one has to:
- Love Jesus more than he loves his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers, his sisters and himself as well.
- One must be ready to suffer for the sake of following Jesus.
- Following Jesus requires careful thought, planning and detailed preparations. Jesus compares true discipleship to the planning required in building a tower or engaging in a military operation.
- In building a tower, He says the owner will sit down and establish the cost first before building it. Otherwise, if he lays down the foundation and fails to finish it up, he will be ridiculed.
- A king with 10,000 men intending to go to war with another king with 20,000 men will ask for terms of peace if he discovers he’s not able to win.
- Give up everything
- Jesus disciples are expected to maintain their zeal in following Jesus. They should bring flavor and healing to others in the same way salt is used to flavor and preserve food.
- RETRIEVING THE LOST
Luke 15: 1-32
The Pharisees and teachers of the law noticed that many tax collectors came to listen to Jesus’ teachings. They started grumbling and said that Jesus welcomes outcasts and even eats with them. Jesus knew their thoughts. He responded by telling them three parables about those that were lost.
- THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP
Like 15: 1-7
Jesus told them that if one of them had a hundred sheep. And one of them got lost, the most likely thing to happen will be to go leave the 99 sheep and go in search of the lost one.
When he gets the lost sheep, he puts it on his shoulders and carries it back home where he invites friends and neighbors to celebrate the finding of the lost sheep.
Jesus said that the same way, “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety nine respectable people who do not need to repent.
God is a shepherded and takes care of all His people. He does not want any of His people to be lost. God searches for those lost in sin until He finds them. When one sinner repents, God is overjoyed and rejoices.
- THE PARABLE OF THE LOST COIN
Luke 15: 8-10
A woman lost one of her ten silver coins. The coin was precious to her. She made every effort to search for it until she found it.
She lit a lamp and swept the whole house until she found it.
On finding the precious coin, she invited her friends and neighbors to celebrate.
God and angels in heaven are overjoyed when one sinner repents.
Jesus, the light of the world, makes every effort to seek the sinners until He finds them.
The lost are precious in God’s sight.
- THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SON
Luke 15: 11-32
A father had two sons. The younger son demanded his share of inheritance. The father granted him his request.
He left home for a far country where he squandered all his inheritance. A severe famine arose. Nobody was ready to share with him anything, including his friends. He ended up getting employed a pig herder and was so desperate that he ate the food that the pigs ate.
While looking after the pigs, he realized his mistake and decided to go back to seek his father’s forgiveness. He noted that his father’s servants had more than they could eat.
When he got home, his father received him with forgiveness and there was great celebration. He ordered the servants to dress him with the best clothes available. He killed the prize of a calf.
The father needed to celebrate, for his son was lost but now he had been found.
The elder son was jealous and unhappy with what his father did to his younger brother.
The father explained that everything he had belongs to the older son. The celebration was however, necessary because his brother was alive and had come back home.
God’s Kingdom brings joy and happiness to those that are lost and ready to repent their sins.
God is ready to forgive us when we repent our sins.
There is joy and happiness in heaven when one sinner repents.
APPLICATIONS OF THE PARABLES OF THE LOST SHEEP, LOST COIN AND LOST SON TO OUR DAILY LIFE
- God loves all His children including outcasts and sinners
- God is ready to forgive every sinner.
- There is no sin that God cannot forgive.
- Jesus taught that both the righteous and the unrighteous require God’s forgiveness.
- The disciples of Jesus should not be complacent in their faith. They should always seek God’s guidance.
- Confession of sin is a condition of entering the Kingdom of God. Christians should confess their sins and acknowledge that Jesus saves repentant sinners.
WEALTH, POVERTY, FAITH AND PRAYER
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:-
- Explain and appreciate Jesus teaching on wealth and poverty
- Apply the teaching of Jesus proper attitude towards wealth
- Explain Jesus teachings on the power of faith
- Explain and appreciate Jesus teachings on prayer and persistence
- Develop a sense of persistence in prayer and learn to pursue goals as a Christian
- Explain and appreciate Jesus teachings on the way to salvation
- Appreciate the teachings of Jesus on the need for repentance
- JESUS TEACHINGS ON WEALTH AND POVERTY
Luke 16: 1-32
- THE PARABLE OF THE SHREWD MANAGER
Jesus taught that there was ones a rich man who employed a servant to manage his property.
The rich man got word that his manager was misusing his resources. So he called the manager and told him to turn in his account records. He intended to sack him.
When the shrewd manager realized that his master was going to sack him due to his dishonesty, he asked the debtors to change the accounts they owed to their master to smaller amounts. He did this to make friends with a few people who would give him a place to stay after he was sacked.
The master praised the manager for doing such a shrewd thing. Jesus also praised the shrewd manager.
The manager is praised not because of hi dishonesty but because he acted promptly and with great presence of mind in a moment of crisis.
Jesus is encouraging His disciples and His audience to make prompt and critical decisions about following him.
Jesus taught that we should use worldly wealth to gain friends so that when it’s gone one will be welcomed in the eternal home. This means sharing ones wealth with the poor.
Jesus also taught His disciples the need to be host in small and big issues.
He also reminded them that it was not possible to serve “both God and money”
The Pharisees, who valued honor and wealth as means to high social positions, were astonished by Jesus’ teachings. Jesus taught them that God does not value wealth and honor.
