"The World Has Gone After Him"
Fred R. Coulter—April 26, 1986

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio
Track 1: or Download

Here in Deuteronomy 18:15 is showing the prophecy of Jesus Christ. Let's tie that together with some of the events that occurred. Let's go to Deuteronomy 34:9 first—here again is another prophecy about Jesus Christ and also it talks about a statement about Moses, showing how important that Moses was. This statement that is written here is a editorial comment written perhaps during the days of Hezekiah. Remember, Hezekiah went into the temple and they found the book of the Law and they helped compile many of the things together. Also, there is an indication that that could have been an editorial comment by Ezra and Nehemiah after they came out of the Babylonian captivity.

Deuteronomy 34:9: "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the Spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. And the children of Israel hearkened to him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. And there has not arisen a prophet like Moses since then in Israel, whom the LORD knew face-to-face, in all the signs and the wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel" (vs 9-12).

That's quite a statement—isn't it? "…there has not arisen a prophet…" Obviously, Moses didn't write that, because he was dead. This was an editorial addition that God inspired to be put in there—either during the days of Hezekiah or during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.

The book of Daniel, chapter 9, tells about the prophecies of when Jesus would come. I'm not going to go through and expound the whole thing, but just to show that it's talking about when the Messiah would come. This is the 70-week prophecy. This was given by God to Daniel and written and recorded by Daniel during the Babylonian captivity. You know that the Jews have studied, that they knew what the prophecies were. They knew the 70-week prophecy shows that the Messiah would come at the end of 70-weeks. When we get to the New Testament we're going to see that they also understood that that was the time for Jesus to come.

Malachi 4 gives us an indication of what the Jews were told to look for. Malachi was the last prophet to write, then after this the Jews went into a decline in writing in the Bible because they went through the situation of the Hellenization with the Greeks; they went through Macabean revolution and then you come down to the time of a high priest called John Hercanis, which was about 165B.C. and that was the last miracle that was done, the very last miracle.

Malachi 4:4: "'Remember the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with utter destruction." (vs 4-6).

This also indicated what they were looking for. The Jews today are still looking for Elijah. As a matter of fact, when they have their Passover and set their Passover, they set an empty chair and an empty plate for Elijah. They don't realize that John the Baptist was Elijah. Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah, the one who would come.

Matthew 2:1: "Now, after Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, Magi from the east arrived at Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and have come to worship Him'" (vs 1-2).

There are many secular theories that people have concerning the star in the east. Some say it was Halley's Comet, and others say it was another comet. I think it was a special star along with a situation with an angel, because we know angels are also called stars and that actually led them where they were to go. If it were Halley's Comet, how could it lead them where to go, stop and then reappear? Besides, you can't see Halley's Comet very well unless it comes really close to the earth.

Verse 3: "But when Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And after gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ should be born" (vs 3-4). The chief priests and the scribes were the keepers of the Word of God. They understood what was in it; they were the ones who read it.

Notice their answer, v 5: "Then they said to him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea… [They knew exactly where He was] …for thus it has been written by the prophet: "And you, Bethlehem, land of Judea, in no way are you least among the princes of Judea; for out of you shall come forth a Prince, Who shall shepherd My people Israel"'" (vs 5-6). They understood where He was to be born. They understood when He was coming.

Verse 7: "Then Herod secretly called for the Magi and ascertained from them the exact time of the appearing of the star…. [he's trying to find out exactly when it was] …And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, 'Go and search diligently for the little child; and when you have found Him, bring word back to me, so that I also may go and worshipHim'" (vs 7-8). You know the rest of the story: He didn't want to worship Christ. He didn't want to have competition as king—one born King of the Jews!

Let's see if others also understood about the coming of Christ and knew who they were looking for. We know the whole account of John the Baptist, so I'm going to assume we know certain parts of the Bible.

  • We know that John the Baptist who was sent to prepare the way for Jesus Christ.
  • We know that he baptized with water.
  • We know that he baptized for the remission of sins saying to them to believe on the One Who should follow.
  • We know that John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ, who is called 'the Lamb of God' (Matt. 1:29).

Did they know that Christ was about to appear? If they didn't know Christ was about to appear then these questions would be strange indeed! Remember the miracle that took place with John the Baptist's father Zacharias who was priest at the temple. They knew that he saw the vision of the angel, and that was the first miracle that occurred from the time of John Hercanis. They had 165 years with no miracles, no oracles from God, the urium and thumin didn't work—the breastplate of the stones that they put on. Josephus records that the urium and thumin did not work from the time of John Hercanis on.

Then John the Baptist's father Zacharias is given this tremendous message from the angel Gabriel right inside the temple, and remember they wondered why he was in there so long. He came out and he couldn't speak. It was just a small word by the angel. Zacharias said, 'How will this be?' And the angel said, 'You didn't believe me, you're not going to speak for the term of this baby being carried by your wife.' Here John the Baptist's father comes out of the temple motioning, and everyone knew that something happened and he said that he 'saw a vision.'

This has to do with John the Baptist when he was baptizing, John 1:19: "And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?'" Have you ever thought about asking: Why did they send priests and Levites out there? Why would they send them clear down to John the Baptist and say, 'Who are you? What are you doing?
Verse 20: "Then he freely admitted, and did not deny, but declared, 'I am not the Christ.'" Why would he say he wasn't the Christ if they weren't looking for the Christ, if some people didn't come and say, 'Are you the Christ?' If they would ask if he were the Christ, then that they understood that it was about time for Jesus to come.

