And open your Bible to Matthew chapter 6.
Matthew chapter 6. I want to introduce you
to 18 laws of literary composition– 17
laws of literary composition. Traina talks
about these, but what I want to show you
is that all 17 laws that we’re going to
introduce to you are found in one paragraph.
Instructor: All right, so here’s the time
to watch it in its detail. I’m gonna give
it to you from Matthew 6, and then I’m
gonna give you another passage of
Scripture to illustrate each one of
these. For example, the comparison of like
things. In Matthew chapter 6, in that
classic passage that’s good for all of us
about worrying and not being anxious, He
compares two things: the lilies of
the field and the grass of the field. And
He’s talking about both of those–
God clothing both of them. If you’re
going to worry about food and clothing,
watch how God takes care of grass and
watch how God takes care of lilies. And He
compares that God clothes both the grass
and the lilies. Now, He’s gonna do it for
two different purposes. That’s the
comparison. The contrast is one deals with
beauty and the other deals with timing. And
that God has a sense of aesthetics and
God also has a sense of what is
temporary versus what is long lasting. And
so, even within that, there’s some more
beauty to see, if I can say it that way.
Pardon the pun. But the lilies of the
field and the grass of the field.
What do all of the examples in Hebrews 11
have in common? What do you– what’s the
recurring theme– phrase,
prepositional phrase? By faith, by faith,
by faith, by faith. So he’s comparing that
group of people with regard to the
way they’ve expressed their faith. Now,
when you study that passage, by the way,
there’s also a progression. Is faith only
saving faith? And the answer would be no.
Faith goes from faith faith all the way to
obedient faith to avoiding death if
necessary. And there’s a progression
upward from the sacrifice of an Abel all the
way to giving their life for the cause of
Christ in the contrary culture, which is
exactly what the Hebrews were facing in
the first century. So he goes back to the
beginning and, in essence, gives you,
“Here is a summary of Old Testament
greats—not perfect people, by any means,
but because of their faith, they were
noteworthy.” So the question becomes, for
the reader, “Will your faith be noteworthy?”
All of these had different circumstances;
lived at different times; men, women; easy,
tough circumstances, etc., etc. Faith was
the key ingredient because without faith it’s
impossible to please Him. So what does a
life of faith look like from beginning to end,
from Genesis all the way to final death?
That’s the comparison there.
Number two: contrast. Contrast.
Back in Matthew chapter 6, he says, “Life
is more than food, and the body is more
than clothing.” If you’re worried about food
and clothing, what is He saying to you?
Something is bigger and more important
than food and clothing.
Instructor: In fact, His definition of life
is what He wants you to adopt rather than
your definition of life, because most
people would define life in what they eat,
what they wear, okay, the, the daily
essentials. And He’s going, “There’s more
to life than you think.” And so He’s
saying, “Life is more than the body is
more than.” Okay, what you do with your
life and what will ultimately happen to your
body are more important than food and
drink. So “have you missed the value factor
on the altar of the vicious cycle of
anxiety?” is His question. One of the great
contrasts of the New Testament is the old
man versus the new man, the flesh and the
spirit, Adam and Christ. So you see that
contrast between the old and the new,
unbelief and belief, all the way through
the New Testament.
Number three, repetition. Repetition.
If contrast is the association of
things that are more opposite or meant to
be contrasted, repetition is the reiteration of
the same terms, phrases, and clauses.
Now, this is going to be distinguished from
continuity, which is the repeated use of
similar ideas. Here are the same ideas, the
same words. And so six times—don’t miss
that—six times in nine verses, He
says, “Don’t be anxious. Don’t be anxious.
Don’t be anxious.” What do you think His
point is? [Laughs]
Students: “Don’t be anxious.”
Instructor: “Don’t worry.” [Student Laughs]
Yeah, “Don’t worry.” It’s wrong to worry in
the sight of God. Okay? Even though we
do it. You say, “I don’t worry. I’m just
really, greatly concerned.” [Students Laugh]
Turn to Psalm 136. This is fun. Psalm 136.
Someone called this the national anthem of
Israel—not officially, but unofficially.
Psalm 136, a little exposure to poetry as
well this morning. “Give thanks to the
Lord, for He is” what?
Instructor: “Good. His lovingkindness is
everlasting.” The great Hebrew word is חֶסֶד
[hesed]. You have to get your paper wet to
say it rightly. [Students Laugh] Okay?
חֶסֶד [hesed]. “Give thanks to the God of
gods, for His lovingkindness is” what?
Instructor: “Everlasting. Give thanks to
the Lord of lords, for His kindness is
everlasting.” Now notice, opening line,
“Give thanks to the Lord ‘cause He’s good.”
What’s good about God? Three times thus
far, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
His חֶסֶד [hesed] will, uh, last to the עֹולָם
[olam]—[Laughs] the “eternity.” And now
watch what he does. “To Him alone who
does great wonders,” what kind of wonders?
Look at verse 5; He “made the heavens.”
Verse 6, He “spread out the earth.” Verse
7, He “made the great lights,” verse 8, “The
sun to rule by day,” number 9, “the moon
and stars to rule by night.” In all of those,
you have the same repetition—repetition,
repetition, repetition. He wants you to
understand, in the midst of His character,
His חֶסֶד [hesed] is everlasting. In the midst
of His works, what works right here? All of
these verses deal with what? Creation.
Now watch the chronology, okay?
Watch the chronology. Verse 10, He
“smote the Egypt–” you know, He “smote
the Egyptians in their firstborn… brought
Israel out from their midst,” verse 12, “With
a strong hand and an outstretched arm.”
Verse 13, He “who divided the Red Sea
asunder… made Israel pass through the
midst of it… But He overthrew Pharaoh and
his army in the Red Sea.” What’s the event?
Instructor: The Exodus.
Student: Oh, yeah.
Instructor: So you have the Creation of
God; you have the Exodus of Israel. Verse
16, He “led His people through the
wilderness... To Him” he “smote great
kings,” He “slew mighty kings… Sihon king
of the Amorites… Og, king of Bashan,” and
He “gave their land as a heritage… even a
heritage to Israel His servant.” Now we
have the conquest, you know, His
leading them through the wilderness and
the conquest. So we have Creation, the
Exodus, the wilderness wanderings, the
conquest. What undergirds all of that?
Student: “His lovingkindness endures–”
Instructor: Every time, God’s kindness was
shown. “His lovingkindness endures forever.”