Jesus emphasized the importance of observing the Law of Moses. He cautions the Pharisees against allowing divorce because it encourages adultery, which was against the law.
- THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
Luke 16: 19-31
Jesus told His a story about a rich man who was dressed in the most expensive clothes and lived in luxury.
At his gate, there was a poor man called Lazarus. Lazarus ate food that dropped from the rich man’s table. He also had sores which dogs came and licked.
When both Lazarus and the rich man died, Lazarus was taken by the angels to heaven and sat beside Abraham.
The rich man went to hell and was in great pain. He pleaded with Abraham to send Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool his tongue.
Abraham denied him his request. He reminded him that while he was alive, he had all the good things while Lazarus had nothing.
The rich man pleaded further with Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers to warn them so that they could live a righteous life and not suffer the way he was suffering in hell.
Abraham denied, He told him that his brothers have Moses and prophets to warn them; hence they should listen to them.
RELEVANCE OF JESUS TEACHINGS ON WEALTH & POVERTY TO CHRISTIANS
- It is the duty of Christians to be concerned about the poor in our churches and communities.
- The rich should share their wealth with the needy.
- Jesus does not condemn wealth but rather our attitude towards wealth. If we love wealth, more than God, it will be difficult for us to inherit God’s Kingdom
- Christians should seek spiritual wealth more than material wealth.
- The poor should also accept themselves as they are God’s children.
- THE POWER OF FAITH
Luke 17: 1-37
Faith is a complete trust or confidence in somebody or something.
For a Christian, faith is the absolute trust in the truthfulness of God’s promises.
- JESUS TEACHING ON SIN
Luke 17: 1-4
Jesus taught His disciples that people are likely to commit sin. However, it was wrong for a person to cause another one to commit sin. Such persons are warned that it would be better if millstones were tied round their neck and were thrown into the sea than for them to cause those who are weak in faith to fall.
Jesus also taught His disciples to forgive those who wrong them consistently even if it is seven times in a day.
- JESUS’ TEACHING ON FAITH
Luke 17: 5-6
The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus responded by telling them that if they had faith as big as a mustard seed, they could command a mulberry tree to uproot itself and be planted in the sea.
The mustard seed is the smallest in the world hence an equivalent faith is able to do great things.
- JESUS’ TEACHINGS ON DUTIES OF A SERVANT
Luke 17: 7-10
Jesus also explained about our attitude to the service we give to God because of the faith we have. Just as a servant will perform his duty to his master diligently without expecting a thank you and would only rest after he has ensured that there is no work left, is the same way we should approach our service to God.
The disciples were to understand that they were servants to God; hence they should not expect thanks from God for performing God given duties and responsibilities.
- JESUS HEALS TEN LEPERS
Luke: 17: 11-19
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem when He met ten lepers
The lepers requested Jesus to heal them
Jesus asked them to go to the priests for examination.
On their way to the priest, one of the lepers realized he was healed.
He came back praising God and thanked Jesus for healing him.
The healed leper was a Samaritan. Samaritans and Jews were hostile to each other
Jesus acknowledged that the Samaritan had faith in Him and His work. His faith had made him well.
- THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM
Luke 17: 20-37
God’s Kingdom refers to God’s rule in people’s hearts and in the world.
The Pharisees wanted Jesus to tell them when the Kingdom of God would come.
Jesus told them that the Kingdom of God was present in Him. Those who accepted Jesus and His teachings had received the Kingdom.
The Pharisees lacked faith to see that the Kingdom of God was present in Jesus
Jesus also told His disciples that a time would come when they would wish to see one of the days of the Son of Man (i.e. the Day of the Lord or the Day of Judgment)
Jesus said that this day will come like lightning flashes across the sky from one end to the other for all to see.
However, before then, Jesus will be rejected just as it was in the time of Noah and Lot when people went on with their daily activities without heeding or noticing the dangers that awaited them.
Jesus taught His disciples that they would require strong faith to overcome the trials that they were likely to experience.
They must put their complete faith in God even to the extent of giving up life itself.
Jesus explained that the day of the Son of Man would bring separation. Those who accept Him will experience deliverance and separation from loved ones, those who reject Jesus will be left behind.
SIGNIFICANCE OF FAITH TO CHRISTIAN LIFE
- God expects Christians to have absolute faith in Him
- Christians should have faith in Jesus so that they can inherit eternal life.
- Christians need to have strong faith so that they can strengthen others, especially those with weak faith.
- Christians need strong faith to b able to forgive others and to serve God
- Faith in Jesus makes the impossible possible.
- PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER
Luke 18: 1-14
- THE PARABLE OF THE WIDOW AND THE UNJUST JUDGE
Luke 18: 1-8
Jesus told His disciples that in a certain town there was a judge who did not fear God or respect people. In the same town, there was a widow who kept going to the judge to plead for her rights. She wanted the judge to help her against her opponents but the judge kept on refusing. The widow was persistent and kept on going to the judge.
Eventually the judge helped her as he said if he failed; she will keep on coming and finally wears him out.
Jesus told the disciples this parable to teach them the need for persisting in prayer. The Unjust Judge did not help the widow because he feared God, but, because the woman was persistent.
The parable also taught the disciples to pray with courage.
