Jesus’ Ministry

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jesus teachings

Jesus’ life and ministry

Here are the key events in Jesus’ life and ministry:

 

Jesus’ birth: The gospels of Matthew (Matthew 1-2) and Luke (Luke 1-2) describe the birth of Jesus and the events surrounding it. Jesus was born of a virgin named Mary in a manger in the city of Bethlehem because there was no guestroom available for them. Mary conceived Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Mary’s husband who was a descendant of David became Jesus’ earthly father.

 

Some shepherds came to visit Baby Jesus after angels appeared to them and announced the birth of the king. In Matthew 2 we can learn about three wise men who saw a star in the sky that led them to Jesus. They bowed down and  worshiped Him and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

 

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Jesus’ baptism:  Three of the gospels record Jesus’ baptism by a relative called John the Baptist at the age of around 30. (Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3) During this event heaven was opened, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and alighted on Jesus. God’s voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” The baptism marks the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

 

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Jesus’ Temptation in the wilderness: The gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke record Jesus being tempted by Satan in the desert wilderness following a period of 40 days of fasting, specifically from food.

 

First temptation: Turning stones into bread. Jesus resisted the temptation by quoting scripture “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4

 

Second temptation: Jumping  off the top of the Jewish Temple. Satan quoted Scripture: “On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”  Matthew 4:6 Jesus again resisted the temptation quoting another Scripture: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” Matthew 4:7

 

Third temptation: Having authority over all kingdoms of the world if Jesus would worship the devil. Jesus also resisted this temptation quoting Scripture: “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” Matthew 4:10 The devil then left Him and angels served Him. Matthew 4:11

 

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Miracles: There are at least 35 miracles by Jesus recorded in the New Testament. These are some of the miracles Jesus performed:
Jesus changed water into wine John 2:1-11
Jesus healed the sick John 4:46-47, Mark 1:30-31, Luke 8:43-48, Matthew 12:10-13, Luke 14:1-4
The great haul of fish Luke 5:1-11
Jesus cast out unclean spirits and demons Mark 1:23-28, Matthew 8:28-34, Matthew 9:32-33, Matthew 12:22, Matthew 15:22-28, Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 13:10-17
Jesus healed lepers Mark 1:40-45, Luke 17:11-19
Jesus healed blind, deaf, mute, disable, and paralyzed people Matthew 8:5-13, Matthew 9:1-8, Matthew 9:27-31, John 5:1-9, Mark 7:31-37, Mark 8:22-26, John 9:1-38, Matthew 20:30-34
Jesus could know thoughts, hearts and events from the past, present, and future  Matthew 9:2-4, John 1:46-49, John 4:1-42, Luke 11:14-17, Luke 9:47, John 13:11, John 18:4, Luke 9:22, Matthew 26:34, Mark 14:30, John 11, Luke 21:20-21, Matthew 24:15-25, Matthew 24:30-31, 36, 44, Matthew 25:31-34, 41, John 21:20-23, Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 13:22-30,
Jesus raised the dead Luke 7:11-18, Matthew 9:18-26, Lazarus John 11:1-46
Jesus calmed the storm Matthew 8:23-27
Jesus fed thousands of people Matthew 14:15-21, Matthew 15:32-39
Jesus walked on water Matthew 14:22-36, Mark 6:45-56, John 6:16-24
Jesus transfigured Matthew 17:1-13
Jesus caused the fig tree to wither Matthew 21:18-22
Jesus restored the ear of the high priest’s servant Luke 22:50-51
Jesus rose from the dead Luke 24:5-6
Jesus ascended to heaven Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:9-11

 

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Jesus’ Teachings: In the New Testament we can read how amazed and fascinated people were by Jesus’ teachings. Compared to other teachers and scribes at that time, Jesus’ teachings were different because He used a lot of parables in His teachings – stories that had a symbolic meaning which needed to be interpreted and had a spiritual purpose. When Jesus was asked why He taught in parables, He answered

 

“To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

 

“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand,
    and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
    and with their ears they can barely hear,
    and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
    and turn, and I would heal them.’

 

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Matthew 13:11-17

 

Telling these parables revealed the true nature of Jesus’ listeners. Those who had an open heart and were committed to God’s kingdom would seek and find deeper meaning in these parables. However, those who didn’t have an open heart and were uncommitted to God’s kingdom would not seek and find deeper meaning but reject the teachings as unintelligible.

