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Matthew, Mark, and Luke

Flight Plan:


Get your travel planner out for our opening tour of the New Testament and flight forty-five of the Bible from 30,000 Feet! This flight will take us on a sky-high tour over the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These three synoptic gospels give us our first glimpses of Jesus' life and death here on earth. We'll see the service, sermons, sacrifices, and sovereignty of our King as we witness the fulfillment of many of the Old Testament prophecies we have previously studied. The key chapters to review are Matthew 1-5 and 17, Mark, and Luke.

Detailed Notes:

DESTINATION: Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew, a Jewish tax collector called by Jesus to be one of His disciples. The exact date is unknown but traditionally accepted to be between 38-70 A.D. Matthew presents Jesus Christ as the true Messiah and King of the Jews. It was written in Aramaic, likely to the Jews scattered abroad who had no access to the apostles' teaching. Matthew's skill at being a record keeper made him quite capable of drawing together the facts of Jesus' life and the Old Testament references to Him. So that the Jews would become convinced of Jesus' authority as their King, he proves that Jesus was the Messiah by quoting their prophets.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

37 B.C.
Herod the Great begins to rule

c. 5 B.C.
Jesus is born

5/4 B.C.
Escape to Egypt

4 B.C.
Herod the Great dies

6 A.D.
Judea becomes a Roman province

c. 26 A.D.
Jesus begins His Ministry

c. 30 A.D.
Jesus' crucifixion

TRIP PLANNER:

Matthew organized his gospel into five sections, each of which ends with the phrase "When Jesus had finished..."

  1. Background of the Messiah.

  2. Appearance of Jesus in Galilee, declaring the spiritual and ethical principles of the Messianic Kingdom.

  3. Proofs of the Messiah's power over disease, nature, and death that established the program of His Messianic kingdom.

  4. The Parables of Jesus, intended both to reveal (to those ready for it) and conceal (to the rebellious) the kingdom of heaven using figures taken from everyday life.

  5. The events leading to His death on the cross emphasized four times by the relation of the Messianic death to prophecy.


PLACES OF INTEREST:

Galilee Region in the north of Palestine where Jesus spent most of his life and ministry. He called his disciples, many of them fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, in this area.

Capernaum Jesus' base of operations, on the north side of the Sea of Galilee. Here, Jesus healed the servant of the centurion and the mother-in-law of Peter.

Caesarea Philippi A town in the northern part of Palestine, near the source of the Jordan River, where Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?"

Judea Region in the southern part of Israel where Jerusalem is situated.

Jerusalem Also known as the City of David. Site of the Temple, and of the events in the last week of Jesus' life on earth.

Mount of Olives Situated just east of Jerusalem. The Garden of Gethsemane is at its base.

PEOPLE OF INTEREST:

Matthew One of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ; a Jewish tax collector from the tribe of Levi.

The Magi "Wise men from the east" who came seeking the King of the Jews. They were perhaps the first gentile worshippers of Jesus.

Simon, Andrew, James and John Four fishermen who became disciples of Jesus.

Pontius Pilate Roman governor of Judea in A.D. 26-36. He wanted to release Jesus, but finally submitted to the will of the mob and ordered His execution.

Mary Magdalene A woman out of whom Jesus cast seven demons. She was the first to see the resurrected Christ.

Caiaphas High priest who falsely pronounced Jesus guilty of blasphemy.

Judas Iscariot Disciple who betrayed Jesus to the chief priests for 30 pieces of silver.

FUN FACTS:

Matthew is the only Gospel that includes the stories of the visit of the wise men, and the flight of Mary and Joseph to Egypt (chapter 2).

Matthew was probably placed first in the four Gospels because at an early date it was received as authentic.

Matthew uses more Old Testament quotations and allusions than any other New Testament book.

The phrase "the kingdom of heaven" appears 32 times in Matthew, and nowhere else in New Testament.



DESTINATION: Mark

The theme of Mark is 'Christ the Servant.' This thrust is shown in 10:45, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many." The two themes of this verse, service and sacrifice, are unfolded throughout the book of Mark. Also, since Mark presents Jesus as the Worker and the Servant of the Lord, the book focuses on the activity of Christ as a faithful Servant effectively going about His work.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

27 B.C. - 14 A.D.
Caesar Augustus rules the Roman Empire

c. 5 B.C.
Birth of Jesus Christ

4 B.C. 39 A.D.
Herod Antipas rules Palestine

14-37 A.D.
Tiberius rules as Caesar

25 A.D.
Pilate becomes Roman governor of Judea

c. 26 A.D.
Jesus Christ's ministry begins

c. 30 A.D.
Jesus' crucifixion

TRIP PLANNER:

The purpose of the gospel of Mark is simply to announce the words and works of Jesus Christ the Servant. At 16 chapters, it is the briefest of all the gospels, which would have suited the simple, straightforward approach that was favored by the Romans. Mark's gospel is filled with action and focuses heavily on the final three weeks of the life of Jesus. The book of Mark can be broken down into five sections:

The Servant's introduction (1:1-8)
The Servant's identification (1:9-11)
The Servant's initiation (1:12-13)
The Servant's illumination through works and words (1:14-13:37)
The Servant's impassioned sacrifice (14:1-16:20)

PLACES OF INTEREST:

Galilee Region north of Samaria which included the cities of Capernaum, Tiberius and Nazareth.