Verse 21: "And they asked him, 'Then who are you? Are you Elijah?'…." 'Elias (KJV) because all male Greek names end in 's.' What else does this tell us? They were looking for the one Elijah before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Mal. 4). These are intelligent questions—aren't they? They are very specific. If they hadn't read the Bible and if they didn't know the prophecies of it, they wouldn't be able to ask these questions. It wasn't just the ordinary Jew; it was the priests and the Levites and they are the 'keepers of the Law.'

"…And he said, 'I am not.' Then they asked, 'Are you the Prophet?'…. [That's quite an interesting question—isn't it? The prophecy in Deut. 18. They knew specifically what they were asking, specifically what they were looking for.] …And he answered, 'No.' Therefore, they said to him, 'Who are you? What do you say about yourself so that we may give an answer to those who sent us?'" (vs 21-22). They were sent on a specific mission; they were sent down there by the chief priests to find out who this guy is, because everyone was coming to be baptized. Of course, that was disturbing to the whole religious community, after all they weren't going through the temple and the priesthood. So, this created a problem.

When we really understand the geographical area of the Holy Land is very small; probably no more than 65 miles long and no more than 20 miles wide. Granted they didn't have transportation like we have today. They didn't have telephones like we have today, but believe me, word got around and was carried very swiftly.

Verse 22: "Therefore, they said to him, 'Who are you? What do you say about yourself so that we may give an answer to those who sent us?' He said, 'I am a voice crying in the wilderness… [Isa. 40] … "Make straight the way of the Lord," as Isaiah the prophet said.' Now those who had been sent belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, and they asked him, saying to him, 'Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'" (vs 22-25). That's a pretty strong statement. In other words, they understood that when Christ was going to come that these events would take place. They understood what was happening. They knew what was occurring.

We'll see some other things that Jesus did during His three and a half year ministry. What we're really going to understand is that He literally turned that world upside down!

Verse 26: "John answered them, saying, 'I baptize with water, but there is one Who stands among you Whom you do not know. He it is Who comes after me, but Who has precedence over me; of Whom I am not worthy to loose the thong of His sandal.'" (vs 26-27). This is where John was baptizing down in the Jordan River.

John 2:13—this is where Jesus is coming into town. Jesus didn't come sneaking into town. He didn't come walking in with some halo, flowing robes and long, flowing hair. "Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money exchangers sitting there; and after making a scourge of cords, He drove them all out of the temple…" (vs 13-15).

This is really an upstart thing to do as far as the priests are concerned. No one goes into the temple area and does what Jesus did! I mean, it would be unthinkable! Obviously this created some kind of stir. What if there were someone there at the wedding—remember He changed the water into wine. If someone was there at the Passover that was at the wedding and would say, 'I remember Him, He changed the water to wine. Best wine I ever tasted.'

Here He is, He's driving out "…with both the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money exchangers, and overturned the tables…. [He really created a stir!] …And to those who were selling the doves, He said, 'Take these things out of here! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise'" (vs 15-16).

That's something that all religions need to learn today—isn't it? Don't make My Father's house a house of merchandise! I remember when we had our Holy Days in the other churches, the key of the Holy Day was the offering and how many people were there. Rather than what we should be learning on the Holy Day. That's merchandising!

Another way they merchandised here was when they would come to the Passover—which was called a 'pilgrim feast' they would bring their money from whatever country they came from and they would have the exchangers of currency. They would exchange that for the temple coins so they could buy the animals so they could offer those. But what happened was that those who were exchanging the money didn't give them the going rate of exchange. People still do that today. You travel overseas and someone is going to give you more, and someone is going to give you less. Here they were robbing the people, making it a house of merchandise.
They had to have the doves because they were the sacrifices, and the oxen and sheep because those were for sacrifices. But what they did, instead of having them in the appropriate area where they should be, instead of charging a fair price, they would charge an 'arm and a leg.' They had this all around the temple area and this became more important than the temple. So, Jesus drove them out!

Verse 17: "Then His disciples remembered that it was written, 'The zeal of Your house has eaten Me up.' As a result, the Jews answered and said to Him, 'What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?'" (vs 17-18). If you do these things you're going to have to show us a sign to show if it's from God or not.

Verse 19: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.'…. [Of course, we know that's a prophecy of His own death and resurrection.] …Then the Jews said, 'This temple was forty-six years in building, and You will raise it up in three days?' But He spoke concerning the temple of His body. Therefore, when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scriptures, and the word that Jesus had spoken. Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the Feast… [During the Feast of Unleavened Bread; apparently He spent the whole Feast up there.] …many believed on His name, as they observed the miracles that He was doing" (vs 19-23).

Let's understand what kind of Feast that they had at Jerusalem. Josephus records that at one time they had 1.2-million people that would be there at Jerusalem for the Feast, and they would come from all the countries. I just want you to recall all the countries that were listed there in Acts 2—Jews, devote men from under heaven, from all these countries coming to Jerusalem. That's what they did, they would come to Jerusalem for the Feast. Let's understand that there were a tremendous number of people there. Jesus was doing all of these miracles.

