Daily Bible Study Tips: Reader Questions Answered

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Does the Bible indicate that Jesus knew he would be resurrected? (2007)

Yes, Jesus predicted his death and resurrection on several occasions. In addition, he did and said things that the disciples, after the resurrection, interpreted as allusions to the resurrection that they had missed at the time.

By the way, I think the most convincing element of the resurrection accounts is that The change in these people between Good Friday and Pentecost is, to my mind, absolute proof of the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

After the Cleansing of the Temple

John reports an incident that occurred very early in Jesus’ ministry.
By the way, Matthew, Mark, and Luke report a similar cleansing of the Temple very late in the ministry, but the question by the Jews and Jesus’ answer are not repeated there. Considerable ink has been expended to reconcile the differences between John’s account and that of the Synoptic Gospels. John Wesley said, “it is a stated rule in interpreting Scripture, never to depart from the plain, literal sense, unless it implies an absurdity.” It appears to me that there are enough differences between the accounts that it is easiest, and in no way absurd, to interpret them as two similar incidents two or three years apart.

On Various Occasions during the Ministry

The Sadducees came to Jesus with a trick question, designed to embarrass him either by catching him in an error of logic or by making him deny resurrection (which would offend the Pharisees). Jesus made it clear that resurrection in general is a fact, but that their question is meaningless. He is not talking specifically about his own resurrection here.
On another occasion, Jesus talks about the “sign of Jonah.”
No one knows for sure whether this is a prediction of the resurrection by Jesus. The parallel passage in Matt. 16:4 stops after “Jonah,” and Luke 11:29-32 puts a different spin on the sign of Jonah—preaching and repentance. So there are at least two possibilities here:
When his disciples were ready for some hard lessons, Jesus began to teach them explicitly about his impending death and resurrection. This passage is parallel to Mark 8:27-31 and Luke 9:18-21. Notice that Jesus does not talk explicitly about his death and resurrection until after his disciples recognize him as the Christ.
Jesus talks explicitly about his death and resurrection a second time in Mark 9 and parallel passages in Matthew 17:22-23 and Luke 9:44-45. The disciples still don’t understand it, which some commentaries interpret to mean that they were prevented by the Holy Spirit from understanding it. I don’t think this explanation is necessary. If someone said to you, “Don’t worry, I’ll be home right after my funeral,” would you understand it?

At the Last Supper

At the Last Supper, Jesus spent much of the evening reiterating his teachings and trying to prepare the disciples for the coming days. He mentions the resurrection twice. They still didn’t get it.

At His Trial

Unless you count the one passage about the sign of Jonah, the first time Jesus talks explicitly about the resurrection to anyone outside the circle of his disciples is at his trial. The reason is obvious from the high priest’s reaction.

Memories of the Disciples, after the Resurrection

John, who had the keenest spiritual insight of the disciples, understood the predictions immediately when he saw the empty tomb.
By the day of Pentecost, all eleven of the disciples, together with another 100 or so close followers, finally understood what Jesus had been saying all along. In Acts 2:25-28, Peter quotes Psalms 16 as a prophecy of the resurrection:

Copyright 2007, 2011 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

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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