- THE PARABLE OF THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX COLLECTOR
Jesus told this parable to the Pharisees who were sure of their goodness and despised others.
Both a Pharisee and a Tax Collector went to the Temple to pray.
The Pharisee offered a long prayer. He boosted about his religious achievements
The Tax Collector offered a short prayer. He acknowledged that he was a sinner and pleaded with God to forgive him.
Jesus told the disciples that the tax collector and not the Pharisee was in the right relationship with God
The Pharisee was condemned because of his pride and putting trust in his religious achievements and not God.
The tax collector was commended because of his trust in God and his humble way in the way he prayed.
LESSONS CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM THE TWO PARABLES
- Prayer should be addressed to God
- Disciples of Jesus should acknowledge that they are sinners and seek forgiveness
- We should approach God in humility
- We should avoid spiritual pride and self righteousness
- Christians should also honestly confess their sins as they pray.
- THE WAY TO SALVATION
Luke 18: 15-19: 1-27
Salvation ordinarily means being reserved from a life-threatening situation
In Christian understanding, salvation refers to the process of being delivered from sin and its consequences. Those who are saved are assured of eternal life.
Jesus used the following incidents to illustrate the correct attitude to salvation.
- JESUS BLESSES LITTLE CHILDREN
Luke 18: 15-17
Some people brought their children to Jesus so that He could bless them
The disciples scolded them for doing so.
Jesus called the children to Him and blessed them.
Jesus taught His disciples that they must humble themselves like children in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God belongs to those who are simple, humble, innocent and trusting like children.
- THE RICH MAN
Luke 18: 18-30
A rich man came to Jesus wanting to know what he must do to receive eternal life.
Jesus reminded him of the importance of keeping the commandments.
The rich man explained that he had kept the commandment since he was a young person.
Jesus advised the rich man to sell everything he had, give it to the poor, and then follow Him.
He was not able to give up his wealth and follow Jesus
Jesus taught that wealth can hinder the rich from receiving salvation. He said that it was much easier for a Carmel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven.
The disciples equated riches to God’s blessings. The rich were thought to have been blessed by God because of their obedience to the law.
The disciples were puzzled by Jesus’ teachings because they had left everything to follow Him.
Jesus acknowledged the disciples sacrifice and emphasized that such people would receive salvation in the present life and the life to come.
- JESUS SPEAKS A THIRD TIME ABOUT HIS DEATH
Luke 18: 31-34
Jesus took His disciples aside. He told them they were going to Jerusalem where everything written about Him was going to happen.
He was going to be handed over to the Gentiles who would make fun of Him, insult Him, spit on Him, whip and kill Him. He would then rise to life three days later.
The disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying
Luke 9: 43-45 9: 21-
- JESUS HEALS A BLIND BEGGAR
Luke 18: 35-43
Jesus was near Jericho when a blind beggar called out to Him to have pity on him.
The crowd tried to blind beggar from being heard as he shouted to Him to have pity on him.
The blind beggar was bold, persistent in his effort to capture the attention of Jesus.
Jesus stopped and asked him what he wanted. The blind beggar responded by saying that he wanted to see again
Jesus told him to see as his faith had healed him
The beggar was joyful when his sight was restored, he followed Jesus giving thanks and praising God.
- JESUS AND ZACCHAEUS
Luke 19: 1-9
As Jesus was on His way to Jericho, Zacchaeus, a tax collector, was eager to see Him. He climbed a Sycamore tree so that he could see Jesus. He was a little man. Jesus ordered him to climb down when He reached the tree. He told him that he will stay at his house.
Zacchaeus was overjoyed and welcomed Jesus to his house. The people who witnessed this grumbled that Jesus had gone as a guest to the home of a sinner.
Zacchaeus stood and told Jesus that he was going to give half of his wealth to the poor. He also declared that he would pay back four times as much to anybody he had cheated.
Jesus was pleased with him and declared that salvation had come to his house as he was also a descendant of Abraham. Jesus stated that the Son of Man had come to seek and save the lost.
- THE PARABLE OF THE GOLD COINS
Jesus told His listeners as He was approaching Jerusalem, the parable of the Gold Coins
He said that there was a high-ranking man, who was going to a far country to be made king and come back after. Before he went, he called his ten servants and gave each a gold coin. He asked them to trade with the gold coins.
His own people hated him and sent massagers after him saying that they did not want him to be their king.
When he returned, he called the ten servants and asked them how they had used the gold coin.
The first one had earned ten gold coins with the one he had been given, the second one had earned five gold coins.
The two servants were commended for working hard and for making profits. The master increased their responsibilities.
The third servant ignored his master’s instructions. He did not trade with the gold coins; instead, he hid it in a handkerchief
His master was annoyed with him. He condemned him. He took away the one gold coin he had and gave it to the servant who had the ten gold coins.
God expects us to use opportunities He has given us for His service. We should give an account of how we have used the abilities and skills He has given us.
THE RELEVANCE OF JESUS TEACHING ON SALVATION TO CHRISTIANS
- To receive eternal life, Christians should be like children
- Christians need to have strong faith for them to enter the Kingdom of God
- They should repent and seek for God’s forgiveness so as to receive salvation
- Christians also learn that wealth should not be a barrier to receiving salvation
- Wealth should be used to serve the needy.