Now, all of that is good for Israel, but
what about us? Look at verse 23, “Who
remembered us in our low estate... rescued
us from our adversaries... Who gives food
to all flesh… Give thanks to the God of
heaven.” But 26 times, he wants you to
Students: “His lovingkindness–”
Instructor: See, it’s onomatopoeic in
literature; it sounds like what it is. “His
lovingkindness endures forever. His
lovingkindness endures forever. His
lovingkindness endures forever.” By the
time you get through 28 of those– or 26 of
those, I think “His kindness endures
forever”—it feels like it, [Students Laugh]
sounds like it, states like it. Okay?
That's repetition: exact terms,
phrases, and clauses repeated, repeated.
“I am, I am, I am, I am”—seven times in the
Gospel of John—ἐγώ εἰμι [ego eimi], ἐγώ
εἰμι [ego eimi], ἐγώ εἰμι [ego eimi]. And
even disassociated with the “I am the
bread of life, I am the light of the world.
Before Abraham was, I am.” You know,
He always was who He is. Even before
God revealed Him as Yahweh to Moses,
Yahweh still existed. Go back 400 years
prior to Abraham, and before Abraham was,
ἐγώ εἰμι [ego eimi] in Greek; “I am.” So
those repetitions are there for emphasis.
Continuity is the repeated use of similar
terms or phrases or clauses. For
example, back in our main passage:
“more than, more value than, much more.”
You get this escalating “This is better than
this. This is even much better than this.
This is much, much better than this.” So the
continuity of the value of God’s definition
of life versus human definition of life.
Now, let me give you a fun one: Luke 15.
Sit back and relax for a minute. Luke
15. The passage opens that the
religious leaders were bugging
Jesus and His disciples in saying, “Why
does Jesus– why does He meet with
sinners and eat with them? Why does He
receive sinners and eat with them?” And
the parable (singular) of the lost sheep,
lost coin and lost sons (as I would call it)
is the answer, the macro-answer to a very
short question. Why does Jesus receive
sinners and eat with them? Now,
watch this; here’s structure; here’s
continuity. You have something that is lost,
something that is found, and you have the
party that celebrates the recovery in all
three. Right? Lost sheep, lost coin, lost
sons. Now, there’s continuity there.
“There’s more joy in all of heaven over one
sinner who repents.” Then you have the
continuity, because it’s not an exact
repetition, “There’s more joy in the
presence of the angels over a sinner who
repents.” And you still have the idea,
though it’s unstated in the third, because
you have a party that’s thrown by the
father, killing the fatted calf when the
younger son is repentant and comes home.
And so you have joy in the presence of the
father. I’m gonna go back to that.
There’s other continuity. What’s the proportion
in the first– how many sheep? How many
were lost and how many were found? How
many sheep did the, the shepherd have?
Students: 100. 99.
Instructor: 100. And one gets lost in the
wilderness. So you have the ratio of 1:99
or one out of 100. In the second one, you
have a ratio of 1:9 or 1 out of 10. In the
third one, you have one or one, a 1:1
ratio—younger and older. Now, watch this:
100:1, 9:1, 1:1 (or 10:1, however you want
to do your percentages). [Student
Laughs] In the first one, there was “more
joy in all of heaven”—macro statement. In
the second one, “presence of the angels,”
subset of heaven. In the last one, it
doesn’t state it, but it’s the father.
Instructor: Why does Jesus spend time with
sinners and eat with them? And the ultimate
answer is: He shares the Father’s heart for
the lost and rejoices if even one comes
home. Why is He spending time with
sinners? He’s waiting for them to repent,
so that He can throw a party and join the
host of heaven, the chorus of the angels,
and share the heart of the Father.
Now, this is fun; you ready for this? Every
summer for years, I would go up to Colorado
and I would speak at a camp, and
I’ll go up there this next year and speak
there again. My kids sort of grew up there,
as we were speaking, and
they love the place. So now that they have
kids, they all wanna go back with us, and
we’re spending– we’re gonna spend
some time doing that. But one of the skits
or sketches that the camp did put on is
called a melodrama. And a melodrama—
and especially in the hills of Colorado,
Cripple Creek and Creede and
everything—they throw these melodramas
and it’s part of their entertainment.
And they have a villain; they
have a hero; they have a maiden. You
know, and it’s usually set in a Western
scene and so you got the black hat, the
white hat, all of this kind of stuff. And then
you got the cue cards, and when the villain
comes on, everybody’s supposed to hiss
and boo. And when the hero comes
on, you’re supposed to cheer and scream.
And when the pretty maiden
comes on, you’re supposed to go, “Oooo.”
You know, those kind of thing. And they
play this thing, and it’s a great
skit. And if you walk your way through
Luke chapter 15, and if I told you
the story, and I’ll do it so you understand
what Jesus is doing by the parable. “A
man has two sons.” In the Israelite
culture, having a son is great, so you
would all say what? “A man has two sons.”
Students: Yay. Cheer.
Instructor: Go ahead. [All Cheer] Yeah,
yeah, “Yay!” “One son, in essence, says
to his dad, ‘Dad, I wish you were dead.
Give me my inheritance. I’m leaving.’”
[Students Hiss, Boo] Boo—our
view of the younger son, okay? Yeah, is
there. “He goes– as a Jew, he goes
to a Gentile country.” [All Boo] “He
wastes his whole life in loose
living. [All Boo] He gets so bad,
you know, there’s a famine in the land.”
Instructor: Boo. Yeah, that, okay. [Students
Laugh] And you’re going, “Do we cheer?”
Okay. [Students Laugh] Okay, boo, boo the
famine, sure. Okay? “And he hires
himself out as a Jewish boy to feed
pigs. [All Boo] One day he looks at the pig
in the eye and says, ‘You know, I had it so
much better at my dad’s house.’ He comes
to his senses [Students Cheer] and says,
‘I have sinned against heaven and in my
father’s sight. [Students Cheer] I’m gonna
go home and I’m gonna repent to my
father. [Students Cheer] And I’m gonna
say, “Father, I have sinned in your sight.
Make me like one of your hired hands.”’
