- Pick up with where Nate and Cristi left off with developing a prayer life.
- How to resist the temptation to perform dead works (Hebrews 6:1; Hebrews 9:14)
- Justification (Saved by Jesus) Ephesians 2:8. – We are saved by grace alone through faith alone.
- Sanctification (Becoming like Jesus) Romans 6:19 – We submit to Jesus’ leadership and obey his foundational teachings to give, serve, fast, pray and love our enemies.
- Glorification (Rewards from Jesus) Romans 8:30 – Jesus’ response to our obedience.
Gospels in Order
- By putting the gospel events in order, we pick up patterns and trends that would otherwise go unnoticed. The Holy Spirit wants to help us.
- We will skip a rock across the 4 gospels today to pick up one of those trends.
- Jesus experiences a year of popularity then a year of opposition until the cross.
Mark 3:13-15 | 21 months to the cross – Jesus calls the 12
- And He went up on the mountain (to pray Luke 6:12) and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve so that they might be with him and He might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.
- Put a pin in it 1.To be with Him 2.Send them out to preach 3.Cast out demons (Power over darkness)
- SOTM Luke 6 or Matthew 5-7 What did Jesus call them to preach? Mark 6:12 Says “They went out and preached that people should repent.” What is repentance? To change your mind, resulting in a change of actions.
- Repent – Original Word: μετανοέω. Transliteration: metanoeó. Definition: to change one’s mind or purpose. Usage: I repent, change my mind, change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God), repent.
- Jesus comes down from the mountain and gives the “Ethical Manifesto of the Kingdom”. Clear message of repentance. He teaches five foundational practices for the Kingdom: 1. Serving, 2. Giving, 3.Prayer, 4.Fasting, and 5.Blessing your enemies.
- 6 times He references an old way of thinking: “You have heard that it was said…” then introduces a new way: “but I say”.
- Matthew 7 Jesus’ popularity begins to rise as the crowds were “astonished” because he taught as one with “authority”.
Luke 7 | 21 months to the cross – Raises Window’s son in Nain
In the city of Nain Jesus’ popularity goes to another level when He raises the widow’s son from the dead – v17 “And this report about Him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.”
Luke 8:22-26 | 17 months to the cross – Calms the Storm
He calms the storm, heals the woman with the issue of blood, and then invites his inner circle (James, Peter, and John) to witness Jarius’ daughter being raised from the dead. All this strengthens the disciples’ confidence in His message and His power.
Matthew 12:1-16 | 17 months to the cross – Withered Hand
Jesus’ popularity grows more as He heals a man with a withered hand on the sabbath. The Pharisees conspire against Him. Jesus withdraws but many followed Him, and we read that “He healed them all.”
Matthew 10 | 14 months to the cross – Sends the 12
He anoints the 12 to expand the movement. Power to proclaim the good news, power over devils, and power over sickness. It’s no longer one man walking in power in Galilee but 13 men, as the popularity of Jesus is exploding in the region. Luke 9:6 “And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.”
Matthew 14 | 14 months to the cross
The popularity of the movement has risen rapidly. By this time He’s fed the 5000, walked on water, and healed as many as would come to Him. Herod wants to meet with Him. Multitudes are following Him, and the religious leaders are trying to devise a way to kill Him.
Mark 7:31-37 | 1 year to the cross – Heals the deaf man
Once again, Jesus’ popularity grows even more as He heals a deaf man with a speech impediment. But He charged them to not tell anyone. It says in Mark 7:36 “And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.“
Matthew 15 | 9 months to the cross – feeds 4000
He feeds the 4000 and everything in the ministry is increasing; His momentum is exploding. Everything seems to be trending in the right direction, from our and the disciples’ perspective.
Matthew 16 | 6 Months before the cross
- Something changes. At the pinnacle of the movement, Jesus warns the 12 disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees (hypocrisy). Something is about to be exposed.
- Jesus starts to speak to them about their deficiencies and small compromises that, if left unchecked, will unfold into a life of hypocrisy, just like the pharisees.
- He takes them away from the popularity, the crowd, ministry opportunities – away from the momentum – and reorients them to Himself: v15 “Who do you say that I am?”
- Peter answers v16: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus responds, “Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you.”
- v21 Jesus unveils the conclusion of the messianic mission (the cross) to His “leadership team” and Peter rebukes Him.
- Mark 8:33 “But turning and seeing his disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.'”
- The entire narrative of the gospels will now shift from ministry expansionism to exposing the weaknesses and deficiencies of the disciples.
“For the next 6 months, the true nature of the disciples’ hearts are going to come to the surface, as Jesus is going to allow for a season of decline in both power and ministry impact up to the cross. Their popularity is going to wain, their weaknesses in leadership are going to show. Their powerlessness and insufficiency in the scriptures is going to be revealed. Their lack of unity, their propensity to violence, anger, doubt and despair… For the next 6 months they will be confronted with pride, prayerlessness, selfish ambition, violence, weakness in their ministry thought processes, doubt and denial. All these weaknesses will emerge from the lives of the disciples. The issue is that they have been leaning on another man’s anointing since Matthew 10 but have not developed a life in prayer to sustain the anointing.”
(Allen Hood paraphrase)
Matthew 17 | 6 days later, the Mount of Transfiguration
Jesus is being revealed in His Glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah appear and talk to Jesus about his departure. Peter, instead of listening to Jesus, wants to build structure on the mountain that functions as a ministry center. “Let’s set up shop right here.” (Isaiah 2) Matthew 17:6 “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
Luke 9:37 | The next day, the episode with the epileptic boy
The other nine disciples’ powerlessness is exposed as they fail to heal the boy with epilepsy due to their lack of faith. Mark 9:29 He told them, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
Matthew 18 | 6 months to the cross
- A dispute arises among the disciples. This dispute will last for 6 months.
