Pre-blog summaries

Matthew 1-4: Genealogy of Jesus from Abraham. Virgin birth of Jesus in Bethlehem; wise men come to visit. Jesus, Joseph, and Mary flee to Egypt to escape Herod; Herod kills all male children in Bethlehem under 2, in order to kill Jesus. John baptizes Jesus; Satan tempts Jesus but fails; four fishermen join Jesus as disciples.

Matthew 5-8: Sermon on the Mount: the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, and the persecuted are blessed. Christ is here to fulfill the Law, not to overturn it. Jesus makes extreme demands: not only is murder wrong, so is getting angry; not only is adultery wrong, so is looking at a woman in a lustful way; one should love enemies as well as friends. One should not judge or pray in public. After the sermon, he heals many people, casts out demons into pigs, and make the wind and wave obey him.

Matthew 9-12: Jesus continues his healing: he heals a paralytic, raises a girl from the dead, restores a mute man’s hearing. Matthew joins as his disciple, and he sends out the disciples to preach after giving them powers to cleanse lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Jesus believes “the kingdom of heaven is near”, that cities which didn’t repent will suffer terrible fates, and that his message will tear families apart. Jesus argues with Pharisees about healing on the Sabbath and casting out demons.

Matthew 13-16: Jesus tells many parables; they are meant to hide the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” from those who don’t already know them. Most of the parables say that not everyone will receive his message and be saved, and that those who reject his message will be destroyed with “wailing and gnashing of teeth”. Jesus performs mass feeding miracles. Jesus criticizes Pharisees for not executing children for cursing their parents, when they accuse him of not following hand-washing ritual. Peter finally understands that Jesus is the son of God; Jesus predicts his own death and resurrection.

Matthew 17-20: Jesus goes up to mountain with Peter, James, and John; they see him shine like the sun & appear with Elijah and Moses; God speaks and confirms that Jesus is his son. Jesus predicts his own death and resurrection. Whoever humbles themselves is first in the kingdom of heaven; the last on earth shall be first, and the first last. Parable of the unforgiving servant urges people to forgive each other. Absolute prohibition of divorce. Very hard for rich people to enter heaven. Some more healing miracles.

Matthew 21-24: Jesus steals a donkey and rides it into Jerusalem. He chases money changers and dove merchants out of the Temple, and withers a fig tree for not bearing figs. Parable of the two sons, parable of wicked vinedressers, of wedding feast (“many are called, but few are chosen”). Disputes with Pharisees and Sadducees—they try to trap him, but fail. Jesus criticizes scribes and Pharisees: they are hypocrites who do their works to be seen by men. Jesus predicts end of the world after an abomination of desolation is set up in “the holy place”; Son of Man will come; “this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place”.

Matthew 25-28: Parable of the virgins and talents. Son of Man will judge all the nations—“as you did it to one of the least of my brethren, you did it to me”; the sheep will receive eternal life, the goats everlasting punishment. Jesus eats Passover meal with disciples; institutes eucharist. Jesus arrested after Judas betrays him; Sanhedrin sentences him to death for blasphemy, sends him to Pontius Pilate. Pilate doesn’t think Jesus is guilty, but pressured by multitude to crucify him. Jesus crucified. Mary Magdalene and other Mary come to see his tomb; angel tells them to tell disciples that Jesus has risen. Jesus appears to them, tells them to tell disciples to go to Galilee & meet Jesus. Soldiers guarding tomb bribed to hide what they saw.

Mark 1-4: John baptizes Jesus; Jesus begins ministry, four disciples join him. Jesus casts out a spirit in Capernaum, heals people during Sabbath. Jesus questioned about healing on the Sabbath and about not fasting; claims to be Lord of the Sabbath. Great multitude starts following Jesus; Jesus withdraws to the sea; he gets 12 apostles. Jesus ignores mother and brothers. Many parables (of the sower, of the mustard seed, of the growing seed). The purpose of parables is that the twelve apostles get to know about the kingdom of God, but everyone else does not, “lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them”.