- Christians will give an account of how they have used their talents and abilities.
GOD MEETS US IN JESUS CHRIST-ST LUKE’S GOSPEL
THE JERUSALEM MINISTRY
JESUS TEACHES IN JERUSALEM
By the end of this topic, learners should be able to:-
- Describe the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem
- Desire to be humble and promote peace in society.
- Explain the cleansing of the Temple
- Develop respect and honor for God’s places of worship
- Explain Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish leaders
- Explain Jesus’ teaching about eschatology
- JESUS’ TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM
Luke 19: 28-40
Jesus approached Jerusalem passing through Beth phage, Bethany and Mount of Olives. He sent two disciples ahead and gave them instructions.
They were to go the village ahead and there they will find a Colt (a young donkey) which had never been ridden on tied up. They were to untie it and bring it to Him. If someone were to ask them why they were untying the Colt, they should tell him/her that the Master needs it.
The disciples found everything as they were told. As they were untying the Colt, the owner asked why they were untying the Colt. In reply, they said that the master needed it.
They took the Colt to Jesus, put cloak over it and then helped Jesus to climb on it. As he rode on, people spread their cloaks on the road.
As he came near Jerusalem, the large crowd of His disciples began to thank God and praise Him in loud voices for all the great things they had seen. They shouted “God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God.”
Some Pharisees in the crowd asked Jesus to command His disciples to be quiet. Jesus, however, replied and told them that if the people were to keep quiet, then the stones will start shouting.
Significance of Jesus entry into Jerusalem
- Young donkey (Colt) that had never been ridden on showed that the Messiah was sacred and pure. It also showed that although Jesus was triumphant and victorious, He was also humble. It showed He came for peace.
- Spreading of cloaks on the road, shouts of acclamation and joy showed that the people accepted Him as King, the promised Messiah.
- Jesus reply to the Pharisees who objected the loud voices, showed that Jesus mission was no longer a secret.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM JESUS TRIUMPHANT ENTRY IN JERUSALEM
- Christians should prepare and be ready to receive Jesus in their lives like the crowds that escorted Him to Jerusalem.
- They should emulate Jesus and be channels of peace in their communities
- Christians should be humble like Jesus in their service to others
- Church leaders should be servants of their followers. They should not use their positions of authority to intimidate people.
- Christians should expect opposition and resistance as they evangelize, but they should not give up hope.
- Christians should thank and praise God for His intervention in their lives as the crowds that followed Jesus.
- Christians should be bold as they witness to Jesus like the crowds that followed Jesus and declared Him King.
- THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE
Luke 19: 41-48
- JESUS WEEPS OVER JERUSALEM
Luke 19: 41-44
Jerusalem, which means a city of peace, had failed to recognize Jesus. It was going to reject Jesus. As a consequence, Jesus weeps over its eminent destruction by the Romans.
Jesus told them that a time will come when their enemies will surround them with barricades, blockade them and attack them from every side. They will be completely destroyed-everyone within the walls of Jerusalem.
This was all because of their failure to recognize the Messiah who had come to save them.
- JESUS CLEANSES THE TEMPLE
Luke 19: 45-47
Jesus went to the Temple and protested against the buying and selling that was going on there. The Temple authorities had allowed a market in the court of the Temple. There was exchange of currency, buying and selling of animals needed for sacrifice. These gave ample opportunity for making excessive profits.
Jesus drove out the traders saying that it is written in the scriptures that the Temple shall be a house of prayers but yet the people had turned it into a hideout of thieves. For this reason, the Temple would be destroyed.
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE
- Christians should respect the house of God and use it appropriately
- Christian leaders should avoid exploiting members through asking for excessive contributions
- They should pay more attention to inward righteousness than external observance of rituals
- Christians should have the courage like Jesus to condemn evil practices by leaders in Church and society
- JESUS’ CONFLICTS WITH THE JEWISH LEADERS
Luke 19: 47-48, 20: 1-47, 21: 1-4
- THE QUESTION ABOUT JESUS’ AUTHORITY
Luke 20: 1-8
One day when Jesus was in the Temple teaching, Chief Priest, Scribes and elders came to Him. They demanded to know through whose authority He taught. They wanted to know to which group He belonged. Was He a Priest or a Scribe, was His authority from God.
Jesus answered them with a question. He asked them whether John’s right to baptize people came from God or from human beings.
The leaders were not willing to answer either way. This is because if they said John’s baptism was from heaven, this would imply that Jesus’ authority was from God for John was a prophet and Jesus’ messenger. If they denied, they would be condemned by the people. They hence answered and said they did not know.
Jesus on the other hand, told them that He will also not tell them from whose authority He’s teaching on. His answer implied that His own authority was from the same source John’s authority is: God.
- THE PARABLE OF THE TENANTS
Luke 20: 9-18
Jesus told the parable of the vineyard in response to the question about His authority by the religions leaders. He says:
There was ones a man who planted a vineyard, let it out to tenants, and then left home for a long time. When the time for harvest came, he sent one of his servants to the tenants to receive from them his share of the harvest. The tenants beat the servant and sent him back without a thing.
The owner sent another slave, who was also beaten by the tenants. They treated him shamelessly and sent him back with nothing. He sent a third servant whom the tenants wounded and threw him out.