What do you think the topic of conversation probably was? What if you had one your relatives that was there and was sick and was healed by Jesus? They'd go around and tell everyone! Obviously this was at the beginning of His ministry, the start of what Jesus was doing and it had to be really a tremendous thing!

What if the miracles that He did—it didn't say how many miracles He had done—but obviously there were many because many people believe on Him. Let's just think about all the people at the Feast that saw it or heard of it and went back to their homes—be it in the area of Judea or Galilee or out to all these different countries where the Jews were scattered—what do you think they would say? Oh, we had a fantastic time at the Feast and there was this man called Jesus and He healed so and so; I saw Him do it! Would you want to—if you stayed back and didn't go to the Feast that year—go the next year? Sure you would! 'Because of all the miracles that He had performed!'

Let's see what even the Pharisees admitted, John 3:1: "Now there was a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus by name, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher Who has come from God… [Being one of the rulers means He sat on the council; that means He was there and discussed these things. He didn't say, 'I know You're a teacher from God.' He said, 'We know!' We who? We Pharisees know that You're a teacher sent from God!] …because no one is able to do the miracles that You are doing unless God is with him'" (vs 1-2). So, Jesus really had a tremendous impact—didn't He?

When we get toward the end of this sermon, when we read that statement again, 'Behold, the world has gone after Him,' maybe we'll understand the tremendous impact that Jesus really had.

At the city of Samaria, remember the whole account of the woman at the well? Then she went back and told them, 'I have met the Christ; I have seen the Christ; He is here.' John 4:39: "Now many of the Samaritans from that city believed on Him because of the word of the woman, who testified, 'He told me everything that I have done.'" It was more than just 'you've had five husbands and the current one isn't your husband.

Verse 40: "Therefore, when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to remain with them; and He remained there two days. And many more believed because of His Word… [You know very well what they're going to do; you know very well how they're going to tell everybody.] …and they said to the woman, 'We no longer believe because of your word, for we have heard Him ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Christ, the Savior of the world'" (vs 39-42).

So, it wasn't some small thing done over here in a corner. It was beginning to be a big thing. Let's go back to Matt. 4, let's see what happened right after the temptation. These miracles were designed to do that. Just think what it would be like today if there were one real, bona fide miracle that people knew about. They would have the television cameras out there and the radio out there, special reports and the whole thing—right? Let's see what He was doing:

Matthew 4:23: "And Jesus went throughout all Galilee… [all that area around the Sea of Galilee] …teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every bodily ailment among the people." You know that's got to have an impact! All of those healings! You know how people talk about their health today. You go almost anywhere and you get together with a group of people and one of the first topics of conversation is your health, your doctor or your medicine or the different things that have taken place. If you have gotten over a disease, or one of your children were healed or overcame a sickness or whatever, that's what you would talk about.

How would it be if you came to Jesus and He laid hands on you and you were healed, or on your child or one who was deaf or one who was blind? We'll see that He resurrected three people also, and this had to have a tremendous impact.

Verse 24: "Then His fame went out into all Syria… [that's that whole area of what we call today Lebanon—that was Syria at that time, clear up to the Baca Valley, the Golan Heights, probably all the way up to Damascus.] …and they brought to Him…" Did word get around? What would you do if you heard or saw one crippled child that was healed and you had a crippled child? Where is this man? You would tell the family to pack up and 'we're going to find this man Jesus and we want our little girl or boy healed.

"…they brought to Him all who were sick, oppressed by various diseases and torments, and possessed by demons, and lunatics, and paralytics; and He healed them. And great multitudes followed Him…" (vs 24-25). They were just following Him;great multitudes of people, huge crowds were following Him.

I don't know if you followed what was the so-called Easter celebration in Jerusalem this year—they showed some of it on television—and in those narrow streets the people were just really crowded in. Every time I see that I think of what it was like, these great multitudes of people following Jesus: 'Oh, Lord, will you heal me?' Just those going along to see. You have a lot of gawkers and lookers and as soon as that day would be over they would go tell someone and more gawkers and lookers would come. Let's see how far it went.

Verse 25: "And great multitudes followed Him from Galilee… [that's on the north and west shore of the Sea of Galilee] …and Decapolis… [over on the north and the eastside of the Sea of Galilee] …and Jerusalem, and Judea… [all the area down around Jerusalem] …and beyond the Jordan." That's saying quite a bit—isn't it? That's a tremendous impact, and this was just in the first year of His ministry. Remember, He had two and half years to go.
Let's see the diseases that He healed, Matthew 8:1: "When He came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him…. [here again are the great crowds following Him] …And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, 'Lord, if You will, You have the power to cleanse me.'…. [Can you imagine the people knowing that He was actually being worshiped—they saw them worshipping.] …Then Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, 'I will. Be cleansed.'…." (vs 1-3).

I don't know how many of you have ever seen some reports on television about leprosy, but I saw some last week and it's a really awful, terrible, miserable, horrible disease. It just literally eats and rots away the limbs. The fingers are eaten away and it's so painful. It will just eat away the whole arm and it eats away the inside of the structure of the face and the whole face caves in. It is just awful! There was no cure! Absolutely no cure! They get all crippled and they can't walk; they can hardly do anything with the little stubs of fingers that they have left. Every time I read that, here's this man desperate coming up to Jesus and saying, 'Lord, if You will, heal me!'