Capernaum Jesus' 'home base,' of the Sea of Galilee. Five of Jesus' disciples were from here: Peter, James, John, Andrew and Matthew.

Judea Region in the southern part of Israel where Jerusalem is situated.

Jerusalem Also known as the City of David. Site of the Temple, and of the events in the last week of Jesus' life on earth.

Bethany - A village on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives, less than two miles from Jerusalem.

PEOPLE OF INTEREST:

John the Baptist The forerunner of Jesus Christ. He and his mission were foretold by Isaiah (Isa. 40:3) and by Malachi (Mal. 3:1).

Herod Antipas Ruler of Palestine in the time of Jesus. Jesus called him a "fox" (Luke 13:32).

Pontius Pilate Roman governor of Judea in A.D. 26-36. He wanted to release Jesus, but finally submitted to the will of the mob and ordered His execution.

Mary Magdalene A woman out of whom Jesus cast seven demons. She was the first to see the resurrected Christ.

Pharisees A Jewish group who were looked upon as the most accurate interpreters of the Laws of Moses. They added many regulations to the Law.

Sadducees A Jewish group that believed only in the written law. They rejected the tradition of the elders, and did not believe in a resurrection of the body.

FUN FACTS:

Mark, the gospel of action Mark uses the word 'and' 1,331 times, showing that he was likely a busy man writing to busy people about a busy Person. Mark also uses the action word 'immediately' numerous times throughout the book.

A streaker in the garden Mark may have been writing about himself when he wrote of the naked young man fleeing from the Garden of Gethsemane. This account is not mentioned in the other gospels, which may indicate that Mark had special knowledge of this event.

Mark is addressed primarily to the Roman or Gentile reader. As a result, the genealogy of Jesus is omitted, along with the Sermon on the Mount.

Mark uses the Greek euqus, "immediately, at once," or "then, so then," 42 times in his Gospel. Another illustration of this active focus is his prominent use of the historic present to describe a past event, which was evidently done for vividness.


DESTINATION: Luke

Bible scholars generally agree that the Gospel of Luke was written around 70 A.D. It was specifically addressed to an individual named Theophilus, a Gentile, and is a complete account of Jesus Christ from His birth and ministry to His crucifixion and resurrection. The third and longest of the Synoptic Gospels, Luke focuses on Christ's teachings about salvation and His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah--in logical order.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

27 B.C. - 14 A.D.
Caesar Augustus rules the Roman Empire

c. 5 B.C.
Birth of Jesus Christ

4 B.C. - 39 A.D.
Herod Antipas rules Palestine

c. 7 A.D.
Jesus visits Jerusalem as a child

14-37 A.D.
Tiberius rules as Caesar

25 A.D.
Pilate becomes Roman governor of Judea

c. 26 A.D.
Jesus Christ's ministry begins

c. 30 A.D.
Jesus' crucifixion

51-64 A.D.
Luke's ministry

TRIP PLANNER:

The specific emphasis of Luke is on Christ's humanity, and as God's Son. Luke also stresses Christ's kindness toward the weak, suffering and outcast. The Gospel of Luke gives us specific details so we can trust the reliability of the history of Christ's life on earth. Luke 2:11 announces Jesus as "Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Savior identifies His mission; Christ the Lord identifies Him as the Messiah of Judaism.

PLACES OF INTEREST:

Galilee Region north of Samaria which included the cities of Capernaum, Tiberius and Nazareth.

Capernaum Built along the edge of the Sea of Galilee, it was Jesus' 'home base.' Five of Jesus' disciples were from here: Peter, James, John, Andrew and Matthew. Capernaum is one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith.

Bethsaida A seaside village on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus directed His disciples to go on ahead of Him after the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000.

Caesarea Philippi Located 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the base of Mt. Hermon; the location of one of the largest springs feeding the Jordan River.

Judea Region in the southern part of Israel where Jerusalem is situated.

Jerusalem Also known as the City of David. Site of the Temple, and of the events in the last week of Jesus' life on earth.

Bethany - A village on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives, less than two miles from Jerusalem.

Mount Hermon Historically, it served as the northern boundary of the Promised Land. Jesus' Transfiguration occurred here.

Mount of Olives Situated just east of Jerusalem. The Garden of Gethsemane is at its base.

PEOPLE OF INTEREST:

Luke A physician and artist, he was Paul's traveling companion and close associate. He wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.

John the Baptist (or Baptizer) The forerunner of Jesus Christ. John's mother was a cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. John was imprisoned and beheaded by Herod Antipas.

Mary, mother of Jesus Mary may have been around 15 years old when she was betrothed to Joseph. After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph had other sons and daughters (mentioned in Matthew 13:55-56 and Mark 6:3).

Simeon A devout Jew who had been promised by the Holy Ghost that he would not die until he had seen the Savior.

Anna A prophetess who "never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying."

Zacchaeus A tax-gatherer who was so short that he had to climb a tree to see Jesus in a crowd.

FUN FACTS:

Luke's name is mentioned only three times in the New Testament; in one of these he is referred to as the beloved physician.

Luke was the only Gentile to contribute to the New Testament.

Luke wrote more words in the New Testament than Paul did.

The name Theophilus means "lover of God," so the book could have addressed to a specific person or to anyone who fits that description.