Jesus Begins His Ministry

KEY VERSE: “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region about.” —Luke 4:14


THE Scriptures tell us that when Jesus reached the age of maturity, that is, thirty years of age, he presented himself to John the Baptist to be baptized. John was reluctant to carry out the instructions of Jesus, because he recognized that Jesus was not a sinner. John’s baptism was a means whereby sinners could indicate repentance and their desire to come back into harmony with God. But Jesus insisted that the baptism be carried out, saying, “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matt. 3:15) Jesus’ baptism was for the purpose of symbolizing his complete dedication to do the Heavenly Father’s will, even to death.

As John lowered him into the water, it pictured the death of his perfect humanity in doing the Heavenly Father’s will. When he was raised up out of the water, it pictured his being raised to a new life. His begettal to this new life was attested to by John, “Lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.” (Matt. 3:16) The Apostle Paul, in Acts 10:37,38, states, “That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil; for God was with him.”

The purpose of the ministry of Jesus is wondrously foretold in Isaiah 61:1-3 which Jesus himself quoted, and is recorded in Luke 4:18,19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” The account states that after Jesus quoted these words he said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”—vs. 21

As we read of the life of Jesus in the Gospels, we cannot help but be impressed with how completely Jesus carried out the commission the Heavenly Father gave him. In his day, travel was almost entirely by foot and Jesus walked hundreds of miles on dusty roads, along lake shores, in the hills, cities, and villages. He preached in the synagogues, and in the temples, in the marketplaces, and streets. He went to the houses of both the rich and the poor. He literally spent himself in the service of the Heavenly Father. His attitude was expressed in John 9:4,5, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Here we believe that Jesus had reference to the shortness of his ministry, and the necessity of accomplishing as much as possible in the time remaining, for, when death came, that would bring an end to his work as far as the first advent was concerned.

When we consider the ministry of Jesus, we realize that the Heavenly Father did not move him about as a man on a checkerboard, but rather he was required to exercise judgment. He was a free moral agent with perfect knowledge and an awareness of the consequences of his decisions. It is fascinating to try to appreciate his thoughts during his life as he experienced the fulfillment of prophecies. For example, he must have been very familiar with Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks. He knew by this that, from the time of his baptism, his ministry would last only three-and-one half years. He knew also that he was the antitypical Passover lamb, and, to fulfill the type, it would be necessary for him to die on the Passover that was at the end of his ministry. As these events approached, it was necessary for Jesus to make decisions that would insure their fulfillment.

One of these decisions involved Peter. As the time neared for Jesus to go to Jerusalem and die, he began to prepare his disciples for this hard experience. Peter was reluctant to accept the thought “and began to rebuke him (Jesus), saying, Be it far from thee Lord: this shall not be unto thee. He said unto Peter, Get thee behind me Satan; thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matt. 16:22,23) Jesus would not permit himself to be dissuaded from fulfilling the prophecy and the will of God.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |