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Introduction to the New Testament: Gospel and Acts - Lesson 18

Christ’s Adult Public Ministry

Locations in present day Israel that are related to Jesus' infancy and the beginning of His public ministry.

Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Gospel and Acts
Lesson 18
Watching Now
Christ’s Adult Public Ministry

Public Ministry

Part 1

Slide show of locations in present day Israel that are related to Jesus' infancy and the beginning of His public ministry.


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  • Overview of the influences of the Persian, Greek and Roman Empires on the Jewish nation. 

  • A summary of the Jewish political and religious rulers and movements, and the tensions that arose between the Jews and the occupying Roman authorities.

  • Ancient philosophies and religious movements had a significant influence on peoples' beliefs and behavior in the first century. The influence of Rome and Greece was evident throughout the world. 

  • Religious groups like the Pharisees and Sadducees, and teachings of contemporary Judaism about the Messiah affected Jesus' teaching and ministry.

     

  • One of the major influences in the social structure in Israel during the first century was the relationship and interaction between Jews and Gentiles. Various Jewish groups had differing views on how they should interact among themselves and with Gentiles. (Dr. Blomberg did not provide us with the PowerPoint slides for this lecture.)

  • One of the major influences in the social structure in Israel during the first century was the relationship and interaction between Jews and Gentiles. Various Jewish groups had differing views on how they should interact among themselves and with Gentiles. (Dr. Blomberg did not provide us with the PowerPoint slides for this lecture.)

  • The Gospels are historically reliable documents. Some of the main arguments and pieces of evidence pointing to the historical reliability of the Gospels are given in this lecture.

  • Form criticism, or form history examines how tradition has changed and how it has stayed the same. 

  • The gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke have so many similarities that they are referred to as the "Synoptic Gospels." There is also material in each of these Gospels that make it distinctive from the other two.

  • It can be helpful to examine, from a literary perspective, the passages that record the encounters that Jesus had with Nicodemus, and the Samaritan woman.

  • In order to understand the message of the Gospel of Mark, it is helpful to understand who the author is, the approximate date it was written, the audience to whom it was written, and the major themes of the book. The content of the book can be divided into the first 8 chapters that focus on the life and ministry of Jesus and the last 8 chapters that focus on His death and resurrection.

  • In order to understand the message of the Gospel of Matthew, it is helpful to understand who the author is, the approximate date it was written, the audience to whom it was written, and the possible sources on which Matthew relied when he was writing. Matthew begins by recording genealogy of Jesus and some of the events surrounding his infancy. Jesus' public ministry began with HIs baptism by John the Baptist, temptation in the wilderness and calling of the disciples. His preaching included the Sermon on the Mount and parables which Matthew grouped together in the Gospel.

  • Examining the outline and structure of the Gospel of Luke reveals the main points and the focus of Luke's Gospel and the book of Acts. Luke and Matthew have some similarities as well as some elements that are distinctive.

  • Much of the material of the Gospel of John is unique, compared to the other 3 Gospel accounts. Some of John's account alternates between recording a sign that Jesus performs with a discourse about a certain subject. Chapter 12 to the end of the Gospel covers the final days of Jesus' life on earth.

  • Some scholars belief that historical evidence supports the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life, some think the historical evidence supports the inauthenticity of the Gospel accounts, and some think that the historical evidence is irrelevant. The different conclusions are due mainly to different presuppositions. It is possible to propose a probable time line of Jesus' life.

  • The Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth and early years of life show how He accurately fulfilled specific OT prophecies made hundreds of years earlier, and how His life was intertwined with that of John the Baptist. The beginning of John's Gospel is a testimony to Jesus' nature as being both fully God and fully human.

  • Locations in present day Israel that are related to Jesus' infancy and the beginning of His public ministry.

  • John the Baptist began his ministry before Jesus's public ministry. For a while their public ministries overlapped, then Jesus conducted the remainder of His public ministry without John the Baptist on the scene.

  • Turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana was one of the first miracles Jesus performed in His public ministry. He also had conversations with Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, and healed the nobleman's son.

  • The Sermon on the Mount is one of the main passages showing how Jesus defines the "Kingdom of God." He also calls the disciples, redefines the family, performs healings and exorcisms, and uses parables and pronouncements to teach about who God is and how He relates to humans.

  • Images of locations in present day Israel related to Jesus' early Galilean ministry.

  • The Sermon on the Mount shows how the teachings of the Kingdom of God relate to the OT Law. It also includes additional NT teachings and a model prayer.

  • Pictures of places in present day Israel related to Jesus' early Galilean ministry.

  • Understanding parables as a literary form helps us interpret them accurately. Jesus performed miracles in various contexts for specific purposes.

  • Locations in present day Israel related to parables Jesus said and places He performed miracles.

  • Jesus' ministry in Galilee took place in locations like Nazareth, Cana, the Sea of Galilee and other nearby towns and areas. As Jesus was departing from Galilee, he performed miracles and taught at specific places along the way.

  • One of the themes in John chapters 5-11 is how Jesus fulfills the Jewish festivals. He also uses metaphors, saying that he is the, “bread of life,” “light of the world,” “gate for the sheep” and others.

