Jesus Teaches the New Birth
I. Jesus Teaches the New Birth
Jesus received mixed reactions to His ministry. The Bible tells us that the common people heard Him gladly (Mark 12:37).
37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
He came preaching the gospel to the poor (Luke 4:18) but the "learned" people did not always receive Him (I Corinthians 1:26).
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
1 Cor 1:26
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
The Bible mentions many among the chief rulers also believed on Jesus, but would not confess Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue. They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:42-43).
42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
1. Jesus and Nicodemus
"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from Cod: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:1-3).
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus did not come questioning; he came to Jesus with what was essentially a compliment. He knew that Jesus was from God because of the miracles which He did. Jesus quickly brought the focus of the conversation to the most important matter in life: How can a person see God's Kingdom and enter into it?
A). Ye Must be Born Again - Jesus said that the only way a man can see and enter this kingdom is to be born again. This was strange terminology to Nicodemus. Although he was a ruler of the Jews, he had never heard of "being born again!" He could only associate being born again to his natural birth. Nicodemus asked, "How can a man be born when he is old?" In response to Nicodemus' question, Jesus replied, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).
B). Water and Spirit-The new birth, which is also referred to as being born again, consists of two elements: water and Spirit. Water refers to baptism in water, and the Spirit to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, which is promised to all who obey the Word of God.
2. The Promise to All Believers-Jesus went to Jerusalem to observe the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. It was there that He made a dramatic and most significant statement: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying. If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" (John 7:37-39). Observe the following facts taken from the statement that Jesus made:
*The promise was to any man. --The only qualifying factor is that a man must thirst.
*The person who would obtain this promise must come to Jesus. --The person who would receive this promise must believe on Jesus.
*The rivers of living water which will flow out of the believer is the Spirit, the Holy Ghost.
*At that time, the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified . (Jesus had now been glorified, and the Holy Ghost is given. From the Day of Pentecost even to this day, the promise has been for all who believe.)
Jesus Teaches in Parables
1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Jesus Teaches in Parables
Jesus often taught in parables. A definition of a parable is, an earthly story with a spiritual application. A parable is used to teach one great truth. Jesus used a "known" to reveal an "unknown," to His disciples as well as to present these parables containing spiritual meaning to all who heard. Jesus spoke many parables, of which we will study three.
1. The Parable of the Sower - The Parable of the Sower is found in Matthew 13:1-9, with the interpretation in verses 18-23. The parallel accounts of this parable are found in Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-15.
1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
The basic lessons taught in the parable is:
"The seed that is sown is the Word of God.
*The wayside soil represents the heart of those who hear the Word but fail to understand it. The devil comes quickly to catch the Word away from them.
*The stoney soil represents those who hear the Word and receive it joyfully, for the moment. But when temptation comes, they fall away because they are not grounded (rooted) in the Word.
*The thorny ground represents those who hear the Word and begin to bear fruit. But the cares of life are allowed to grow in their life. This eventually chokes out their concern for the Word of God.
*The good ground represents those who hear the Word, understand it, and obey it.
This parable stresses the importance of the Word of God. God's Word is the only thing that can cause a man to bear fruit, or be productive, in God's Kingdom. There is no substitute. A person must develop a love for God's Word, and put it first in his life (Psalm 1:2).
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
His reception and obedience to the Word of God determines the kind of soil he wants to be. A man can will to be the kind of soil he wants to be.
2. The Pearl of Great Price- The parable of the Pearl of Great Price is found in Matthew 13:45-46. "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." Although Jesus did not interpret this parable, many Bible students believe that it represents the search of mankind for the gospel. From that viewpoint, the following lessons may be drawn.
*AII of life is a search for the very best.
*The most valuable thing in the world is the gospel message—God's plan of salvation.
*When truth is found, it is worth giving up anything and everything in order to obtain it. Proverbs 23:23 says, "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." The implication here is this: No matter what the cost, buy the truth. Truth can't literally be bought with money, but when it is found it will be far more valued than any earthly possession. Often it is necessary to dispose of preconceived ideas, personal desires and dreams, in order to embrace truth. Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:24-25).
