When Did Jesus Tell His Disciples He Was Going to Die?

Jesus Christ is one of the most recognizable names in history. He is known for his teachings, miracles, and ultimately, his death and resurrection. But when did Jesus reveal to his disciples that he was going to die

The Prophecy of Jesus’ Death

The prophecy of Jesus’ death can be found in all four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In Matthew 16:21-23, it is written:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

This passage marks the first time that Jesus explicitly tells his disciples about his impending death. In Mark 8:31-33, a similar passage can be found:

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.

In both instances, we see Jesus foretelling not only his death but also his resurrection.

The Reaction of His Disciples

As expected, this news was not well-received by all of Jesus’ disciples. In Matthew 16:22-23 we read:

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never Lord!” he said.

“This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

It’s clear that Peter didn’t fully comprehend the gravity of Jesus’ words. His reaction was based on his limited understanding of who Jesus was and what he had come to do. In John 12:23-24, we see Jesus further explaining the importance of his death:

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

Jesus was saying that his death would not be in vain; rather, it would produce much fruit.

The Fulfillment of Prophecy

Jesus’ prophecy came true just as he had foretold. He was arrested by the religious leaders and handed over to Pontius Pilate for trial. Pilate ultimately sentenced him to death by crucifixion.

The disciples were devastated by Jesus’ death but were overjoyed when they saw him alive again three days later. The resurrection proved that Jesus’ claims were true and that he was indeed the Son of God.

In Conclusion

Jesus foretold his death several times throughout his ministry. Though his disciples didn’t fully understand at first, they eventually came to realize its significance in light of his resurrection. Jesus’ sacrifice paved the way for all who believe in him to have eternal life.