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Jesus’ mission is about to come to an end. He has prepared His disciples for His

impending death by instructing them about a life of faith. He now reminds them of what He will face in Jerusalem.

This prediction is sometimes referred to as the third prediction of Jesus’ death even though the total number is more than three. The first prediction is found in chapter 9 verse 22 and the second in verses 43-45 of the same chapter. The Messiah’s death had been predicted and/or prefigured centuries before in such Old Testament passages as Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 and Zechariah 13:7. Other Lucan passages that record Jesus’ repeated foretelling of His coming death are found in Luke 5:35; 12:50; 13:32-33; 17:25; 18:32; 24:7 and in Matthew 16:21; 26:24,31,54 and Mark 9:9,12,31; 10:33-34; 14:21,41.


What does the third prediction of Jesus' death have to do with His teaching that precedes it regarding giving up everything?

It doesn’t seem to fit.

Luke points out:

"Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, 'We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.”

(v. 31)


Luke’s statement, “and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled” (v. 31) speaks of fulfilled prophecy.

As we look back with the perspective of having seen the fulfillment of this and the many other prophecies, we have every reason to believe in the integrity of Jesus’ claim. This is why fulfilled prophecy is one of the most credible evidences to show that Jesus was exactly who the Bible said He was/is: God in the flesh (Jn 1:1,14). While many religions claim their books to be divinely inspired, the Bible is the only one which contains prophecies that can’t simply be explained away as chance.

The disciples of Jesus’ day should have been familiar with many of the prophecies concerning the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ since they had the Hebrew Scriptures to study. Some of these are:


Micah 5:2 states that the Messiah, who was foretold from ages past, would be born in the town of Bethlehem. This was fulfilled according to Luke 2:4-5,7.

Isaiah 7:14 states that the Jesus would be born of a virgin. This was fulfilled according to Luke 1:26-27,30-31.

Hosea 11:1 states that Egypt is where God called his Son from. This was fulfilled according to Matthew 2:14-15.

Isaiah 53:5 states that the Messiah would be scourged. This was fulfilled according to Matthew 27:26.

Isaiah 53:12 states that the Messiah would be murdered with criminals. This was fulfilled according to Mark 15:27

Psalms 22:16 states that the Messiah would be pierced in his hands and feet. This was fulfilled according to John 20:25-57

Psalms 22:17-18 states that the Messiah’s garments would be gambled away. This was fulfilled according to Matthew 27:35.

Isaiah 53:9 states that the Messiah would be buried with the rich, even though he was put to death as a wicked man. This was fulfilled according to Matthew 27:57-61.

Psalms 16:10 states that the Messiah would be resurrected. This was fulfilled according to Mark 16:6-7.

No one other than Jesus of Nazareth has or could have done these things. Isaiah 35 even reveals what kinds of miracles the Messiah would perform.

Although Jesus could have orchestrated His life to make it look like He was the Messiah in the case of certain “miracles,” such would have been impossible in the case of others. No one can orchestrate when they are born or how they are treated when they die. And who decides who Jesus is to be executed with and who has the power to raise themselves from the dead?

In his book Science Speaks, Peter Stoner claims that for one man to fulfill just eight of the prophecies mentioned in the Bible requires a probably of 1 out 1017. If we had that many silver dollars we could cover the state of Texas two feet deep. The probability of one man fulfilling as many as 48 of the Bible’s prophecies equals the probability of 1 in 10157.


It is interesting that Luke does not lay blame to the religious establishment in terms of Jesus’ arrest and trial. Instead, he refers to the handing over of Jesus to the Gentiles:

“He will be handed over to the Gentiles” (v. 32).

The act reflects the hardness of heart of the Gentiles. Peter made this clear in his preaching:


“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross” (Ac 2:22-23). \

This was literally done by Herod and his Roman soldiers (23:11; Mk 15:17). Both the robe (Lk 23:11; Mk 15:17) and crown (Mk 15:17) were parts of the mock royal attire placed on Jesus.

Notice the abuse of the Savior:

“They will mock Him, insult Him, spit on Him, flog Him and kill Him” (v. 32).

Jesus will be mocked (22:63-71; 23:11,36) and subjected to the ridicule of proud scoffers.

This was done by Pilate, the Roman governor. The punishment of the cross was Roman not Jewish; but the chief priests condemned Him to it, and the Romans executed the sentence.

How ignorant they were! In reality, by this very process, they were jointly offering up that sacrifice which was to make an atonement for the Gentiles and for the Jews; an atonement for the sin of the whole world.

Here is the greatest instance of the fact that even the wrath of man shall fulfill God’s plan and purpose.


“On the third day He will rise again'” (v. 33).

In historic Christianity the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the pivot on which every other teaching rests. Do away with the bodily resurrection of Jesus and you do destroy the very foundation and fabric of the Christian religion (1 Co 15:12-19). Jesus of

Nazareth, however, was raised bodily, victorious over death, sin and Satan. He was raised in the same material body in which He had died, but now His body was resurrected and glorified.

Pointers to a Bodily Resurrection

The gospels go to great lengths to attest that the resurrection of Jesus was a bodily resurrection. Here lies the significance of the empty tomb. The empty tomb by itself was a puzzling fact that needed explanation. Mark records that the first reaction of the women to the


empty tomb as well as to the message of the angels was not that of belief and excitement, but of fear and astonishment (Mk 16:1-5).

Luke tells us of two disciples who knew of the empty tomb but did not believe the resurrection until they were confronted by the risen Jesus (Lk 24:22-35). John relates that Mary could not conclude from the empty tomb that Jesus' body had been raised (Jn 20:2). It was not the empty tomb that aroused belief in John, the disciple, it was the appearance of the grave clothes (vv. 6-8). John adds an explanation, "They [the disciples] still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead" (v. 9). Apart from the appearances of Jesus, the empty tomb was an enigma. The empty tomb by itself does not guarantee the bodily resurrection of Jesus; on the other hand, the bodily resurrection of Jesus requires an empty tomb.


Luke points out that the disciples simply did not understand the significance of what was happening to Jesus:

“The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about." (v. 34)

The disciples’ lack of understanding does not mean that they did not understand Jesus’

words; rather, they cannot comprehend how such rejection and physical suffering will fulfill Scripture or how Messiah could suffer. In fact, they did not grasp the significance of this until Jesus revealed it to two of His followers on the Road to Emmaus (24:13-49).


Part of the answer to the initial question of how this section fits with the preceding

emphasis on giving everything up for the sake of the kingdom of God is that Jesus is here sharing with His followers how much He is willing to give up for their sakes. After all, the disciples probably thought about how much they were being asked to give up. Jesus gave everything—His very life—to follow fulfill the Father's will and thus provide for us what is most precious: eternal life.

Although Jesus disciples were unable to understand what Jesus was saying at the time, after it took place they remembered that He had made that very prediction. His death and resurrection were part of God's plan all along.


Holding on to our possessions makes it impossible to inherit eternal life. We can’t have it both ways. We cannot hold onto the world and hold onto Christ at the same time.


We must be willing to give up everything to follow Jesus!

"Peter said to him, 'We have left all we had to follow you!'

'I tell you the truth,' Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.'"

( Lk 18:28-30)




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