3. The Talents - The parable that Jesus told about the talents concerns the use of what God gives us. The man traveling into the far country represents the Lord. Before he leaves he distributes his goods—five talents to one, two talents to another and one talent to another. Note the different ways these servants used their God-given talents. The one who had the most used his talents most. He risked investing but his investment paid good dividends. Likewise the man with two talents. But the man who had only one talent seemed too fearful. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment" (I John 4:18). It is difficult to work in fear but when one is working for God we need never fear anything except pleasing Him and earning His well done. The man who did not use his God-given talent was called wicked and slothful (Matthew 25:26).
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
The Road To Calvary
The Road To Calvary
The last week of Christ's life before His crucifixion, saw many prophecies fulfilled and demonstrated the compassion of Jesus upon both His friends and enemies.
1. The Triumphal Entry - Fulfilling Zechariah 9:9, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. This is commonly called His "Triumphal Entry," and is found in Matthew 21:1-17, with parallel accounts in Mark 11:1-11 and Luke 19:29-40. As Jesus and His disciples came near Jerusalem, He sent two of them to a nearby village, with instructions to return with a colt they would find.
Jesus instructed him that, if anyone said anything to them, they were to respond, "The Lord hath need of them," whereupon they would be allowed to take the animal. The disciples did so placing their clothing on the back of the colt and setting Jesus thereon. A great crowd of people greeted them, spreading their garments in the path of the colt. Others placed the branches of trees on the ground for the colt to walk on. Multitudes cried, "Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!" As the procession came into Jerusalem, the people were moved and the cry went up, "Who is this?" "This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee," responded the multitude. It would be but a few days until the inhabitants of the same city that cried, "Hosanna to the son of David," would be screaming, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
2.The Last Supper - The next event which occurred during the week before the crucifixion is known as the Last Supper. The record of this event is seen in Matthew 26:17-29, with parallel passages in Mark 14:12-26 and Luke 22:7-23. Every year, on a certain day, the lews kept the Feast of the Passover, in remembrance of their deliverance from Egyptian slavery. During the week before Jesus was crucified, at the Passover meal, Jesus instituted something new to the disciples:
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:26-28).
Jesus revealed to His disciples that this meal was to take on a new meaning. It was to be called the Lord's Supper in the New Testament church. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (I Corinthians 5:7).
Paul explained the new meaning in I Corinthians 11:23-26.
"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come" (I Corinthians 11:26).
*The bread represents Christ's body.
*The fruit of the vine symbolizes His blood.
'This ordinance is to be observed ("as oft as ye drink it").
"This ordinance should continue until the Lord's return.
Before Jesus introduced this new meaning of the Passover, He said, "Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me." The disciples were very sorrowful, and began to ask, "Lord, is it I?" Jesus responded, "He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me." Judas, then, asked, "Master, it is I?" Jesus replied, "Thou hast said." Judas then left the room, and went out to consummate his betrayal of Jesus (John 13:26-30).
3. Gethsemane - Following the supper, Jesus and His disciples came to the Garden of Gethsemane. He told eight of His disciples to remain behind while He went to pray. He then took Peter, James and John with him and went a little farther into the garden. He asked them to watch with Him. He was becoming very sorrowful and heavy at the prospect of His approaching betrayal and crucifixion. Jesus went about a stone's throw from these three and fell on His face. He began to pray, "0 my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." When He returned to Peter, James, and John, He found them asleep! "What!" Jesus said to Peter, "Could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:40-41).
4. Betrayed - Sometime later, after much prayer, He woke them with these fateful words: "Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me" (Matthew 26:46). While Jesus was still speaking, Judas came with a great multitude which was armed with swords and staves. Judas came to Jesus, and said, "Hail, master." Judas then kissed Him.
This was the prearranged signal to identify Christ to the mob. Jesus said to Judas, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" They then took Jesus away.
5. The Trial - Jesus' trial was a mockery (Matthew 26:57-69). He was led to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and elders were gathered. Arrangements had been made for false witnesses to testify against Jesus, so that He might be put to death. As far as the high priest was concerned, Jesus had sealed His fate. He tore his garment, and said, "He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy?" He asked the others, "What think ye?" They agreed, "He is guilty of death." They then spit in Jesus' face, hit Him, and smote Him with the palms of their hands. They jeered, "Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?" Following these tragic events, Jesus was led from the house of Caiaphas to Pilate (John 18:28-40; 19:1-15). Pilate queried, "What accusation bring ye against this man?" Pilate was the Roman governor over judea, and responsible to carry out the death penalty on criminals. After questioning Jesus, Pilate went out of the judgment hall and said to the Jews, "I find in him no fault at all. But ye have acustom, that I should release unto you one at the passover. Will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?" "Not this man," they cried, "but Barabbas." Barabbas was a robber, insurrectionist and murderer (Mark 15:7). The crowd in their frenzy rejected the Son of God and chose a criminal.
