Through Lent with Jesus of Nazareth – a Viewing Plan

You can download this Viewing Guide as a PDF booklet from our church’s Facebook Page

The much acclaimed 1977 television portrayal of Jesus by Robert Powell focusses on the Humanity of Christ. Filmed on location in Morocco and Tunisia, the accent is on realism. The director, Franco Zeffireli’s powerful film opens the mind and stirs the heart.

The whole film is now available to watch for free on YouTube by following this link.

Daily Reflections for Lent

  • A segment of the video to watch;
  • A suggested Bible reading;
  • A comment or question for reflection;
  • Link to a relevant sermon online if you want to think more deeply about the story.

YouTube will normally save the point you last finished watching ready to start the video there next time. You can also start watching from any point using the time counter. The timings below show the start time for each daily segment of that particular YouTube video, which has a total run-time of 6:12:09. Other links are available on YouTube, but the timings will not necessarily be correct for those.

You could choose to watch the video a day at a time, or in longer sittings e.g. once a week if you preferred, whatever you find most helpful.

You can also watch the video on DVD. The most common 2 DVD set has a menu dividing the film into 4 Parts, each made up of 12 Episodes. The daily segments below also refer to those Episode numbers. PLEASE NOTE that the DVD Episodes usually correspond to the segments indicated by the times for the YouTube video, but sometimes they do not because they come from a different edit of the video and so the scenes are occasionally different. It may be confusing to watch sometimes on YouTube and at other times on DVD.

PLEASE REMEMBER that the video is a dramatization which sometimes departs from the readings in the Gospels which are the reliable accounts of the story of Jesus. Occasional comments explain major differences. You can of course just follow the daily Bible readings.


If watching the video raises any questions about the life of Jesus, or the Christian faith, please do get in touch through Messenger on Facebook,

You can also contact me by email to 


The copyright on the video Jesus of Nazareth, and on the Episode divisions on the commercial DVD Box Set, remain with the relevant copyright holders.

The copyright on the choice of segment divisions in this Viewing Plan, the suggested readings and comments for each section and on the linked sermons is © Peter Thomas 2021.


The video on YouTube and on DVD begins with the opening credits. You may enjoy watching these to find out which actors are appearing. The story itself begins after a couple of minutes.

1 ASH WEDNESDAY Waiting for a Saviour

YouTube 2.08  DVD Part 1 Episode 1 Jesus of Nazareth

The Jews were waiting for God to send a Saviour, the Messiah, who would rescue them from the Romans, restore Israel to prominence, and bring them peace. Meanwhile, everyday life carried on as ever.                   

BIBLE READING  Isaiah 11:1-10                                      SERMON

FOR REFLECTION  What are you looking forward to? What are you hoping for?

2 THURSDAY Mary meets an angel

YouTube 9.01  DVD Part 1 Episode 2 There will be no Messiah

God’s masterplan of salvation is revealed to a young woman who is engaged waiting to be married.

BIBLE READING Luke 1:26-38                                                      SERMON

FOR REFLECTION How do you imagine Mary would have felt at this vision? How do you react when God asks you to do something for him?

3 FRIDAY Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth

YouTube 15.30  DVD Part1 Episode 3 The virgin Mary

Mary’s cousin Elizabeth will be the mother of John the Baptist. “Mary’s Song of Praise” describes God’s marvellous plan of salvation.

BIBLE READING Luke 1:46-55                                                      SERMON

FOR REFLECTION What does it mean to you that Jesus was a Jew and came to bring salvation first of all to God’s chosen people of Israel?

4 SATURDAY God speaks to Joseph

YouTube 20.58  DVD Part 1 Episode 4 Message from God

Her fiancé Joseph had an important role in supporting Mary.

BIBLE READING Matthew 1:18-25                                              SERMON

FOR REFLECTION What does it mean to you that Jesus was “Immanuel, God with us”?

5 SUNDAY God’s plan of salvation unfolds

 YouTube 27.15  DVD Part 1 Episode 5 Wedding Day 25.59

It was part of God’s cosmic masterplan to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem so that Jesus could be born there.

