Really? We Won?!

In the world of sports, winning a championship can have a delayed impact on a team’s fan’s, especially when the team was not really expected to win: there is a minimum of hype, and then, suddenly, “What? We won?!” For days, there will be unplanned smiles and texts to other sports fans.
I wonder if this is what it was like for the earliest followers of Jesus. His public career was so fast and so hard to understand…at first. The Gospels end and the book of Acts begins with many “surprised by joy” moments as people suddenly realized what Jesus had achieved and as they began to experience the effects of his life, his words and his great triumph. It took these early followers four books (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) just to capture the story of his life and another 23 books and letters to explain what it means.
If you have never stepped back to look at the “big picture” of the New Testament, or if you haven’t in a while, here is an overview a friend of mine and I have put. I like to read through a plan like this once in a while (especially over the summer) to remind myself how things fit together and what the whole story of Jesus’ life is “all about.” And sometimes, just skimming the outline of what he did and said, how his fame and teaching spread, and how he has promised to come back…it can take your breath away!

The Story of Jesus

His Background

Jesus, Son of David Matthew 1
Angels Announce His Birth Luke 1
Birth and Baptism Luke 2-3
John's Testimony John 1:1-34
Temptation and First Disciples Matthew 4

His Teachings

"Born from Above" John 3
Sermon on the Plain Luke 6
God's Law and Human Tradition Mark 7:1-23
Service Mark 10:13-45
Lost and Found Luke 15

His Miracles

Wedding John 2:1-11
Man, Woman, Daughter Mark 5
John, Loaves & Fish, On the Water Matthew 14
Healing a Blind Man John 9
Miracles Explained John 10

His Death

Lazarus, Plot John 11
Last Supper, Arrest Matthew 26:1-56
Arrest, Crucifixion John 18-19
Resurrection John 20-21
Final Charge Acts 1:1-11

His Life Explained​

The Day of Pentecost Acts 2
Peter, John and “the Whole Shebang” Acts 3-4
Stephen Acts 6-7
Scattered...and Sharing Good News Acts 8
Paul Recruited, More Miracles Acts 9:1-31

His Fame Spreads​

Good News for All Acts 10-11
Barnabas and Paul Sent Out Acts 13
The Council at Jerusalem Acts 15
Jews and Gentiles Galatians 1-3:14
More Journeys Acts 16-17

His Gifts

Unconquerable Love Romans 8
Freedom Galatians 5
Adoption Ephesians 1-2:10
An Example Worth Following Philippians 2:1-18
Peace, Power, Hope Colossians 1:1-23

His Priesthood

A Son and Brother Hebrews 1-2
Finding Rest and Grace Hebrews 3-4
A New Covenant Hebrews 7:11-ch 8
Once and for All Hebrews 10
Faith and Endurance Hebrews 11-12:2

Following in His Steps

Doers of the Word James 1
Living as Exiles 1 Peter 1-2
Constant Love 1 Peter 4-5
Waiting 2 Peter 3
Love One Another 1 John 2-3

His Reign

A Voice and a Vision Revelation 1
Messages for His People Revelation 2-3
The Throne of Heaven Revelation 4-5
Hallelujah! Revelation 18-19
His Bride Revelation 20-21

Go here for a printable version. (The story of Jesus is on page 2 .The story of Israel, ie, the Old Testament, is on page 1.) If you have your own way of stepping back and looking and at the life of Jesus or the experience of his earliest followers, I’d love to hear about it!

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