Miracles, People, and Teachings Before Palm Sunday

The miracles, people, and teachings of Jesus’ trip before Palm Sunday need to be combined with Holy Week’s activities and His work from Passover to Pentecost to have a

Jesus on the Donkey

solid look at what the Church needs to be doing in the world today.  Lately, when I have focused on a small block of time I have a lot of questions as to the content of the teachings and the miracles.  But I come back to the fact that the Gospels were written by the Holy Spirit and just put on paper by men.  So, try and look at these not as individual stories and events but as a unified collection of activities that are to show us more of how we should be living.

The hashtags and numbers refer to my attempt at a chronology order in The Triumphal Entry.  (As a study this may not be super detailed as you would like so you make it your own, then let me know and the post may be edited.)  

Miracles

  1. Matthew 19:2 healed them (the crowd). Matthew list no other miracles other than the prediction of his death. #1,7. Matthew wrote for the Jewish reader.  Since they usually demanded “signs” you would think he would have included more miracles.
  2. Ten Lepers #1. Luke was writing as a witness to a Gentile.  One of the ten was a Samaritan.
  3. Lazarus #3,5,10,11 This is one of the miracles John uses to prove Jesus is the Messiah, He could defeat death.
  4. Bartimaeus #8 I do wonder if he became important to the Church in Jerusalem.
  5. Zacchaeus – knowing he was there and stopping #9 Jesus’ ministry was to Israel, no matter how hard they had become.
  6. Predicts His own death #7 This prediction was to prepare the disciples for Easter Sunday.

People

  1. #1,11,12,13,15 Large crowds with healings- Matthew 19:1, 20:29. John 11:41+42 miracles believing. Mark 10:1 taught them.
  2. #1,3,4,5 Pharisees, Caiaphas, and his prophecy 
  3. #1,6 Little Children
  4. #6 Rich Young Man
  5. #6 Peter – “we have left everything”
  6. #7 The Twelve Disciples – predication of death 
  7. Mother of Zebedee’s sons – James and John, the Ten (with Judas)
  8. #3,5,10,11 Lazarus, Mary (anointed Jesus with Nard), and Martha 
  9. #8 Blind Men (Bartimaeus)
  10. #9 Zacchaeus
  11. #12 Two Disciples for the donkey (Peter and John?) We do not know which two disciples Jesus sent but these two as part of the inner circle would be a good guess.

Teachings 

  1. Divorce
  2. Receive the Kingdom like a little child 
  3. End times/leaving and getting/Workers in the Vineyard.  Luke 17:20 – 38 more in-depth
  4. Pray and the widow, Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Three Servants and Money (only Luke)  
  5. Teaching about His death
  6. Who is great among you

Places 

Across the Jordan #2

Ephraim (only in John) #4, This is the name of Jospeh’s second son who was “made first son” by Israel.

Mark 10:10 has them in a house.

Jericho #8,9

Bethphage and Bethany #3,5,10,11

Mount of Olives #12,13 The Mount is first called this in 2 Samuel 15:30 and Zechariah 14:4 connects it to Jesus’ Second Coming. 

The Triumphal Entry Ending in a Palm Sunday Ride

The prophecy below heralds Jesus’ Palm Sunday triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (KJV)

But this is just the last leg of His tour de force procession that leads to His Kingship.  I see His journey starting in Luke 17:11 (healing ten lepers) because in Luke 19:37 the people are praising Jesus because of the miracles they had seen. The verses below chronicle the miracles that were done as Jesus traveled to His sacrifice as the Lamb of God.  His location is important as well as the teachings and other events that are written in the Gospels.     

Jesus is following a path (from the Jordan to Jerusalem) that was first marched by Joshua when he crossed the Jordan River and started the conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 3).  Elisha in 2 Kings 2:13 walked roughly the same route after his anointing from Elijah.  

Note #1 – Because of the length I have a separate post on just the miracles, people, and teachings.

Note #2 – Some locations and timings are hard to place, especially John 12:1+2.  The distance from the Jordan to Bethany/Jerusalem is not great.  So, I can see Jesus walking to and from it several times.  That is however for you to decide.

Matthew 19:1-21:12, Mark 10:1-11:11, Luke 17:11-19:44 (18:31), John 10:40-12:19

All references are from the King James Version of the Bible. The bold and italics are added.

  • #1 Luke 17:11+12 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers
  • #2 Matthew 19:1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan

                        Mark 10:1 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

John 10:40+41 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

  • #3 John 11:18 (The story of Lazarus) Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off
  • #4 John 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
  • #5 John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
  • #6 Mark 10:17 And when he (Jesus) was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? (The Rich Young Man) Added explanation. Matthew and Luke also have a version of this story.
  • #7 Mark 10:32+33 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death

Matthew 20:17+18 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death

Luke 18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go    up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.