Mark 5-8: In Gadarenes, Jesus casts out many demons into pigs, who drown in the sea. Raising of a dead girl, healing of a bleeding woman. Nazarenes reject his message. 12 disciples sent out to preach—they cast out demons, anointed many with oil, healed. John the Baptist beheaded by Herod as a gift. Miraculous feeding of the five thousand; Jesus walks on sea and appears to disciples; more healing. Dispute with Pharisees—they criticize him for not washing hands, he criticizes them for not killing children for cursing their parents. Jesus feeds 4000, heals some more; Peter say Jesus is the Christ, and jesus predicts him death and resurrection. Throughout the chapters, Jesus warns everyone not to tell people about his miraculous powers.

Mark 9-12: Some standing there won’t taste death before Kingdom of God comes. Jesus transfigured on mountain with Peter, James, John watching. Healing of boy, of blind Bartimaeus. Predicts own betrayal, death, and resurrection. Warning to apostles: whoever wants to be first will be last in heaven. Divorce forbidden, rich people can’t get into heaven. Jesus withers fig tree for not bearing figs, even though it wasn’t the season for figs. Jesus enters Jerusalem, disputes with Pharisees, chases money changers out of Temple.

Mark 13-16: Jesus predicts destruction of Temple, end of the world (which will come before this generation passes away). Jesus anointed at Bethany by a woman. Jesus and disciples eat Passover meal; Jesus institutes eucharist. Judas betrays Jesus, who is arrested and brought before Sanhedrin; they find him guilty of blasphemy. Pilate doesn’t think he did anything wrong, but can’t resist will of the multitude. Jesus crucified and buried in Joseph’s tomb. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome come to anoint him, but young man clothed in white robe told them Jesus had risen, and told women to tell disciples. Women ran away and told nobody (original ending).

Luke 1-4: Angel appears to Elizabeth, wife of the priest Zacharias, when they are in Temple; angel tells Elizabeth she will have a child, despite being old and barren. Angel Gabriel announces Jesus’ birth to Mary, wife of Joseph. Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist, Jesus to Mary. Shepherds are told by angel about Christ and visit him. Jesus circumcised, parents sacrifice at temple. John preaches a baptism of repentence; baptizes Jesus. Genealogy of Jesus Christ. Satan tempts Jesus with food and power, but fails. Jesus chased out of Nazareth and goes to Capernum, where he taught, cast out a demon, and healed many people.

Luke 5-8: Four fishermen and Levi the tax collector join as disciples. Jesus disputes with Pharisees: explains why he doesn’t fast, claims to be Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus heals many people. Beatitudes: blessed are the poor, the hungry, the persecuted; woe to the rich, the full, the popular. Love your enemies, turn the other cheek, and lend while hoping for nothing in return. Do not judge or be hypocritical. Jesus heals a centurion’s servant without entering his house, raises a boy and a girl from the dead, and heals a bleeding woman. Jesus demonstrates his power over the sea, and explains the purpose of parables; parable of the sower and revealed light. Jesus drives out demons into pigs.

Luke 9-12: Many women support Jesus financially. Parable of the sower. Purpose of parables: to hide truth about kingdom of God from non-disciples. Jesus ignores mother and brothers, controls the weather, casts out demons into pigs. Girl raised from dead and bleeding woman healed. Twelve disciples sent out, with power to cure diseases and cast out demons, to preach and heal. Miraculous feeding of the five thousand; Peter calls Jesus the Christ. Transfiguration of Jesus: his face was altered, and his robe became white. More healing; Jesus sends out seventy disciples, and they return with joy. Parable of the good Samaritan: Samaritan helps a robbery victim, while priest and Levite ignore him. Disputes with Pharisees and layers: Jesus refuses to give a sign, ridicules them for washing hands before eating, accuses their ancestors of killing prophets. Confess Christ before men so that Christ confesses you before God. Parable of the faithful & evil servant: Son of Man is coming at an hour you don’t expect. Christ brings division, not peace.

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