Chief Priests, Priests, and Levites
The office of high priest carried with it a number of unique privileges and responsibilities. He alone was permitted to enter the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement to atone for the sins of the entire nation. As head of the Sanhedrin or Jewish supreme court, he presided over the nation's highest administrative and judicial body. His daily life was governed by the strictest rules of ceremonial purity. His death was viewed as an act of atonement and was marked by the release of a condemned murderer. Even if he retired from office he continued to wield great influence.
THE CHIEF PRIESTS
The high priest stood at the apex of an elaborate hierarchy of temple personnel. Directly beneath him in rank were the chief priests, an exclusive group of about 200 highborn Jews. The most important of them was the captain of the temple, second only in rank and power to the high priest. His duties included supervision of the whole body of priests and of all temple activities. Other chief priests had charge of the daily and weekly temple services, the temple treasury and the maintenance of the sacred vessels.
THE ORDINARY PRIESTS
Below the chief priests were the ordinary priests of the temple. There were probably about 7,200 of them in Jesus' time. They formed an exclusive hereditary community of men who could trace their descent back to Aaron, Moses' brother and the first high priest. Unlike the chief priests, most of them lived outside Jerusalem in the towns and villages of Judea and Galilee. They were divided into 24 priestly clans, each of which served a week at a time at the temple. Their duties included lighting the altar fires, attending to the offerings of incense and unleavened bread and killing the sacrificial animals.
The lowest-ranking temple officials were the Levites. These men were descendants of Levi, the father of the priestly tribe. Aaron and all Israel's priests had been members of this tribe. There were some 9600 Levites in the first century BC. Like the majority of priests, they comprised 24 families or courses, each course serving one week at a time as guards, policemen, doorkeepers, singers, musicians and servants of the temple. They were forbidden, resulting in death, to enter the holy sanctuary or approach the altar of sacrifice. The daily temple ritual required the services of nearly 1,000 chief priests, priests and Levites. On feast days all 24 courses were required to come to Jerusalem to participate in the elaborate ceremonies and sacrificial rites. This meant that there were nearly 18,000 temple personnel on hand during each of the three great pilgrim festivals: Passover, Weeks and Booths.
An Outline of The Life of Jesus in Harmony
"I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of myself, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant - Jesus should be able to stretch his hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations." - Napoleon I Bonaparte (1809)
The Birth of John the Baptist
Gabriel Announces John's Birth (Lk 1:5-25)
The History of the Birth of Jesus
The Genealogy of Jesus (Mat 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38).
NazarethGabriel Announces to Mary (Lk 1:26-38).
Mary Visits Elizabeth (Lk 1:39-56).
An Angel Comes to Joseph (Mat 1:18-25)
BethlehemThe Decree of Augustus Caesar and the Birth of Christ (Lk 2:1-7).
The First Visitors - Shepherds (Lk 2:8-20).The Second Visitors - Magi (Mat 2:1-12).
JerusalemJesus is Circumcised and Presented in the Temple (Lk 2:21-38).
EgyptOut of Egypt (Mat 2:13-23).
Jesus' Early YearsJerusalem
The Boy Jesus at the Temple (Lk 2:41-52).The Beginning of His Ministry
The JordanJesus is Baptized in the Jordan (Mat 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-23).
The WildernessThe Temptation in the Wilderness (Mat 4:1-11; Mk 1:12, 13; Lk 4:1-13).
The Eternal Word (Jn 1:1-18).The Testimony of John (Jn 1:19-34).
The First Disciples (Jn 1:35-51).Cana
Turning Water to Wine (Jn 2:1-12).Jesus Visits Jerusalem
The First PassoverJerusalem
A House of Merchandise (Jn 2:13-25).
Unless One is Born Again (Jn 3:1-21).Jesus Baptizes (Jn 3:22, with 4:2).
GalileeHe Departed Again to Galilee (Mat 4:12; Mk 1:14; Lk 4:14; Jn 4:1-3).
SamariaThe Woman at the Well (Jn 4:4-42).
Jesus' Ministry in GalileeGalilee
He Taught in Their Synagogues (Mt 4:17; Mk 1:14,15; Lk 4:14,15; Jn 4:43-45).Nazareth
A Certain Nobleman (Jn 4:46-54)Physician, Heal Yourself! (Mat 4:13-16; Lk 4:16-31).
Sea of GalileePeter, Andrew, James, and John (Mat 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11).
GalileeAnd Jesus Went About All Galilee . . Teaching (Mat 4:23-25; Mk 1:35-39, Lk 4:42-44).
A Man With an Unclean Spirit (Mk 1:21-28; Lk 4:31-37).Capernaum
Simon's Wife's Mother Lay Sick (Mat 8:14-17; Mk 1:29-34; Lk 4:38-41).Then a Leper Came to Him (Mat 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-45; Lk 5:12- 16).