The owner wondered what to do. He then sent his own son whom he thought they will respect. But when the tenants saw him, they identified him as the owner’s son and then decided to kill him so that his property will be theirs.
Jesus wondered then the owner will do. He said that the owner will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.
Jesus then ended by quoting a verse from the book of Psalm. He said that the very stone that the builders rejected turned out to be the corner stone.
MEANING OF THE PARABLE
The parable is about the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish religious leaders.
God is the owner of the vineyard. The vineyard is Israel, and the tenants are the Jewish leaders.
The servants that were beaten up represent the prophets, God’s messengers
Jesus is the son referred to in the story. Hence Jesus is the son of God and His authority comes from God.
The death of the son anticipates Jesus’ death
The quotation in Psalm shows that the stone which the builders rejected is Jesus Himself.
- PAYING TAXES TO CAESAR
Luke 20: 19-26
The scribes and Chief Priests were annoyed after listening to the parable of the Tenants. They felt that Jesus was attacking them they wanted to arrest Him but they were afraid of the people. They looked for an opportunity that will hand Jesus to the Roman authority. They bribed some men t pretend that they were sincere so as to trap Jesus with questions.
The men praised Jesus for His work and status and then asked Him a trick question on whether it was right (lawful) to pay taxes to Caesar.
Jesus saw through their trick. He asked them to show Him a silver coin. He then asked whose face and image was on the coin.
They said the Emperor’s. So Jesus told them to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to give God what belongs to God.
They had hoped that Jesus would trap Himself. If He would have told them not to pay tax, then they would have accused Him of treason and hand Him to the Roman Authority. If He would have agreed with the payment of tax, then the people would have seen Him as a collaborator with the Roman authority.
- THE QUESTION ABOUT THE RESURRECTION
Luke 20: 27-40
The Sadducees; who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead and only recognized the first five books of the Bible, asked Jesus a question to trap Him.
The question concerned the Law of Moses which stated that if a man died childless, then his brother would marry the widow so that they could bear sons to maintain family name. They said ones there were seven brothers, the eldest married a woman but died before getting children. The rest also married the same woman but died childless. So they asked Jesus on the day of resurrection, whose wife she would be among the seven brothers.
Jesus told them that men and women of this world marry but those that will be worthy to rise from death, will not marry. They will be like angels, children of God and would not die. He told them that Moses proved the existence of resurrection on the burning bush when God referred to Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This meant He was the God of the living, not the dead.
Some of the teachers of the law praised him for the answer and dare not to ask Him any more questions.
- THE QUESTION ABOUT THE MESSIAH
Luke 20: 41-44
Jesus asked His opponent how can it be that the Messiah is the descendant of David. He then quoted a verse from the book of Psalm which suggests that there is more to the Messiah than being from the lineage of David.
In the quote, David said, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at the right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.”
The first ‘Lord’ referred to God and the second one to the Messiah.
If David called the Messiah his Lord, then the Messiah was a lot more than just being the descendant of David.
- JESUS WARNS AGAINST THE TEACHERS OF THE LAW
Luke 20: 45-47
Jesus addressed His disciples and warned them to beware of hypocrisy and exploitative nature of the Teachers of the Law. THE Pharisees craved for special respect which was presented in the following forms:-
- Being greeted with respect in market places.
- Seeking places of honor in the Synagogues and banquets
- Making long prayers which were intended to make them be recognized for their self righteousness.
- Taking advantage of widows and robbing them of their property.
Jesus said there punishment will be worst.
Today, Christians are expected to live upright lives and apply the gospel value of love, justice, honesty and humility in their work and relationship with others.
- THE WIDOW’S OFFERING
Luke 21: 1-4
Jesus was in the temple when He observed people giving their offering and putting them into the temple treasury. He saw rich people dropping their gifts and He also saw a very poor widow dropping in two little copper coins.
Jesus praised the poor widow. He said that she put in more than all the others. This is because others offered their gifts from what they had to spare of their riches, but the poor widow, as poor as she was, gave all she had to live on.
The story defends dignity of the poor. Their contributions given in t true sacrifice are to be highly honored.
- JESUS’ TEACHING ON ESCHATOLOGY
The term eschatology is derived from two Greek words eschatus and logos which mean end and study.
Eschatology is therefore the study of the “last things” such as death, judgment, life after death and the end of the world.
- THE PROPHECY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JERUSALEM TEMPLE
Luke 21: 5-6
Some of the disciples marveled about the beauty of the temple. They said it looked beautiful, it had fine stones and gifts offered to God.
Jesus foretold about the destruction of the Temple. He told the disciples that all that they were seeing a time will come when not a single stone will be left in its place, everything will be thrown down.
- THE SIGNS OF THE END TIMES
Luke 21: 7-9
The disciples wondered when the destruction of the Temple would take place. This led Jesus into talking about the signs of the end of times. The following could be the signs:-
- People will come claiming to be Jesus, the Messiah, and the Son of God.
- There will be wars and revolutions
- Countries will fight each other, Kingdoms will attack one another
- There will be natural calamities like earthquakes, famines, plagues
- Strange and celestial beings would come from the sky.
- Jesus’ disciples would be arrested, persecuted and imprisoned.
- The disciples would be betrayed to the authorities by close relatives (brothers, friends) and even put to death.
