October 23, 2016

What is this site?

This site is intended to help the user develop an understanding of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. It is organized to help you learn the flow of his life as recorded in the Gospels of the New Testament. For information on how the site is organized, see How to Use this Site. Ultimately, we hope the frequent user will understand and emulate the character and person of Jesus. We would encourage you, with Paul the Apostle, to “. . .make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 2:5a, HCSB)

Overview of the Life of Jesus

The life of Jesus can be divided into 8 periods of time. For the purpose of this study, we will use the following periods and descriptors. . .

1 – Preparation – From conception to his baptism.

2 – Introduction – From his baptism to the beginning of the Galilean ministry.

3 – Galilean Ministry – Approximately 18-month ministry centered predominantly in Galilee.

4 – Season of Withdrawal – Approximately 6 months prior to beginning the Judean ministry.

5 – Judean Ministry – Roughly 3 months of ministry focusing on Jerusalem and surrounding Judea.

6 – Perean Ministry – Approximately 3 months spent primarily in Perea, east of Samaria, concluding with his final trip to Galilee and then Jerusalem.

7 – Passion Week – The final week prior to the crucifixion and resurrection.

8 – Resurrection and Appearances – The days following the resurrection up to his ascension.

The Eternal Context

But when the completion of the time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. – Galatians 4:4-7 (HCSB)

Paul’s text above provides perhaps the finest summary statement of the broad redemptive plan of God that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

This text clearly teaches that. . .

Jesus was sent by God. This will be an underlying assumption through out the study. Jesus was no accident. He was the culmination of God’s eternal plan to enter history “when the completion of the time came”.

Jesus came to redeem. It is impossible to understand the life, ministry, and psyche of Jesus if you do not understand that he came “to redeem those under the law”. He was not simply a good example or teacher. He had a specific redemptive purpose that defined everything else he did.

Jesus’ redemption results in sonship for us. The redemptive plan is not some distant, irrelevant theory. Jesus died “so that we might receive adoption as sons”. Through Jesus, God brings us into a proper relationship with our Creator. Nothing could be more relevant or important.

Jesus entered time and space as a flesh and blood human being. There was a specific moment in time that was right. He was “born of a woman”. Prior to his birth and following his resurrection Jesus was “eternal”. He was not bound by any earthly reality. But in those years we will be examining, Jesus, the Christ, was as real, as human, and as much a part of time and space as we are.

Much more could be said about Paul’s amazing text. Suffice it here to note and understand that there is a context that surrounds Jesus’ life and ministry. . . Before there was a baby in the manger, there was a loving God sending His Son on a redemptive mission so that we could be reunited with our heavenly Father.

This simple reality will be revealed and reemphasized over and over as we examine the many wonderful words, actions, and events of Jesus, the Christ. The goal of this study will be to foster the “Spirit of His Son” in “our hearts” so that we may join with believers throughout history and say “Abba, Father!”