A rough timeline of Jesus’ last 6 months on Earth. For an explanation of what this is, how it was put together, and why it was made, see the introduction. For technical details, and notes on accuracy or lack of it, read the disclaimer at the end of the page below.
Feast of Tabernacles: September 26 – October 3
Reference: John 7:2
September 26 – 29: Jews at the feast wonder where Jesus is (John 7:10-13)
September 30 – October 2: Jesus teaches at the temple (John 7:14-31)
October 3: Religious leaders attempt to arrest Jesus (John 7:32-53)
October 4: Jesus forgives an adulterous woman (John 8:1-11)
October 5: Jesus teaches at the Temple, and some try to stone Him (John 8:12-59)
October 8: Jesus sends out 72 messengers (Luke 10:1-16)
October 26: The 72 messengers return (Luke 10:17-24)
October 29: Jesus tells the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
November 1: Jesus visits Mary and Martha in Bethany (Luke 10:38-42)
November 5: Jesus teaches the disciples about prayer (Luke 11:1-13)
November 7: Jesus answers hostile accusations (Luke 11:14-28)
November 12: Jesus teaches the crowds (Luke 11:29-36). Later, he eats with religious
leaders (Luke 11:37-52).
November 13: Religious leaders begin trying to trap Jesus with questions (Luke 11:53-54).
November 14: Jesus teaches a crowd of thousands (Luke 12:1-13:9)
November 17: Jesus heals a crippled woman on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17)
November 18: Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God (Luke 13:18-21)
November 24: Jesus heals a blind man on the Sabbath (John 9:1-12)
November 25: Religious leaders question the formerly blind man (John 9:13-34)
November 26: Jesus meets with formerly blind man (John 9:35-41) and teaches about the good shepherd (John 10:1-21)
Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah): December 4-12
Reference: John 10:22
December 11: Religious leaders try to stone Jesus at the temple (John 10:22-38)
December 12: Jesus escapes across the Jordan (John 10:39-40)
December 13 – 31: Many join Jesus at the place where John the Baptist had taught (John 10:41-42)
January 1 – 11: Jesus starts toward Jerusalem, teaching in towns along the way (Luke 13:22-35)
January 12: Jesus heals a man with dropsy on the Sabbath, and confronts prominent teachers of the law at a dinner party (Luke 14:1-24)
January 13: Jesus teaches the crowds following Him about the cost of being a disciple (Luke 14:25-35)
January 14 – 18: Jesus tells parables (Luke 15:1-17:10)
January 21: Jesus hears that Lazarus is sick (John 11:1-5). Lazarus dies later that night (John 11:17).
January 22-23: Jesus stays where He is for 2 days (John 11:6)
January 24: Jesus heads toward Bethany (John 11:7-16)
January 25: Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11:17-44)
January 28: Religious leaders meet and plot to kill Jesus (John 11:45-57)
February 4: Jesus heals 10 men with leprosy at the border between Samaria and Galilee (Luke 17:11-19)
February 5: Jesus teaches about the coming of the kingdom of God (Luke 17:20-37)
February 6 – 7: Jesus tells parables (Luke 18:1-14)
February 11 – 13: Crowds follow Jesus back across the Jordan (Matthew 19:1-2)
February 18: Jesus teaches about marriage (Matthew 19:3-12)
February 19: Jesus blesses little children (Matthew 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16, and Luke 18:15-17)
February 25: Jesus speaks to the rich man (Matthew 19:16-30, Mark 10:17-31, and Luke 18:18-30) and tells the parable of the workers’ pay (Matthew 20:1-16)
March 3: Jesus predicts His death and resurrection (Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 10:32-34, and Luke 18:31-34)
March 4: Mother of James and John asks for a favor (Matthew 20:20-28 and Mark 10:35-45)
March 10: Jesus heals Bartimaeus, a blind man, outside Jericho (Matthew 21:29-34, Mark 10:46-52, and Luke 18:35-43)
March 11-12: Jesus stays at the home of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) and tells the parable of the ten servants (Luke 19:11-27)
March 14: Jesus travels to Bethany (John 12:1)
March 15: During dinner with Martha, Mary anoints Jesus with perfume (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, and John 12:1-11)
The Week Before Passover: March 16-22
Reference: John 12:1
Sunday, March 16 (Palm Sunday):
- Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19).
- Jesus looks around the temple late that afternoon, but then returns to Bethany to spend the night (Mark 11:11).
Monday, March 17:
- On the way to Jerusalem in the morning, Jesus curses a fig tree (Mark 11:12-14).
- Jesus clears the temple (Matthew 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-18, and Luke 19:45-48).