- The disciples would be hated on Jesus’ account
The disciples were not however supposed to worry. They were told to stand firm and they’ll be saved.
- THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM
Luke 21: 20-24
Jesus told the people that when they shall see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, they should know that it will soon be destroyed. Then, those who are out of the city should not come in and those who are in the city should leave.
These will be the days of punishment to fulfill the sacrifice
Jesus then sympathized with woman who will be pregnant and mothers with little children and said it will be terrible for them
He said that some people will be killed while others will be exiled. The heathen (people who did not know God) will trample over Jerusalem until their time is up.
- THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN
Luke 21: 25-28
Jesus taught His disciples that before the coming of the Son of Man, who will appear in a cloud with great power and glory, the following shall happen:-
- Disruption in the sky and in the sea. (strange things will be happening to the sun, the moon and the stars)
- All countries will be in despair on earth. They will be afraid of the roar of the sea and the raging tides.
- People would faint from fear as they witnessed the signs.
Jesus, however, told them not to fear when these things happen. They should stand firm and face it courageously. If they endured these experiences, they had hope of attaining salvation.
Jesus is the Son of Man prophesied in the book of Daniel who will come down to earth after receiving royal power from God. His coming means the coming of the “Kingdom of God”, in which Jesus, the Messiah will rule in God’s name.
- THE PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE
Luke 21: 29-33
Jesus told the disciples the parable of the fig tree to explain the reality of His coming. The fig tree shades all its leaves during winter. During spring, it comes back to life and is a sign that summer is near.
In the same way, before the coming of Jesus, there will be signs of the end of times as mentioned.
The parable of the fig tree is also a sign of encouragement to Jesus’ followers not to lose hope.
Jesus said that all these will happen before the people living now have died. He said that heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will never pass away.
- THE NEED TO BE WATCHFUL
Luke 21: 34-38
Jesus concludes His teachings on end times by encouraging His disciples. He told them to be on their guard. Not to let themselves to be occupied with too much feasting and drinking and other worries of this world. They should be careful that the coming of the Son of Man may not catch them unawares. They were therefore to keep alert by praying which will give them ‘strength’ to go safely through all these things that will happen and stand before the Son of Man.
Jesus kept on teaching in the Temple in the morning as people came to listen to Him. In the evening, He went out and spent the night on Mount Olives.
THE RELEVANCE OF JESUS TEACHING ON ESCHATOLOGY TO CHRISTIANS
- Jesus teaches that the end of the world will come.
- His teachings assures Christians that there is life after death for Christ will return for those who are faithful to Him
- Encourages Christians to be watchful, prayerful and hopeful despite experiences of trials and tribulations. Jesus will deliver them
- Ensures Christians of protection from evil and eventual salvation
- Encourages Christians to live righteous lives, avoiding immoral behavior because only the righteous will inherit God’s Kingdom.
- Shows the importance of standing firm in ones faith. This way, they will not be swayed by false prophets with their false declarations on the return of the Messiah.
THE PASSION, DEATH & RESURRECTION OF JESUS
By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:-
- Discuss the Lord’s Supper and appreciate its meaning to Christians today
- Describe the events that took place at Mount Olives
- Explain the events that took place between the arrest and the burial of Jesus
- Describe the resurrection of Jesus
- Explain and relate the significance of teaching on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus to daily life
- Appreciate the saving work of Jesus
- THE LAST SUPPER
- THE PLOT AGAINST JESUS
Luke 22: 1-6
The Jewish leaders were determined to have Jesus arrested for they were convinced that He was inciting people against them.
They managed to get one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot to betray Him.
Judas was a member of the party of Zealots who wanted political changes
Judas was paid a certain sum of money
He looked for a way of betraying Jesus without the knowledge of the people.
- THE LORD’S SUPPER
- Preparation Luke 22: 7-13
To prepare for the Last Supper, Jesus sent Peter and John to make the necessary arrangements.
He told them to go into the city, where they would meet a man carrying a jar of water. The man would show them a room where they could make the preparations.
The disciples found the man without difficult and arranged for the Passover meal.
Note: the careful planning indicates the central importance of the occasion for Jesus. He regarded it as an anticipation of the great victory feast when God’s rule could only be achieved by sacrificing His body and shedding His blood in death
- The Last Supper Luke 22: 14-23
The time came for Jesus and His disciples to eat the Passover meal. They gathered in the Upper Room.
During supper, Jesus took a cup of wine, gave thanks, and passed it round to the disciples for them to drink.
Again, He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave them to eat.
He commanded the disciples to do that in remembrance of Him
Meaning of the Passover at the time of Jesus
- The bread represented His body which would be broken for His followers on the cross.
- The wine represented the blood of Jesus which would be shed on the cross for the salvation of the human race
- The cup represented God’s new covenant with His people.
- This is a fulfillment of Jeremiahs prophecy. He prophesized a new covenant which would be written in people’s hearts and not on the stone tablets like the Mosaic Covenant.
- Jesus is the new sacrificial lamb replacing the old Passover lambs that were sacrificed on the night of the Exodus
- Jesus also foretold of His betrayal. He announced that one of His disciples would betray Him.
- Jesus’ death and resurrection would bring salvation to humanity
- AN ARGUMENT ABOUT GREATNESS
Luke 22: 24-30
The disciples quarreled among themselves about who was to be regarded as the greatest among them.
