Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 16
THEY DID NOT KNOW
Let’s continue through the Four Gospels – Christ’s earthly ministry. Remember this is still under the Law. The Temple is still operating and Jesus is not permitting Gentiles to participate in His ministry. All the Abrahamic Covenants and promises are still in effect. So it’s Jew only. Our basic doctrine is that salvation is by faith alone in the finished work of the Cross. But the finished work of the Cross hasn’t been accomplished here. So they couldn’t be preaching that, nor were they supposed to preach that. Luke Chapter 9 shows that even the Twelve, after being with Jesus for nearly three years, didn’t understand the Cross. Here Jesus is speaking:
“Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.” They couldn’t even get up the courage to ask Him, “What are you talking about?” Turn to Luke 18 for more:
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, `Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again.'” Now Jesus is speaking of Himself. Verse 34:
“And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid (by a Sovereign God, it wasn’t time for them to understand) from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
They had no idea that in a few days He would be crucified. Let’s look at John Chapter 20. After the Crucifixion they are now at the tomb on the Resurrection morning and the Scripture again makes it so plain that they didn’t know. The setting here, of course, is Peter and John running to the sepulchre after Mary had told them that it was empty. And they look in and are amazed.
“For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”
If they had no idea that He was going to be crucified (and He was now raised from the dead), how in the world could they have been preaching our Gospel back there in His earthly ministry. Well, there was no way. Yet this is what’s been shoved down our throats; most have been taught that our Gospel came on the scene as soon as Jesus did. As you can see, that’s impossible. The Old Testament was full of it. Some people have counted about 360 different references of His first coming; His death, burial, and Resurrection; His ascension and His Second Coming. But always remember it was in such veiled language they didn’t know what it was. The prophets themselves couldn’t understand. We can now, since we have the whole Book. But they couldn’t. Now let’s look at Paul’s letter in I Corinthians Chapter 2. I think this put it so appropriately.
I had one gentleman call and he didn’t think that I should take the time to let people look up the references. He said, “My, that thirty minutes goes so fast.” But if he could only see how many people have written; one gentleman even showed me as he came to one of the classes, how that they sit and follow every one of those references with us. They write them down and make notes of them. So I purposefully slow down and give you time to look things up here in the studio. Hopefully our folk out there in their living rooms will do the same. I don’t want people to lean on what I say. All I want folks to know is what the Book says – that is what counts. Alright, Paul is writing to the Corinthians then in Chapter 2 verse 7:
I Corinthians 2:7
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery (now there’s that secret, there’s that hiding aspect that God has hidden some of these things), even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
I think Paul’s just being less than proud of his own efforts so he uses the plural pronoun, but I’m sure that he’s speaking of himself. He could have just as well said, `Unto my glory.’ But now verse 8: this wisdom has now has been revealed unto the Apostle Paul:
I Corinthians 2:8
“Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” They didn’t know.
I’ve been stressing ever since we came into the New Testament that the whole reason for Christ performing all of these miracles and signs was to prove to the Nation of Israel Who He was.
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through his name.”
That He was The Christ, the promised Messiah. And all they had to do was just believe that. That was their article of faith if I may put it that way. And we have shown that in previous programs. Let’s use Peter, Mary, and the Eunuch for examples. Jesus asked the Twelve again just shortly before His Crucifixion:
“…Whom do men say that I the son of man, am? And they said, `Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.’ He saith unto them, `But whom say ye that I am?’ And Simon Peter answered and said, `Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'”
And what do I always put behind that? Period. He doesn’t say, `The one that died for me, was buried, and rose from the dead,’ which, of course, is our Gospel here in the Church Age as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4. And then we have Martha at the death of Lazarus, weeping and in sorrow because The Lord didn’t come quick enough to spare him. And you know the story. Jesus told Martha that:
“…Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, `I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ Jesus said unto her, `I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ She saith unto him, `Yea Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, …'”
Remember that’s all that was expected of them to believe. Nothing else had been revealed. Now to Acts Chapter 8. Here we have the proselyte Ethiopian Eunuch, and Philip shows him out of Isaiah 53 Who the prophet was talking about. He explains that it was this Jesus who had now gone up and down the highways and byways of Israel proving Who He was. And again Philip brings the Eunuch to the same place:
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, `See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?’ And Philip said, `If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest,’ And he (Eunuch) answered and said, `I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'”
That was their profession of faith. And it was all still under the Law. Alright, but now we are coming up to Jerusalem. And it’s the final days leading up to the Crucifixion. And everything is getting ready for the Jewish feast – the week of Passover.
“And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings (these were the ones that we talked about in the last lesson, which were prophecy, where He laid out all the things that would come to pass before He would come and set up His Kingdom), he said unto his disciples, `Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.’ Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. But they said, `Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.'”
Not during this whole week of feasts is what it amounted to. It wasn’t just one day, but the whole week of Unleavened Bread. The Sovereign God was in control. Go to Psalms Chapter 2. In God’s Sovereign plan there was only one way for Christ to be put to death and that was at the hands of not just the Jew, which it would have been had the High Priest let the people kill Him. It had to also involve the Gentile in order to fulfill, explicitly, Psalms Chapter 2.
“Why do the heathen rage (now who are the heathen in Scripture? Gentiles, the non Jew), and the people (and who are they? The Jews. So now you have the whole human race involved. You have the Gentile world as well as the Nation of Israel) imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves (we know that it was Rome. David didn’t know that when he wrote this. But now we know that at that time, the kings of the world were the Caesars and the rulers of Rome. They set themselves, not just the Gentile rulers, but who else?), and the rulers (who are they referring to? The religious rulers of Israel. So now you have the Gentile rulers which was Rome, and the religious rulers of Israel) they take counsel (now what’s the next word?) together,…”
That’s all important. It wasn’t just a Jewish phenomena. It wasn’t just a Roman thing. Prophesy had dictated that they would work hand in glove to reject the King. And so we have it as we come into the Four Gospel accounts. Back to Matthew Chapter 26 once again.