Verse 3: "Then Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, 'I will. Be cleansed.'…. [Anyone who knows anything about the Jews, really needs to understand that to touch a leper was like the 'kiss of death!' You weren't to touch a leper because you would be unclean! Jesus touched him and said, 'I will.'] …And immediately he was cleansed from his leprosy. And Jesus said to him, 'See that you tell no one; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a witness to them'" (vs 3-4).

We know the other account and what happened. The young man didn't be quiet; he went away and broadcasted it everywhere.

Verse 5: "Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, beseeching Him, and saying, 'Lord, my servant is lying in the house paralyzed and grievously tormented.'…. [That was much like we would consider Parkinson's disease where they were just rigid and all shriveled up in a palsy.] …And Jesus said to him, 'I will come and heal him.' But the centurion answered and said, 'Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under the roof of my house… [he was healed by the Word of Christ; not even being there] …but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed'" (vs 5-8).

Verse 13: "Then Jesus said to the centurion, 'Go, and as you have believed, so be it done to you.' And his servant was healed in that hour. And after coming into Peter's house, Jesus saw Peter's mother-in-law lying sick with a fever" (vs 13-14)—and healed her!

Verse 33: "But those who were tending them fled… [the casting of the swine down into the Sea of Galilee] …and after going into the city reported everything, and what had happened to those who had been possessed by demons. And the entire city immediately went out to meet Jesus… [here's a big uproar wherever Jesus went; it was really something going on] …and when they saw Him, they besought Him to depart from their borders" (vs 33-34). He became an enemy to them. That shows the problems that takes place.

Matthew 9:1: "And after going into the ship, He passed over and came to His own city. And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. Then Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, 'Be of good courage, child; your sins have been forgiven you.' And immediately some of the scribes said within themselves, 'This man blasphemes.'" (vs 1-3). The man rose from his bed, took it up, rolled it up and walked out of the house.

Verse 8: "Now when the multitudes saw it, they were amazed and glorified God, Who had given such authority to men." So you see the stage that is being set; you see the impact that is coming along here.

Luke 7:11—this is the time of the raising of the dead man, the only son of a widow. That was a tragic case. Lot's of times it helps us if we can kind of mentally put ourselves back into that picture. Let's just picture ourselves as one of the mourners and we're walking down the road going to the cemetery. Here's the widow, her only son. Her husband died; all of her other children were not living—this is the only one:

Luke 7:11: "Now it came to pass on the next day that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a great multitude. And as He drew near to the gate of the city, behold, one who had died was being carried out, an only son to his mother, and she was a widow; and a considerable crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, He was moved with compassion for her and said to her, 'Do not weep.' And He came up to the bier [casket] and touched it, and those who were bearing it stopped. Then He said, 'Young man, I say to you, arise!'" (vs 11-14). Here they're carrying out the casket; he's laying dead in there. Jesus walks up and stops the procession and says, "…'Young man, I say to you, arise!'"

Verse 15: "And the dead man sat up and began to speak… [He probably said, 'Hey, what's going on? What am I doing in this casket? Oh, that's right, I was sick!' Yeah, you died!] …and He [Jesus] gave him to his mother." Probably reached up and helped him down out of the casket.

Verse 16: "Then fear seized everyone, and they glorified God, saying, 'A great prophet has risen up among us,' and, 'God has visited His people.' And this report about Him went out into all Judea and all the country around" (vs 16-17). Did they know who Jesus was? Yes, they did!

  • we're talking about some exciting times
  • we're talking about a major event
  • we're talking about the One Who is the Great God Who created the universe

Now as a human being visiting His people doing everything that He said His ministry would include. Let's see what Jesus said His ministry was all about and see what He did here:

Luke 4:16: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. And there was given Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim pardon to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed…'" (vs 16-18). That's what we've been seeing right here with all the healings that He was doing.

There are many other places we can go to and show what was done. We also know that He sent His disciples out—didn't He? He sent out 70 of His disciples two-by-two. What was their commission? What were they to do?

  • Heal the sick!
  • Raise the dead!
  • Drive out the demons!
  • Cleanse the lepers!
  • Preach the Gospel!

You can imagine what effect that had. They would come into a town and what did Jesus say? If they didn't receive you, go out of town and shake the dust off your feet! Those that receive you say, 'peace be on this household.' If they say 'where are you from?' I'm sent from Jesus! 'Oh, you are, come in!' Then they gather up all of those in that community that were sick and ill and the disciples would lay hands on them, cast out the demons. We'll find out exactly how the disciples felt about it. There were 70 of them, so He had 35 teams of two going out.

Luke 10:17: "Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us through Your name.'" That's quite a powerful thing—isn't it? Then He said, 'Don't rejoice over that, rejoice that your names are written in the book of Life, that's more important.' The whole point I want to make is that the public knew! The religious leaders knew. They understood!

John 5:1: "After these things there was a Feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem…. [again, great crowds of people around] …And there is in Jerusalem at the sheep gate a pool, called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five porches. And in these porches were lying a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame and withered. They were waiting for the stirring of the water. For from time to time, an angel descended into the pool and agitated the water; and the first one to enter after the agitation of the water was made well from whatever disease he had" (vs 1-4). And you know what kind of stir this would create when Jesus did this miracle.

