The Chronological Gospel –

To Jerusalem for the Festival of Tabernacles

Matthew 17:24-27, The Temple tax (Capernaum)
Luke 9:46, Mark 9:33-34, Luke 9:47, Mark 9:35, Matthew 18:3-5, Mark 9:37b, Luke 9:48b, Who is the greatest?
Mark 9:38-41, Matthew 18:6-9, Mark 8:48-50, Matthew 18:10-14, Whose side are you on?
Matthew 18:15-35, Forgiveness
John 7:1-10, Luke 9:51-56, A quiet journey to Jerusalem
Luke 9:57-62, Make up your mind
John 7:11-36, The Festival of Tabernacles (Jerusalem)
John 7:37-52, The Festival of Tabernacles, continued
John 7:53-8:11, The woman caught in adultery

More of The Chronological Gospel

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Matthew 17:24-27, The Temple tax (Capernaum) (6/2/14)

This is one of those times when I wonder, “Why on earth did I think that?” I always thought that this little scene took place in Jerusalem, I guess because the tax collectors were collecting the Temple tax. Duh. Verse 24 says it happened in Capernaum. Moreover, the Temple is sitting way up on top of Mt. Zion, so where exactly did I think this “lake” was? What a great opportunity for me to repeat myself: Read the Bible for yourselves, people, and don’t take my word for anything! By the way, John Wesley says that apparently the tax was voluntary, not required by any law.

Luke 9:46, Mark 9:33-34, Luke 9:47, Mark 9:35, Matthew 18:3-5, Mark 9:37b, Luke 9:48b, Who is the greatest? (6/3/14)

You know that sudden hush that comes over an unruly classroom when the teacher walks in? Jesus’ students (disciple means student) were arguing about which one of them was the greatest. We don’t know exactly what they meant – maybe “Who is second in command?” or “Who has memorized all the teachings of Jesus?” We are pretty sure that they didn’t mean “Who is the least important?” or “Who is willing to clean up all the dishes?” Jesus says that the latter group, and not the former, makes up the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Mark 9:38-41, Matthew 18:6-9, Mark 8:48-50, Matthew 18:10-14, Whose side are you on? (6/4/14)

My family was at a high-school basketball game when a foul was called against our team. My father embarrassed me considerably by yelling out, “Whose side are you on, Ref?!” I turned to hush my dad up and say, “Daddy! Of course he’s on our...” Wait a minute... the Ref wasn’t on anybody’s side. My dad was joking, and I felt foolish – but at least I didn’t say it out loud. So I know exactly how John must have felt when he proudly reported that he and the others had stopped a man from curing people because “he wasn’t on our side.” When Jesus corrected him and said that anybody who performs miracles in the name of Jesus is on our side, John must have felt very foolish indeed.

Jesus is not distracted from the topic at hand for long, however: how do you tell who is the most important? It’s the person who gives you a cup of water, the weak person, the lost person.

Matthew 18:15-35, Forgiveness (6/5/14)

Two points: *The only reason I can suggest for this error occurring in so many English translations is that most of the translators grew up on the King James Version, which has it wrong. International Standard Version has it right, so it’s not just that I’m crazy.

John 7:1-10, Luke 9:51-56, A quiet journey to Jerusalem (6/6/14)

I got an email with a bunch of old vaudeville jokes. One was “Short summary of every Jewish Holiday: They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.” It’s funny because it’s so true! The Festival of Tabernacles is one of the three feasts that every able-bodied Jewish male had to celebrate in Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 16:16). It occurs on the 15th day of the 7th month of the Jewish calendar, which normally falls in September or October on the Gregorian calendar. Jesus wanted to go to the feast without attracting attention.

“Well,” think James and John on the road, “Jesus wasn’t too happy with us for stopping that man from casting out demons, but maybe he’ll be happy if we bring down fire on a Samaritan village.” Not only was that not Jesus’ style, but it probably would have attracted a lot of attention. No wonder Jesus called James and John “the Sons of Thunder”!

Luke 9:57-62, Make up your mind (6/9/14)

So are you going to be a follower of Jesus or not? The good news is, you are free to make up your own mind. The bad news is, you have to make up your mind. My advice: decide now that you are going to follow Jesus, and get the Holy Spirit to help you work out the details as they come along.

John 7:11-36, The Festival of Tabernacles (Jerusalem) (6/10/14)

We remember that Jesus wanted to go down to the feast without drawing a lot of attention. Even so, people were talking about him all over Jerusalem, and, for whatever reason, he made himself known halfway through the celebration (about 3 or 4 days). Verses 25-29 are especially revealing about the state that things had come to between Jesus and the religious establishment. The ordinary people thought that the authorities wanted to kill Jesus, which left them puzzled about how he could speak openly without being arrested. Maybe the authorities knew after all that he was the Christ? On the other hand, they said, they “knew” Jesus was from Nazareth, and either (a) the Christ would from Bethlehem or (b) no one would know where the Christ was from. Finally, some of the people think Jesus is crazy (“you have a demon”), and others think that his miracles must show that he is indeed the Christ. The situation is becoming very polarized.

John 7:37-52, The Festival of Tabernacles, continued (6/11/14)

I normally expect, when reading the book of John, that on any particular occasion, either Jesus’ teaching or his miracle is going to be related to the occasion. This particular passage has puzzled me, because I couldn’t see how the “living water” was related the Feast of Tabernacles, which commemorates the time the children of Israel spent in the desert with Moses. John Wesley explains:
So Jesus is saying, drink water in the desert that you get out of a rock, and you will be thirsty again. Instead, drink the living water that I give you, as the prophet Zechariah has said (Zechariah 14:8).

John 7:53-8:11, The woman caught in adultery (6/12/14)

One difficulty (of several) in putting together a “true chronology” of Jesus’ ministry is that most scholars agree that we really don’t know where this incident belongs. It appears to be a fragment of John’s Gospel that was either separated very early from the rest of the manuscript – or possibly never was part of the original manuscript. Just about everybody agrees that it is a genuine writing of John. Some translations put it in a different place, and some put it in footnotes. Most translations seem to put it here, so in our study we’re going along with this traditional placement.

More of The Chronological Gospel

Birth Announcements and Early Lives of Jesus and John the Baptist
Early Ministries of Jesus and John the Baptist
Jesus’ Early Ministry
Jesus’ Galilean Ministry
Sabbath Controversies
The Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Plain
John the Baptist
Signs and Parables
Miracles and Mission Trips
Bread of Life
Miracles and Meanings
Transfiguration and Teachings
To Jerusalem for the Festival of Tabernacles
Some Results of Luke’s Research
More of Luke’s Research
On the Road Again
The Raising of Lazarus
Holy Week: Palm Sunday and Monday
Holy Week: Tuesday, Parables and Questions
Holy Week: Wednesday Part 1, Discussions
Holy Week: Wednesday Part 2, Be Ready!
Holy Week: Thursday Part 1, Jesus' Celebration of the Passover
Holy Week: Thursday Part 2, Jesus' Farewell Discourse
Holy Week: Friday Part 1, Jesus' Arrest and Two Informal Trials
Holy Week: Friday Part 2, More Trials
Holy Week: Friday, Part 3, and Saturday, Jesus' Death and Burial
The Empty Tomb
Final Appearances of Jesus Prior to Pentecost

Copyright 2014 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. Scripture readings are from the Weymouth New Testament (1912); caps indicate quotations from the Old Testament. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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