Jesus rejects worldly authority that is given on the basis of wealth or fame
Authority among His disciples will be determined on the basis of humble service.
The lead leader was expected therefore to act for the good of the community, not to have more honor than the youngest or the servant
- PREDICTION OF PETER’S DENIAL OF JESUS
Luke 22: 31-38
Jesus predicted that Satan had received permission to test the faith of all the disciples
Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail
Jesus told Simon that he would deny Him three times before the cock crows
Peter was expected to strengthen the faith of the other disciples
The disciples would encounter hostility in their evangelism
- PRAYER ON MOUNT OLIVES
After celebrating the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went to the Mount Olives
When He arrived there, He told His disciples to pray that they will not enter into temptation
Then He went on from them about a stone throw away and knelt down and prayed.
He prayed that God’s will be done concerning the (cup) suffering He would undergo
Angel from Heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. He prayed even more in great anguish. His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
After the prayer, He went back to His disciples and found them asleep. He asked them why they were sleeping. He then told them to pray that they may not fall into temptation.
b.THE BETRAYAL AND ARREST OF JESUS
Luke 22: 45-53
Judas Iscariot appeared in the garden accompanied by a large crowd, the Chief Priest, elders and Temple Guards
Judas identified Jesus by kissing Him. Jesus, who knew what he did, asked him that it was with a kiss that he betrays the Son of Man.
The disciples wanted to use swords to defend Jesus. One of them even struck the High Priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. Jesus however healed the man and stopped His disciples.
Then Jesus asked the Chief Priest and those accompanying him why they had to come to Him with swords and clubs as though He was an outlaw.
He told them that He had been with them in the Temple everyday and yet they did not arrest Him.
He told them that was their time, a time when the power of darkness rules.
They arrested Jesus and took Him away into the house of the High Priest.
- THE DENIAL OF JESUS BY PETER
Luke 22: 54-65
After Jesus was arrested that night and taken to the Chief Priests house, Peter followed Him at a distance. A maid and two other people identified Peter as one of the disciples of Jesus. Peter denied all the accusations
Just as Jesus had predicted, the cock crowed and Peter remembered what he had done.
Jesus turned and looked at Peter and Peter remembered what Jesus had predicted. Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Possible reasons why Peter denied Jesus
- Human weakness. He lacked the moral courage to stand by Jesus during His suffering
- He was afraid of being arrested
- He was an impulsive person as portrayed in the gospel meaning that he acts on the spur of the moment
LESSONS THAT CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM PETER’S ACT
- Christians should be remorseful and should repent when they sin. Jesus is always ready to forgive and accept them back
- Human beings are weak by nature. Therefore Christian should depend on God’s strength to make the right decisions in different situations
- Christians should stand firm in their faith in Jesus no matter what the circumstance are
b.THE TRIALS OF JESUS
Luke 22: 66-23: 1-25
The trial at the Council of Sanhedrin
Luke 22: 66-71
Jesus was taken to the Sanhedrin (Jewish Council of elders drawn from Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees) in the morning.
The Council asked Jesus if He was the Messiah
Jesus refused to say either yes or not. Instead, He spoke of the coming of the Son of Man in triumph.
Jesus was then asked whether He was the Son of God.
He replied and told them that they say that He is.
This was interpreted to mean Jesus was admitting that He was the Son of God. This was considered as blasphemy or disrespect of God.
The penalty for blasphemy was death; Jesus was hence condemned to die for claiming to be the Son of God.
The trial before Pilate
Luke 23: 1-5
Since the Sanhedrin could not carry out the death sentence, they took Jesus to the Roman governor, Pilate.
They accused Jesus of inciting the people to revolt, forbidding payment of taxes and claiming to be a King in rebellion to Roman Authority
They could not accuse Him of blasphemy. This charge would not be accepted under Roman law.
Note: by taking Jesus to Pilate, the Jewish religious leaders wanted the Roman authority to take responsibility for Jesus’ death.
The trial before Herod
Luke 23: 6-12
When Pilate heard that Jesus had started His ministry in Galilee, he knew that Jesus was from there, so he sent Jesus to Herod who was in Jerusalem at the time. Herod was the ruler in Galilee.
Herod was pleased to see Jesus since he had heard a lot about Him. He was hoping to see Jesus perform some miracles. Herod asked Jesus any questions but Jesus made no answer.
Chief Priests and the teachers of the law stepped forward and made accusations against Jesus.
Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus and treated Him with contempt. Then they put a fine robe on Him and sent Him back to Pilate.
Luke 23: 13-25
Jesus was brought to Pilate a second time. Pilate reiterated that he found Jesus not guilty of any crime. He opted to have whipped and then release Him.
The Chief Priest prevailed upon Pilate who passed a sentence of death on Jesus on the grounds of high treason
Jesus was to die by fructification. This was the punishment of high treason according to Roman laws
The Jewish leaders asked that Barnabas, a criminal, be released instead of Jesus.
Possible reasons why Pilate agreed to have Jesus crucified
- He was afraid of Jewish revolt
- He did not want to be disloyal to Roman Emperor after learning that Jesus had been accused of treason
- He washed his hands. This meant that he absolved himself from Jesus’ crucifixion. This is because he had found no evidence of His guilt. His wife had also cautioned him about Jesus’ innocence.
- THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS
Luke 23: 26-43
Jesus was given the crossbeam to carry to His crucifixion site.
Simon of Cyrene helped Him carry it.
A group of women followed Jesus and wept over His plight.
Jesus asked them to weep over themselves and their children
Jesus eventually arrived at Golgotha, and was nailed to the cross
Two criminals were crucified on either of His sides.
After His crucifixion, the soldiers cast lots to divide His garments
The soldiers, Jewish leaders and one of the thieves, mocked Jesus for His claim to be the royal Messiah.
Jesus is mocked with a challenge to save Himself
One of the criminals crucified with Jesus, usually referred to as the repented thief acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah and admitted the justness of his own condemnation
Jesus told the repentant thief that they’ll be in paradise together on that day.
Above Jesus’ cross was written “This is the King of the Jews”
- THE DEATH AND BURIAL OF JESUS
Luke 23: 44-56
- The death of Jesus
The death of Jesus was preceded by extraordinary happenings.
Darkness covered the land for three hours. This darkness symbolized that evil was at its climax when the Son of God hung on the cross. However, after darkness, there is evidence that God is in control not Satan.
The curtains of the Temple tore into two. This symbolized the end of Judaism and the beginning of Christianity, the universal religion
Jesus then died after crying “Father into thy hands I commit my spirit” this prayer is from the book of Psalm 31:5. It showed Jesus’ total commitment to God.
On seeing Jesus die, the Roman Centurion who was present testified to Jesus’ innocence. As a gentile, he recognized Jesus’ Lordship.
- The burial of Jesus
Joseph of Arimathea, a rich and righteous member of the Sanhedrin, asked Pilate to allow him burry Jesus.
He wrapped Jesus’ body in linen sheet, and placed it in a tomb that had never been used before.
Joseph could have been a secret disciple of Jesus. He recognized His Lordship by his act.
This burial signified the fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy concerning the suffering servant of Yahweh who was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
A group of women followed Joseph and saw where he buried Jesus
They went back home to prepare spices with which to wash Jesus’ body after the Sabbath.
- THE RESURRECTION
Luke 24: 1-49
- THE WITNESS TO THE RISEN CHRIST
The resurrection refers to the events of Jesus’ rising from the dead.
Jesus resurrection took place on the 3rd day, that is, the Sunday morning after He was crucified on Friday afternoon.
- TESTIMONY OF THE HOLY WOMEN
Luke 24: 1-12
On that Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene, Salome and Mary the Mother of Jesus went to the tomb planning to prepare Jesus’ body for proper burial with the spices they had prepared.
On arrival, they found the stone covering the tomb had been rolled away.
The tomb was also empty
As the women stood there puzzled, two men in “dazzling clothes”, confirmed that Jesus had risen as He had prophesized
When the women learnt of Jesus’ resurrection, they broke the news to the apostles and all the others.
The apostles rejected the women’s testimony.
Peter ran to the tomb and found it empty.
- THE DISCIPLES ON THE WAY TO EMMAUS
Luke 24: 13-32
Jesus appeared to disciples who were on their way to Emmaus
They were discussing Jesus’ suffering, death and empty tomb.
They regarded Jesus’ death as a tragedy; for they had hoped He would liberate the Jews from Roman rule.
Jesus explained to them the scriptures, which say the Messiah would suffer to reach His Glory
They invited Jesus to dine with them.
They recognized who Jesus was at the breaking of the bread. Jesus then vanished
The disciples went and told the eleven apostles about their encounter with the risen Christ.
- APPEARANCE OF JESUS TO THE DISCIPLES
Luke 24: 24-33
Bas the disciples of Emmaus narrated their encounter with Jesus to the apostles; Jesus papered to them.
The apostles were frightened and thought that they had seen a ghost.
Jesus asked them to confirm that He had risen by touching His body
He then asked them for some food and they gave Him some fish which He ate.
He explained to them His mission through telling them the prophecies about Him in the Law of Moses, prophets and Psalm
Jesus brought His disciples a new understanding of His mission, suffering, death and resurrection.
He also commissioned His disciples to be His witnesses by proclaiming repentance and forgiveness of sins.
He also told them to stay in the city until He sends them the Holy Spirit
- ASCENSION OF JESUS
Luke 24: 50-53
Ascension is derived from the word ‘Ascend’ which means going up.
From Jerusalem, Jesus led His disciples to Bethany.
He raised His hands, blessed the disciples and was lifted up to heaven.
The disciples returned and witnessed Jesus’ ascension with joy
They continued to go to the temple to pray to God, waiting for the Holy Spirit Jesus had promised them.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JESUS’ PASSION, DEATH AND RESURRECTION TO CHRISTIAN LIFE
- Jesus was given new powers to conquer sin and death. In the same way, Christians who have faith in God are assured of overcoming physical death
- Human beings were reconciled to God through Christ. The broken relationship between God and Human beings is restored through the forgiveness of past sins.
- Christians are given hope for eternal life
- Christians start living a new life in Christ. (2nd Corinthians 5: 17 “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come”)
- New understanding of who Jesus was and His Messianic mission was brought out
- The disciples received the promise of the Holy Spirit. This was only possible through Jesus’’ resurrection.