Verse 5: "Now a certain man was there who had been suffering with an infirmity for thirty-eight years…. [not just some little sickness; it doesn't say how many years he had been there off and on waiting to get into the water; waiting so he could be healed] …Jesus saw him lying there, and, knowing that he had been there a long time, said to him, 'Do you desire to be made whole?' And the infirm man answered Him, 'Sir, I do not have anyone to put me in the pool after the water has been agitated. But while I am going, another one steps down before me.'" (vs 5-7). Here's really a tragic case—isn't it?

Verse 8: "Jesus said to him, 'Arise, take up your bedroll and walk.'…. [His bed was just kind of like a little rollup sleeping bag, so it wasn't any big deal. Then you know the whole controversy that took place.] …And immediately the man was made whole; and he took up his bedroll and walked. Now that day was a Sabbath. For this reason, the Jews said to the man who had been healed, 'It is the Sabbath day. It is not lawful for you to take up your bedroll.' He answered them, 'The one Who made me whole said to me, "Take up your bedroll and walk."' Then they asked him, 'Who is the one Who said to you, "Take up your bedroll and walk"?'" (vs 8-12).

The Jews wanted to kill Him, v 17: "But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.' So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him… [You're not going to want to kill someone if he's just doing some kind of little thing over here on the side. They wanted to kill Him; get rid of Him; He's causing a lot of problems.] …not only because He had loosed the Sabbath… [according to their interpretation of it] …but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God" (vs 17-18). You knew that that's what Jesus told them. They understood Who He was. He was really making an impact. Not just some little thing back here in a corner that somehow we have a nice little 'religious' event going on. No! This was really coming right along here.

Track 2: or Download

Luke 8:1: "Now, it came to pass afterwards that He traveled through all the land, city by city and village by village… [He covered every village and city] …preaching and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God; and the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who is called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out; and Joanna, wife of Chuza, a steward of Herod; and Susanna, and many others who were ministering to Him from their own substance. And as a great multitude was assembling, and those who were coming to Him from every city…" (vs 1-4). He really made an impact—didn't He?

Let's look at it this way: It's very apparent as we go through where this whole thing is building and building and building down toward the crucifixion, and down toward the confrontation that Jesus was going to have with all the scribes and Pharisees at the temple area just before the Passover.

Matthew 11:1: "And it came to pass that, when Jesus had finished commanding His twelve disciples, He left there to teach and to preach in their cities…. [Here again, going in to the cities to preach and teach.] …Now John, having heard in prison of the works of Christ, sent two of his disciples, saying to Him, 'Are You the one Who is coming, or are we to look for another?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised, and the poor are evangelized'" (vs 1-5). Here again showing the multitudes and the crowds. John knew!

We can go through and let's look at one of the accounts of the feedings that Jesus did—very important. Again, picture yourself as one following Jesus. You're in the crowd following Jesus. You've seen all these miracles take place and then all of a sudden He tells you to sit down 'we're going to eat.' Let's read with that in mind.

John 6:5: "And when Jesus lifted up His eyes and saw a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, 'How shall we buy enough loaves to feed all these?'…. [How are we going to buy food to feed them?] …But He said this to test him, because He knew what He was about to do. Philip answered Him, 'Two hundred silver coins would not be sufficient to buy enough loaves for each of them to receive a little.' Then one of His disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to Him, 'Here is a little boy who has five barley loaves... [a barley loaf was just a little thing] …and two small fish; but what are these for so many people?' Then Jesus said, 'Have the men sit down.' Now there was much grass in the place; therefore the men sat down, about five thousand in number. And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those who were sitting; and in like manner the small fish, as much as they desired" (vs 6-11).

Just picture yourself as one of those in the crowd. Here comes a disciple and he's got one of these loaves of bread and he breaks it off and it grows back some more. He breaks it off again and it grows back some more. And they're cutting up the fish and divide it out and there's some more to cut up and divide out. Are you going to sit there and wonder what's going on? That's a pretty miraculous thing, we don't have to go to the grocery store anymore.

Verse 12: "And when they were filled… [after they had eaten] …He said to His disciples, 'Gather together the fragments that are left over, so that nothing may be lost.' Then they gathered them together, filling twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten" (vs 12-13). So, He ended up with more than He began with.

If you're sitting there and you had your family—father, mother and four children—you've been all following Jesus and one of the children had been healed. You sit down and here He comes along and they're breaking off the bread and the fish and you get some, your wife gets some, all your children get some—you eat it. What are you going to be talking about while you're eating it? What are you going to be thinking? Then you look around and you see Him feeding all of the 5,000—every one of them! Then when you're all done, you're sitting there and you've discussed all of that another miracle takes place. Here they're coming along with what we call garbage cans today, wastebaskets and here they're throwing in everything that's left over. And they end up with 12 baskets overflowing with the barley loaves when they only started out with five. That's a tremendous miracle. Don't you think that's mighty good advertising? Yes! God knew what He was doing!

