On the Road to Jerusalem

We will be looking at the wonderful things that Jesus Christ did in and around the city of Jerusalem.

There are many records in this area where we can learn to walk as Christ did.  We will also see his trust and confidence in God on the road to Jerusalem as he was preparing to fulfill his calling as the redeemer.

In this record of John 3, Jesus Christ is explaining spiritual matters to Nicodemus.  He is in the Land of Judaea at this time which is a region that includes the town of Jerusalem.

John 3:1-7There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: [the Judean people]  2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi (ῥαββί – my master, my teacher), we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Jesus Christ’s conversation with Nicodemus is foretelling of the eternal life that would become available in the future, once the law was fulfilled and Christ had become man’s redeemer.  (For further study: on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, chapter two – the initial outpouring of holy spirit is noted) Jesus Christ did indeed give his life on Calvary, was buried in the earth for 3 days and 3 nights, was resurrected from the dead, and ascended into heaven at the right hand of God!  We can now be born again of God’s spirit and gain eternal life, as was foretold by Christ in John 3!

In John chapter 8 Jesus Christ shows how we are to forgive one another for things both great and small. This record takes place just East of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives.

John 8:1-11Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.  2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.  3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,  4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.  5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?  6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.  7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.  8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.  9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.  10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Jesus Christ was reliant on God’s direction in verse 6.  It was an Eastern custom for someone who was taking the time to think something through to stoop down and write on the ground.  It is believed that Christ was writing the name of God in the dirt while he prayed, meditated, and asked God for direction as to how to respond in this situation;

If Jesus Christ had agreed with the Pharisees regarding the law, the woman would have been killed on the spot and that would not have been God’s will.

If Christ had disagreed with the law, then he would have been in violation of the law and they would have caught him in a trap, which is what they were ultimately trying to do. It seemed like a no-win situation for him.

The wisest (and only) thing to do was to respond as he did: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

By reminding them of their own sins and shortcomings, Jesus Christ convicted each accuser of hypocrisy in their own hearts and they all wandered off without another word.  What a simple and powerful response to a perplexing and accusing question by the Pharisees.

John 9 tells the story of a blind man in Jerusalem who waited his entire lifetime for help, healing and deliverance and finally miraculously received it.

John 9:1-12And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.  2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.  5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.  8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?  9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.  10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?  11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

Jesus Christ begins this record by educating his disciples on the fact that illness is not sin. He noted that this man would soon be an example of the manifested works of God. The man had confidence and believed that Jesus Christ would be able to manifest the power of God and heal him of his blindness, and Christ received revelation to instruct the man to wash his eyes with clay in the pool of Siloam. This was very specific and was clearly God’s revelation for this situation as Christ never again healed anyone this same way in The Bible. The man obeyed and was made whole, his sight was restored after a lifetime of blindness!

In Matthew chapters 16, 20, and 21 Jesus Christ prepares the hearts of his disciples for his calling to redeem mankind from sin.  These records also take place in, and refer to the city of Jerusalem.

Matthew 16:21From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Matthew 20:17-19And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,  18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,  19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Jesus Christ had great confidence in God!

Matthew 21:9-15And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?  11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.  12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,  13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.  14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.  15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

The Pharisees, Chief Priests, and Scribes were not happy with him for confronting their moneymaking operations in the temple: [1 Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all evil — not money itself, but the love of money that is the concern here.] These leaders had lost sight of the purpose of the temple, which was to hold forth the Word of God and teach the people about him. They were profiting greatly and were derelict of duty on the Word.

This is the beginning of the journey to Jerusalem where Christ would be crucified, buried for 3 days and nights and risen again to sit at the right hand of God. (This is a subject for a future teaching, for now we will summarize this one)

We learned from John 3 how Jesus Christ understood and taught spiritual matters with Nicodemus: (That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.)

We saw from the scripture how to forgive one another, as Christ did with the woman in John 8 (“Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more”) – We ask God for forgiveness and move on with our lives!

As we walk in the steps of Jesus Christ, we have the ability to produce gifts of healings as he did in John 9 with the blind man who received his sight.

We can have great confidence in God’s willingness and His ability to back us up as we trust in Him. Just like in Matthew 20 when Jesus said that God SHALL raise him up again!

And we can confront error and sin with boldness knowing what God’s word says like in Matthew 21 with the money changers in the Temple.  The people changing money at the tables had allowed the getting of money to overshadow their purpose of serving God’s people.  The getting of money had become the only “end” rather than the means to a worthy and Godly end.

There were many more records in the area of Jerusalem, and I recommend further study on the subject.

As we walk in the steps of Jesus Christ, we will see God work more and more in our lives, and we will bring abundance and blessings to those around us!

From a  June 2007 Teaching
[brackets indicate my comments]
Image Courtesy OSU Commons