BIBLE READING Luke 2:1-5                                                           SERMON

FOR REFLECTION In what ways do you recognise the hand of God guiding nations and leaders in the world today?

6 MONDAY The road to Bethlehem

YouTube 36.40  DVD Part 1 Episode 6 Following a star

While Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem, God was also guiding Magi, Wise Men from the East, to the same place by a star.

BIBLE READING Isaiah 60:1-6                                         SERMONS

FOR REFLECTION What does it say to you that God’s masterplan all along was to bring salvation to peoples from every nation on earth?

7 TUESDAY the birth of Jesus  

YouTube 42.47  DVD Part 1 Episode 7 A child is born

He will be called Immanuel, “God with us.”

BIBLE READING Luke 2:6-16                                                        SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Let us each hear for ourselves the message of the angels: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’

8 WEDNESDAY  Jesus is presented at the Temple

 YouTube 52:10  DVD Part 1 Episode 8 Circumcision

Simeon the prophet foretold the ministry and the death of Jesus.

BIBLE READING Luke 2:12-35                                         SERMON

FOR REFLECTION How do you think Mary felt, knowing how her son’s life would end?

9 THURSDAY The Visit of the Magi

YouTube 59:16 DVD Part 1 Episode 9 The wise men

Jesus the Saviour came not only for God’s chosen people Israel, but for all people everywhere.

BIBLE READING Matthew 2:1-12                                   SERMON  

FOR REFLECTION Consider how the gifts from the Wise Men foretold the life of Jesus – gold for a king, incense for a priest and myrrh for a burial.

10 FRIDAY Kill all the babies

YouTube 1.02.38 DVD Part 1 Episode 10 The innocent will die

Through Herod’s cruelty, the birth of Jesus did indeed bring sadness and mourning to many families.

BIBLE READING  Matthew 2:13-17                                SERMON

FOR REFLECTION The slaughter of the babies in Bethlehem echoed the way that Pharoah had killed all the Hebrew babies in Egypt (Exodus 1:15-22). Can you think of other ways in which Jesus resembled Moses?

11 SATURDAY Jesus growing up

YouTube 1.06.51 DVD Part 1 Episode 11 Nazareth

Jesus had a childhood exactly like every other child of his time.

BIBLE READING Luke 1:39-40                                         SERMON

FOR REFLECTION What does it mean for us that Jesus “grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him” just like any other child?

12 SUNDAY “In my Father’s House”

YouTube 1.15.42 DVD Part 1 Episode 12 Jerusalem the holy city

Jesus grew up knowing that he had a very special relationship with God, his Father.

BIBLE READING Luke 2:41-52                                                      SERMON

FOR REFLECTIONWhat does it mean for us as Christians to be children of God and to have a personal relationship with God?

13 MONDAY Prepare the Way of the Lord

YouTube 1.21.15 DVD Part 2 Episode 1 John the Baptist

We can sometimes underestimate the significance of John’s call to the people to get ready to welcome Jesus the Messiah.

BIBLE READING Luke 3:1-18    (1st half of DVD Ep.)          SERMON

FOR REFLECTION How would we have responded if we had heard the message of John the Baptist?

14 TUESDAY John baptises Jesus

YouTube 1.35.01 DVD Part 2 Episode 1 John the Baptist (second part)

It was Jesus being baptised which revealed to John that his cousin was indeed the Messiah.

BIBLE READING Matthew 3:13-17 (2nd part of DVD Ep.)       SERMON

FOR REFLECTION What do you think Jesus’s baptism meant to Jesus himself?

15 WEDNESDAY The beginning

YouTube 1.43.03  DVD Part 2 Episode 2 The Scriptures are Fulfilled

Jesus’s public ministry began with his reading of Isaiah 61:1-2. “Today this scripture is fulfilled.” 

BIBLE READING Luke 4:16-24                                        SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Jesus announced that the time had come for God to save his chosen people. How would you have reacted to that wonderful news? Why do you think those who heard it responded as they did?

16 THURSDAY Jesus drives out a demon

YouTube 1.49. 52 DVD Part 2 Episode 3 Driving out Satan

One third of the miracles Jesus performed involved driving out demons (also called unclean or evil spirits). Such miracles of deliverance continue in the church around the world today.