[Students Cheer] The father sees the son
coming down the road and
runs to greet him.” [Students Cheer]
Yeah, that’s so counter-cultural but it’s a
big yay [Student Laughs] because, in that
culture, that wouldn’t happen. The stoic
father would wait for the son to come kiss
his ring, basically bow in obedience,
etc. But the father running down the
lane to get to his son. “And he throws
himself on his neck and kisses him and
kisses him. [Students Cheer] Takes off the
signet ring”—which is like the MasterCard
—”and gives it to him and his robe– he
gives him a robe and asks the
slaves to sandal his son. [Students
Cheer] The older brother, meanwhile,
is outside and he’s angry.” [Students Boo]
I gotcha [Students Laugh] because here’s
where the story ends. Where is the father
at the end of the story? The father is out
begging the older son to come have the
same experience as the younger son,
because the older son is self-righteous.
“I’ve never done this, and you’ve never
given me this kind of a party.” But he refuses
to come to the party that the father has
thrown for his son, which is a picture of the
Pharisees refusing to acknowledge that the
reason Jesus spends times with sinners
and eat with them is that He wants them to
come to repentance, so that they can have
a party. And the Pharisees stand in the
picture as the older son, self-righteous,
outside of what God is doing with the
repentant sinner in the celebration.
The literary arc is genius; you know, the
proportions are phenomenal. The movement
in the passage—there’s continuity and
contrast. You have a shepherd, who handles
dirty sheep, would be unclean because of
his occupation. A woman with– a single
woman losing a dowry coin, who’s not yet
married, would be a bit outcast in the
culture because she’s not yet married. A
son who was disobedient to his father would
be another issue of outcast. How do you
get reconciled to God and one another in a
sinful culture? The patience of a waiting
Father, the need of repenting; in
essence, understanding that my sin is
against heaven, and I’m not worthy, grace
alone is my only hope. And the need to
rejoice and be a part of the party when
somebody I don’t think should come comes
to the faith. The instructions of
those three vignettes within what’s
called a unified parable is just simply
gorgeous—gorgeous. That’s all in one
chapter title. That’s true about that
passage, how about others? Let’s go on.
Continuation is the extended treatment of a
particular aspect. “Eating and drinking
and wearing,” He keeps coming back
after that over and over. That’s
continuation. Continuation may be
singular—in other words, it happened here
and then it happened here. There’s two
charcoal fires in John’s Gospel. Do you
know what the first one was? It’s when
Peter is saying, “I don’t know him. I don’t
know him. Blankety blank blank, I don’t
know the man!” It’s denying Christ in the
courtyard of the high priest. You know
where the last charcoal fire is?
Student: Breakfast by the sea.
Instructor: Breakfast by the sea, and He’s
restoring Peter and teaching the other
disciples. “Peter, do you love Me? Do you
really love Me?” And Peter’s failure
and Peter’s restoration: two charcoal
fires in John’s Gospel. That mention of
a charcoal fire—didn’t have to mention
it. Just the fact, “Oh, yeah, there’s another
charcoal fire here.” So, literary art to
bring the thought back. Here’s the same
one who’s, at a first charcoal fire, said
no—and now he’s being commissioned
to be a pastor of God’s flock. What
a great picture of restoration.
By the way, this is a part of the enigma and
the fun of the Gospels: “If you confess Me
before men, I’ll confess you before My
Father in heaven.” Judas confessed Christ
to the wrong people. “If you deny Me, I’ll deny
you before My Father who is in heaven.”
Peter denies the Lord, but ultimately becomes
the spokesman on the day of Pentecost.
Instructor: You wouldn’t expect that
crisscross there, you know. Judas identifies
Him as the Christ. Peter denies Him to be
the Christ. But one is a believer and one’s
not a believer; and one gets repentant and
gets restored and the other one doesn’t.
Instructor: It’s just that’s a fun– that’s
a part of the attention-getting aspect of
what happens and the grace of God.
Climax—we’ll stop with this one ‘cause I
have something else I want to show you.
Arrangement from greater to
greatest—Creation, humanity, he comes to
the table of righteousness. Climax also can
happen, like, in a countdown: six days
before the Passover, five days before the
Passover, four days before the Passover,
you know, two days before the Passover.
What’s going to happen? Something’s
gonna happen at Passover; you get this
countdown. And what happens is not
blastoff but lift up [Students Laugh] on the
cross is what happens at Passover. But
that’s six, five, four, three– where’s that
going? Where’s it leading? And the way the
authors write under the inspiration of the
Spirit to give you that, it’s to anticipate that.
When is that gonna happen?
Another way of climax in the Gospel of
John is that, in chapter 6, you know
somebody’s going to betray Him. You don’t
know ’til chapter 13 who it is.
Student: Mm hmm.
Instructor: And so all the way through,
Jesus knows who’s gonna betray Him. And
we’re reading, and if we hadn’t
known, we’d say, “Who’s gonna do it?
Who’s gonna do it? Who’s gonna do it?”
And a linear reading of John is designed to
get you to that, “It can’t be him. It can’t be
him. It can’t be him. Oh, it’s him! No!”
[Laughter] You know, we’ve
been taught it ahead of time, so we lose
the linear beauty of the discovery,
but reading it as if it was the first time.
In Luke, for example, 9:51, “when the
days were approaching for Jesus’
ascension.” In Luke 9? I got 9 to chapter
24—what’s the rest of the book about? He’s
already mentioned the Ascension. Why?
Everything else from chapter 9 all the way
to chapter 24 needs to be read in light of
the fact Jesus is out of here. See,
what’s all this about if Jesus is gonna
leave? Luke’s telling you He’s out of here.
Now, how do you get ready to live life as a
disciple in the absence– a physical absence
of Christ? That’s what the rest of Luke is
about. It’s a book of assurance, so that
you have assurance of your faith in spite
of the fact Jesus has left him, and is
waiting to come back. That’s part of
the drama of the book of Luke.
Again, turn back with me to Matthew chapter
6, as we continue to find all of these laws
even in one paragraph of Scripture. The
question that ought to be in your mind is:
how many of these laws are in every
paragraph of Scripture? And probably not
all 17 in every paragraph, but this one is a
fun one to illustrate the fact that all 17 laws
are represented in this one paragraph.
For example, in cruciality, it’s what we
call the utilization of a pivot. We also
could call it the hinge, the hinge. For
example, when He says, “Don’t be anxious,
don’t be anxious, don’t be anxious, but
seek first His kingdom and His
righteousness.” Now, there’s the pivot.
That’s also a climax, but there’s going to be
a resolve, because there’s another verse
after 33. It’s verse 34; I stayed up all
night to figure that out. [Student Laughs]
But verse 34 says, “Therefore, don’t worry
about tomorrow.” Why? It’s gonna be bad.
[Laughter] I love Jesus’ realism. “Don’t
worry today about tomorrow, because
tomorrow is going to have enough trouble
of its own.” So He sort of anticipates,
“You’re going to have trouble, in some way
or another, almost every day.” If you’re
trying to understand the headlines
tomorrow, you’re going to miss the paper
today. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It’s got
plenty of problems of its own. I need help
for today. So you have that cruciality.
Acts 2 is a pivot. You know, wait for it. Not
many days from now, they’re gathered in
the Upper Room, He’s already– in the
passage that we’re going to review today,
in Acts 1, He’s already talked about the
Holy Spirit coming upon them. When the
Holy Spirit comes at the day of Pentecost,
everything changes. And in fact, to show
you how much of a pivot that is, back in
John 7, Jesus said, “This He spake of the
Spirit, whom He had not yet given, because
He had not yet been glorified.” There’s
something about the glorification of Christ
that is a prerequisite to the sending of
the Spirit in the way that He’s going to do
that on the day of Pentecost that was not
ever the total experience of an Old
Testament saint. The Spirit came and went
on people in the Old Testament like
clothing put off and put on. But in Romans
8, if you don’t have the Spirit, you’re not
His. Since the day of Pentecost, the
indwelling ministry—”for we have all been
baptized into one body by the Spirit”—when
you became a part of the body of Christ, you
were baptized by the Spirit of God in the
way God wanted to identify you with Himself.
And that’s true of everybody at the point
of salvation, according to Corinthians.
And so you may talk about the filling of the
Spirit; you may talk about the guidance
of the Spirit. But what happens at Acts 2 is
pivotal that changes what God did. And
that’s why, in 2nd Corinthians 3, he says,
“This is what it was like under law. This
is what it’s like under the Spirit.” See,
“under the Spirit” is distinguished from
being Old Testament under law. The Law
was written on stones; the Spirit is written
on the heart. And so he distinguishes,
“That had glory, big time glory.” Boom
shakalaka, thunder, lightning, everything
from Mt. Sinai, I mean, the Law came boom,
big time with great glory. It has no glory
compared to the glory of life in the Spirit.
See, you and I– are you ready for this? You
and I are living at the best time in human
history, as far as the advantage of God in
our lives is concerned. Don’t ever wish you
could go back, because Paul would tell you
it’s better now than it’s ever been. In this
period of God’s economy, with the
indwelling Spirit, “that God has put the
Spirit of His Son in our hearts whereby we
can call Him Abba, Father,” the presence
of the Spirit of God in your life is an
advantage that you have that nobody prior
to Pentecost had like you have it. That
starts getting pretty exciting when the
present tense “now” is to be the best
spiritual experience of human history. Now,
it’s still not everything, because we’re
waiting to see Him face to face; it’ll be
better in the future. But it’s the best it’s ever
been. And the real question is: do you
really believe that, and why don't you see
that, and why don't you live that way?
Because we have people all around us in our
churches who think, “Wouldn’t it be good if
I could go back and be there with Jesus?”
You know what Peter said? “We have a more
sure word of testimony than even the
Transfiguration on Mt. Hermon, when Jesus
appears with Moses and Elijah.” Peter says,
“We have a more sure word of prophecy to
which we do well to pay heed, as to a lamp
shining in a dark place.” You have an
advantage with the Spirit and the Word in
such a way that no saint in all of human
history has ever had like that. That ought
to boggle your mind, blow your categories,
and excite your life. Okay? Some of you
look like me, “Really?” [Students Laugh] I’m
here to convince you. Be skeptical, be a critic,
it’s okay, but we’re gonna get to you. All right.
Number eight: interchange,
interchange. Interchange is the alternation
of certain elements. Now, listen to me
carefully. There is an A B A B pattern or A
B C A B C pattern. And there’s also an A B
B A, which is an inverted pattern. So we
call it a paneling effect or an inverted
parallelism effect. They’re both parallel,
but one is a paneling and the other’s
inversion. For example, in our example in
Matthew 6:30, “If God so clothes the grass
today,” notice that, “and tomorrow clothes
you.” Okay? You have “clothing, clothing”
on the outside; you have “today” and
“tomorrow,” a time relevance, on the
inside. That’s an A B B A pattern.
Now, just for fun– okay? Just for fun. Look
at chapter 1 of Luke. Very quickly, grab
your Bibles. Luke chapter 1, and let’s look
at the purpose statement for the book.
Luke is a physician and a historian. If you
have a medical background, this is called
history and physical, H&P, [Student
Laughs] that they do, nursing people are
responsible to do or physician’s assistants
or the physician himself. What’s your
history? What’s your physical? And Luke
loves the history and physical of the life
of Christ, by the way. But look what he
says, verse 1, “Inasmuch as many have
undertaken to compile an account of the
things accomplished among us, just as they
were handed down to those who from the
beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of
the word,” those are his sources:
historical events, known by people who were
eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. So
Luke has done his homework. It says, “it
seemed fitting for me as well, having
investigated everything carefully from the
beginning, to write it out for you in
consecutive order,” don’t miss that, “O
most excellent Theophilus; so you may know
the exact truth about the things you’ve
been taught.” Luke, by the way, is
primarily an assurance document. He’s
writing for a Greek-speaking person. So
here is Luke, a physician and historian,
writing for a Greek person, and hence the
Greek people, a book that will give them
assurance about what they have learned
about Christ. Now, we’re going to see the
second volume in our work today with Acts
chapter 1, as you looked at the context.
There’s a former treatise—that’s Luke—and
then this book, which is Acts. But here in
Luke, consecutive order.
Now turn over to chapter 3 and look at
verse 21, chapter 3 and verse 21. “Now
when all the people were baptized, Jesus
was also baptized. While He was praying,
heaven was opened. The Holy Spirit
descended upon Him in bodily form like a
dove, and a voice came out of heaven, ‘You
are My beloved Son, in You I’m well-pleased.’”
Great passage for the Trinity, by the way.
You have the Father in heaven speaking,
you have the Son on earth being baptized,
and you have the Spirit descending. That’ll
tell you that a Jesus-only theology doesn’t
work. Okay? There are three members of
the Godhead, not one. And so you have
the Father in heaven, the Son on earth,
and the Spirit descending.
My son asked me– he’s pretty inquisitive.
He’s a teacher and a coach now, but when he
was young, he said, “Dad, is Jesus God?’ I
said, “Yeah.” He said, “Well, how can He
be in heaven and be baptized at the same
time?” That was his first question about
the Trinity. And we had fun going passage
by passage to show the uniqueness of all
three members of the Trinity.
