Luke gave us the most extensive details about the birth of Jesus. He tells us about Zechariah being promised a son, Mary being visited by the angel, Mary visiting with Elizabeth, the shepherds, and the encounter with Simeon and Anna. In doing so, Theophilus gained a clearer understanding that Jesus was more than a great teacher but the promised Messiah. Luke also set the stage for the rest of the story as well that ends with the resurrection of Jesus. As great as the birth was, it was what happened later that mattered the most.
Let’s think about the life of Jesus here. He had a public ministry of three or so years and died in His 30’s. John tells us that no book would be able to contain an accounting of all Jesus did in those years (John 21:25). With that being the case, what we have are the important things. That led us to do some charting and calculating. We wanted to find out what was given the greatest amount of attention by the writers of the Gospel accounts. It would stand to reason that the events given the greatest attention should be considered the most important.
We looked at the total number of verses in each Gospel account and compared that to the number of verses dedicated to the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. Since different translations do this differently, we consulted the KJV to create the chart. We also noted that some verses relate to things that happened beyond the last week of Jesus’ life since He did not ascend to the Father until several days after His resurrection, but we choose to include those verses in the count. Here is our chart:
In short, roughly a third of the Gospel accounts deal with the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. This time in history began with the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and ended with Him appearing to His disciples and commissioning them. That alone should tell us of the significance of that one week in all of history.
Creation had been moving to that week since the fall of humanity in the garden. Peter tells us that this week was planned before the world was created (1 Pet. 1:19-21). That week defines all of creation and gives meaning to everything else. It is the greatest week in our history and demands our attention.
In the Spring Explore the Bible study, students and adults will be focusing most of our time on events that took place in that final week. We will find Jesus teaching, preparing, dying, and resurrecting.
We want to provide a tool that may help churches reinforce the truths being studied in the Bible study groups. This last week of Jesus was examined in the annual January Bible study resources a few years ago and those resources could be a help now. The name of that study was “The Greatest Week in History.” This study looks at the events that happened each day of Jesus’ final week, using Luke as the primary text.
These resources could be used to lead a Bible study time for group leaders, using for another study time within the church, or simply as reference as you prepare to teach the lessons provided in Explore the Bible. You can secure your free digital copy of these resources by clicking on either link. You will receive access to download an eBook of the Personal Study Guide or the digital version of the Leader Bundle, depending upon which item you select. After clicking the link below, you will see the item in your cart. You will need to create a Lifeway account if you do not already have one to secure the study.