Jesus has been in Jerusalem for Passover and overturned the table of the money changers. Now, John the Baptist is in prison and Jesus begins his public ministry. As John had said, “He must increase”. Jesus had given his disciples a lesson while they were in Samaria, “The fields are white to harvest” and they proceeded into Galilee where Jesus taught in the Synagogues. It isn’t until he returns to Nazareth that we hear the content of his message. Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me … to set … free”.
The Beginning of Jesus in Public Ministry
All of the gospels record the beginning of Jesus in public ministry. It wasn’t though, that he was looking to create a public following. Instead, it was simply Jesus going from city to city proclaiming the gospel.
The Time is Fulfilled
There was an appropriate time for Jesus to begin his ministry and we see one of the reasons in Mark 1:14 “after John had been taken into custody”. John the Baptist’s ministry had been fulfilled. The message Jesus was proclaiming was, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe in the gospel!”
A Light Has Dawned on Them
Mark says that Jesus went into Galilee. Here in Matthew, we find that, after the rejection in Nazareth, in Matthew 4:13 Jesus moved to Capernaum. And in Matthew 4:14-16 there is a link to old testament prophecy from Isaiah 8:23 and Isaiah 9:1. With a message in Matthew 4:17 “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven is near”.
He Began To Teach
Luke gives us a different view of Jesus saying “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee”. This was after his baptism. It was after his temptation in the wilderness. It was after he cleansed the temple. And now, Luke describes Jesus as moving “in the power of the Spirit”. Jesus is not just marking time, but he is moving with purpose to fulfill the plan of the Father. In fact, we begin to understand how he was thinking as they returned through Samaria. Jesus said to his disciples in
John 4:34-35 Jesus said to them, “My food is that I do the will of the one who sent me and complete his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months and the harvest comes’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already.
They didn’t have cell phones or the nightly news to inform them, but “news about him went out throughout all the surrounding region”.
They Had Seen All the Things He Had Done
But John’s focus is on the response of the people and in
John 4:45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, because they* had seen all the things he had done in Jerusalem at the feast (for they themselves had also come to the feast)”.
Jesus is Rejected in Nazareth
Jesus had been going from place to place teaching in the synagogue and after being in Jerusalem for Passover, has made his way back home to Nazareth.
The Spirit of the Lord Is Upon Me
It was common practice for visitors in the synagogue to be asked to speak, “Others besides rabbins were allowed to address the congregation. (See Ac 13:15.)”1
So, it seems this was not a lectionary type reading that would have been prescribed for all synagogues to read at the time of year. This makes this section of old testament prophecy all the more important. This is how Jesus wanted people to recognize him and he preached Isaiah 61:1-2 as recorded in
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because of which he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send out in freedom those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
There are many places in the old testament where the messiah is mentioned, but it is this anointing, this proclamation of good news that Jesus uses to commemorate the beginning of his public ministry.
Truly I Say to You
This reading of Isaiah 61:1-2 is at first well received in
Luke 4:22 ”And they were all speaking well of him, and were astonished at the gracious words”.
Then someone says, “Is this man not the son of Joseph?”. They were saying, this is the carpenters son. They began to question his word. They began to question his authority. Then Jesus responds in Like 4:23-27 and in Luke 4:28 “all those in the synagogue were filled with anger”. In a few moments, they had turned from accepting his “gracious words” to forcing “him out of town … so they could throw him down the cliff”. They turned and were trying to kill him.
Jesus Teaches With Great Authority
Jesus moved to Capernaum and began living there as his base of operation.
They Were Amazed At His Teaching
Mark 1:21–28, Luke 4:31-37
Jesus continues going to the synagogue wherever he travels and he is teaching in Mark 1:21 and in
Mark 1:22 “he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like the scribes”
We must understand here that “The synagogue was primarily a teaching institution. The synagogue service consisted of only three things—prayer, the reading of God’s word and the exposition of it. There was no music, no singing and no sacrifice. It may be said that the Temple was the place of worship and sacrifice”2
So, when the man with an unclean spirit cried out in Mark 1:23-24 “Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene!”, the people were amazed, but not so much at the outcry, but that in Mark 1:25 “Jesus rebuked him saying, Be silent, and come out of him!” No one had that kind of authority. But it is the evil and unclean spirits that are often the first to speak out and challenge Jesus as is recorded in
Luke 4:34 “Ha! ⌊Leave us alone⌋,l Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Jesus Heals All
So That I Can Preach There Also
He Healed All Those Who Were Sick
The Crowds Were Seeking Him
The breakers anointing – work to follow
Heals A Man With Leprosy
- Mk 1:14–15 The Beginning of Jesus in Public Ministry
- Lk 4:16–30 Jesus is Rejected in Nazareth
- Mark 1:21–28 Jesus Teaches With Great Authority
- Mark 1:14–15, 21–45
- Matthew 4:12–17
- Matthew 8:1-4, 14–17
- Luke 4:14–44
- Luke 5:12-16
- John 4:43–46a
The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Gospels
We began the year reading the gospel of Mark and this is often often the way we read the Bible, one book at a time. As we begin going through the gospels again, this time we will follow the order of readings from the Tyndale One Year Chronological Bible. This means we will move back and forth throught Matthew, Mark Luke and John but with little emphasis on Mark. Covering these events chronologically as they happened, gives a much different context and helps us understand the move of God as He is introducing the Saviour, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. This series begins with Return To Me And I Will Return To You which ends in Malachi and introduces the “Witnesses” writing the Gospels.
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- 1. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 102). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- 2. Barclay, W. (2001). The New Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Mark (p. 33). Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press.