But I have a problem here. Who baptized Jesus?
Students: John the Baptist.
Instructor: John the Baptizer. If you’re a
Baptist, you wanna say “Baptist.” But if
you’re not a Baptist, you want to say “John
the Baptizer.” [Students Laugh] All right?
Some of you, “I never thought about that
one.” Okay, that’s another question.
[Students Laugh] Now look at chapter 3 and
verse 20; go back one verse. “Herod also
added this to them: that he locked John up
in prison.” What happened when John was
locked up in prison over at Machaerus?
Why was he put in prison?
Student: Because he rebuked Herod.
Instructor: Yeah, for rebuking Herod of his
immorality of stealing his brother’s wife.
And John [sic Herod] puts him in prison,
and then you have Herodias and the
daughter, you know, dance before– what
do you get? “We want John’s head on a
platter.” John dies in prison.
Student: Mm hmm.
Instructor: He doesn’t get out of prison.
But in 3:20, he’s in prison where he’s
gonna die; in 3:21, he’s baptizing Jesus.
Ah! The Bible says this is in consecutive
order, so there’s an error in the book of
Luke. That’s what the unbelieving critic
would say. [Student Laughs] “See, it
contradicts itself. It says it’s in
consecutive order. That’s not consecutive
order; therefore, the Bible’s wrong.”
Now, here’s why this law of composition is
so helpful. If you’re from the States– and
some of you are not, and that’s okay. I
couldn’t name your emperors in your
country, but in the United States, we have
presidents. If I was asking you to put the
presidents in order, and let’s go backwards
in consecutive order. We have Barack
Obama; before that we had?
Students: George Bush.
Instructor: George Bush Jr. okay? George
W. Bush, they called him “43.” Between
him and his dad was?
Student: Bill Clinton.
Instructor: Bill Clinton, who had two
terms. And then number 41, as they called
him affectionately within the family (you
know, in the staff), they called him 41,
which is the older Bush, and the younger
Bush they called 43. I had a lady who
worked for me who worked for both Bush
Administrations. And that was a lot of fun
to see the inside scoop and get to go to
the White House and see the Oval Office
and so forth when I was there once.
And then before George Bush Sr. was?
Instructor: Reagan. Now, if I said, “Give
them to me in consecutive order starting
with Reagan,” I could go that way.
Student: Mm hmm.
Instructor: I could do it in reverse
consecutive order going backwards. But
then if I ask you, “Give it to me in age
order.” Reagan, George Bush, Sr., and
then I got to figure that out and go do some
research to find out who’s older—you
know, Bush, Clinton, etc. All right? If I said,
“Give me it in the consecutive order, based
upon their birth in states—what’s their
home state in which they were born?” that
would be a different list. All of those are in
But now let me tell you how Luke is put
together. In the opening four chapters of
Luke, and really the whole book of Luke,
you have an announcement of John gonna be
born, and then you have an announcement of
Jesus going to be born. Then you have the
birth of John, then you have the birth of
Jesus. Now, watch this. Then you have the
ministry of John, and the last part of it is
he’s in prison. Then you have the ministry
of Jesus, and you have this John/Jesus
cycle: A B A B A B. Ironically, who kills
John the Baptist? Who orders his death?
Instructor: Herod. And, at the end of the
life of Christ, you’re going to have a
Herod who is going to order the death of
Jesus. So you have this incredible
parallel: John the Baptist is the prophet
of the Most High; Jesus is the Son of the
Most High. John’s birth was miraculous—old
couple. [Laughs] You know, Zacharias, I
love what he says: “I’m old, but my wife is
advanced in years.” That’s politically
correct language, [Students Laugh] for a
high priest. “I’m old; she’s just
advanced,” okay? But God blesses an old
couple with a baby. But how about Jesus’
birth? No man at all. You know, it’s a
virgin birth, miraculous conception. This
is with human insemination; this is with
divine insemination. This is the product of
the Holy Spirit of God. Watch this: John
was– had the Holy Spirit before he was ever
born, while in the womb. [Laughs] If you
really do your theology, Jesus was never
devoid of the Spirit; He’s always been the
second person of a three-person Trinity.
And He has been born– not just filled with
the Spirit, He was birthed by the Spirit.
So, that John/Jesus cycle is to compare
them but to contrast them. And John is
great. He’s the best born among women, the
Bible says. But even the best born among
women is least in the kingdom of God. And
when you understand Jesus is the King of
the kingdom, no comparison at all. The best
of humanity with the best of deity, no,
there’s no– there’s– you’re not even on the
same chart with that one. So this law of
alternation, this interchange is a
phenomenal tool to pay attention to in
Scripture, because you’ll often have an A B
A B or an A B C D A B C D paneling, or
you may have this inverted chiasm.
I preached Sunday at the church I used to
pastor down in Desoto, Texas and showed
them what I’ll show you later in the
course, which is a unity of a passage of
Scripture based upon this inverted
parallelism, which is like an X. We call it
a chiasm in Greek studies because of the
letter X or chi in Greek. The unity of what
God is doing in a passage where you have
these verbal and mental echoes is just
phenomenal that we’re discovering
throughout Scripture. And the very attacks
against the Pentateuch in the book of Isaiah
are solved by an understanding of the law
of interchange—as great passages of unity,
not disparity, as the liberal critic would say.
Particularization and generalization:
moving from the general to the specific.
Notice, He gives you the general. “Don’t be
anxious about your life.” And then He goes
to the specific, “what you will wear, what
you will drink, what you will put on,” so
life at its maximum, and then the parts of
it: generalization, particularization.
Now, let me give you a fun one. Look at the
beginning of chapter 6. Look at the
beginning of chapter 6 in Matthew. “Beware
of practicing your righteousness before men
to be noticed by them. Otherwise, you have
no reward with your Father who is in
heaven.” Practicing righteousness in front
of people—that’s the general introduction.
Then He gives you three particular
examples: fasting, almsgiving, and praying.
The right and the wrong ways, or the wrong
and the right ways, to pray, fast, or
giving alms. So, don’t practice your
righteousness before men. Get alone with
God and do it before Him, “and He who sees
you in secret will reward you in heaven.”
Now look back at chapter 5 and verse 16.
This is where context is everything. “Let
your light so shine before men in such a
way they’ll see your good works.” Now,
Matthew 5:16 says “Let it be out there so
everybody sees it.” Chapter 6 verse 1 says,
“Don’t do it out there so people see it.”