  • #8 Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

Luke 18:35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging

  • #9 Luke 19:1+2 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

                        Luke 19:11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

  • #10 John 12:1+2 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  There they made him a supper
  • #11 John 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus
  • #12 Matthew 21:1+2 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her

                        Mark 11:1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples

Luke 19:28+29 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.  And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives

  • #13 Luke 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen
  • #14 Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it
  • #15 John 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem

Jesus’ New Start

            A new start! Jesus needs a new start?  What about Good Friday, “It is finished”, and an Easter sunrise service why would Jesus need a new start?  Growing up in a denominational church, which observed Lent and had grand Easter services I guess I always thought that Easter Day was it.  Everything was done by noon on Easter Sunday.  Jesus rose from the dead, He had the Keys back and His time on the cross settled everything.  HE DID ALL OF THAT AND MORE!  I believe that Jesus only needed to be the sacrifice for my/our sin ONCE.  His work on the cross is/was finished and He sprinkled His blood on the Mercy Seat Himself and it does not need to be done again. 

            The new start I am talking about is not dealing with His sacrifice.  He got several new titles and honestly the work of starting His Kingdom was not done.  What He did after the Resurrection is the work that was foreshadowed by Moses and Joshua.  Both of these leaders had work to do after their (first) Passovers.  Jesus stayed around for forty days because He had work to finish before His Ascension and the birthing of His Church (Pentecost).

The Shadows of the New Start

            Moses’ Passover, which birthed the nation of Israel brought them out of Egypt and started them to the Promised Land.  The first part of the trip became the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  The parting of the Red Sea (baptism) took them away from the swords and brickyards of Egypt.  The first true destination for Israel was to sacrifice and worship God at the Mountain.  It was here that Moses received the Law.

            Joshua’s Passover was held in the Promised Land, as the start of the Land of Israel.  The Ark and the people passed through the Jordan River (baptism).  After defeating Jericho and Ai, they traveled to the mountains of Blessing and Curses.  Part of the ceremony here was to build an altar, worship God, and Joshua copied the Law onto stone tablets.  He then had to lead the people in conquering the land and dividing it for the tribes.

            Elisha in 2 Kings 3 had a “passing through the Jordan” on his way past Jerusalem to Bethel and then to the mountain where Elijah had his great victory.

            Jesus had two very similar experiences with the Jordan.  The first was His personal baptism by John that was followed by forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 3 and 4).  Satan did take Him to a high mountain (4:8).  The second one was His final trip to Jerusalem and His death on Mount Calvary.

What Started New for Jesus

Some of these are very subjective on my part.

  1. His priesthood, that is like Melchizedek’s priesthood. Hebrews 5, 7 and 8
  2. He holds the keys of Death and Hades. Revelations 1:18
  3. He is the mediator of the new covenant. 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6, 9:15, and 12:24
  4. A new seat and footstool. Revelations 3:21 and Hebrews 1:13
  5. He has a new name. Revelations 3:12
  6. He gives authority. Revelations 2:26-27
  7. The Spirit could now come and be our Helper.

Hebrews and Revelation have more of these new things or things that He is now worthy to do.  I am going to add that He can now minister to the Gentiles.  Remember He was sent to the House of Israel.

A New Appearance

            In the Book of Revelations, His appearance is different. Shock, joy, or unbelief may have caused people to not recognize Him but here are the verses that lean toward Him appearing different: Matthew 28:17, Mark 16:12, Luke 24:16 and 40, John 20:14 and 21:4 and 11. I just have a feeling that His new appearance was between His first earthly appearance and what He looked like when He transfigured on top of the mountain.

Resurrection 

            There are many verses that proclaim Jesus as the Resurrection or talk about His resurrection.  Matthew 22:31 and 27:53; Luke 14:14 and 20:36; and John 11:25 are just a few of these verses.  In studying the word “resurrection” it seems our modern usage of it is centered or even defined by what Jesus did or what the dead will do.  This is great and I do value that resurrection is associated with Jesus.  But we need to remember that there was a transformation that took place.  Jesus was not restored to what He was before He was put on the cross.  He came out better or “new”. (Steven Furtick started some of this idea in his sermon on 2/28/21.) 

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines the word resurrection as “a rising again”.  My Strong’s Concordance defines it as “standing up”.  I like that better because this shows me what Jesus did.  He stood up again.  Standing gives me the idea that He was about to start doing new things.  Let us look at a very important verse that Jesus said. 

John 12:32 (KJV) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  

This is a reference that Jesus made about how He would die on the cross.  But as our Master Teacher often does this term has another layer of meaning. The NIV has a footnote that the term “lifted up” also means to be exalted. The Orthodox Jewish Bible (OBJ) has the term “hagbah” for the term “lifted up”.  This is the word/term for the act of lifting up the Torah for the congregation to see as it is read during a service.  Jesus is the Word.  So, if we lift up or exalt Jesus, the Word, all men will be drawn to Him.  

Jesus was hagbah on the cross for our sin.  His resurrection, His new start, or Him standing up again, was so we would lift Him up.