BIBLE READING Mark 1:21-28                                                     SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Why do you think we do not recognise the activities of evil spirits so much in our society?

17 FRIDAY The miraculous catch of fish

YouTube 1.55.01 DVD Part 2 Episode 4 Poor catch

The miraculous catch demonstrates that God is Sovereign over the whole cosmos.

BIBLE READING Luke 5:1-11                                           SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Luke’s Gospel tells us how the miracle helped Simon Peter to recognise that he was a sinful man. The starting point for receiving God’s free gifts of forgiveness and eternal life in all its fulness is recognising our own need of God.

18 SATURDAY Jesus forgives sinners

YouTube 2.01.18 DVD Part 2 Episode 5 The tax collector

Here we see Jesus’s compassion on a lame man, and the faith of the friends who brought him to Jesus.

BIBLE READING Mark 2:1-12                                                       SERMON

FOR REFLECTION The miracle of healing the lame man demonstrates that Jesus indeed has the authority to forgive sins, even notorious sinners like Matthew the Tax-Collector.

19 SUNDAY The parable of the lost son       

YouTube 2,10.01 DVD Part 2 Episode 6 The brothers

Here is perhaps the most well-known of Jesus’s parables.

BIBLE READING Luke 15:11-32                                                    SERMON

FOR REFLECTION God the loving heavenly Father welcomes us as the father in the story welcomes the lost son.  “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

COMMENT In contrast to Luke’s account, the video sets this story in Matthew’s house, and applies it specifically to the relationship between Peter and Matthew. Jesus could well have told the same story on many occasions. So do not let that distract you from the message in this wonderful parable of God’s amazing love.

20 MONDAY Herod and John

YouTube 2.21.26 DVD Part 2 Episode 7 Herod Antipas and John the Baptist

John the Baptist was the first Christian martyr.

BIBLE READING Mark 6:14-20                                                     SERMON

FOR REFLECTION John’s story reminds us of the cost of following Jesus.

21 TUESDAY Jesus raises the dead! 

YouTube 2.27.55 DVD Part 2 Episode 8 The Child is only sleeping

As Messiah, Jesus brought God’s healing – and still does so today!

BIBLE READING Mark 5:21-43                                                     SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Put yourself in the shoes of the parents of that little girl.

22 WEDNESDAY  Herod and Salome

YouTube 2.35.19 DVD Part 2 Episode 9 Dance princess

John the Baptist was murdered because of the wickedness of this King Herod.

BIBLE READING Mark 6:14-29                                                     SERMON

FOR REFLECTION In what ways do people today suppress the truth about God?

23 Thursday The death of John           

YouTube 2.48.53 DVD Part 2 Episode 10 Peace be on you John

Our reading today records the encouraging message Jesus sent to John.

BIBLE READING Luke 7:18-23 (not covered in the video)     SERMON

FOR REFLECTION The death of John the Baptist is a solemn reminder of what it can cost to follow Jesus.

24 Friday Following Jesus

YouTube 2.54.00 DVD Part 2 Episode 11 Followers of Jesus of Nazareth

As the days went on bigger and bigger crowds began to follow Jesus.

BIBLE READING Matthew 6:25-34                                 SERMON

FOR REFLECTION What does it mean in practice to follow Jesus’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount?

25 SATURDAY Jesus and the rich young ruler

YouTube 3.01.25 DVD Part 2 Episode 12 The Scholar

For some people, the cost of following Jesus was too high.

BIBLE READING Luke 18:18-30                                       SERMON

FOR REFLECTION What would we do if Jesus said to us, “Sell everything you have and give to the poor .. then come follow me.”?

26 SUNDAY Feeding the 5000 

YouTube 3.07.23 DVD Part 3 Episode 1 Five loaves and two fish

Some miracles were “visual aids”, like this one which demonstrates that Jesus is the Bread of Life.

BIBLE READING Mark 6:30-44                                        SERMON

FOR REFLECTION What does this amazing miracle teach us about Jesus and his mission?

