40 A Time Line of the Life of Christ

Doug Bookman

Jesus’ life before His public ministry began about 30 years Birth and Silent Years
Jesus’ nativity, infancy, boyhood, young adult & early adult life
Public Presentation

  • seeking crowds
  • working countless miracles
  • traveling throughout the lands of the Jews, saturating the area with His claims, and with the proof of those claims by means of miracles
3–5 months The Opening of the Public Ministry of Jesus Christ

  1. The ministry of the forerunner, John the Baptist
  2. The baptism and temptation of Jesus the Christ
  3. The miracle of water to wine performed at Cana
    Jesus demonstrates His glory for the first time.
about 8 months The Early Judean Ministry of Jesus Christ

  1. Jesus cleanses the temple at Jerusalem during Passover season
  2. Nicodemus, a seeking Sanhedrinist, comes by night to Jesus
  3. Jesus gathers to Himself those who had already believed John’s message
  4. John the Baptist is arrested; Jesus departs for Galilee, passes through Samaria on the way, deals with the woman at the well
18 months The Great Galilean Ministry of Jesus Christ

  1. Many, many miracles during this time
  2. Jesus is seeking crowds, traveling throughout Galilee, saturating the land with His two-fold claim (to be Messiah, and to be God come in the flesh), proving the legitimacy of those claims by means of miracles
  3. In spite of the undeniable proof Jesus offers in defense of the truth of His claims, Israel finally rejects Him and His offer; Jesus discerns that spirit of disbelief, His disciples/apostles do not. There are two great moments of rejection which bring this phase of Jesus’ ministry to a close:
    a) The first moment of rejection—the unpardonable sin (Matthew 12:14)
    b) The final moment of rejection—the feeding of the 5000 (John 6:41)
Private Preparation

  • seeking privacy
  • avoiding miracles
  • fleeing areas populated by Jews
6 months Training of the Twelve
Notice that Jesus’ emphasis and tactics change dramatically at this point:

  1. He had been seeking crowds; now He seeks privacy
  2. He had been working miracles freely; now He seeks to avoid miracle-working in the attempt to avoid the consequent multitudes of people
  3. He had been speaking openly and plainly; now He speaks in parables
  4. He had been traveling throughout the land of the Jews; now He begins to move in non-Jewish territories (Syro-Phoenicia, Decapolis, Caesarea-Philippi)

Culmination of this period:

  1. Jesus finally finds solitude with His apostles, openly foretells His death for the first time; the apostles are horrified and unbelieving
  2. To reinforce the stumbling faith of the apostles, Jesus is transfigured before three of them
A time of mixed focus: Jesus presents Himself to the people of Judea and Perea; but all the while continues to prepare His witless disciples for His death. 6 months In and Around Jerusalem: The Six Months Before His Passion

  1. To Jerusalem, for the Feast of Tabernacles (November; cf. Luke 9:51, John 7:1). Then, ministers in Judea for final time, avoiding Jerusalem
  2. To Jerusalem, for the Feast of Dedication (December; cf. Luke 13:22, John 10:22). Then, to Perea (John 10:42), ministers until the sister of Lazarus send for Him
  3. To Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead (ca. February; cf. John 11:1). To village of Ephraim, remains secreted until He sets out for final Passover
Final Events

  • Final trip to Jerusalem
  • Passion Week
  • Resurrection Ministry
final week; and then 40 days Jesus Christ’s Passion in Jerusalem, the Resurrection and Ascension

  1. The final journey to Jerusalem; Jesus and His disciples travel to the city with a band of Passover pilgrims coming down from Galilee
  2. The Passion Week: Jesus dramatically enters Jerusalem (Sunday), cleanses and possesses the temple (Monday/Tuesday), keeps Passover (Thursday afternoon), then is arrested, tried, crucified and buried (Friday)
  3. The Ressurection (early Sunday), followed by a 40-day ministry on the earth
  4. The Ascension to the Father from the Mount of Olives