6. Jesus Beaten - As a result of their request, Pilate took Jesus and had Him scourged, or beaten. Little did these Jews know, nor did Pilate know, that their very actions were fulfilling prophecies given by holy men of God many years previously. The prophet Isaiah, in that great predictive chapter where, in so much vivid detail, described the crucifixion of the Messiah. He said, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
The stripes that Jesus took at the hand of Pilate's men paid the price for our healing. Many years later. Peter said, "Who his own self bare our sins, . . .by whose stripes ye were healed" (I Peter 2:24). The total redemption, both from all sin, and all sickness, is seen in Psalm 103:3: "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth ail thy diseases!" The price that Jesus paid was not a partial price, for some diseases, but a complete price for all.
Healing of the sick is one of the signs that follow believers. Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name. . .they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:17-18). Jesus gave instructions for the healing of believers: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up" (James 5:14-15). It is God's will to heal the sick. All that is required is faith in the price Jesus paid, and obedience to the Word of God.
Christ Died For Us
IV. Christ Died For Us
The crucifixion of Jesus is the central event in the entire history of the human race. On the cross Jesus took upon Him all the sins of the world. "He, Who knew no sin, was made sin for us" (II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:22; Romans 5:8-10).
1. Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers - After Jesus had been scourged, the soldiers took Him into the common hall. A whole band of soldiers were gathered together. They stripped Jesus and placed a scarlet robe on His wounded, bleeding back. They then platted a crown of thorns and placed it upon His head, placed a reed in His right hand and bowed before our Lord and mocked Him.
They cried, "Hail, King of the Jews!" The soldiers then spit upon Him, took the reed from His hand, and beat Jesus upon the head. They replaced the scarlet robe with His own clothing, and led Christ away to be crucified.
2. Simon and the Cross - As they made their way to Calvary, they found Simon, a man of Cyrene, and forced him to bear the cross. The procession arrived at Golgatha. There they offered Jesus vinegar mixed with gall to drink. After tasting it, Jesus would not drink it. The soldiers then crucified Jesus, placing His cross between those of two thieves. Over the cross of Jesus was the accusation: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Soldiers divided garment of Jesus casting lots for them.
3. Jesus—Mocked on the Cross - As Jesus hung in agony on the cross, people passing by mocked him, wagging their heads, saying, "Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." The chief priests, scribes and elders joined the jeering, saying, "He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the son of God."
4. The Thief on the Cross - One of the criminals which was crucified by Jesus railed against Him, saying, "If thou be Christ, save thyself and us." The other thief, however, rebuked his fellow-sufferer saying, "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss." This same man then said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." Jesus answered, "Verily 1 say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
5. Forgiveness on the Cross - A statement of Jesus on the cross reveals His compassion for even those who crucified Him. He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
6. The Happenings after His Death - After Jesus died, the vail in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. There was a great earthquake, and the rocks ripped apart. In a graveyard outside the city, many graves opened. The Roman centurion, and his soldier, took note of these unusual occurrences, and were smitten with fear. They said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" Many women, stood a great distance away, carefully observing all these things.
7. Jesus is Buried - Joseph of Arimathaea, a rich man who was a secret disciple of Jesus, asked Pilate for permission to take away the body of Jesus. Pilate granted his request. Nicodemus, the same man who came to Jesus by night, and who had been told of his need to be born again, helped Joseph and they wrapped Jesus in a clean linen cloth, and placed Him in Joseph's personal tomb, where no one had ever been buried. What looked like defeat, was actually a great victory for the Kingdom of God. Jesus had accomplished His purpose in coming into the world. He had taken the place of sinful men, and had made it possible for them to escape the wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23).
V. Christ Lives
God's plan called for the Messiah to come forth out of the grave; death could not hold Him! God would not suffer Him to see corruption. Jesus had predicted the precise amount of time He would be in the tomb.
"Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet lonas: For as ]onas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:38-40).