Now, do I do it in front of people, or do I
not do it in front of people? The answer is
yes. [Students Laugh] What’s the difference
between 5:16 and 6:1? Why are you doing it?
Students: Right. The heart.
Instructor: As a testimony, or is it to get
applause? Do I do good works because I
should do good works, or do I do good works
so I can tell you I did good works? Motive
is the difference. This is why context is
everything. Same thing you have in the same
passage right before our central passage
here in Matthew 6. He says, “Don’t store up
your treasures on earth, where moths,
thieves, and rust can destroy.” But
Proverbs says, “If you don’t leave an
inheritance to your grandkids, you’re a
fool.” How do I not store it up and still give
it to the second generation? That’s the
delicate balance, and it’s the heart that
makes the difference. The more you study
the Scriptures, the more you’re gonna find
out that balance and motive, balance and
motive are critical issues to keep in mind.
Number 10: causation and substantiation.
This is the progression from the cause to
the effect or from the effect to the cause.
He asks a series of questions. One of them:
can anxiety add one cubit to your life?
Now, whether He’s talking about length of
life or whether He’s talking about your
height, both have the same answer. Does
worry increase your stature or your span of
life? It’s a rhetorical question. Does
worry help you grow [Laughs] in length or
in height? The answer is?
Instructor: No, so why worry? What do you
think you’re going to change? In other
words, worry doesn’t change anything.
That’s His subliminal point; worry doesn’t
change anything except negatively affecting
yourself. So that’s His causation He’s
arguing. In Luke chapter 18, at the end of
the parable of the publican and the
Pharisee, Jesus says, “Therefore, everyone
who exalts himself will be humbled, but he
who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Now, here is the issue: do you want God’s
hand under you or on top of you? Do you
want Him having to push you down because
you’re proud, or do you want Him to be lifting
you up in His time because of being humble?
So everyone who exalts himself is going
to have to be pushed down; everyone who
humbles himself will be exalted. Peter picked
it up from Jesus and later says, “Humble
yourself under the mighty hand of God, that
He may exalt you in due season.” See,
humiliation is the first step to exaltation.
But self-exaltation is the first step to being
divinely humiliated [Laughs] by God.
Let’s go into instrumentation. It’s a means
to an end or the end itself. How will
lilies of the field and how will grass of
the field be taken care of? What’s the
instrumentation? God does this. “Your
heavenly Father feeds them; your Father
clothes them.” So if the Father feeds them
and the Father clothes them, what’s the
Father going to do for you? [Laughs] He’s
going to take care of you. “Who’s in charge
of this care?” becomes the question.
John 20:30 and 31, he says there, “Many
other signs were done by Jesus in the
presence of His disciples. But these are
written,” notice, not “done.” These aren’t
“done, so that you might believe.” “These
are written,” we have the record of those
signs to produce faith, “that you might
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son
of God, and that believing, you might have
life in His name.” So what’s the
instrumentation of faith? Where does faith
come from? “These are written that you
might believe.” Romans 10, “faith comes by
hearing, hearing by the word of Christ.”
Okay, saving faith comes by the message
of Christ. Ongoing faith comes by paying
attention to the Word. Okay? The record of
God’s activities is the instrumentation of
faith. And so, what’s the cause and effect?
What’s the means (that’s instrumentation),
the means by which something happens?
When you watch for these in a passage– a
little later in the course, we’re going to dive
into Romans 12:2, “Don’t be conformed,
but be transformed by renewing of your
mind, that you may prove that which is the
good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
What’s the instrumentation? What’s the
means by which somebody discerns the will
of God and knows that it’s good for them?
See, what’s the instrumentation of all of
that? It’s the renewing of the mind. It’s
the renewing of the mind. How does
transformation get effected? By the
renewing of the mind. That’s the law of
instrumentation. That’s going to make the
difference in your Christian life.
Explanation: an idea and event with its
significance. Why should you not worry?
When you’re worrying, what are you really
thinking? If I’m anxious that something isn’t
going to happen or something is gonna
happen, what am I, in essence, saying?
Student: How am I gonna do it?
Student 2: That I’m in control.
Instructor: That I’m in trouble and I’m out
of control, and I’d like to be in control.
See? Mickey Rivers played baseball for the
Texas Rangers. And years ago there was a
classic statement. Mickey Rivers, in his
Texas wisdom, said, “If you ain’t got it under
control, there’s no sense worrying ‘cause
you ain’t got it under control. If you have
it under control, then there ain’t no sense
worrying ‘cause you have it under control.”
[Laughs] There’s some logic to that
baseball player’s thinking. Okay? And the
point is, if you can control it, you don’t need
to worry about it. If you can’t control it, why
worry about it, because you can’t control
it? But in relationship with God, what does
the text say? What’s the explanation for why
not to worry? God knows what you need.
So where should your concern be? Not with
what you have or don’t have. And in the
context, what you don’t have, your concern
would be, “What does God want me to be
concerned about?” And that’s seeking first
the kingdom and His righteousness. And
ironically, people, in 60 years of my
living, [Students Laugh] I have never met a
saint who had God’s interest first who was
a worrywart. The antidote for being a
worrywart is putting God’s kingdom at the
front burner of your life, because that gives
you a perspective. It’s a trust factor; it’s a
faith factor; it’s a confidence factor; it’s a
hope factor. All right? Explanation/analysis.
Let’s go on. Point 13: preparation or
introduction. See, He starts this whole
thing, “You cannot serve two masters. You
cannot serve God and money.” That’s your
introduction to this whole thing. Now,
watch this: He gives you just a few verses
on the danger of having too little. And He
gives you a lot of verses on the worrying
about wanting more– I’m sorry, the danger
of having too much. What’s the danger of
storing things up, and what’s the danger of
worrying about what you don’t have in
store? [Laughs] That’s the two parts of this.
But what began this whole thing is, “You
cannot serve God and mammon,” or “God
and money.” “Mammon” is an Aramaic word for
anything of value. Why not? Why can’t you
serve God and money? Because they have two
different motives with regard to money. If
you’re going to serve money, then you’re
going to want to get money. If you’re going
to serve God and have money, you’re going
to want to give. One is: how do you use
money as a channel of ministry? The other
is: how do you have a boxed-in canyon of
gratification, that I want it all poured onto
me? They demand an opposite loyalty,
because you’ll love one and hate the other,
or you’ll cling to one and despise the
other. Different passage of the New
Testament explain that issue. If you go
into ministry to get money, you will abuse
people. If you go in ministry to serve God,
money will just be a part of the process.
