To grasp the life and ministry of Jesus in a small book is perhaps the world’s greatest challenge. This book focuses on the earthly life and ministry of Jesus as one aspect of the complete work of Christ that is so essential to our salvation and our faith. Noted author and scholar Dr. Paul Benware breaks down eight periods of Jesus’ life, from birth through the last days in Jerusalem. Five helpful appendices are also included in this helpful guide to our Savior’s life and ministry.
A Chapter-by Chapter Summary:
Introduction: The book aims to bring clarity to the sequence of events in the life and ministry of Jesus, highlighting the importance of understanding Jesus’ life and ministry within the framework of the grand story of the Bible.
Chapter 1: The importance of understanding Jesus’ life and ministry in the context of God’s plan of reconciliation and the Abrahamic covenant.
Chapter 2: The chronology of Jesus’ life, focusing on his birth, ministry, and death.
Chapter 3: The eight periods of Jesus’ life and ministry, including Jesus’ birth and childhood, preparing for his ministry, the great Galilean ministry, the training of the twelve apostles, and the last days in Jerusalem.
Chapter 4: The birth and childhood of Jesus, including details of his birth and the wisemen from the east.
Chapter 5: The period of preparation for Jesus’ ministry, including John the Baptist’s preaching, Jesus’ baptism, and temptation.
Chapter 6: The early ministry of Jesus, including his travels, teachings, and miracles, as well as his interactions with religious leaders.
Chapter 7: The Great Galilean Ministry of Jesus, emphasizing his teaching ministry, authority, and miracles, including the Sermon on the Mount and the “bread of life” sermon.
Chapter 8: Jesus’ focus on training his twelve apostles and his identification as the Son of God, including the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000 and the Transfiguration.
Chapter 9: The Later Judean Ministry of Jesus, including His teachings on discipleship and His commissioning of seventy others.
Chapter 10: Jesus and his followers cross the Jordan River to Perea, and Jesus instructs his apostles on various topics, including the Rich Young Ruler and the postponement of His earthly kingdom.
Chapter 11: Jesus’ last week on earth, including the Triumphal Entry, the Olivet Discourse, and His betrayal.
Chapter 12: The Last Days in Jerusalem, including the Last Supper, Jesus’ arrest and trials, and His crucifixion and resurrection.
Chapter 13: Jesus’ ascension back into heaven and the promise of His second coming.
Appendices: Information on key groups and organizations mentioned in the Gospels, the concept of the “Kingdom of God,” what a person must do to be saved, the Synoptic Problem, and resources for further study.