THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE GOSPELS

From the four gospels, we read how the Jewish leaders persecuted Jesus and sought to slay him because he had done such things as healing on the Sabbath and claiming that God was his Father.

On more than one occasion they tried to stone him for declaring that God was his Father but he was delivered from them while the stones were still in their hands. On numerous occasions they attempted to end his life but they could not touch him because his hour (the hour in which he would glorify his Father by his death and resurrection) had not yet come.

Luke tells us that at the beginning of his ministry he came to Nazareth where he had grown up. While there, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day according to his custom and read from the book of Isaiah that was handed to him to read. Jesus read from Isaiah 61 and announced among other things that he is the Messiah.

This angered those who heard him so much that they wanted to kill him. The angry listeners rose up and forced Jesus out of the city. They lead him to a cliff on the hill upon which their city was built. They had every intention of throwing Jesus head first over the side of the cliff; however, Jesus walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

His life was in the Father’s hand and no one could take it from him prematurely. Yet the Bible tells us that at one point later in his ministry he chose to leave Judea because he knew that the Jewish leaders were plotting his death.

There was real unrest amongst the Jews because of those who opposed Jesus and it had become public knowledge that the religious leaders wanted to kill him. They tried on numerous occasions to arrest him but could not because his time had not yet come.

The confrontation between Jesus and those who wanted to silence him; namely the religious authorities, became so intense that they would stop at nothing to destroy him. The Jewish leaders were so adamant in their efforts to stop him that they agreed together to expel from the Synagogue anyone who confessed or believed that Jesus is the Messiah and they publicly ordered that anyone seeing Jesus must report it immediately so they could arrest him.

They became so obsessed with destroying him that they eventually decided to kill Lazarus also (whom Jesus had raised from the dead) because many people had believed in Jesus because of Lazarus. The religious authorities did not know him nor did they know God who had sent him. The truth in Jesus so angered them and hardened their hearts against God who had sent him that they were blinded by the truth in Jesus.

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. ~ John 12:37-41


In John 9:1-6 Jesus had healed a man that had been born blind on the Sabbath day and this caused quite a backlash from the Pharisees. It was already enough that they hated Jesus but the fact that he had done this miracle on the Sabbath only infuriated them all the more. They were so against Jesus that they refused to believe the man’s testimony and expelled him from the Synagogue for testifying that it was Jesus who had given him his sight.

When Jesus heard how the man had been treated he sought and found the man and asked him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” The man responded by saying; “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe in?” Jesus then said to him, “You have both seen him, and it is he that talks with thee.” The man then replied; “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Jesus.

Jesus then made this incredible statement; “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind” (TNLT).

When some of the Pharisees heard Jesus say this they asked him; “Are we blind also?” In response to their question, Jesus said to them, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth” (KJV).

They were blind because they refused to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and they refused to believe the works which he did in his Father’s name. They refused to accept the works which God did through him because they did not know God. Jesus address their damnation to his disciples privately when he said the following:

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. ~ John 15:22-25

God did not send Jesus to be the recipient of his judgment. On the contrary, God placed all judgment into the hands of his Son. Jesus was entrusted with absolute authority over all things and this included the authority to judge.

The words which Jesus spoke from the Father and the works which he did in his Father’s name testified that he was the one sent from God to be the Savior of the world. Those who would not hear him nor believe the works he did rejected God and thereby bring condemnation upon themselves.

Jesus is the one whom God ordained to be the Judge of living and the dead (Acts 10:42) and this is what Jesus is referring to in John 5:20-30.

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. ~ John 5:20-30

The Father gave to his Son absolute authority to judge and he gave to the Son absolute authority over all things. In John 12 Jesus declares that his death and resurrection would mean judgment upon both the world and the prince of this world;

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. ~ John 12:31

When Jesus began his ministry, he announced that the Kingdom of God had arrived. By the power of the Holy Spirit he overcame this world and that is why he could say to his disciple in private; “I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33

When Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, He fulfilled the scripture which says; “Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.’” ~ Matthew 12:5 TNLT

The Pharisees then declared; “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him!” (John 12:19 TNLT). Jesus was in complete control for the Father had placed all authority into his hands but instead of making himself King for his own glory, he chose to lay down his life for the Glory of God.

He did not exalt himself to be King but instead surrendered his life to the will of his Father to be the offering for our sin. He gave his life as a ransom for many. He is the Servant-King!

Jesus laid down his life so that the world would know that he loves the Father (John 14:29-31) and He glorified God by giving his life as a ransom for our sins (John 13:31-32). The gospel repeatedly describes his death as his departure and his going to the Father (John 13:1, 3; 16:5-7, 10, and 28). He described the laying down of His life as that of a corn of wheat falling into the ground and dying which afterwards brings forth a great harvest.

Jesus laid down his life because of his love for us (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16) and death could not hold him because he is the resurrection and the life (John 11). Jesus gave his life to redeem us with His precious blood and he conquered death for us by his resurrection so that all who believe in him would have the remission of sins and life from the dead.

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