27 MONDAY Jesus and the sinful woman

YouTube 3.13.19 DVD Part 3 Episode 2 Mary Magdelene

When Jesus forgives our sins we show our gratitude by loving other people with his kind of love.

BIBLE READING Luke 7:36-50                                         SERMONS

FOR REFLECTION “A fanatic is only somebody who loves Jesus more than I do.”

COMMENT Although some early traditions say that the woman in this story was Mary Magdelene, the Bible does not make clear what her name was.

28 TUESDAY Jesus’s mother and brothers

YouTube 3.23.48 DVD Part 3 Episode 3 Kill the Baptist murderer

Following Jesus is more important than anything else, even family.

BIBLE READING Mark 3:31-35                                                     SERMON

FOR REFLECTION What does it mean to us that we are part of Jesus’s family?

29 WEDNESDAY Who do you say that I am?

YouTube 3.30.36 DVD Part 3 Episode 4 The Messiah

There were many different ideas about who Jesus was, which reminds us that it was not immediately obvious to the crowds, or even to the disciples, that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God.

BIBLE READING Matthew 16:13-20                                            SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Jesus asks each one of us the same question. “Who do you say that I am?”


YouTube 3.35.49 DVD Part 3 Episode 5 Blessed

God’s “upside-down Kingdom” reverses the world’s ideas about who is blessed and who is not.

BIBLE READING Matthew 5:1-10                                                SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Which of these beatitudes means the most to you?

31 FRIDAY Appointment in Jerusalem

YouTube 3.39.18 DVD Part 3 Episode 6 Christ, Son of God

Jesus knew the end from the beginning. He fully understood that going to Jerusalem would result in his death. And still he went.

BIBLE READING Matthew 16:21-23                                            SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Jesus demonstrates his love for us, not only on the cross, but by going to Jerusalem.

32 SATURDAY Jesus and Lazarus

YouTube 3.42.47 to 51.18   DVD Part 3 Episode 7 Road to Jerusalem

Jesus shared in our experience of grief and mourning for his friend Lazarus. “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

BIBLE READING John 11:1-44                                                      SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Praise God for the wonderful hope we have in Jesus.   ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

33 SUNDAY Jesus enters Jerusalem

YouTube 3.55.59  DVD Part 3 Episode 8 Zerath

Jesus enters Jerusalem riding a donkey and then symbolically “cleanses” the Temple. Both of these were fulfilling Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.

BIBLE READING Matthew 21:1-17                                 SERMON

FOR REFLECTION “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7)

COMMENT The video overall is excellent, but please be aware that the character Zerath (portrayed by Ian Holm) is entirely fictitious. The motives ascribed to Judas in this segment are similarly invented by the scriptwriters and do not represent what the Bible tells us about Judas.

34 MONDAY Jesus teaches about true greatness

YouTube 4.00.10 DVD Part 3 Episode 9 Preaching

Do not forget that the video can only include selections of all the teaching Jesus gave during his ministry.

BIBLE READING Matthew 20:20-28                               SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Are we really willing to follow Jesus’s example and become “slaves of all”?

35 TUESDAY Love your enemies

YouTube 4.08.12 DVD Part 3 Episode 10 Love your enemies.

Elements Jesus’s teaching went radically beyond the Law which Moses had given to the Jews.

BIBLE READING Matthew 5:43-48                                              SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Somebody has said that “love your enemies” is the hardest command in the Bible to obey. What do you think?

36 WEDNESDAY Neither do I condemn you 

YouTube 4.17.54 DVD Part 3 Episode 11 Miracle

This story of the woman caught in adultery shows us just how God’s mercy works.

BIBLE READING John 8:1-11                                                        SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Praise God for his amazing grace which offers unconditional forgiveness before we even repent.

37 THURSDAY A man born blind

YouTube 4.24.00 DVD Pt 3 Ep.12 To give sight to those who can’t see

See how the man who Jesus healed grows in faith and boldly shares his testimony.

BIBLE READING  John 9:1-27                                                       SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Pray for opportunities to tell other people about the wonderful things God has done in your life.