They Brought to Him a Paralytic (Mat 9:2-8; Mk 2:1-12; Lk 5:17-26).Capernaum
Matthew the Tax Collector (Mat 9:9; Mk 2:13, 14; Lk 5:27, 28).The Second Passover
JerusalemHealing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath Day (Jn 5:1-47).
Healing in the Synagogue on the Sabbath Day (Mat 12:9-14; Mk 3:1-6, Lk 6:6-11).And in His Name Gentiles Will Trust (Mat 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12)
Then He Appointed Twelve (Mat 10:2-4; Mk 3:13-19; Lk 6: 12-19).The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7; Lk 6:20-49).
A Certain Centurion's Servant (Mat 8:5-13; Lk 7:1-10).Nain
Jesus Raises the Dead Son at Nain (Lk 7:11-17).
Are You the Coming One? (Mat 11:2-19; Lk 7:18-35).My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light (Mat 11:20-30).
CapernaumThe Woman With the Alabaster Flask (Lk 7:36-50).
Mary Called Magdalene (Lk 8:1-3).The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:22-37; Mk 3: 19-30; Lk 11:14-20).
Teacher, We Want to See a Sign From You (Mat 12:38-45; Lk 11:16-36).Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites (Lk 11:37-54).
He Began to Say to His Disciples (Lk 12:1-59).Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk 13:6-9).
Parable of the Sower (Mat 13:1-23; Mk 4:1-25; Lk 8:4-18).Many Such Parables (Mat 13:24-53; Mk 4:26-34).
Sea of GalileeJesus Rebukes the Storm (Mat 8:18-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25).
The Herd of Many Swine (Mat 8:28-33; Mk 5:1-21; Lk 8:26-40).
NazarethHe Came Again to His Own City (Mat 9:1; Mk 5:21 Lk 8:40).
The Parable of the Wineskins (Mat 9:10-17; Mk 2:15-22; Lk 5:29-39).Jairus' Daughter and the Woman With the Flow of Blood (Mat 9:18-26; Mk 5:22-43; Lk 8:41-56).
The Blind and the Mute (Mat 9:27-34).A Prophet is Not Without Honor Except in His Own Country (Mat 13:53-58; Mk 6:1-6).
He Was Moved With Compassion For Them (Mat 9:35-38)Sent His Disciples Out With Power and Authority (Mat 10; Mk 6:6-13, Lk 9:1-6).
MachaerusJohn the Baptist is Beheaded (Mat 14:1, 2, 6-12, Mk 6:14-16, 21-29; Lk 9:7-9).
Near BethsaidaThe Disciples Return, Feeding Five Thousand (Mat 14:13-21; Mk 6:30-44; Lk 9:10-17, Jn 6:1-14).
Sea of GalileeThey Saw Him Walking on the Sea (Mat 14:22-36; Mk 6:45-56; Jn 6:15-21).
I Am the Bread of Life (Jn 6:22-65).Do you also want to go away? (Jn 6:66-71).
Unwashed Hands (Mat 15:1-20; Mk 7:1-23).A Woman of Canaan (Mat 15:21-28; Mk 7:24-30).
Then Great Multitudes Came to Him (Mat 15:29-31, Mk 7:31-37).Feeding Four Thousand (Mat 15:32-39; Mk 8:1-9).
Seeking From Him a Sign From Heaven (Mat 16:1-4; Mk 8:10-12).
The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Mat 16:4-12; Mk 8:13-21).Bethsaida
Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida (Mk 8:22-26).Caesarea Philippi
Jesus Reveals Who He is at Caesarea Philippi (Mat 16:13-20; Mk 8:27-30; Lk 9:18-21).
He Must Go to Jerusalem and Be Killed (Mat 16:21-28; Mk 8:31-38; 9:1; Lk 9:21-27).And He Was Transfigured (Mat 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Lk 9:28-36).
And Jesus Rebuked the Demon (Mat 17:14-21; Mk 9:14-29; Lk 9:37-43).Speaks Again of His Death (Mat 17:22, 23; Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:43-45).
CapernaumMiracle of the Coin in the Fish's Mouth (Mat 17:24-27).
Which One is the Greatest? (Mat 18:1-35; Mk 9:33-50; Lk 9:46-50).He Who is Not Against Us is On Our Side (Mk 9:38, 39; Lk 9:49, 50).
The Feast of TabernaclesJerusalem
Set His Face to Go to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51-62; Jn 7:2-11).The Lord Appointed Seventy Others (Lk 10:1-16).
The Ten Lepers (Lk 17:11-19).Teaches in the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7:14-53; 8:1-59).
The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37).The Report of the Seventy (Lk 10:17-24).
BethanyThe House of Mary and Martha (Lk 10:38-42).
Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray (Lk 11:1-13).The Feast of Dedication
JerusalemI Was Blind, Now I See (Jn 9:1-41).
My Sheep Hear My Voice (Jn 9:39-41; 10:1-21).They Picked Up Stones To Stone Him (Jn 10:22-39).