 

Apart from parables, the most famous part of His teachings was the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5:1–7:29)

 

Here are some of Jesus’ famous parables:

 

  • Parable of the Sower – Matthew 13:3-8
  • Parable of the Weeds – Matthew 13:24-30
  • Parable of the Mustard Seed – Matthew 13:31-32
  • Parable of the Yeast – Matthew 13:33
  • Parable of the Hidden Treasure – Matthew 13:44
  • Parable of the Pearl – Matthew 13:45-46
  • Parable of the Fishing Net – Matthew 13:47-50
  • Parable of the Unmerciful Servant – Matthew 18:23-35
  • Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard – Matthew 20:1-16
  • Parable of the Two Sons – Matthew 21:28-32
  • Parable of the Tenants – Matthew 21:33-46
  • Parable of the Wedding Banquet – Matthew 22:1-14
  • Wise and Faithful Servants – Matthew 24:45-51
  • Parable of the Ten Virgins – Matthew 25:1-13
  • Parable of the Talents – Matthew 25:14-30
  • Parable of the Growing Seed – Mark 4:26-29
  • Traveling Owner of the House – Mark 13:34-37
  • New Cloth on an Old Coat – Luke 5:36
  • New Wine in Old Wineskins – Luke 5:37-38
  • Wise and Foolish Builders – Luke 6:47-49
  • Forgiven Debts – Luke 7:36-50
  • Parable of the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-37
  • Friend at Midnight – Luke 11:5-10
  • Parable of the Rich Fool – Luke 12:16-21
  • Unfruitful Fig Tree – Luke 13:6-9
  • Jesus at a Pharisee’s House – Luke 14:7-11
  • Parable of the Great Banquet – Luke 14:16-24
  • Parable of the Lost Sheep – Luke 15:3-7
  • Parable of the Lost Coin – Luke 15:8-10
  • Parable of the Lost Son – Luke 15:11-32
  • Parable of the Shrewd Manager – Luke 16:1-12
  • Parable of the Persistent Widow – Luke 18: 1-8
  • Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector – Luke 18:9-14
  • Parable of the Good Shepherd – John 10: 1-5 and 11-18

 

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Jesus’ transfiguration: Apart from Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, His transfiguration also plays a significant role.

 

Please read the following Scripture to learn what happened during Jesus’ transfiguration.

 

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

 

And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
Matthew 17:1-15

 

This the meaning and importance of Jesus’ transfiguration:

 

  • Jesus showed His heavenly glory.
  • The “inner circle” of His disciples should get a greater realization of the deity of Christ.
  • Peter’s offering of putting up three tents for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah referred to the booths that were used to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, when the Israelites dwelt in booths for 7 days. Leviticus 23:34–42
  • The disciples should know about Jesus’ coming death and the purpose of His death.
  • The appearance of Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the Prophets.
  • The Law and the Prophets had to give way to Jesus confirmed by God’s voice from heaven saying “Listen to him!”
  • Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the countless prophecies in the Old Testament.
  • The transfiguration was a preview of Jesus’ coming glorification and enthronement as King of kings and Lord of lords.
  • Jesus asked His disciples not to tell anyone about this event until after He had risen from the dead.
The disciples who were witnesses of the transfiguration never forgot this event. Later they would write about their experience in their gospels.

 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

 

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 2 Peter 1:16-18

 

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Jesus’ sufferings: As prophesied in Isaiah 53 and other prophecies, Jesus had to suffer a lot in the hands of His enemies. He was arrested, beaten, and nailed to a cross after the Jewish leaders handed Him over for a death sentence which was approved by the Roman leader Pilate. He was sentenced to death for blasphemy because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God.

 

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Jesus’ death: Jesus died on the cross to save us from the consequences of sin, which is eternal death, and to give us eternal life. Evidences of His death were His sufferings, His pierced side (John 19:34), His death cry (Luke 23:46-48), Pilate’s confirmation (Mark 15:44–45), His embalmment with spices (John 19:39), and that He was buried and stayed three days in the tomb.

 

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Jesus’ resurrection: In the New Testament we can learn that Jesus resurrected on the third day and the tomb was empty. His disciples and about 500 people were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. Most of these people were still alive when Paulus wrote about them 20 years later in 1 Corinthians 15:1–58.

 

Here are other excerpts of Scripture about Jesus’ resurrection:

 

He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” Luke 24:6-7

 

And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” Mark 16:5-7

 

 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:16-18

 

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” Matthew 28:1-10

 

On the Road to Emmaus
13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” 33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Luke 24:13-35

 

Jesus Appears to the Disciples
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Luke 24:36-49

 

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
John 20:19,20,24

 

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
John 20:26-28

 

After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. John 21:1-2

 

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17

 

Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 1 Corinthians 15:6-7

 

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3

 

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Jesus’ ascension:
After 40 days, Jesus ascended into heaven (Matthew 28; Luke 24; Acts 1) with the promise that He would return again.

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Jesus’ second coming: While the revelation of John is mainly revealing the end times and Jesus’ return, there are many other Scriptures that describe it as well.

 

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

 

Nobody knows when Jesus will come back, not even Jesus Himself.

 

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. Matthew 24:36

 

Jesus commands us to be prepared for this day, live holy lives, share our faith with others, and look forward with anticipation to eternity in the Lord’s presence.

 

Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:44

 

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:13

 

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. Matthew 24:42

 

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:1-13

 

We will not go into details about what will happen at Jesus’ second coming in this post because it is too complex. This will be topic of another post.