38 FRIDAY Words of condemnation

YouTube 4.31.40 DVD Part 4 Episode 1 The Elders of Israel

What do we learn from the fact that Jesus reserved his strongest condemnation for the most religious people in Israel?

BIBLE READING Matthew 23:13-36                                            SERMON

FOR REFLECTION “He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him.” (John 1:11 The Message)

39 SATURDAY You must be born again

YouTube 4.36.13  DVD Part 4 Ep. 2 Passage to freedom of life

There were some of Israel’s leaders, like Nicodemus, who did welcome Jesus.

BIBLE READING John 3:1-16                                                        SERMON

FOR REFLECTION How did your life change when you were born again?

40 SUNDAY Jesus is betrayed and arrested            

As we enter Holy Week we watch the story unfold of the last 24 hours of Jesus’s life.

YouTube 4.49.32 DVD Part 4 Episode 3 Betrayal

BIBLE READING Matthew 26:36-56                                            SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Jesus prayed to be rescued from the cross. The answer to that prayer was ‘no’.

41 MONDAY Jesus’s trial before the Sanhedrin

YouTube 5.00.29 DVD Part 4 Ep. 4 Trial and judgment

The verdict had already been decided before the “trial” began.

BIBLE READING Mark 14:53-65                                                   SERMON

FOR REFLECTION How must God have been feeling as the leaders of his chosen people reject his Son?

42 TUESDAY Jesus in place of Barabbas

YouTube 5.11.50 DVD Part 4 Episode 5 Free Barabbas

Barabbas was guilty. Jesus was innocent. Yet it was Jesus who was condemned, an innocent man dying in the place of a guilty one.

BIBLE READING Luke 23 13-25                                                    SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood; Sealed my pardon with His blood: Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

43 WEDNESDAY Jesus before Governor Pilate

YouTube 5.18.50  DVD Part 4 Episode 6 Pontius Pilate

Pilate knew Jesus was innocent. He made his decision on the basis of political expedience rather than on the truth.

BIBLE READING John 18:28-19:16                                               SERMON

FOR REFLECTION If you had been Pilate, what would you have done?

44 THURSDAY Jesus is mocked and flogged

YouTube 5.28.16 DVD Pt 4 Ep. 7 Flogged as a token of justice and Ep. 8 The power to release

Nothing was happening to Jesus except as part of God’s cosmic masterplan of salvation.

BIBLE READING Mark 15:12-20                                                   SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Jesus was mocked for being a king. But he truly was King of kings and Lord of lords.

The video segments for Good Friday and Easter Sunday are a bit longer.

GOOD FRIDAY The crucifixion

YouTube 5.34.52 to 5.52 48  DVD Part 4 Ep. 9 Crucifixion and Ep. 10 Quoting the scriptures

Consider all it cost Jesus to die in our place on the cross. Bow down and worship – for this is your God.

BIBLE READING Mark 15:21-41                                                   SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Nothing to think about – just watch, or read, and respond.


There is no reading or reflection today. As far as everybody was concerned the story of Jesus had ended. For the disciples it was a day of intense grief and mourning. For the Jewish leaders and the Romans, it was a day of great relief and celebration.

EASTER DAY Jesus is risen from the dead!

YouTube 5.55.04 DVD Part 4 Episode 11 Message for my brothers and Episode 12 Resurrection

Nobody saw that coming!

BIBLE READING John 20:1-18                                                      SERMON

FOR REFLECTION Celebrate Easter Day – Jesus is alive!


There are more than 800 sermons on the website organised by Series Subjects. Most relevant to Lent are series on John’s Gospel (36) Luke on Discipleship (11) Mark’s Gospel (27) Parables (11) The Sermon on the Mount (7) and Upside-Down Kingdom (the Beatitudes) (9).


About Jesus of Nazareth:

Jesus the Radical (The Man They Crucified) by Dick France.
Who Moved the Stone? by Frank Morison.

About following Jesus:

Journey into Life and The Way Ahead booklets by Norman Warren.
Who Died Why? by John Eddison.
Basic Christianity by John Stott.
Making Disciples One-to-One by Peter Thomas

You may also like...

Comments are closed.