- Matthew 18:1 “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
- Mark 9:33-34 “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.
- Luke 9:46“ An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest..”
- Why this dispute? Since Matthew 10, they have been walking in the power, and now they are beginning to take “spiritual inventory” of each other and their accomplishments.
Mark 10 | 6 months to the cross – “Can we sit at your right and left?”
- Jesus foretells His death again. The Son of Man will be delivered over to the authorities and condemned to death. Mark 10:34 “And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
- James and John and John come at Him in Mark 10:35. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
- Their mom gets involved, asking for “a favor”: Make my sons sit at your left and right for all eternity ruling over the entire human race.
- Mark 10:38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
- Can you live a sinless life and then bear the wrath of God on behalf of the sins of the entire world? Can you drink of THAT cup? And they say “Yes, we can drink of that cup.”
- James and John will become the “bookends” to the apostolic martyrs, James being martyred first of the 12 and John being martyred last.
- The other ten hear the conversation. It says they “became indignant” with James and John.
Luke 9:51-56 | 5-6 months to the cross – “Call fire down“
- Jesus and His disciples are headed to Judea (Jerusalem) from Galilee. Samaria is in between.
- John and James ask if they can send fire in Samaria. They have a spirit of murder on their lives.
- Their mission statement has some conflicts. I want to save people and you want to kill them.
- John: “If I call down fire like Elijah, surely I would be recognized as the greatest.”
Luke 11 | 4-5 months to the cross – “Teach us to pray“
- The disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray.
- More than 2 years in the messianic ministry together, and this is the first they have asked. The word tells us had been going to “lonely places” to pray. Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (NIV)
- Jesus then teaches them a prayer He had already taught them 1.5 years prior in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:7-15
- The disciples are now connecting the dots. Their inability to heal the epileptic boy is linked to their lack of prayer. But they love casting out demons and healing sick. Prayer then becomes an addendum instead of the fuel to the ministry.
- There are 12 instances recorded in the Gospels of Jesus praying. Not one mentions the disciples praying. They either, fall asleep, interrupt him praying or stay at a distance.
- Matthew 14:23 – And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
- Matthew 26:41 – Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- Matthew 26:42 – Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
- Matthew 26:44 – So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.
- Mark 1:35 – And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
- Mark 6:46 – And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
- Luke 5:16 (ESV) – But he would withdraw to desolate places (NIV says “lonely places”) and pray
- Luke 6:12 – In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
- Luke 9:18 – Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
- Luke 9:28 – Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
- Luke 11:1 – Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
- Luke 22:41 – And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,
Luke 12 | 3 months to the cross – Jesus warns of the leaven again
- Jesus warns about what we whisper in the dark (say and do). We might be dignified to hide it for a season. But, in moments of pressure, those dark deeds will work their way to the surface and be seen by the people around us. Jesus’ warning is to be careful with our interior life before God.
- Luke 12:3 “Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”
John 13 – The Passover Meal
- It all comes to a head at the Passover meal.
- Jesus washes the disciples feet.
- Peter reveals his false humility – v9 “Wash my hands and head.”
- Jesus reveals that He is about to be betrayed. The disciples argue about who it is. A dispute ensues. Luke 22:24 “A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.”
Mark 14 – Gethsemane
- Mark 14:34 “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.”
- Jesus prays and 3 times stops to see if the disciples are praying. All three times they are asleep.
- Mark 14:37 “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- Peter tries to decapitate one of the priest’s servants. Jesus is arrested, the disciples flee, Peter denies him 3 times.
- By mid-afternoon the next day, the once powerful movement of Matthew 10 is dead. Judas is hanging dead. The prophetic promises to Mary at the incarnation are dead. Jesus is dead. Peter has wept bitterly over his denial, and the rest of the disciples have scattered back to their insignificant lives.
John 20 – The resurrection
- We know that’s not how the story ends. In John chapter 20 Jesus comes out of the grave, and over the next 40 days Jesus appears to over 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:3–7), teaching and restoring His followers.
- John 21:15-19 – In the garden, Jesus gave Peter 3 opportunities to pray (to resist the temptation to deny Jesus 3 times). This would have prevented the consequent 3 days of shame. After His resurrection, Jesus restores Peter, having him confess his love for Jesus 3 times.
- Luke 24:49 – After 40 days, at the ascension, Jesus instructs His followers to wait for the “Promise of the Father” in Jerusalem.
- Luke 11:13; Luke 24:49; John 7:39; John 14:16; John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:7 – the Promise of the Father
- The Apostles go to Jerusalem and pray. They are baptized by the Spirit in Acts 2.
- There becomes a clear contrast between the disciples’ prayer lives in the Gospels versus the Book of Acts.
Acts 1:14 – “All these were continually devoting themselves with one mind to prayer.”
Acts 6 – The Apostles’ devotion
- Acts 6 it all comes full circle: “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
- The rest of the book of Acts is filled with testimonies of the disciples walking with power over darkness, sickness, and disease.
- This brings us back to our original calling in Matthew 10.
- In conclusion, a life of prayer produces…
- Power on our words – Speak with the authority of the Holy Spirit.
- Power on our hands – Power over sickness, death, disease and darkness.
- Power on our hearts – That we would endure with faith in all circumstances.