“But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
I hope you all realize that the Sabbath day, the Saturday, was not a day of sacrifice. Never in Israel’s history did they sacrifice animals on the Sabbath. I know that a lot of us have gotten the idea that the Sabbath was a day of worship, and sacrificing and ritual. No it wasn’t. There is no record of them ever sacrificing or killing an animal on the Sabbath day.
Transcriber’s note: Les made the statement above in 1996, and heard no more about it until 2004. At that time, a listener in Ohio was doing some research and found that there was sacrifice on the Sabbath, and called it to the attention of the ministry. (Numbers 28:9-10 and perhaps other places.) Les has always shared with the television audience that when he makes a statement as the program is being taped, he is stuck with that statement until the next taping. This is because unlike high dollar polished programs where they can edit out mistakes, this program is not edited. Les tries very hard to be very accurate, but occasionally, since he is human, mistakes can be made, usually in the area of the Law and Israel’s rituals. However, you will not find Les making a mistake on things that pertain to your eternal destiny. Les always shares straight from the risen Lord that one must believe Paul’s Gospel in one’s heart for salvation, as found in I Corinthians 15:1-4. Now back to the lesson.
And, consequently, as we’re going to be taking a look at it, the Passover could not have been a Saturday Passover, because it would have flown in the face of everything that took place before. This may shock a few of you, but I do these things to get people to dig in the Scriptures.. You go back into the Old Testament and you’ll never find that the Jews offered an animal sacrifice on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a day of rest, not a day of worship. That’s why they weren’t supposed to pick up sticks, let alone carry an animal up and have it sacrificed. We’ll be looking at that a little more in detail when we get further along.
“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment,…”
I want to point something out in these final days leading up to the Crucifixion. I want you to, in your own study, use all of the Four Gospels and begin to pick out every time He goes back to Bethany to spend the night. Bethany is just outside the city of Jerusalem. He goes back into the Temple again the next day. And that’s His schedule throughout those days leading up to His Crucifixion. So here again, He is back in Bethany for the evening. And in comes this lady with the box of precious ointment:
“…and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat (or food).” And the disciples were rather distraught. Now verse 9:
“For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, `Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.'”
My, if the sociologists could just get that through their head, and just realize that this world will always have poor people and nothing they can do will stop it. Don’t think I don’t have a heart for the poor. I can be in the supermarket line and it just tears me up to see a young mother peel out that cash, and you can tell just by looking at her that she doesn’t have much. I’m not belittling the poor. But what I’m saying is that the Word of God says you will never get rid of that situation. They have been part of society from the beginning and will be until The Lord comes back again.
“For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.”
Remember after death, the body was anointed with ointments and perfumes. So Jesus says, “She’s doing this in view of my burial.” Did they know what Jesus was talking about? No. We’ve already looked at those verses. And I’m not convinced that this lady that anointed Jesus knew that she was putting on a burial ointment.
“Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel (that’s the Kingdom Gospel. That He was The Christ) shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” And, of course, just about everyone in Christendom has heard of this woman.
As an overview now, we come through these events in Chapter 26 where Judas makes the deal with the High Priest to betray Jesus. We see Jesus foretells Peters denying Him three times. I don’t know how many of you know that in Matthew, Mark and Luke we have what we call the Synoptic Gospels, and they deal primarily with His humanity side of everything. But John’s Gospel deals with Deity. So you will find that a lot of the things that are covered in the Synoptic Gospels are not mentioned in John. For example the “Temptations” and “His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.” That was part of His human suffering. So you might want to study that aspect as you study your Bible. Now as we come to His arrest, everyone knows it all so well, the thing I want to point out first and foremost is the human race hasn’t changed a bit. Whenever totalitarian governments come on the scene and begin to arrest their people, what time of day do they most generally do it? Nighttime. Why? Because it’s a mental thing. It’s one thing to have someone knock on your door in the daytime. But it’s something else for them to knock on it at 2:00A.M. It’s traumatic. It’s the same way here. What time of the day do they choose to arrest Jesus? Nighttime. This was so typical.
You know the account of how Judas had betrayed Jesus, and had led the soldiers. And here is another amazing thing. Jesus was so meek and so compassionate, and yet how many soldiers did they bring to arrest Him? It must have been at least a hundred because the military term speaks of 600, but that doesn’t mean they all came for this arrest. Now let’s look at verse 48:
“Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, `Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.’ And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, `Hail, master; and kissed him.’ And Jesus said unto him, `Friend, wherefore art thou come?…'” I’ve commented over the years that Jesus many times responded with a question. Not because He didn’t know, because at the last supper that was settled.
If we get into the study of the “Last Supper,” I’ll probably bring out some of the things that took place there. For example, contrary again to what most people think, the last supper was not the Passover lamb. The Passover lamb wouldn’t have been killed until the next afternoon (Friday), and then eaten later that afternoon. It was simply the last supper that He had enjoyed with His disciples. It was not the Passover. I just wanted to make that point. Now back to verse 50. Remember Jesus calls Judas “friend.” I have always maintained that this term was such a term of endearment. The margins in some Bibles will even use the word “comrade.” What was Jesus still extending to this demonic man Judas? An opportunity to repent! Judas was not yet given up on, and He gives him that opportunity by addressing him with this term of endearment. And Judas at that moment still turned, he could have still not had to suffer the doom that he did.