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16: A Clear Picture of Jesus’ Ministry

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Matt. 4:17; John 4:46-54

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 4:17       Mark 1:14-15       Luke 4:14-15

Outline:

  1. The Focus of His Ministry——Repent                 Matt. 4:17
  2. The Purpose of His Ministry—Believe                John 4:46-53a
  3. The Result of His Ministry—–Fruit                     John 4:53b-54

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Jesus is once again visiting the town of Cana.  He has been preaching and teaching in the towns of Galilee as He was going home from Jerusalem via Sychar in Samaria.  This is all speculation on my part but I believe that Joseph has died and that the family has moved from Nazareth to Cana.  That explains their presence at the wedding in Cana and it explains Jesus’ presence there again.  In the next lesson we see Jesus visiting Nazareth but He visits in the context of being Josephs’ son and is driven out of town after preaching in their synagogue.  Perhaps Jesus, being the eldest, moved Mary and her siblings to Cana after Joseph died and before He started His ministry knowing He was not going to be accepted in Nazareth.  This would protect the family from persecution.  Cana, on the other hand, welcomed His ministry, as did the other towns in the area.  Later, Jesus’ base for ministry is in Capernaum.

A royal official, who lives in Capernaum, has a sick son who is dying.  He learns that Jesus has returned to Galilee from Judea.  He probably learned this from the five disciples traveling with Jesus.  The disciples know Jesus is in Cana and so this official goes to find Jesus and seek His help in healing his son.  Jesus questions the official’s motives and the depth of his belief in Jesus.  Jesus wants to know if he is only interested in a miracle or is truly interested in Him.  The depth of his faith in Jesus is known when Jesus tells him to leave and that his son has been healed.  The official quits his pleading and returns to Capernaum, exercising faith in the words of Jesus.  The official’s belief and the timing of the miracle cause all the official’s house hold to also believe in Jesus.

The picture we have in this lesson is:

  1. Jesus’ ministry has one message; “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near”.
  2. Jesus’ ministry has one purpose, that people would believe He is the Son of God.
  3. Jesus’ ministry is interested in results; that because of one man’s belief, others would believe.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Jesus touches lives wherever you are. Seek Him. Believe Him. Trust Him. Obey Him.
  2. Those who seek Him are blessed with His healing.
  3. Belief exercised through faith is required for miraculous healing.
  4. Meet people where they are in life but always share with them their need for repentance and placing their faith in Jesus.
  5. Ministering to one person has the potential to minister to others. The effect is always exponential. One’s ministry is always larger than one is able to see. Be obedient in the one-on-one opportunities and trust God to multiply the results.

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