The danger of having the wrong master,
because each of those masters demand a
different loyalty. The worship of God and
gold is mutually exclusive. It’s mutually
exclusive. You cannot serve both. They
demand opposite loyalties.
Daniel: tell me the story of Daniel chapter
1, very quickly. Who remembers the story
of Daniel 1, and what difference does that
make to the rest of the book? What’s the
issue in Daniel 1? Daniel and his buddies–
and unfortunately, are you ready for this?
We know them by their Babylonian names, not
by their Israeli names. Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego: those are names after pagan
gods. Why have our Sunday school teachers
had us memorize [Students Laugh] the pagan
names of these guys rather than the ones
that had Yahweh as a part of their names?
The subtlety of the enemy—isn’t it amazing?
Even our Sunday school literature teaches
us to emphasize the wrong things.
But the question is: Daniel and the boys
are taken over in Babylon, okay? Early.
They’re put in training, and the question
of chapter one (watch this) is: can God
take care of a couple of Jewish boys in a
Babylonian court system, where they’re
getting trained, tested, and inspected as
to whether or not they’ll be fit for the
kingdom? “Do we do it Babylon’s way? Do
we do it God’s way?” becomes the question.
Now, why is that a great introduction to
the rest of the book of Daniel? Because the
first half of Daniel is: what will be the
experience of the Jewish people under
Babylonian rule? And what will be– the
second half of the book is: what will be
the experience of the Jewish people under
Medo-Persian rule? Can God take care of
Daniel in the lion’s den (is chapter 6)? Can
God take care of Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego in the fiery furnace (chapter
three)? Can God take care of Israel when
Gentile powers are in charge? That’s the
book of Daniel. And Daniel says, “It starts
with Babylon; it’ll go Medo-Persia; it’ll go
Greece; it’ll go Rome. There’ll be a revived
Rome, there’ll be an end-time period.” Can
God take care of Israel in the big picture of
Gentile domination throughout history? The
answer is yes. How do we know that? Look
at chapter 1. Chapter 1 with the food and
the training with the three, Daniel and the
boys, is a set-up for the rest of the theology
of the book. It’s an introduction. Okay?
Summarization: it’s an abridgement or a
compendium. The “therefore” factors; watch
for the “therefore, therefore, therefore.”
He’s giving you a conclusion or a summary.
“Therefore, do not be anxious about
tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for
itself. Let the day’s own trouble be
sufficient for today.” So you’ve got three
“therefore”s that tie that passage
together. In Joshua, if you wanted the
Reader’s Digest version of the book of
Joshua, read chapter 12 and read chapter
24. Chapter 12 is a summary of chapters 1
to 11. Chapter 24 is a summary of chapters
13–23. Because what you have there is the
conquest in the first half of the book, and
then the settlement in the second half of
the book. And so you get a good summary
statement. That’s the law of summarization.
Number 15, the law of interrogation: the
use of question and answer, Q&A. Let me
give you– did you catch? There are six
questions in this little passage. Six
questions; most of them are rhetorical, as
biblical questions often are. “Is not life
more than food and the body more than
clothing?” What’s the right answer to that?
“Yes.” [Laughter] “Aren’t you more valuable
than the flowers, the lilies, and the grass?”
“Yes.” “Does worrying help you?” “No.”
“Why are you anxious about clothing?”
“I don’t know.” [Laughter] “Won’t He much
more clothe you?” “I guess.” [Students
Laugh] “What should we eat, what should we
drink, what should we wear?” Those aren’t
the best questions. [Students Laugh] See,
there’s humor through the Scriptures as
well—humor. When everybody leaves, He looks
at the disciples and goes, “You guys going,
too?” That’s a question you want Him to
ask you. [Students Laugh] “Will you too go
away?” Peter goes, “To whom shall we go?
You have the words of Spirit and life.”
“Where are you, Adam?” [Laughs] You
know, “I’m hiding from the omniscient God
[Students Laugh] who is omnipresent in the
garden.” To use Garfield cartoon response:
“fat chance” to hide from God. “What have
you done?” [Laughs] “Why are You asking
that?” It’s like a parent asking a child, “What
did you do?” My oldest, who’s now a worship
pastor in Fort Worth, when he was about
six– earlier than that, probably four, he took
an orange marker and decided to have
artwork on the sheets of his bed and the
wall of his bedroom—permanent orange
marker, I might add. So his mom decided
to wait ‘til Dad got home to deal with this
whole thing. So when I confronted him, I
asked what I call “the stupid parent question”
that I never want God to ask me, but I want
to know for my kids, and that is, “Why did
you do that?” [Students Laugh] As if there’s
a logical [Students Laugh] explanation for
a disobedient response. “Because I just
wanted to draw.” No. [Laughter] And he,
“[Sniffs] I don’t know.” You know, if God
would ask you, “Why are you being so
stupid?” “I don’t know. [Laughter] I just
am.” Those great questions parents ask
when we already know the answers.
But why do we ask those questions? “What
have you done? What did you do?” It’s like
there’s cookies all over the mouth; the cookie
jar is open, and “What have you been eating?”
You know what they’ve been eating, so why
do you ask the question? Because you
want them to confess. And by the way, that
confession is agreeing with God, saying the
same thing– ὁμολογέω [homologeo], “saying
the same thing.” Confession is saying the
same thing as God says. So it’s not that God
lost Adam. “Uh oh. Where’d he go? Big
garden, I lost him. Where’d he go?” No, it’s
a rhetorical question in a relationship. It’s not
that He doesn’t know; it’s a way of using a
question to surface a response so that we know.
Let me give you a classic one: Romans chapter 6.
The outline of Romans 6 is two major
questions, two leading questions. Romans
chapter 6:1, on the basis of “where sin
abounded, grace much more abounded” in
chapter 5, he says this, “So what should
we say then? Should we continue to sin that
grace may abound?” Now, let me put that
in modern terminology: if it’s so fun to kiss
and make up with your spouse once you’ve
had a fight, should we keep on fighting so
we can keep on kissing? [Student Laughs]
Now, the logic of that is pretty stupid,
because every time you have a fight,
you’re tearing away at the relationship, not
building up the relationship. And so– but
because making up is so great, let’s have
more fights, right? I don’t think that works
well. And Jesus said– and God said, “God
forbid,” μὴ γένοιτο [me genoito]—basically,
“may it never be,” optative mood of the
Greek tense– or optative mood of the text.
