The Complete, Chronological Life of Jesus…According to the Scriptures is a chronological study of the entire eternal life of Jesus Christ, blending the four gospels and other Scriptures into one account. The goal is to include all of the Scriptural content about Jesus, while eliminating all of the repetition between parallel accounts. We have divided this material into 365 sections, or sections in the master outline of his matchless, glorious life. You can access the outline here:
Our two feature ATJ Ministries Publications use this outline to present the Scriptural material. The “SAGA of JESUS” is our ATJ Ministries publication of the Scriptural text of the life of Jesus that underlies the DAILY JESUS NEWS publication. This book has all been translated from the Greek New Testament in a manner that clearly identifies each command of Jesus, and expresses the fuller meaning of the powerful Greek verbs. Every word and deed of Jesus’ life is covered found in the gospels and the rest of the Scriptures is included, while eliminating all the repetition between parallel accounts.
The DAILY JESUS NEWS is our on-line publication (also available by e-mail, one reading a day) that covers the material in the SAGA of JESUS, every day of the year, with in-depth commentary designed to guide the reader through the historical background, step-by-step development of Jesus’ life and ministry, and spiritual significance and application of each reading in a life committed to following Jesus as his disciple, or learner. Go to the home page for an example of today’s DAILY JESUS NEWS reading and commentary. All 365 readings are available in the blog archives, by RSS feed, or by signing up for the free e-mail delivery.
At ATJ Ministries we divide and study the life of Jesus in 7 Chronological Stages. The SAGA OF JESUS, DAILY JESUS NEWS , “Daily Word from Jesus” postings, and other publications place each saying of Jesus’ life in one of these stages in the “context” section. Organizational schemes for the earthly ministry of Jesus vary among New Testament scholars. We have chosen to use the geographical approach, which organizes the chronological stages of Jesus’ ministry years according to the region in which He concentrated His life and work.
Stage I. Jesus’ Eternal Pre-Existence As God. This stage covers the Pre-existence of Jesus Christ as a member of the Trinity, as described by John 1.1-5 (pre-existence), Genesis 1.1-2.3 (creation), Isaiah 6 (pre-incarnational appearance), and Daniel 7.9-14 (pre-incarnational appearance). These Scriptures describe Jesus’ Divine life and work prior to his incarnation. It contains the least content of any of the seven stages, but it is essential for understanding the six stages that follow. This Scriptural material introduces the life of Jesus to us. DJN readings #001 to #004 cover this stage.
Stage II. 30 Years of Preparation for Jesus’ Ministry. This material is divided into two subsections. The first describes the the birth of John the Immerser (Baptizer), Jesus’ conception and birth, his genealogy, a few events in his childhood. (19 DJN readings cover this sub-section). The second sub-section covers the ministry of John the Immerser, leading up to his introduction of Jesus as the Messiah. (3 DJN readings cover this material)
Stage III. The Early Judean Ministry. We owe virtually everything we know about the early period (about 6 months) of Jesus’ ministry in Judea to John 1.19 – 4.44. The information we have regarding this period is not much in terms of quantity, but it is of amazing quality for understanding the Person and Word of Jesus. (What would the Bible be without the John 3.16?) This was a season in which Jesus dealt one-on-one in personal evangelism and discipleship with many people for great effect, and His popularity began to grow. John the Immerser sent a constant flow of repentant disciples to Jesus in this period, causing Jesus’ ministry to multiply. 22 DJN readings cover this stage, which is divided into five subsections.
(100 Postings in the “Daily Word from Jesus” series comment on every word Jesus spoke during this Stage.)
Stage IV. The Great Galilean Ministry. After John was arrested, Jesus moved from Judea up to Galilee, setting up His headquarters and ministry base in Capernaum. Jesus made three great tours of every city, town, and village in Galilee over a roughly eighteen month period. He trained the 12 apostles prior to his third tour of Galilee and sent them in teams of two to do “advance” work during the third tour. Then he withdrew to the Gentile areas surrounding Galilee to the north and east in the final months of this period.
Many memorable events in Jesus’ ministry occurred during this stage. His popularity peaked in Galilee, and began to diminish as the local and national leadership hardened their rejection of His ministry and began to actively oppose Him, accusing Him of being possessed by the Devil. The “Synoptic Gospels” (Matthew, Mark and Luke) feature the Galilean ministry in their presentations. 91 DJN readings in 11 subsections cover this period.
Stage V. The later Judean and Perean Ministry. Jesus made a systematic circuit of Samaria, Judea, and the Perean region on the east side of the Jordan river, during the final six months of His life. Luke 9.51 to 19.27, and John 7.2 to 12.11 feature this critical time of in-depth discipleship training with the 12, and final gospel outreach to every town and village of Judea and Perea. This time Jesus trained and sent out 35 teams of two disciples to do “advance” work for him throughout the region. Luke and John record much fewer miracles during this period than in Galilee. However, the raising of Lazarus from the dead was the catalyst for finalization of the plan to kill Jesus in February–just six weeks before his death. 101 DJN postings in eight sub-sections cover this period.
Stage VI. Passion Week. The final week earthly ministry of Jesus consume about 1/4 of the total gospel witness about Jesus. The death and resurrection of Jesus are the shared central message of all four gospels, and the Scripture as a whole. Each day of this climactic week of human history had a unique emphasis, capped off by the death of the Lord of Glory. 89 DJN postings divided into a separate sub-section for every day of the week cover this material
Stage VII. The Resurrection and Eternal Ministry of Jesus. The importance of the events of Easter Sunday, and a total of 12 resurrection appearances of Jesus to His disciples over a 40 day period cannot be overestimated. These 40 days of training and teaching by Jesus (using the old Testament Scriptures to ground the faith of His disciples) set the stage for launching Jesus’ “Make disciples of all the nations” movement. Then, the book of Acts, the Epistles, and the Revelation give us more Scriptural material describing Jesus eternal ministry in heaven as Lord and Savior of his creation. 35 DJN readings cover this stage, divided into two subsections. This is the phase of Jesus’ ministry that all of us experience and relate to as post-Pentecost followers of Him.
These 7 stages give us a chronological framework for understanding each individual event and saying in the life of Jesus. No one gospel treats all seven stages with the same weight, so they are seen best when blending the content from all four Gospels into one seamless account. See the Comprehensive Outline of Jesus’ Life here.
What a life! What awesome Glory! Read the DAILY JESUS NEWS through subscribing to our RSS feed, or sign up to receive the DJN via e-mail–one reading every day.