Let's notice their reaction, v 14: "Now when the men saw the miracle that Jesus had done, they said, 'Of a truth, this is the Prophet Who was to come into the world.'" Why would they say that unless they understood Who Jesus was? They wouldn't! They would have no reason to say it! Of course, you know the rest of the account. They wanted to take Him and make Him king by force, to go ahead and set Him up so that He can give them bread forever—won't have to work. That's why He said about 'eating His flesh and drinking His blood.' Then they couldn't take that, that was too much for them!

John 7—this is the Feast of Tabernacles, a little later time. Remember all these miracles and preaching going on in every city and every village, and I'm sure that He went into some of those cities many more times, over and over again. Here at the Feast of Tabernacles they had a tremendous number of people up there. Notice what they were saying.

John 7:11: "As a result, the Jews were seeking Him at the Feast, and said, 'Where is He?' Now there was much debating about Him among the people…. [Here He was the topic of conversation—right? That's what they were talking about at the Feast. They were talking about Jesus Christ!] …Some said, 'He is a good man.' But others said, 'No, but He is deceiving the people.' However, no one spoke publicly about Him for fear of the Jews" (vs 11-13). The Jews were up there—scribes and Pharisees—looking for Him, waiting for Him. They were talking about themselves. All the people were talking among themselves and then when a Pharisee would walk up the conversation would change, because they didn't want to be kicked out. Then you know Jesus stood up and started to preach.

Verse 23: "'If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses may not be broken,whyare you angry with Me because I made a man entirely whole on the Sabbath? Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.' Then some of those from Jerusalem said, 'Is not this the one Whom they seek to kill?…. [They knew who it was! They knew He was being setup to be killed.] …But look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. Can it be that the authorities have recognized that this man truly is the Christ?…. [He was really getting through—wasn't He?] …Now this man, we know where He comes from. But the Christ, whenever He may appear, no one knows where He comes from'" (vs 23-27). Then they had to give an excuse: we don't know where He's from. Sure they knew where He was from. They knew that He had been born in Bethlehem. Where did they send to find Jesus? They didn't send to one of the other towns! They sent to Bethlehem!

Verse 40—after Jesus was preaching more and more through this whole sermon: "Now after hearing these words, many of the people said, 'This is truly the Prophet.'…. [they understood Who He was] …Others said, 'This is the Christ.'…. [there was a great controversy going on] …But others said, 'Does the Christ then come out of Galilee?…. [They knew He was from Nazareth; they didn't stop to ask Him where He was born. He would have told them.] …Does not the Scripture say that the Christ comes from the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the town where David was?' Therefore, a division arose among the people because of Him. Now some of them desired to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him" (vs 40-44). There's a great controversy going on.

Verse 45: "As a result, when the officers came to the chief priests and the Pharisees, they said to them, 'Why did you not bring Him?'…. [They wanted someone to go out and arrest Him. Bring Him to them. Turn Him in!] …The officers answered, 'Never has a man spoken like this man.' Then the Pharisees answered them, 'Are you also being deceived? Has even one of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in Him?'" (vs 45-48). They were really getting quite protective—weren't they?

John 8—here we have the confrontation with the forgiving of the woman who was taken in adultery. And the confrontation of Jesus and the Pharisees about Who God was, and God being His Father. They said, 'We have one father, Abraham.'

John 8: 40: "'But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has spoken the Truth to you, which I have heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father.' Then they said to Him, 'We have not been born of fornication. We have one Father, and that is God.' Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me, because I proceeded forth and came from God. For I have not come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why don't you understand My speech? Because you cannot bear to hear My words.  You are of your father the devil…" (vs 40-44). That's really getting strong, tough, heated—really quite a conversation. That would be the worst thing you could ever say to a Pharisee, 'You are of your father, the devil.' They say, 'We have Moses' law.' Jesus said, 'You don't keep the Law of Moses.'

John 9—He healed the man who was born blind. The whole account the Pharisees didn't want to believe it at all. This created quite a stir because of those who knew.

John 11—the resurrection of Lazarus. That was a tremendous eyewitness thing just before the crucifixion. (see sermon series on the book of John).

John 12—getting into the time when Jesus was making His triumphant entry into Jerusalem just before the Passover. Remember, all the people knew that Lazarus was resurrected. All the people wanted to go down and see Lazarus. John 12:9: "Then a great crowd of the Jews found out that He was there. And they came, not only because of Jesus, but also that they might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. But the chief priests took counsel in order that they might kill Lazarus also… [they wanted to get rid of him, too; get rid of the evidence] …because by reason of him, many of the Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus. On the next day, a great crowd of people who had come for the Feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem" (vs 9-12).

He was the source of controversy; they came to see Jesus. Just picture this now. He's coming toward the end of His three and a half-year ministry. All the healings, all of the preachings, all of the talking, all of the notoriety, all of the plans of the Pharisees to get Jesus and to kill Him—now He comes into Jerusalem riding that little donkey.

Verse 13: "Took branches from palm trees and went out to meet Him, and were shouting, 'Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel.'…. [That was quite a thing to say—wasn't it? Sure was!] …Now after finding a young donkey, Jesus sat upon it, exactly as it is written: 'Fear not, daughter of Sion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a colt of a donkey.' And His disciples did not understand these things at the beginning; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him, and that they had done these things to Him. Then the group that was with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, testified of what they had seen" (vs 13-17). They were going around saying, 'Yes, this is the Christ. Yes, Lazarus was resurrected.