BethabaraBeyond the Jordan (Jn 10:40-42; 11:3-16).
BethanyJesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (Jn 11:1-46).
EphraimThe Declaration of Caiaphas (Jn 11:47-54).
JudeaThe Woman Who Was Bent Over (Mat 19:1, 2; Mk 10:1; Lk 13:10-35).
Take the Lowest Seat (Lk 14:1-24).Count the Cost (Lk 14:25-35).
More Parables, Prodigal Son (Lk 15:1-32; 16:1-13).Exposes the Hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Lk 16:14-18).
The Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31).Increase Our Faith (Lk 17:1-10).
Teaches the Pharisees About the Coming of the Kingdom (Lk 17:20-37).
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18:1-14).Marriage and Divorce (Mat 19:3-12; Mk 10:2-12).
Let the Little Children Come to Me (Mat 19:13-15; Mk 10:13-16; Lk 18:15-17).Rich Young Ruler (Mat 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-22; Lk 18:18-24).
The Parable of the Vineyard (Mat 20:1-16).Again Foretelling His Death (Mat 20:17-19; Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-34).
Can I Sit at Your Right Hand? (Mat 20:20-28; Mk 10:35-45).Jericho
Blind Bartimaeus (Mat 20:29-34; Mk 10:46-50; Lk 18:35-43).Zacchaeus who was a Chief Tax Collector (Lk 19:1-10).
The Parable of the Minas (Lk 19:11-28).Bethany
Mary Anoints the Feet of Jesus (Jn 12:1-9).Jerusalem
Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem(Mat 21:1-11; Mk 11:1-11; Lk 19:29-44; Jn 12:12-19). Jesus Enters the Temple (Mat 21:12, Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45).
Drives the Vendors Out of the Temple (Mat 21:12, 13; Lk 19:45, 46).The Blind and Lame Came to Him (Mat 21:14).
He Was Teaching Daily in the Temple (Lk 19:47, 48).The Withered Fig Tree (Mat 21:17-22; Mk 11:12-14, 20-22).
The Parable of the Two Sons (Mat 21:28-31);The Parable of the Vinedressers (Mat 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19);
The Parable of the Great Supper (Mat 22:1-14; Lk 14:16-24).
Tested By the Pharisees (Mat 22:15-22; Mk 12:13-17; Lk 20:20-26).Tested By the Sadducees (Mat 22:23-33; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 20:27-40);
Tested By a Lawyer (Mat 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-34).Beware of the Scribes and the Pharisees (Mat 23; Mk 12:38-40; Lk 20:45-47).
A Certain Poor Widow (Mk 12:41-44; Lk 21:1-4).The Prophecy of Isaiah About their Blindness (Jn 12:37-50).
Foretells the Destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem (Mat 24; Mk 13; Lk 21:5-36).He Saw the City and Wept Over It (Mat 23:37; Lk 19:41-44).
The Parables of the Ten Virgins and The Talents (Mat 25:1-30).The Sheep and the Goats (Mat 25:31-46).
Anointed with the Flask of Spikenard (Mat 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9; Jn 12:1-8).The Last Passover
JerusalemThe Last Passover (Mat 26:17-30; Mk 14:12-25; Lk 22:7-20).
Began to Wash the Disciples' Feet (Jn 13:1-17).The Hand of My Betrayer is With Me (Mat 26:23; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21; Jn 13:18).
What You Do . . Do Quickly (Mat 26:21-25; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21-23; Jn 13:21-30).
Teaches About the Holy Spirit (Jn 14; 15; 16).Jesus' Intercession (Jn 17).
The Prayer in Gethsemane (Mat 26:30, 36-46; Mk 14:26, 32-42; Lk 22:39-46; Jn 18:1).Betrayed and Taken (Mat 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-54, 66-72; Lk 22:47-53; Jn 18:2-12).
The Trial (Mat 26:57, 58, 69-75; Mk 14:53, 54, 66-72; Lk 22:54-62; Jn 18:13-18, 25-27).
Delivered to Pilate (Mat 27:1, 2, 11-14; Mk 15:1-5; Lk 23:1-5; Jn 18:28-38).He Sent Him to Herod (Lk 23:6-12).
Tried Before Pilate (Mat 27:15-26; Mk 15:6-15; Lk 23:13-25; Jn 18:39, 40; 19:1-16).
Mocked by the Soldiers (Mat 27:27-31; Mk 15:16-20).
Led Him Away to be Crucified (Mat 27:31-34; Mk 15:20-23; Lk 23:26-32; Jn 19:16, 17).
Crucified (Mat 27:35-56; Mk 15:24-41; Lk 23:33-49; Jn 19:18-30).Joseph of Arimathea (Mat 27:57-66; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; Jn 19:31-42).
He is Risen (Mat 28:2-15, Mk 16:1-11 Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-18).Has Appeared to Simon (Lk 24:34; 1Cor 15:5).
Road to EmmausAppears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12, 13: Lk 24:13-35).
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The Life of Jesus