Following Rabbi Jesus through 40 Passages in 40 Days: A Bible Reading Plan

Following Rabbi Jesus will force us to cross many borders, ask many questions, and reimagine almost everything we know about God, self, and our world. Our Teacher will time and again point us back to the ancient texts to show us who and how he was. He was, after all, a Jew. And no one can understand Jesus – let alone follow him – without grasping how thoroughly Jewish he was. He did not come, nor was it ever his intent, to start a new breakaway religion. He came for one reason.jesus-teaching-scroll

Jesus came to reveal the justice and kingdom of God – the full intent and vision of God for our world. This intent of God is present in the Hebrew Scriptures. Thus Jesus didn’t come to replace the scriptures, but to fulfill them and make them complete. In his first Lukan sermon, Jesus reads a core text then says “Today in your presence this text has been fulfilled.” In the Sermon on the Mount he says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

Both the texts he quotes and those he chooses not to quote uncover for us the core and nuances of God’s justice and kingdom, which he invites us to seek above everything else (Matt 6:33).

These texts are not random, like setting a monkey to the piano and expecting Mozart. Jesus uses and quotes specific texts that nuance his mission and define him in very particular ways up against what others might have expected from God’s Messiah.

What you are holding in your hands is the Bible Jesus used, knew, and quoted. For the next 40 days we invite you to Read the Bible Jesus Taught. This guide contains 40 Old Testament passages that Jesus used to teach about God’s present and coming kingdom. Each day is numbered and named, with a brief intro to the context in which Jesus teaches it, along with the NT verse. We then quote the full text of what Jesus references from the Old Testament.

This is a Bible reading plan: 40 passages in 40 days. The final 6 entries are core texts that prophesied the coming Messiah. While Jesus doesn’t directly quote them, they were part of his and the early church’s understanding of who and how he was.

In the back you’ll also find journal pages and a daily prayer.

Jesus teaching of the Bible helps us understand the enormity and goodness of God’s full vision and intent for our world. The narratives he sites are almost all about how the boundaries of God’s kingdom and goodness are bigger than expected.

The prophetic texts (which he loves more than any other, especially Isaiah) he teaches are not passages of doom and gloom or far off fulfillment, but imaginative dreams of a world filled with God. He sets a strong foundation that obedient discipleship is valued above piety and worship.

For Jesus, the newness of God’s coming kingdom really was connected to the Old traditions. Thus he can spend hours in Bible study teaching how the Old Testament points directly to him (Luke 24).

And yet, at the same time, in connecting the old to the new, he transformed it at the same time. Giving us the clearest most nuanced look at God’s gospel in our midst. In Reading the Bible Jesus’ Taught, it is our hope and prayer that you will experience both the connection to the ancient vision of God and the transformation that comes only in Christ.

May you know the full intent of God for yourself and our world!

1. Light in the Darkness
In Luke 1:79 John’s dad Zechariah sings his hopes for Messiah from Isaiah 9:2(6-7).

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 

2. Reshaping the Landscape
Numerous times (such as Luke 3:4-6, 7:27) John’s ministry is expressed as pointing to God’s reshaping of the Landscape from Isaiah 40:3-5.

A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ 

3. Unlimited Allegiance to God
In Luke 4:1-13 Jesus quotes Deuteronomy (Deut 6:13, 6:16, 8:3) to resist his 3 great temptations and pledge obedience to God alone.

The Lord your God you shall fear; him you shall serve, and by his name alone you shall swear.

 Do not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.

He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.


4. Jesus’ Agenda
In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus quotes Isaiah 58:6-7 & 61:1-2 to announce his ministry’s agenda and goal.

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free,and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners;  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.

5. God’s Kingdom has no borders
After his first sermon in Luke 4:24-30, Jesus tells the stories of Elijah (1 Kings 17:8-16) and Elisha (2 Kings 5:1-14) illustrating God’s concern for foreigners and those across the border.

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.’ So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.’ As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’ But she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.’ Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that theLord sends rain on the earth.’ She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of theLord that he spoke by Elijah.