- Jesus explains why He must die (John 12:20-36).
- Most of the people do not believe in Jesus (John 12:37-43).
- Jesus summarizes His message (John 12:44-50)
- Jesus heads back to Bethany in the evening (Matthew 21:17 and Mark 11:19).
Tuesday, March 18:
- In the morning, the cursed fig tree has withered (Matthew 21:18-22 and Mark 11:20-26).
- In Jerusalem, the religious leaders question Jesus’ authority (Matthew 21:23-27, Mark 11:27-33, and Luke 20:1-8).
- Jesus tells parables (Matthew 21:28-22:14, Mark 12:18-27, and Luke 20:27-40).
- Jesus debates various religious leaders (Matthew 22:15-46, Mark 12:13-37, and Luke 20:20-44).
- Jesus warns against the religious leaders (Matthew 23:1-36, Mark 12:38-40, and Luke 20:45-47).
- Jesus grieves over Jerusalem again (Matthew 23:37-39).
- A poor widow gives all she has (Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4).
- Jesus goes to Mount of Olives and tells about the future and His return (Matthew 24 & 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21:5-38).
- The religious leaders plot to kill Jesus (Matthew 26:1-5, Mark 14:1-2, and Luke 22:1-2).
- Judas goes to the religious leaders and agrees to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11, and Luke 22:3-6).
Thursday, March 20:
- Peter and John prepare for the Passover dinner (Matthew 26:17-19, Mark 14:12-16, and Luke 22:7-13).
- Jesus washes the disciples’ feet before the last supper (John 13:1-20)
- The last supper (Matthew 26:20-29, Mark 14:17-25, Luke 22:14-23, and John 13:21-30).
- Jesus teaches about being a servant (Luke 22:24-30).
- Jesus commands His followers to love one another (John 13:31-35).
- Jesus predicts Peter’s denial (Mark 14:27-31, Matthew 26:31-35, Luke 22:31-38, and John 13:36-38).
- Jesus teaches and prays in the upper room (John 14-17).
- Jesus and the disciples sing a hymn and go out to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26).
- Jesus agonizes in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, and Luke 22:39-46).
Friday, March 21 (Good Friday)
- 1:00 a.m.: Judas leads soldiers to Gethsemane, and betrays Jesus with a kiss (Matthew 26:47-50, Mark 14:43-45, Luke 22:47-48, and John 18:1-3).
- Jesus confronts the soldiers (John 18:4-9).
- Soldiers seize Jesus, Peter cuts off Malchus’ ear, Jesus heals the ear, and the disciples flee (Matthew 26:50-56, Mark 14:46-51, Luke 22:49-53, and John 18:10-11).
- 2:00 a.m.: Annas questions Jesus (John 18:12-14 and 18:19-23).
- 2:30 a.m.: Annas sends Jesus to Caiaphas (John 18:24).
- 3:00 a.m.: Caiaphas questions Jesus (Matthew 26:57-66 and Mark 14:53-64).
- Peter denies knowing Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-65, and John 18:15-18 & 18:25-27).
- Guards beat Jesus (Matthew 26:67-68, Mark 14:65, and Luke 22:63-65).
- 6:00 a.m.: Council of religious leaders condemns Jesus (Matthew 27:1, Mark 15:1, and Luke 22:66-71).
- 6:30 a.m.: Jesus is sent to Pilate, the governor (Matthew 27:2, Mark 15:1, Luke 23:1, and John 18:28).
- 7:00 a.m.: Judas commits suicide (Matthew 27:3-10).
- 7:30 a.m.: Jesus stands trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:11-14, Mark 15:2-5, Luke 23:1-5, and John 18:28-37).
- 8:00 a.m.: Jesus stands trial before Herod (Luke 23:6-12).
- 8:30 a.m.: Crowd chooses Barabbas over Jesus (Matthew 27:15-26, Mark 15:6-15, Luke 23:13-25, and John 18:38-40).
- 9:00 a.m.: Jesus is abused and mocked by Roman soldiers (Matthew 27:26-31, Mark 15:15-20, and John 19:1-3).
- 10:00 a.m.: Pilate again tries to free Jesus (John 19:4-16).
- 11:00 a.m.: Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:32-44, Mark 15:21-32, Luke 23:26-43, and John 19:18-27).
- 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Darkness covers the land (Matthew 27:45 and Mark 15:33).
- 3:00 p.m.: Jesus dies (Matthew 27:46-56, Mark 15:34-41, Luke 23:44-49, and John 19:28-30).
- 4:00 p.m.: A Roman soldier pierces Jesus’ side with a spear (John 19:31-37).
