9. There are five parts to this book. I. The nativity of John, the Forerunner of Christ (chapter 1). II. The nativity and infancy of Christ (chapter 2). III. Christ’s actions, teaching, and miracles (chapters 3-21). IV. His Sufferings (chapters 22, 23). V. The glory of His resurrection and ascension into Heaven (chapter 24). Interpreters Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic, and also a Synoptic Table of the Book.
This book is also able to be arranged in five parts. For, in it are narrated, first, the nativity of John, the Forerunner of Christ, Chapter 1. Second, the nativity and infancy of Christ, Chapter 2. Third, Christ’s actions, teaching, and miracles, Chapters 3-21. Fourth, His sufferings, Chapters 22, 23. Fifth, the glory of His resurrection and ascension into Heaven, Chapter 24.
I. The nativity of John, the Forerunner of Christ, Chapter 1.
The conception of John is narrated, with a commendation of his parents, and with a promise made to his incredulous father, and also with the punishment of his unbelief given in advance as a sign (verses 1-25). After that, Mary, with a promised received from an Angel that the Christ was going to be born of her, sets out to visit Elizabeth and praises God (verses 26-56); and, with John born, Zacharias erupts into the praise of God, and foretells the office of his son, the forerunner (verses 57-80): chapter 1.
II. The nativity and infancy of Christ, Chapter 2.
Christ, with his parents proceeding to Bethlehem so that they might be taxed, is born there in a manger (verses 1-7), and, having been attested by the testimonies of Angels and men (verses 8-20), is circumcised (verse 21), is presented at Jerusalem as the firstborn (verses 22-24); having been brought into the Temple, He is taken up in the arms of Simeon the just and blessed, together with His parents (verses 25-35), is celebrated by Anna (verses 36-38); returning to Nazareth, He matures (verses 39, 40); and, having been lost by His parents at Jerusalem, He teaches in the Temple, being yet a boy (verses 41-51); and He matures greatly (verse 52): chapter 2.
III. Christ’s actions, teaching, and miracles, Chapters 3-21. Namely, Christ:
1. With John beginning preaching, rebuking the refractory, and baptizing at Jordan (verses 1-20), Himself is also solemnly baptized (verses 21, 22), whose, having completed His thirtieth year, genealogy is woven together (verses 23-38): chapter 3.
2. He, being about to undertake the business of salvation, is first tempted by the Devil (verses 1-13); and, proceeding into Galilee and arriving at Nazareth, He teaches with the admiration of all (verses 14-22), and, rebuking the ingratitude of His own townspeople, kindles the animosity of all against Himself; but, having escaped (verses 23-30), He comes to Capernaum, and there heals a demoniac (verses 31-37), and the fevered mother-in-law of Peter (verses 38-44): chapter 4.
3. He calls to Himself Peter and the sons of Zebedee, astonished by the miracle of the capture of the immense multitude of fish (verses 1-11); He heals a leper (verses 12-16), cures a paralytic, and shows that He has the select power of remitting sins (verses 17-26); He calls Matthew (verse 27-32); He refutes the Pharisees, avoiding dealings with sinners, and proud of their frequent fasts (verses 33-39): chapter 5.
4. Against the Pharisees He defends His disciples plucking ears of grain on the Sabbath (verses 1-5); He restores a withered hand (verses 6-11); He chooses the twelve Apostles (verses 12-16); and, with many healed, He preaches concerning the beatitudes (verses 17-26), the love of enemies (verses 27-35), mercy, the avoidance of rash judgments, the simultaneous heading and doing of the word of God with fruit (verses 36-49): chapter 6.
5. He heals the centurion’s servant on the verge of death (verses 1-10); He raises the son of a widow from death (verses 11-17); He clearly attests to John before John’s disciples sent to Him (verses 18-29); He rebukes the incurable impiety of the Pharisees and others (verses 30-35), and in the house of Simon, a Pharisee, forgives a woman sorrowing over her sins, and loving Christ much, with the grudging snarling in vain (verses 36-50): chapter 7.
6. With many flocking to Him, He relates the parable of the sower (verses 1-15), and of the light (verses 16-18), teaches who His mother and brethren are (verses 19-21); and, passing from there by sea, He calms a tempest (verses 22-25); He heals a demoniac in the land of the Gadarenes (verses 26-39); He stops an issue of blood (verses 40-48), and recalls the daughter of Jairus from the dead (verses 49-56): chapter 8.
7. He sends the Apostles off to preach (verses 1-9); with five loaves He feeds five thousand (verses 10-17); with Peter confessing Him, He speaks of His crucifixion and death (verses 18-26); He is transfigured before His disciples (verses 27-36); He frees one possessed (verses 37-42); He speaks again about His approaching sufferings, teaches His disciples humility (verses 43-56), and commends the following of Himself (verses 57-62): chapter 9.
8. With the seventy disciples sent out (verses 1-12), He reproves the ungrateful cities for their impiety (verses 13-16); He teaches His returning disciples in what they ought to rejoice (verses 17-20); He worships His Father (verses 21-24); He informs a lawyer of the greatest precept (verses 25-28), and of loving one’s neighbor by the parable of the wounded man (verses 29-37); finally, He instructs Martha serving Him, and Mary listening to Him, concerning blessedness (verses 38-42): chapter 10.
