Jesus predicts his death

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Early Christian Catacomb painting of Jesus and his disciples, pre-third century.

Jesus predicts his death multiple times in the New Testament, the first two occasions building up to the final prediction of his crucifixion.[1] The final prediction episode appears in all three Synoptic Gospels, in the Gospel of Matthew 20:17–19, the Gospel of Mark 10:32–34 and the Gospel of Luke 18:31–34. In Matthew 26:1–2, before entering Jerusalem, Jesus predicts his crucifixion there.[2]

The first warning in Mark 8:31–33 takes place somewhere near Caesarea Philippi immediately after Apostle Peter proclaims Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus teaches his Apostles that "the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again".[3] When Apostle Peter objects, Jesus tells Peter: ""Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."[4] The Gospel of Matthew 16:21–28 also includes this first episode.[5] The Gospel of Luke 9:22–27 features a shortened version that contains the prediction but not the dialog between Jesus and Peter.

As in the first episode, each time Jesus predicts his passion, the disciples in some way or another manifest their incomprehension, but Jesus will use the occasion to teach them new things.[6] The second warning appears in Mark 9:30–32 as follows:

He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.[7]

The third prediction in the Gospel of Matthew 20:17–19 specifically mentions crucifixion:

Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"[8]

This episode is immediately followed by the Son of man came to serve episode.

Jesus also alludes to his passion in the Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus when Abraham says, "Even if someone were to rise from the dead, they still will not believe." Moreover, in the Parable of the Tenant Farmers, the owner of the vineyard sends his son in the end (alluding to Jesus) who is killed by the tenants.

The Gospel of John in chapters 13 to 17 also mentions several occasions where Jesus prepared his disciples for his departure.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ St Mark's Gospel and the Christian faith by Michael Keene 2002 ISBN 0-7487-6775-4 pages 24-25
  2. ^ The temptations of Jesus in Mark's Gospel by Susan R. Garrett 1996 ISBN 978-0-8028-4259-6 pages 74-75
  3. ^ The Gospel according to Mark: meaning and message by George Martin 2005 ISBN 0-8294-1970-5 pages 200-202
  4. ^ Bible gateway
  5. ^ Matthew for Everyone: Chapters 16-28 by Tom Wright 2004 ISBN 0-664-22787-2 page 9
  6. ^ Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 1998 ISBN 0-86554-373-9 page 550
  7. ^ Bible gateway
  8. ^ Bible gateway
  9. ^ Dictionary of biblical imagery by Leland Ryken, Jim Wilhoit, Tremper Longman, Colin Duriez, Douglas Penney, Daniel G. Reid 1998 ISBN 0-8308-1451-5 page 269

See also[edit]