Tree of Knowledge – A Tree of Good and Evil – The Cross

I am asking you to put yourself into the mind frame of anyone in the Roman world before the resurrection of Jesus and the writings of the first apostles.  If we transported such a person into our timeframe and they saw crucifixes and crosses around our necks, on our books, and being used as decorations on and in buildings; what would be their first thoughts?

  • Are these people marked to die?
  • Is that a jail building where you are sent to wait?
  • Can there be that many people working for Rome to kill people?
  • There are countless variations of these questions.

One thing I am fairly certain of is they would only follow you if they wanted to see someone die a slow painful death.

Since Jesus’ death we had smoothed the cross out, lost the blood (for the most part), made it huge or much smaller, and made then shiny.  Most of these actions can and will be defended.

Alright, back to my post.  The Romans did not invent the idea of killing someone on a pole, they just perfected the practice.  Ezra 6:11 and Esther 9:13 refer to people being “impaled on a pole” (NIV).  The Romans added a cross piece and that extended the length of time it took for someone to die.  If you said “cross” in Israel it was an evil thing and they took it as a curse.

Before you start thinking that I don’t like the cross in artwork or on a building, you are INCORRECT.  It has served people as a point of meditation and comfort for a long time.  I do have an issue if you make it a “good luck charm”. 

Now, imagine people who are under Roman rule with Herod in charge of your nation being told “if you want to be my worthy disciple deny yourself and carry your cross as you follow Me”. (Matthew 10:38, 16:24) The Sermon on the Mount, yes.  Healing sickness and disease, yes.  Food for 5000 plus people, yes and yes.  Carry my cross, not so much.  To be made a public “spectacle” would be “foolish”, so why “endure its pain and shame”.

Yes, there is evil associated with those two pieces of wood.  The leaders of the religious classes in Jerusalem made that clear in Matthew 27:42 with their challenge for Jesus to come off of the cross.  Simon of Cyrene, probably, was not too happy with having to pick up Jesus’ cross – Matthew 16:24. (That statement is very subjective depending on who is preaching in the morning.  His sons are mention later in the Book so good did come from it.)  But, just like the Tree in the Garden, we know its evil side and its good side.  

Hebrews 12:2 clearly speaks of Jesus knowing the cross carried shame.  He went past that for the joy it would give when He could sit next to the Father again.  In enduring the evil, He perfected our faith and disarmed the demonic powers by His triumph on the cross. (Colossians 2:15, Yes, I am mixing verses.  I will reference them and I used the NIV.)  As Peter witnesses to Cornelius in Acts 10 about what Jesus did and how the Jews hung Him on the cross; I can hear Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 1:18 – When I was perishing the message that the cross was good was foolishness, but now it is the power of God in my life.

Exercise, sugar, and many other things in life have an evil side but also a good side.  We know things like this because Eve wanted the fruit and Adam took a bite, thus getting knowledge. 

Pentecost – The Offerings of the Feast

 

Pentecost, one of the three feasts that were mandated for Israel in Exodus 23 and 34.  The first time was during the conversation God had with Moses on Mount Sinai before Moses broke the Tablets of the Law.  Chapter 34 is the same order after Moses had to write the Law.  Pentecost was the party at the end of the grain harvest.  First Fruits was the beginning of the barley harvest that starts with Passover.  Pentecost is the end of the wheat harvest.  (Read the Book of Ruth also see Ruth Continued)  God had planned for parties to take place in the Land, while the people were still in the desert.

In the first two commands about Pentecost, Father God does not go into a lot of detail.  The particulars of the Feast are written in other Books of the Bible. In Leviticus 23: 15 – 22 very specific orders are given to the priest for the offerings.  The orders include four parts that make up the whole package. I am not going into detail on the components. 1. The Wave Offering 2. The Burnt Offering 3. The Sin Offering 4. The Fellowship Offering.  More on this later. Numbers 28: 26 – 31 has a slightly different take on the offerings for Pentecost.  I can see this list being for the people to make sure they have enough materials for the priest to do their job and offer the correct sacrifice.  Deuteronomy 16: 9 – 12 seems to be a reminder to the people to give according to how they have been blessed and that they are to have fun before the Lord.

The Four Parts of Leviticus 23 – It is important to remember that part of this feast commemoratives when God gave the Law in Exodus 19.  It seems that the story really goes to Chapter 32 and ends with the Levites putting to death 3,000 partyers and the destruction of the gold calf.  (Joseph Prince points out that 3,000 joined the Church on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem.)  Please allow me to do some extending of the parts of the sacrifice that was taking place in the Temple.

Pumpkin seed and Wheat

  • The Wave Offering – God’s waving created the sound of the rushing wind.
  • The Burnt Offering – The tongues of fire “burned” the disciples in the Upper Room.
  • The Sin Offering – Peter’s sermon introduced Jesus as the “sin offering” that had been paid.
  • The Fellowship Offering – In Acts 2:42 begins the fellowship part of the sacrifice that still should be going on.                The pic is from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/pumpkin-seed-and-wheatdried-cereal-seeds-photo-p182054