Verse 18: "Because of this, the people also met Him, for they had heard of this miracle that He had done. Then the Pharisees said among themselves, 'Do you see that we are not gaining in any way?…. [They don't prevail anything. They were looking to lose all of their disciples; lose all of their religious followers to Jesus!] …Look! The world has gone after Him'" (vs 18-19). That's not all nations; that's just the Jewish world. Later it would go to all nations. Then the rest of the account is when He was selected as the Lamb of God by God.

Let's just sort of review many of the different things that took place during that six days. Remember:

  • He came in and He drove out those who bought and sold the animals in the temple (Mark 11).
  • He cursed the fig tree.
  • He had a confrontation every day with the Pharisees; they would come and ask Him a question.
  • He really read them the riot act (Matt. 23).

You know all it says there against the scribes and Pharisees—'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!' He really gave them what for! He knew that this confrontation was coming. He knew that He had to provoke them to carry out the prophecies. That's exactly what He was doing.

  • the Passover occurs

Can you imagine how many people were there for the Passover? After all this going out to all the countries and all the people knew, wherever the Jews were, coming into Jerusalem for this Passover? The very last Passover! Wondering where is Jesus. Wondering what was going on. That's why the Jews sought to get Him away from the crowds and not on the Feast day. They did it right after the Passover, at midnight. Of course, that's very prophetic how that worked out when you understand it. God passed over the Israelites in the land of Egypt, bringing them out at midnight. Jesus was arrested at midnight and God did not pass over His own Son.

Then you know the whole account, the things and events that took place, where He was beaten and scourged. Then at approximately eight o'clock in the morning He was carrying out His cross. The people were wondering where is Jesus? Got Him out there, crucified Him. From the sixth to the ninth hour—noon to three o'clock—the whole city became dark. Remember the sun didn't shine because of Christ being on the cross. There were multitudes out looking at Him. What did the priests, scribes and Pharisees say? If You be the Christ come down off the cross! You saved many! You healed many! You heal Yourself! Come down! But He didn't!

Of course, we know that on this Sabbath Day, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the exact same sequence that we have this Passover week and Days of Unleavened Bread, that it was during the time of the crucifixion of Christ. He was buried at sunset on Wednesday and then was three days and three nights in the grave. When the sun goes down tonight, this commemorates when Jesus was resurrected.

Then, of course, the events that took place with the resurrection: The women came out and they were going to go ahead and add more spices to Him and fix Him up for the burial. They came out in the morning and Christ was not there, He was already risen. The angel said, 'He has risen! He is not here!' They looked in the tomb. Sure enough, He wasn't there! They went and told Peter, James and John and they came running out as fast as they could. They found that Jesus wasn't there.

Then Mary Magdalene was in the garden, crying and weeping. Jesus was resurrected and you know that account where she came and thought Him to be the gardener. He said, 'Mary.' She knew then that it was Christ. She was going to touch Him and He said, 'Don't be touching Me for I'm not yet ascended to My Father and to My God and to your God.' We know that day pictures the Wave Sheaf Offering where Jesus was accepted of God the Father as the very First of the firstfruits.

What did the Jewish officials do when they found that He was resurrected? Let's go to the book of Matthew, because it tells us exactly what the Jewish officials did. You've got to make your stories straight—right? We all have to say the same thing—right? The next time we have a spy case involving the Jews, you'll see they did the same thing. They had to make their story right—isn't that correct? Yes! So, they had to get it all straight: 'No, we didn't do this, we didn't do that, we didn't do the other thing.'

Matthew 28:11: "And as they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city…" They were the ones who stood watch over Jesus' tomb—remember? They said, 'Ok, we're going to put soldiers out there to stand guard over the tomb so that they won't steal His body away at night.

"…and reported to the chief priests all the things that were done. Then, after gathering together with the elders and taking counsel, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, 'Tell everyone that His disciples came by night and stole Him while you were sleeping. And if the governor hears of this, we will persuade him to release you from responsibility'" (vs 11-14). So, they have a political solution to it. That's still the way the Jews do today. They want to have a political solution for their acceptance in the world. They won't have a political solution because God is the One Who will determine it—not them!

Verse 15: "And they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this report has been spread abroad among the Jews to this day." When this was written I don't know, but it was sometime afterward. I've talked to Jews and they still believe it to this day, that they stole away His body. Then you can read some of the nonsense books that some have put out like Holy Blood/Holy Grail where He never really died and went over and lived in southern France and all that sort of thing. All that is part of the Jewish denial of Jesus Christ.

Now, let's remember this occurred on Sunday after the resurrection. The Feast is not over—is it? There is the rest of Sunday and Monday and Tuesday and the Holy Day being on Wednesday—right? {speaking of the 1986 Feast of Unleavened Bread} Guess what they {at the time of Jesus' crucifixion} were talking about all the time. Sure they were talking about when Jesus was crucified. Yes, they were talking about the signs that took place. Yes, and on that day, what does it say in Matt. 26? After Jesus was dead, many who were dead in the graveyards rose up out of their graves and came into the city!