- 5:00 p.m.: Jesus is laid in the tomb (Matthew 27:57-61, Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56, and John 19:38-42).
Saturday, March 22
- 7:00 a.m.: The tomb is sealed and guarded (Matthew 28:62-66).
Sunday, March 23 (Easter)
- 6:00 a.m.: Jesus rises from the dead (Matthew 28:1-7, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-8, and John 20:1-2).
- 6:30 a.m.: Peter and John run to the tomb (Luke 24:9-12 and John 20:3-9).
- 7:00 a.m.: Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Matthew 17:8-10, Mark 16:9-11, and John 20:10-18).
- 8:00 a.m.: Religious leaders bribe the guards (Matthew 28:11-15).
- 3:00 p.m.: Jesus appears to Cleopas and another believer on the road (Mark 16:12-13 and Luke 24:13-35)
- 8:00 p.m.: Jesus appears to the disciples behind locked doors in Jerusalem (Luke 24:36-43 and John 20:19-23).
March 30: Jesus appears to Thomas and the disciples (Mark 16:14 and John 20:24-31)
April 10: Jesus appears to the disciples while fishing in Galilee (John 21)
April 12: Jesus gives the great commission in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:15-18).
May 1: Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24:44-48).
40 Days After the Resurrection: May 2
Reference: Acts 1:3
May 2: Jesus ascends into heaven from near Bethany (Mark 16:19-20 and Luke 24:50-53).
- I have no formal education on this topic, though I did use some resources that were put together by Biblical scholars.
- This covers the last 6 months of Jesus’ life and ministry, which happens to be about half the material in the gospels. I will probably get around to the first half someday, but since that material stretches across multiple years, it will probably be hard to make good guesses about dates for that material anyway.
- There are 4 main places in the timeline where the dates are made known in the scriptures: the Festival of Tabernacles, the Festival of Dedication, the week before Passover, and 40 days after the resurrection. These are noted in bold, and serve as bookmarks. The dates for events that happen during, or near, those bookmarks are the most accurate dates. The farther an event is from any bookmark, the less confident I am about the date.
- The harmony of the Gospels that I used is from the Life Application Study Bible. Though I like it and recommend it, there are a few places where I somewhat doubted the harmony was correct, and made some changes. For instance, it listed two separate times that Jesus predicted Peter would deny being a disciple: one recorded in Luke and John, and one recorded in Matthew and Mark. Both occurred on the same night, and the only reason I can see to justify thinking they are two separate incidents is that Luke and John tell that story before saying Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, while Matthew and Mark tell the story right after they say Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. It is already established that the Gospel writers did not always put things in chronological order, so I highly doubt that Jesus repeated Himself. I only list this event once. Whether the event happened 30 minutes before going to the Mount of Olives, or 30 minutes after, does not affect the story.
- The Gospel writers did mention some events happening specifically on the Sabbath, but without explaining which Sabbath. So, we know what day of the week those things happened, but we don’t know which week. Those events are listed on Saturdays (Saturday, not Sunday, is the Sabbath).
- If an event is listed in more than one Gospel, that is because it was written about by more than one Gospel writer. I have put in bold the references that I think provide the best detail about the event.
- This year (2007/2008) is what I would call an early year, since Easter and all of the festivals occur earlier on the calendar than they do most years. This doesn’t really matter, because the amount of time between the festivals still remains about the same. Next year, Easter occurs about 3 weeks later in the calendar, so you can adjust all these dates by 3 weeks to fit it on a 2009 calendar.
- Figuring out dates on an ancient lunisolar calendar for an unspecified year 20 centuries ago is a royal pain-and-a-half, and almost literally impossible, which is why I just use this year’s dates. Furthermore, it is probable that Jesus was crucified only 5 days after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. (John 12:1 and 12:12 say specifically that, and Mark specifically lists 4 nighttime trips to the Mount of Olives—not 5.) That would mean that either Palm Sunday happened on a Monday, or Good Friday was actually Good Thursday. This makes my head hurt, so I stuck with a traditional full Easter week. That leaves one day (Wednesday) in which nothing worth mentioning happened.
- If Jesus was crucified on a Friday, that means that Passover started on Saturday. Passover always began on the 14th day of the month of Nisan, so the day before Passover was Nisan 13. This means that Good Friday was also Friday the 13th. The more you know…
- Mark says that Jesus was placed on the cross during the 3rd hour, or 9:00 a.m. (Mark 15:25), while John puts it at about the 6th hour, or noon (John 19:14). I have no idea which one is more correct. I don’t think the difference between the two is anything to worry about. Remember, they did not have Timex watches back then.