9. With a form of prayer prescribed (verses 1-13), He casts out a demon (verse 14), and responds to those alleging that He does that by the agency of Beelzebub (verses 15-26); He sets forth the blessedness of those hearing the word (verses 27, 28); He denies a sign to those seeking one (verses 29-33); He commends sincerity of heart (verses 34-36), and, having received an invitation from a Pharisee, reproves their external sanctity and impure heart (verses 37-54): chapter 11.
10. He warns to abstain from the leaven of the Pharisees (verses 1-12); He forbids parables by examples and parables (verses 13-30), and urges the search for the Kingdom of God (verses 31-34); He commends vigilance by the parable of the honest and wicked servants (verses 35-48), and foretells the uproars about to arise on account of the Gospel (verses 49-59): chapter 12.
11. By the example of those that Pilate had killed, and that had been crushed by the tower (verses 1-5), and also by the similitude of the fig tree, He urges repentance (verses 6-9); on the Sabbath He heals a woman bowed together (verses 10-17); He shadows forth the Kingdom of God by similitudes (verses 18-21); He commends zeal in pursuing salvation (verses 22-30); He makes unfavorable mention of Herod as a fox (verses 31-33), and denounces judgment upon Jerusalem on account of impiety (verses 34, 35): chapter 13.
12. He heals a man suffering from dropsy on the Sabbath (verses 1-6); He marks the ambition of the Pharisees, grasping at the glory of the first seat (verses 7-14); by the parable of those invited to a wedding He shows the impediments to salvation (verse 15-24); and from His followers He urges the love of Himself above all others, and the renunciation of their goods, and also, by the parable of the King preparing war, the diligent premeditation of all things (verse 25-35): chapter 14.
13. He shadows forth the mercy of God towards penitent sinners in the parables of the lost sheep (verses 1-7), of the lost coin (verses 8-10); and of the prodigal son (verses 11-32): chapter 15.
14. By the parable of the unjust steward He teaches the use of riches, and faithfulness of administration (verses 1-13); He prohibits avarice and adultery (verses 14-18); and by the parable of the rich man and Lazarus He figures the diverse ends of both (verses 19-31): chapter 16.
15. Prohibiting the casting of stumbling blocks (verses 1-4), He proclaims the power of faith (verses 5, 6); He teaches the idleness of our merits (verses 7-10); He cleanses ten lepers (verses 11-19); and He demonstrates of what sort the coming of the Son of Man is going to be (verses 20-37): chapter 17.
16. Commending assiduity in prayer by the parable of the judge and the widow (verses 1-8), He reproves excessive confidence in works by the example of the Pharisee and publican (verses 9-14); He lays hands on children (verses 15-17); He commands a young man, puffed up with the disease of his own righteousness, to follow Him, with all thing sold (verses 18-22), with whom hesitating, He expounds upon the danger of riches (verses 23-27), and surveys the rewards of His followers (verses 28-30); He foretells His sufferings (verses 31-34); and He restores sight to a blind man asking for help (verses 35-43): chapter 18.
17. With Zacchaeus converted to Himself (verses 1-10), He commends spiritual profit by the parable of the talents (verses 11-27); making for Jerusalem carried by an ass-colt, He is received by the crowd as King (verses 28-38); He laments the imminent ruin of the city (verses 39-44), and drives vendors from the Temple (verses 45-48): chapter 19.
18. Having been asked concerning His authority, He eludes the question (verses 1-8); by the parable of the vineyard and the husbandmen He strikes at the impiety of the Priests (verses 9-19); He teaches that tribute is to be rendered to Cæsar (verses 20-26); He proves the resurrection of the dead against the Sadducees (verses 27-40); He convicts the Pharisees in a question, whose son Messiah is (verses 41-44), and warns to beware of the scribes (verses 45-47): chapter 20.
19. Preferring the mite of the widow to the alms of the rich (verses 1-4), He foretells the devastation of the Temple and city of Jerusalem (verses 5-24), and also the signs of the consummation of the World (verses 25-33), and exhorts all to vigilance and sobriety (verses 34-38): chapter 21.
IV. Christ’s Sufferings, Chapters 22, 23. Namely, Christ:
1. Preparing to celebrate Passover, is sold by Judas (verses 1-6); He then celebrates the Passover, and replaces it with the mystical Supper (verses 7-23); He restrains the disciples, contending over the primacy (verses 24-30); by His intercession He fortifies Peter against his fall (verses 31-34); He foretells approaching straits (verses 35-38); having gone out into a garden, and praying much, He is captured and led away (verses 39-53), with Peter following and denying Him (verses 54-63); and He, having been mocked for a long time, and accused falsely of crimes by the Jews, is condemned (verses 64-71): chapter 22.
2. He is delivered to Pilate, who receives Him again, after He was sent to Herod, condemns Him at the insistence of the people (verses 1-25), and orders Him led away to be crucified, with Simon the Cyrenian bearing His cross (verses 26-32), who, being accordingly fixed on the cross, converts one of the thieves (verses 33-43), and, with an eclipse coming on from the sixth to the ninth hour, dies (verses 44-49); and He is buried by Joseph (verses 50-56): chapter 23.
V. The glory of Christ’s resurrection and ascension into Heaven, Chapter 24.
The women seeking Christ hear from the Angels that He is risen (verses 1-12); Christ also, having been raised, reveals Himself to two disciples traveling to Emmaus (verses 13-35); after He appears to the disciples also, and converses familiarly with them, He explains the Scriptures to them (verses 36-49), and, blessing them at Bethany, ascends into Heaven (verses 50-53): chapter 24.