We pick up the life and ministry of Jesus in the early fall of 29 A.D. He and his disciples, who are in Capernaum at the time, leave the city and begin to travel though Galilee (Mark 9:30, Matthew 17:22). Their ultimate destination will end up being Jerusalem, which they will visit twice before the end of the year (to observe the Feast of Tabernacles (one of God's annual Feast periods) and Hanukkah).
As the group travels through the area called Galilee, his physical brothers meet up with him (likely in Nazareth). They strongly admonish their stepbrother to expand his popularity by openly performing miracles, in Jerusalem, during the upcoming fall Feast (John 7:2 - 8). Although Jesus declines their offer to journey with them to the city (a trip of 74 miles or 119 kilometers), he secretly goes to Jerusalem several days after they leave him (John 7:9 - 10).
Jesus does not begin publically teaching at Jerusalem's temple until the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:14). He tells the Jews that they, in spite of what they believe, do not keep God's laws and then asks why they seek to take his life. He additionally affirms that the Father sent him to earth to fulfill His will (14 - 31). The Pharisees and chief priests, upon hearing reports that the crowds are debating whether Jesus is the promised Messiah, send officers to arrest him (verse 32).
When the Last Great Day of the feast begins (at sunset on October 17) Jesus loudly proclaims that if anyone is thirsty (spiritually) they should come to him to drink (John 7:37 - 39). The officers dispatched to arrest him return to the Pharisees empty-handed. They state that, after hearing him speak unlike any other man they have known, their consciences would not allow them to apprehend him. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who hears the report of the officers, tries in vain to defend Jesus before the other Jewish religious leaders present (40 - 53).
The Adulterous Woman
Jesus, while still in Jerusalem after the Feast, is brought an adulterous woman caught by some religious leaders (John 8:3). They seek to know how he would judge her and her sin, given that Old Testament law demanded her life (verse 5, see also Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22 - 24). His brief response, coupled with words he writes on the ground (which the Bible does not reveal), convicts their consciences. They, one by one, leave the area until all those who accused the woman are gone (John 8:3 - 11).
Children of the devil
The Pharisees, on likely the same day as the incident with the adulterous woman, verbally attack Jesus while he is teaching in the temple treasury area (John 8:12 - 29). He responds to their accusations by stating they will die in their sins. He also tells them (and other Jews) that, although they are physically descended from Abraham, their spiritual father is actually Satan the devil! After he is twice accused of being possessed by a demon, the Lord not only rightfully labels his accusers as liars but also makes the startling declaration that he is the "I AM" or God of the Old Testament! Those who hear him begin to gather stones to kill him for blasphemy! Jesus, however, because it was not yet his time to die, escapes out of the temple (John 8:30 - 59).
Jesus, on a weekly Sabbath day, heals a man born blind by having him wash in Jerusalem's Siloam pool (John 9:1 - 41). After the Pharisees quiz the man about who healed him and how it was done, he is cast (excommunicated) out of the synagogue! The Lord finds the man and reveals to him that he is the Messiah. After giving the parable of the good Shepherd (10:1 - 21) Christ and the disciples travel back to Capernaum (Matthew 17:24).
In Capernaum Jesus performs a miracle in order to pay for his and Peter's temple tax (Matthew 17:24 - 27). The disciples soon begin to dispute, among themselves, who will be the greatest in God's kingdom. They soon learn that only those who have the spiritual attitude of a child will enter eternal life (Matthew 18:1 - 5, Mark 9:33 - 37, Luke 9:46 - 48). A man is also allowed to continue to perform healings even though he is not one of the disciples (Mark 9:38 - 41, Luke 9:49 - 50).
Jesus, while still in the city, warns his disciples about offending those who are spiritually "little children" and tells them about God's loving concern for even one person (Matthew 18:6 - 14, Mark 9:42 - 50). He additionally instructs them on how to resolve difficulties between people (Matthew 18:15 - 17) and gives Christians authority to make binding decisions regarding disputes (verses 18 - 20). After commanding that believers should offer unlimited forgiveness to others (verses 21 - 22), Christ gives the parable of the unforgiving servant (verses 23 - 35).
Samaria and Perea
Jesus and the disciples leave Capernaum and the Galilee region for Samaria. Their ultimate destination is Jerusalem for the Feast of Dedication (also called Festival of Lights or Hanukkah) which occurs in late December (Luke 9:51, John 10:22). James and John, as the group travels through Samaria, are rebuked for wanting to destroy a Samaritan village because of their rejection of the Lord (Luke 9:51 - 56, Matthew 19:1 - 2, Mark 10:1).
Seventy of the disciples are sent to prepare the way for Christ in cities he will soon visit (Luke 10:1 - 24). After they return, the famous Good Samaritan parable (verses 25 - 37) is given. Jesus and the disciples, at a location Scripture does not delineate, soon cross over to the eastern side of the Jordan River or Perea (Matthew 19:1, Mark 10:1). The group eventually arrives in Bethany (verses 38 - 42) where Jesus is a dinner guest of Mary and Martha.
Jesus promises, after teaching the disciples how to pray, that the Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask (Luke 11:1 - 13). He then casts a demon out of a man only to be accused that HE has one (14 - 26)! The multitudes who hear him speak learn that the ONLY sign that will be given that he is the Messiah is the sign of Jonah (29 - 32). He is soon invited to a Pharisees' house for a meal (verse 37). During the meal Jesus warns the religious leaders in attendance about their vanity, pettiness and other sins (Luke 11:37 - 52).
A large crowd, which gathered outside the home where Jesus had a meal, is warned by him to be wary of the hypocrisy of religious leaders (Luke 12:1 - 3). They are also taught about the unpardonable sin, that life is more than possessions, and that the highest priority one can have is seeking God's kingdom (Luke 12:1 - 34). After additional teachings, the parable of the unfruitful fig tree is given (Luke 13:6 - 9).
Later, at a time unspecified in the Bible, Jesus teaches in a synagogue. He mercifully heals a woman who had been physically bent over for eighteen years. The ruler of the synagogue receives a stinging rebuke after chastising Christ for healing on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10 - 17). Following this event the parables of the mustard seed and the hidden leaven (verses 18 - 21) are given.
Someone soon approaches Jesus wondering how many people God will ultimately save. In response, he gives a parable about a narrow gate and warns that salvation cannot be received simply by knowing who he is and what he teaches (Luke 13:23 - 30). Later, he informs the Pharisees that not only will his life be taken in Jerusalem, the city and it magnificent temple will soon be destroyed (verses 31 - 35).
Jesus attends the Festival of Dedication (Hanukkah) in Jerusalem that runs from sunset December 18 to sunset on the 26th. During the celebration, after stating he and God the Father were "one," the Jews take up stones to kill him. He escapes being killed (John 10:22 - 39) and soon leaves for the eastern side of the Jordan River.
Next Map in Life of Jesus Series
His Last Travels