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favour with his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, ‘If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’ So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. And the king of Aram said, ‘Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.’

He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, ‘When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.’ When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, ‘Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.’

 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, ‘Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.’ So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.’ But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, ‘I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?’ He turned and went away in a rage. But his servants approached and said to him, ‘Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, “Wash, and be clean”?’ So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.

6. Discipleship not religion
In Luke 6:1-11 Jesus tells the story of David in 1 Samuel 21:1-6 breaking religious law as an act of faithfulness.

David came to Nob to the priest Ahimelech. Ahimelech came trembling to meet David, and said to him, ‘Why are you alone, and no one with you?’David said to the priest Ahimelech, ‘The king has charged me with a matter, and said to me, “No one must know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.” I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what have you at hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.’ The priest answered David, ‘I have no ordinary bread at hand, only holy bread—provided that the young men have kept themselves from women.’ David answered the priest, ‘Indeed, women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition; the vessels of the young men are holy even when it is a common journey; how much more today will their vessels be holy?’ So the priest gave him the holy bread; for there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

7. The Upside Down Kingdom
Jesus’ great sermon on the Plan/Mount (Luke 6:20-26) mirrors Jesus’ mom singing (Luke 1:46-55) of God bringing an alternative Upside Down kingdom from 1 Samuel 2:1-10.

Hannah prayed and said, ‘My heart exults in the Lord;  my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory. ‘There is no Holy One like the Lord,  no one besides you;  there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge,  and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. he Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,  and on them he has set the world. ‘He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail. The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;  the Most High will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.’



8. Jubilee Debt Relief
In Matthew 6 Jesus teaches us the Lord’s Prayer, a Jubilee prayer of debt relief, based on Leviticus 25.

And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you: you shall return, every one of you, to your property and every one of you to your family.

The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants. Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land.

If anyone of your kin falls into difficulty and sells a piece of property, then the next-of-kin shall come and redeem what the relative has sold… if there are not sufficient means to recover it, what was sold shall remain with the purchaser until the year of jubilee; in the jubilee it shall be released, and the property shall be returned.

If any who are dependent on you become so impoverished that they sell themselves to you, you shall not make them serve as slaves. They shall remain with you as hired or bound labourers. They shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee. 41Then they and their children with them shall be free from your authority; they shall go back to their own family and return to their ancestral property. 42For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt

9. Jesus fulfills Expectations of Good News to the Poor
In Luke 7:18-23 John asks Jesus if he is the Messiah. Jesus says he’s fulfilled the material Messianic expectations of Isaiah 29:18-19, 35:5-6, 61:1.

On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a scroll, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;  then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,  and streams in the desert;

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,  and release to the prisoners;

10. Do you want to hear? If not, you are not alone!
In Luke 8:10 Jesus tells us everyone is not interested in understanding the Gospel of God, as in Isaiah 6:9-10.

And he said, ‘Go and say to this people: “Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.” Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes,  and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds,  and turn and be healed.’

11. Mercy not Worship
In Matthew 9:13 & 12:7 Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 and says works are more important than worship.

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings. 

12. All we need is love
In Luke 10:27 Jesus says true faith loves God (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) AND neighbor (Leviticus 19:18).

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love theLord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the Lord.

13. A Call to Repent
In Luke 11:29-32 tells the story of Jonah to warn us it might be time to repent.

14. Peace not Piety
In Luke 11:42 Jesus reminds us piety is not as important as justice and peace, like Micah 6:6-8.

‘With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’ He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,  and to walk humbly with your God? 

15. Bringing God’s Just Intent to the Whole World
In Matthew 12:15-21 the author quotes Isaiah 42:1-4 suggesting Jesus won’t stop until Justice is revealed.

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching. 

16. Being Right with God means more than Worship
In Matthew 15:7-9 Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13-14 as one of several texts he uses to make this point.

The Lord said: Because these people draw near with their mouths and honour me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote; so I will again do amazing things with this people, shocking and amazing. The wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden. 