  • In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus gives a sermon on forgiveness and humility. 

  • Locations in present day Israel related to Jesus' ministry.

  • Does the Bible teach that we are to marry or that we are not to marry?

  • Passion Week in the life of Jesus includes his anointing in Bethany, triumphal entry into Jerusalem, cleansing of the temple, celebrating Passover, prayer and arrest in Gethsemane, crucifixion and resurrection.

  • Chronological order of the events of the Passion week of the ministry of Jesus.

  • The death and resurrection of Jesus are significant both historically and theologically.

  • Narration describing slide photographs of locations of events that took place during Passion Week.

  • Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Jewish Messiah. He was both fully God and fully man. Jesus taught about the kingdom of God and showed compassion to the people who were outcasts in society.

  • Acts was written as a continuation of the Gospel of Luke to record what the Holy Spirit was doing through the lives of followers of Christ in the early church. The gospel spread ethnically from Jews to Gentiles, and geographically from Jerusalem to the rest of the world.

  • Stephen challenged the Jewish leaders to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. Paul's conversion was a key event in the history of the early church.

  • The discussion in the Jerusalem council in Acts chapter 15 was how Jews and gentiles could function together as the body of Christ.

  • Narrative describing pictures relating to places that were significant in the early church.

  • The book of Acts records events that happened during Paul's travels as he preached the gospel and established churches throughout Asia Minor and Europe.

This class studies issues of introduction for the four Gospels and Acts, and, using the English New Testament, provides a harmonistic study of the life of Christ with a focus on his essential teachings, the theology of evangelism, and the planting of the church as recorded in Acts.

 

Dr. Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Gospel and Acts
nt511-18
Christ’s Adult Public Ministry
Lesson Transcript

 

This is the eighteenth lecture in the online series of lectures for understanding the Gospels and Acts, in complement with the textbook by Craig Blomberg’s Jesus and The Gospels: an Introduction and Survey

 

(The following lecture describes a set of slides (photos) taken during a visit to Bethlehem and Israel – Obviously, some of the information will be outdated.)

 

It’s time to step back for a moment from our supplementary lectures and look at some slides related to the infancy narratives discussed in the last lecture as well as from the opening events of Christ’s adult public ministry. One of the most popular tourist sites in the land of ancient Israel is Manger Square in Bethlehem and the Church of the Holy Nativity as depicted in this first slide. It is one of the oldest or perhaps oldest church still standing in the Holy Land. The picture of the inside of this church discloses ancient murals or frescos which depicted, among other things, the magi appearing as Arabs and when the Muslims in the 7th century came through Israel and destroyed many of the scared Jewish and Christian sites, this one was left untouched because the invaders believed they saw fellow Arabs in these pictures. You can also see a hole in the floor where parts of the new tiles have been removed to see the mosaic of the original tile floor restored. 

 

The traditional site of Jesus’ birth is marked by this ornate grotto in the lower level of the church, though nothing in Scripture or extra-canonical tradition actually enables us to know the exact location of Jesus’ birth place. The next slide reflects a traditionally sized and shaped manger or cattle trough, less we glamorize the picture of the place where Mary laid baby Jesus that first night. The terrain just south and east of Bethlehem is to this day called Shepard’s fields. The next slide shows a modern day flock of sheep still grazing in this grass land area. Next, is a picture of the Jordan River where John the Baptist ministered, and today it separates the country of Jordan from the infamous ‘West Bank’ ruled over by Israel but operated by the Palestinian government. When one goes to the Jordan River in Galilee where the river forms the boundary between Israel and gentile territory to the east, the foliage is lusher, the river is much more shadow and gentle flowing.  The next slide shows a popular place near Galilee where Christians Baptize others, even today. The property at this particular place is Jewish owned and much more accessible for tourist and may even be rented for Christian Services. 

 

In Jesus’ day, emersion in water was perhaps best known from ritual pools such this one shown in the slide, excavated just south of the Temple Prescient in Jerusalem. The ritual pool in Hebrew was known as mixza and priests and others ministering in the Temple would submerge themselves for the sake of ritual purity of their official duties. Next, shows a more elaborate emptied pool. John the Baptist, of course, baptized Jesus along with many others and immediately the spirit leads him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Judean wilderness includes a vast terrain and again, neither Scripture nor tradition gives us any way to determine precisely the wilderness/desert in which Jesus resided or perhaps itinerated during those forty days of his fast. If the reference, ‘going to a high mountain’ to see all the kingdoms of the world,’ be taken in the first instance, literally, that is if Jesus really did go to the top of a high mountain; but obviously nowhere near Judea could he have seen all the kingdoms of the world. Then one could understand why the range of the most roughed filled terrain in between Jerusalem and Jericho became the traditional site of Jesus’ temptation and indeed what you see pictured has come to known as Temptation Mount. 

 

The next slide gives a look of a spring day with a deep green grassiness, a place normally barren and dry by the late summer. The winter months brings on the rain in the mountain areas. The next slide shows a picture of temptation restaurant in the old city, a tourist destination and place of different kinds of citrus fruit.