John Archive

The Life of Christ teaching series - comments from group members

Session 1: Why Four Gospels? Their Unique Purpose and Message

P: I like Mike's emphasis on the beauty of Jesus. Reading the four gospels help give us a fuller of this one whom we worship!

An: Who knew that Matthew was focussed on Jesus as King, Mark focussed on Jesus as servant, Luke on Jesus as man and in the book of John, Jesus as God? The audience does dictate the focus of the message as Mike Bickle noted in Matthew's writings, the Jewish people were the audience, in Mark's, the Romans, the Greeks in Luke and all peoples in John's spiritually centred gospels. I had never really thought about these things until after hearing Mike Bickle's first video in this series on the life of Christ.

M: I had forgotten how good and meaty Mike's teaching is. It reminds me of McIver's book the Four Faces of Jesus. The point that keeps returning from Mike's overview in this lecture 1 is the Augustine quote, where the story goes that Augustine was searching to understand the mystery of God. When the Lord asked him to pick up a shell and empty the ocean. Augustine said it was impossible The Lord then asks Augustine how Augustine expects that he can use the shell of his mind to empty the ocean of the Lord's being. It is so true, we only get the tiniest of glimpses into the mystery and we can't even comprehend that without the help of the Holy Spirit.

RH: I am enjoying this teaching!

Session 2: Overview of the Life and Times of Jesus Christ

An: I've been listening to the 2nd lesson for the 2nd time today. The city of Capernum as Jesus' headquarters is new to me; I always thought it was Nazareth. Jesus's life setting was so well explained including the complexities of the political climate at the time by Mike Bickle. Power struggles, political fractions and divisions, diversity of religious beliefs and cultural differences are highlighted; similar to ours today in North America in all their intricacies. Mike presents the story of Jesus' life in a succinct yet meaningful synopsis or 'snapshot', as Mike calls it, of the gospels.

P: I love how Mike clarifies the groups in the culture at the time. Very clarifying. Also, he emphasizes how the gospels harmonize. It is helpful to consider that Jesus was very active preaching and teaching for 3+ years, so it shouldn't surprise us similar stories and messages occur in different gospels with content that's not identical.

M: The two things I found remarkable were that Jesus sat with the Father and the Holy Spirit to choose who would be in his family line. It is so obvious; I missed it! The other thing, which is still so true today, is that Jesus offends our minds to reveal our hearts and then leaves us with a choice.

Session 3: Jesus' Pre-Existence and Genealogy

P: Moving from overview to more detail now!

An: It is so difficult for me to understand 'how' Jesus could be there in the beginning, be the Word, be a separate person, become a man, and to love me so much. Finally, after giving up on my thinking about it all, I just believe it in my heart that it is all true and only then do I know. It finally came to me in the third time listening.

Session 4: Jesus and John: Birth to Manhood

RH: His admonition to not take lightly when God intervenes struck me. Then the gaps between God's promise and the fulfillment of it does not mean God has forgotten me or his promise. I am blessed if I take hold of what God has told me.

M: I was looking into the movement of the Star of Bethlehem and came across this explanation, which is quite interesting. In any event, I have no problem with the Father causing a star to operate outside of its usual course or ability, but I much prefer that the "star" was the Glory of God.

Session 5: John's Ministry and Jesus' Temptation

M: Mike gave the clearest juxtaposition of Adam and Jesus as the second Adam that I have heard to date. I also liked the reminder to be alert and to take a strong stand against the enemy of God echoing Ephesians 6:10-11.

Session 6: John's Loyalty and Jesus' Early Ministry

M: I need to think a bit more about the analogy of Jesus as Jacobs ladder with angels ascending and descending. Although, without doubt, Jesus has provided an open heaven for us.