17. Lose your life to Save it
In Luke 17:32-33 tells the story of Lot’s wife (Genesis 19:26) to teach us where our focus should be.

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

18. The Messiah Comes in Peace
In Luke 19:29-38 Jesus reminds us of Zechariah 9:9-10 and that Messiah brings peace through peace.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the warhorse from Jerusalem; and the battle-bow shall be cut off,  and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 

19. Divine Worship does not excuse us from Divine Action
In Luke 19:46 Jesus quotes the sermon that got Jeremiah in deep trouble (7:1-15), which then gets Jesus in deep trouble.

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Stand in the gate of theLord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of theLord, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship theLord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of theLord, the temple of the Lord.’

 For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors for ever and ever.

 Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are safe!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the Lord. Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, says the Lord, and when I spoke to you persistently, you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your ancestors, just what I did to Shiloh.And I will cast you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinsfolk, all the offspring of Ephraim.

20. Indicting the Religious
In Luke 20:9-19 Jesus indicts religious types as having “rejected the chief cornerstone” from Psalm 118:22-23.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing;  it is marvellous in our eyes.

21. It all belongs to God
In Luke 20:25 Jesus traps accusers by pulling to mind Psalm 24:1. Is anything left for Caesar?

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it, for he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation. Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

22. God of the Living
In Luke 20:34-40 Jesus tells Moses’ story at the burning bush in Exodus 3:1-6 to teach eternal life.

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

23. Jesus is not another Emperor
In Luke 20:41-44 Jesus places himself above David and distances himself from certain messianic expectations that he’ll be David come again. See Psalm 110:1

The Lord says to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’ 

24. Jesus deserves Praise
In Matthew 21:14-17 Jesus – under pressure to silence his followers – quotes Psalm 8 in the presence of enemies.

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honour. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet, all sheep and oxen,  and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 

O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

25. Valuing Who God Values
In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus draws on Isaiah 58:6-9 to outline God’s concern for the poor, sick, widows, and immigrants.

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them,  and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;  you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,

26. How to treat the poor
In Matthew 26:11 Jesus references Deuteronomy 15:7-11, a passage which teaches extreme generosity to the poor.

If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbour. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near’, and therefore view your needy neighbour with hostility and give nothing; your neighbour might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account theLord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbour in your land.’

27. Jesus is King and Lord of All
In numerous places Jesus takes on the important Messianic title “Son of Man” from Daniel 7:13-14 (quoted in Mark 14:62) who is king and Lord of all.

As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One  and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

28. Celebrating Liberation
In Luke 22:1-16 Jesus and his disciples celebrate Passover, celebrating the Liberation of God’s people in Exodus (see Deuteronomy 26:5-10).

You shall make this response before the Lord your God: ‘A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labour on us, we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.’ You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God.

29. God’s New Covenant
In Luke 22:20 Jesus claims Jeremiah’s vision of a New Covenant with God and humanity has come true. (See Jeremiah 31:31-34)

 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. 

30. The Cross Demands Nonviolence
In Matthew 26:52-54 Jesus says nonviolence fulfills the scriptures. One key text he may have referred to is Isaiah 52:13-53:12 which the early church connected to Jesus.

See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up,  and shall be very high. Just as there were many who were astonished at him   —so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals— so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had not been told them they shall see,  and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate. Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant,  and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,  nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others;  a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken,  struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions,  crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole,  and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray;  we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,  yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,  so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked  and his tomb with the rich,
although he had done no violence,  and there was no deceit in his mouth. 



31. My God
In Matthew 27:46 Jesus cries out to God as he dies on the cross, quoting Psalm 22.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;  and by night, but find no rest. 

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our ancestors trusted;  they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame. But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people. All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads; ‘Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—  let him rescue the one in whom he delights!’ 

Yet it was you who took me from the womb;  you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God. Do not be far from me,  for trouble is near  and there is no one to help. Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water,  and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax;  it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,  and my tongue sticks to my jaws;  you lay me in the dust of death. 