It’s inconsistent with who you are. You
have died with Christ; you are risen with
Christ. To keep on sinning as a believer is
inconsistent with your position in Christ.
That’s the first half of the chapter. Well,
that’s a present tense. “Shall we continue
to sin that grace may abound?”
Second half of the chapter is an aorist
tense question, “Well, can I sin once? Can
I commit a sin because I’m no longer under
law but under grace?” And the answer is
the same: “God forbid,” as the English
translators often put it. “May it never be.”
Why? Because that’s inconsistent with a
practice of Christ. One is inconsistent with
your identity; the second is inconsistent
with having a genuine relationship. Why?
Because sin always kills: “the wages of sin
is death.” Death to what? Death to a
relationship, death to communion, death to
fellowship. If I’m not a believer, it ultimately
is eternal death is the separation. But in
the temporal judgment, it’s always a death
experience because it’s the absence of a
life of Christ. It’s the absence of a life
experience. Don’t take “death” and “being
breathless.” Okay? “Death” means
“separation,” and it can be a separation of
a good relationship; it can be a separation
of the body from the soul in physical death.
It can be the separation from God and a
soul for eternity; that’s spiritual death.
That’s why Romans 6:23– let’s see, Romans
3:23, 6:33, “for the wages (is it 6:23?
6:23)– the wages of sin is death, but the
gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord.” To sin at all is inconsistent
with life in Christ. So those two questions
form the outline of Romans chapter 6.
Watch Jesus’ use of questions. He’s a
master teacher with questions.
Number 16: harmony. Harmony: this is unity
by means of agreement. This is beautiful.
In the passage in Matthew: birds sewing and
reaping. Okay? Did you catch that? Planting
and harvesting imagery. That’s the birds.
How about the lilies? Now, birds, the
question was eating. So what’s your
illustration? Sewing and reaping, it’s a
food illustration. Lilies is a clothing
illustration. So what’s His illustration?
Student: Clothing is–
Instructor: Sitting at the spinning wheel.
See, they don’t spin; they don’t toil or
spin yet God clothes them. So that’s the
law of harmony, where your illustration is
in keeping with the lesson type of a thing.
Another great one is this is in Luke. In
the middle of Luke—right in the middle of
the great travelogue, you’re in the end of
chapter 13 and the beginning of chapter 14
in Luke—you have a woman who is bent over
with a demonic spirit. She’s bound– you
ready for this? She’s bound by a spirit,
like having a bundle on her back. The
illustration is loosing an animal from
their burden on the Sabbath. The next
illustration that’s parallel to that is a
man who has a water problem. He has
hydrocephalic issues; he’s got dropsy, as
it’s called, which is probably like
hydrocephalic syndrome, where you’re got
water swelling the head. And the
illustration about the Sabbath is: don’t
you get an animal out of the ditch if he
falls in the ditch. It’s a water safety
illustration. So His confrontation of a
woman, with them objecting to Him healing a
woman on the Sabbath, both are Sabbath
controversies. “Wouldn’t you help an animal
on the Sabbath with their burden? Are you
upset that I’m helping a person with their
burden, demonic burden? Wouldn’t you get
your animal out of the water ditch on the
Sabbath? Are you upset I’m getting this man
out of his water problem on the Sabbath?”
See, that’s the harmony, which is terrific.
Now, harmony may not only be in the
literary comparison, but harmony also may
be in terms of the total book harmony. We
have a harmony of the Gospels where we’re
comparing between Gospels. We have a
harmony in the Old Testament where we’re
comparing between the Kings’ account and
the chronicler’s account, where they’re
parallel. So the law of harmonization is an
emphasis or a de-emphasis– I’m sorry, it’s
unity by means of agreement. “This is taught
here and it’s taught here.” There’s harmony
between these texts. The law of harmony.
Proportion, the law of proportion, finally:
it’s the emphasis or de-emphasis by the
amount of material. The emphasis or the
de-emphasis, based upon the amount of
material. We already talked about this, but
there’s only three verses that deal with
the danger of having too much. That’s
usually not our problem of having too much
money. Our problem is usually we don’t
think we have enough. And so He gives nine
verses on the anxiety of having too little.
One is a de-emphasis by means of
proportion; the other is an emphasis.
Genesis 1 to 11: you have thousands of
years in Genesis 1 to 11; you have only
four generations in chapters 12–50. So he
goes from like this: here’s the beginning
of human history; here’s the beginning of
Hebrew history. See, 1–11 is the beginning
of human history; 12 to 50 is the beginning
of Hebrew history. How does God take a man,
build a family, and get him ready for a nation?
And Exodus says, 400 years later, they had
grown into a nation that God could redeem.
So that’s the law of proportion. Now let me
give you a fun one. How many chapters are
there in the book of Numbers? Numbers.
Instructor: 36. Numbers covers 40 years of
Israel’s history: a year at Sinai, a year
at Moab, and 38 years in between. Guess how
many chapters he gives to that 38 years of
wilderness wandering out of 36 chapters?
Five. God doesn’t think a whole lot about
disobedience. [Laughs] Wilderness
wandering: 5 chapters. A year at the
beginning and a year at the end: 31
chapters. That’s called the law of
proportion. “Where do we spend the bulk of
time?” becomes a question. Where does God
spend the bulk of His time in the explaining?
Mark’s Gospel: one week of a four-, three-
to four-year ministry of the life of Christ
comprises one third of the book. When you
hit chapter 11–16, those six chapters out
of 16 chapters, a third of the book, deals
with seven days in the life of Christ. Ten
chapters, approximately, deal with three
years or four years. The passion narrative
is a very emphasized section of Mark’s
Gospel. In comparison to Luke, that would
be like taking eight chapters of Luke’s
Gospel (because he has 24 chapters), eight
chapters, a third of that book being– so
you’d go back eight chap– that’d be like
starting the final week of Christ’s life at
about chapter 13, 14, 15 in Luke’s Gospel.
In John, of 21 chapters, the passion
narrative takes up about 3. It’s not the
emphasis; it’s there, but it’s not the
highlight emphasis of the Gospel. In fact,
in John’s Gospel, out of 21 chapters, five
chapters (the Upper Room discourse) is
one night. So almost a fourth of the book is
one night in the experience of Jesus’
disciples, but that night was so important
as a night of instruction and prayer that
he [Sucks in Air] that’s called the law of
proportion, the law of proportion.