1. A Watch Put over His Grave - On the second day after Jesus' burial, the chief priests and Pharisees came together to Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first." Pilate responded, "Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can" (Matthew 27:63-65). The Jews left Pilate, went to the sepulchre, sealed it, and set a watch, or guard, over it.
2. Jesus Came Forth - Their efforts to keep Christ in the tomb were to no avail. The Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. The keepers of the tomb shook, and became like dead men. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the wife of Cleophas, the mother of James, and Salome, along with others, made their way to the tomb. They wanted to anoint the body of Jesus with the spices they had prepared. As they came, they wondered, "Who will roll the stone away for us?" But when they arrived, they saw that the stone was rolled away from the door. Christ was risen! The tomb was empty!
3. Many Saw Him - Later, in recording the facts of the resurrection, Paul states:
". . .he was buried, and that he rose again, the third day according to the scriptures; And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of lames; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time" (I Corinthians 15:4-8).
Jesus appeared several times to His disciples during the forty days after His resurrection. He ate with them and gave them His last, important commands (John 20:19-31; Luke 24:13-53; Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:9-20; Acts 1:3).
The Great Commission
VI. The Great Commission
The Great Commission is recorded in each of the three synoptic gospels. Luke 24:45-47; Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15-18. The disciples were to preach repentance and remission of sins in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). The gospel was to be preached to everyone regardless of his nationality or race. (Mark 16:15).
1. The elements of the Great Commission are as follows:
*Repentance. "Water Baptism.
*Supernatural signs, including speaking with new tongues. (Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.)
2. Jesus' Ascension - Jesus led the disciples to a place on the Mount of Olives near Bethany. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father and they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost in not many days. He then lifted up his hands and blessed them and was carried up into heaven in a cloud. As the disciples looked skyward two men stood by them in white apparel and asked them why they stood there gazing up into heaven. The two men told the disciples that the same Jesus which was taken from them up into heaven would return in like manner. The disciples left the Mount of Olives and returned to Jerusalem, their hearts filled with joy and eager expectation.
The Mighty God in Christ
VII. The Mighty God in Christ
Who was this Jesus? This is one of the most important questions we could ever answer. Jesus had asked His disciples, "Whom say ye that I am?" (Matthew 16:15). Was He a prophet? Yes, much more than that. A diligent comparison of Old Testament Scriptures with the New, will reveal that He was God manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16). The pivotal text of the Old Testament, to the Hebrew scholar, is Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
This lesson is very basic: There is but One God. This truth is born out in a multitude of Scriptures (refer to chart). According to John 4:23-24, this One God is a Spirit. Who is Jesus? He is God! He is God with us (Isaiah 7:14). He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). He is the One Who created us (Genesis 1:1; Malachi 2:10; John 1:3). (Rather than continuing to list all the various verses here, refer to them as listed on the chart.) While Jesus Christ was God, He was also man. This is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16). As a man, He hungered, slept, was weary, and wept. As God He fed the 5,000, healed the sick and raised the dead. Great confusion is wrought by those who forget that Jesus was both God and man. He was fully God and fully man!
All scripture points to the grand truth that there is but One God:
God is the Creator; Jesus is the Creator.
God is the Savior and Redeemer; Jesus is the Savior and Redeemer.
God is the Shepherd; Jesus is the Shepherd.
God is the King; Jesus is the King.
God is the I AM, and the I AM HE; Jesus is the I AM, and the I AM HE.
God is the First and the Last; Jesus is the First and the Last.
God is the Rock; Jesus is the Rock.
God is Coming; Jesus is Coming.
The importance of the identity of Jesus Christ cannot be stressed too much. The Pharisees had asked Him, "Where is thy Father?" Jesus answered, "Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me ye should have known my Father also. . .for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:19-24). Philip, one of the disciples, said to Him, "Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us." Jesus responded, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?
He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then. Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake" (John 14:8-11).
The Father (John 4:23, 24), was in the Son (Galatians 4:4). Thus, it was not two separate persons, but GOD (Spirit) MANIFEST IN THE FLESH (body) (I Timothy 3:16). "God (Spirit) was in Christ (body) reconciling the world unto himself" (II Corinthians 5:19).
Who was Jesus? He was the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). He willingly left heaven's splendor and came to this earth in the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-8).
Paul clearly revealed the essential oneness of God in Ephesians 4:5-6:
"One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."