For dogs are all around me;  a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feet have shrivelled; can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me; they divide my clothes among themselves,  and for my clothing they cast lots. But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword,  my life from the power of the dog!  Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me. I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;  in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 

For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him. From you comes my praise in the great congregation;  my vows I will pay before those who fear him. The poor shall eat and be satisfied;  those who seek him shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live for ever! 

All the ends of the earth shall remember  and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations  shall worship before him. For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations. To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;  before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.

32. Unleashing the Holy
In Luke 23:45 the curtain which segregated God’s holiness from the world is ripped, unleashing holiness and Presence on us. (See Exodus 26:31-35)

You shall make a curtain of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen; it shall be made with cherubim skilfully worked into it. You shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, which have hooks of gold and rest on four bases of silver. You shall hang the curtain under the clasps, and bring the ark of the covenant inside, within the curtain; and the curtain shall separate for you the holy place from the most holy.You shall put the mercy-seat on the ark of the covenant in the most holy place. You shall set the table outside the curtain, and the lampstand on the south side of the tabernacle opposite the table; and you shall put the table on the north side.

33. Jesus’ Purpose: Obedience over worship
In Hebrews 10:5-7 the author says when Christ came into the world he quoted Psalm 40:6-8 as his purpose statement.

Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required. Then I said, ‘Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.’ 

34. Jewish Expectations about Messiah #1: God’s future is Justice and Peace
Before Jesus came, Jews expected God to send a Messiah who would usher in a new and just kingdom. A key text that helps us understand Jesus is Isaiah 2:1-4.

In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains,  and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,  and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations,  and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 

35. Jewish Expectations about Messiah#2: The Peaceable Kingdom
Before Jesus came, Jews expected God to send a Messiah who would usher in a new and just kingdom. A key text that helps us understand Jesus is Isaiah 11:1-9.

A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together,  and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy  on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 

36. Jewish Expectations about Messiah #3: A Ruler Who seeks Justice
Before Jesus came, Jews expected God to send a Messiah who would usher in a new and just kingdom.  A key text that helps us understand Jesus is Isaiah 16:3-5.

‘Give counsel,  grant justice; make your shade like night  at the height of noon; hide the outcasts,  do not betray the fugitive; let the outcasts of Moab settle among you; be a refuge to them  from the destroyer.’ 

When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and marauders have vanished from the land, then a throne shall be established in steadfast love in the tent of David, and on it shall sit in faithfulness a ruler who seeks justice and is swift to do what is right.

37. Jewish Expectations about Messiah #4: The Way things are meant to be
Before Jesus came, Jews expected God to send a Messiah who would usher in a new and just kingdom.  A key text that helps us understand Jesus is Jeremiah 23:5-6.

 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

38. Jewish Expectations about Messiah #5: No more war, but peace
Before Jesus came, Jews expected God to send a Messiah who would usher in a new and just kingdom.  A key text that helps us understand Jesus is Zechariah 9:9-10.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the warhorse from Jerusalem; and the battle-bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 

39. Jewish Expectations about Messiah #6: The Righteous king
Before Jesus came, Jews expected God to send a Messiah who would usher in a new and just kingdom.  A key text that helps us understand Jesus is Psalm 72.

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. May he judge your people with righteousness,  and your poor with justice. May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness. May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor. 

May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth. In his days may righteousness flourish  and peace abound, until the moon is no more. 

May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. May his foes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust. May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts. May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service. 

For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight. 

Long may he live! May gold of Sheba be given to him. May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all day long. May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field. May his name endure for ever, his fame continue as long as the sun. May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy. 

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen. 

40. The Old Testament Points to Jesus as Messiah
In Luke 24:13-27 Jesus leads Bible study, interpreting “to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.” Which of the passages above do you think Jesus taught in this Bible study?

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’ He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ Then he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

3 Responses to “Reading the Bible Jesus Taught”

  1. […] Lent, I invite you to Read the Bible Jesus’ Taught, it’s my hope and prayer that you will experience both the connection to the ancient vision […]

  2. It isn’t strictly following the Scripture Jesus taught. It is including things that were not written until Jesus died. ?????

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