Just picture yourself on Sunday morning after Jesus was resurrected and here you're having your meal and your husband or father had died and all of a sudden you hear a knock on the door and you go open the door and there he's standing alive in the flesh—just like Lazarus who was resurrected from the dead. That's going to convince you. Can you imagine what they talked about? This was not some little, teeny-weeny thing done in a corner!

Now, all those who came to the Passover Feast would go back to whatever country they were in—right? What do you think they would talk about when they got back? Let's go to Acts, the second chapter, and I think we'll understand the impact of this day of Pentecost. This will have much more meaning to us because of the way that this took place. With all of this in the background, remember the disciples saw Jesus 40 days after He was resurrected. There were a 120 of them gathered together here on the Day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1: "And when the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled… [this means actually during the accomplishing or observing] …they were all with one accord in the same place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim. Now there were many Jews who were sojourning in Jerusalem, devout men…" (vs 1-5). Probably some very old men and very young people who had

  • heard that the Messiah had come
  • heard that God had visited them
  • heard of all the events

that took place during

    • the Passover
    • the Feast of Unleavened Bread
    • the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
    • the resurrection of Jesus Christ

There were many there "…from every nation under heaven. And when word of this went out, the multitude came together and were confounded, because each one heard them speaking in his own language" (vs 5-6).

That would be an amazing thing! You being from Europe, you know how that would be an amazing thing if someone stood up and heard Peter speaking the same thing that some group over here heard someone speaking in French, another group heard the same man speaking in German, another group heard the same man speaking in English, another group heard the same man speaking in Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Czechoslovakian, Italian, Spanish—that would really be something to talk about. What do you think they talked about when they went back to their homes wherever they had come from? You know that's what they would talk about!

Verse 7: "And they were all amazed, and marveled, saying to one another, 'Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that we hear each one in our own language in which we were born? Parthians… [that's way east of the area; Ukraine today] …and Medes… [between the Caspian Sea and Iran today] …and Elamites… [whole mountain area of Iran and Iraq today] …and those who inhabit Mesopotamia, and Judea and Cappadocia… [Asia Minor] …Pontus… [Asia Minor] …and Asia, both Phrygia and Pamphylia… [all different districts of Asia Minor] …Egypt and the parts of Libya which are near Cyrene, and the Romans who are sojourning here, both Jews and proselytes… [a fantastic multitude; this was a miraculous event] …Cretes and Arabians; we hear them speaking in our own languages the great things of God'" (vs 7-11).

Then what did Peter do? He preached unto them Jesus Christ crucified and repentance! Jesus did have a tremendous impact. Go through all the book of Acts and you see all the things that the apostles did.

  • Acts 3—the healing of the man by the Gate Beautiful
  • Acts 4—they were arrested and told he shouldn't speak in the name of Jesus; the disciples were growing, 3,000 were added just in one day

All the way through the book of Acts, what a tremendous thing that they had!

Acts 26:20—Paul says: "For I preached to those in Damascus first, and then to Jerusalem, and to all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, declaring that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. On account of these things, the Jews seized me in the temple and attempted to kill me. So then, having obtained help from God unto this day, I have stood, bearing witness both to the small and the great, saying nothing else than what both the prophets and Moses said would happen: That Christ would suffer, and that He would be the first to be raised from the dead, and to proclaim light to the people and to the Gentiles.' And while he was uttering these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, 'You are out of your mind, Paul; much learning has turned you to madness.' But he said, 'I am not mad, most noble Festus, but I utter true and rational words. For the king, to whom I speak with boldness, is informed of these things. For I am convinced that none of these things are hidden from him; for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.' Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'Will you persuade me to become a Christian in such a little time?'" (vs 20-28). Almost, but not quite!

So behold, the world has gone after Him! Jesus did have a tremendous impact in His time! The Feast of Unleavened Bread is a very important Feast for us to understand and look back on those events that took place and to realize that we are not just dealing with a small little 'religion' and a small little group. God has His people scattered like salt throughout all the earth.

We find in the book of Acts that Paul saluted the Church which was in the 'house of Phoebe.' Obviously then, we are dealing with the things that God wants us to understand, and how great and fantastic that this Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread is for us for salvation and for the world.

Now maybe you understand a little bit more about the events that took place on that very last Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread that Jesus had.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Deuteronomy 34:9-12
  • Malachi 4:4-6
  • Matthew 2:1-8
  • John 1:19-27
  • John 2:13-23
  • John 3:1-2
  • John 4:39-42
  • Matthew 4:23-25
  • Matthew 8:1-8, 13-14, 33-34
  • Matthew 9:1-3, 8
  • Luke 7:11-17
  • Luke 4:16-18
  • Luke 10:17
  • John 5:1-12, 17-18
  • Luke 8:1-4
  • Matthew 11:1-5
  • John 6:5-14
  • John 7:11-13, 23-27, 40-48
  • John 8:40-44
  • John 12:9-19
  • Matthew 28:11-15
  • Acts 23:1-11
  • Acts 26:20-28

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 18:15
  • Daniel 9
  • Matthew 1:29
  • Deuteronomy 18
  • Isaiah 40
  • Acts 2
  • John 9, 11
  • Mark 11
  • Matthew 23; 26
  • Acts 3, 4

Also Referenced:

Books:

  • Josephus
  • Holy Blood/Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln

Sermon Series: Book of John

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 10-30-11

 

BOOKS