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Jesus' Ministry

But He said to them, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth." Mark 1:38

Important Events in Jesus' Life

Ministry of John the Baptist
Matt 3:1, Mark 1:1, 
Luke 3:1, John 1:6

Baptism of Jesus
Matt 3:13, Mark 1:9, 
Luke 3:21

Jesus' Temptation
Matt. 4:1, Mark 1:12, 
John 4:1

Start of Jesus' Ministry
Matt.4:12, Luke 1:14,
Luke 4:14

First Disciples Chosen
Matt 4:18, Mark 1:16, Luke 5:1, John 1:38

Sermon on the Mount
Matt 5:7, Luke 6:17

First Miracle
John 2:1

Visit from Nicodemus
John 3:1

Names and Commission of the Twelve Disciples
Matt 10:1-4, Mark 3:13-20,
Luke 6:13

The Death of John the Baptist
Matt 14:6-12, Mark 6:14-29

Peter Recognizes Jesus as the Messiah
Matt 16:13, Mark 6:14-29

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Jesus Predicts His Death
Matt 16-21, Mark 8:31, Mark 9  

Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
John 12:21-35

Jesus' Anointing at Bethany
Matthew 26:6-16

Jesus Celebrates  the  Passover
Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
Matthew  24: 36-46

Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial
Matthew  26: 31-35
Luke 22:31-35

Jesus' Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem
Matthew  21:1-11
Mark 11: 1-11
Luke 19: 29-40
John 12: 12-19

Jesus' Capture
Matt 26-46-57,  Mark 14:42-50,
Luke 22:47-54, John 18: 1-12

Jesus' Trial
Matt 26:57-68 

Jesus' Crucifixion
Matt. 27:29-55, Mark 15:37-40,
 Luke 23:46,  John 19:30, 

Jesus' Burial
Matt. 27:57-66 

Jesus' Resurection
Mark 16:1, 
Luke 24:1,  John 20:1

Jesus' Ascension
Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50, Acts 16:11


The Beginning

Jesus officially began His ministry at the age of thirty. In Matthew 4:17 He says "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand " From this point on, we see the growth and expansion of His ministry as recorded in the four gospels; Matthew, Mark Luke, and John. In these writings combined, we are presented with Jesus' purpose and mission for His ministry. Luke records Jesus' purpose in Luke 4:18 when Jesus says: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;" And again in Mark 1:38 Jesus' restates His purpose - ... "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth."

Matthew reports Jesus' mission in two places. First, Matthew 4:23 - And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.  Second, Matthew 9:35 - Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. On the basis of these scriptures and others similar to them, we realize that everything Jesus did and said was driven by His divine purpose and mission for coming to this earth. Thus we can examine Jesus' ministry from four major perspectives: 

1. Teachings
2. Sermons
3. Miracles
4. Final Days on Earth

Jesus' Teachings
As we read the gospels we are keenly aware that Jesus' teachings were not widely accepted by many Jews and religious leaders of that day. In several instances they found his teaching to be offensive and resisted it for two main reasons. One being the expectation that the messiah would  come with great pomp and military might to establish an earthly Jewish kingdom
which would conquer the Roman empire. And the other was the obvious contrast of Jesus' teachings of love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion and faith with their rigid, ritualistic practice of religious laws. In a nutshell, they realized that Jesus' teachings focused on individual responsibility for initiating and maintaining a spiritual  relationship with God. But the scribes, Pharisees and religious people closed their minds to this perspective. Their concept of God was one of a distant divine being who looked down on mankind and intervened in human lives mainly for either  judgment or punishment. Like millions today, they refused to accept the  reality of having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. They too rejected the message that reconciliation with God comes from believing by faith that Jesus is the Son of God.  This is the reason Jesus had to first address the religious laws and traditions in order to introduce His teachings. Here are some of them:

Topic Old Law  Jesus' Teaching
Matt 5:27-28
 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.  "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart"
Anger and Murder
Matt 5:21-23
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment 'But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire.
Mark 10: 2-9
Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality  causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery
Matt. 5:44-45
You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matt. 5:33-37
"Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord."  But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne;  nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Matt. 5:38-42
You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Luke 6:2-5
And some of the Pharisees said to them, "Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?" But Jesus answering them said, "Have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he went into the house of God, took and ate the showbread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat?" And He said to them, "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath."
Washing of Hands
Matt 15:1-9
"Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men*--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 

Another method of Jesus' teaching was the use of parables. "All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world" Matt. 13: 34-35. And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables? Matt. 13:10 " Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Matt 13:13. Jesus was aware that not everyone would receive His message of love, peace, repentance and forgiveness in sermons or teachings . Therefore, He told stories or parables about spiritual truths that relate to daily life and this appealed to ordinary people. The following are the parables of Jesus:

Parable Where to find it in the Bible
The Houses built on Rock and on Sand Matt: 7: 24-27,  Luke 6:47-49
The Sower and the seeds Matt: 13:3-27,  Mark 4: 1, Luke 6:47-49
The Wheat and the Weeds growing together Matt. 13: 24-30, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-19
The Mustard Seed Matt. 13:31-32
The Leaven Matt. 19:33-32
The Treasure Hidden in a Field Matt 13: 34
The Priceless Pearl Matt. 13: 45
The Dragnet Matt. 13: 47
The Unmerciful Servant Matt. 18:23 
The Workers in the Vineyard  Matt. 20:1
The Two sons Matt. 21:28
The Wicked Vinegrowers  Matt. 21:33 , Luke 20:9
The Wedding Feast Matt. 22:1
The Budding fig Tree Matt. 24:32
The Ten Wedding Guests Matt. 25:1
The Talents Matt. 25:14, Luke 19:11
The Seed Growing Silently Mark 4:26
The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25
The Rich Fool Luke 12:13
The Fruitless Fig Tree Luke 13:6
The Great Banquet Luke 14:16
On Counting the Cost Luke 14:25
The Lost Sheep Luke 15:3
The Lost Coin Luke 15:8
The Lost Son Luke 15:11
The Shrewd Servant Luke 16:1 
The Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19
The Widow and the Judge Luke 18:1
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector Luke 18:8

Jesus' Sermons
A sermon is defined as a spiritual teaching or discourse of varying lengths. Based on this definition we know that Jesus delivered many sermons. However, it is Matthew who presents the longest and possibly the most noteworthy of His sermons - "The Sermon on the Mount". The text of this sermon spans Matthew, chapters  5-7, and in it we have Jesus addressing several topics:

  1. Kingdom blessings - The Beatitudes (Matt 5:3-12)

  2. Jesus' followers influence on the world- Salt and Light (Matt 5:13-16)

  3. Spiritual teachings- New vs. Traditional (Matt 5:17-48)

  4. Righteous living (Matt 6:1-18) -Giving alms, Prayer, Fasting

  5. Issues of life-(Matt 6:19-34- Money, Worry, Spiritual light,

  6. Judging others (Matt 7:1-6) Self-examination, Giving advice to others

  7. Asking and receiving (Matt 7:7-12) God's goodness, The Golden Rule

  8. Warnings (Matt 7: 13-29 Death and life, False prophets, fruits of  behavior and actions, Building on rock and sand. 

Jesus' Miracles


Where to find it in the Bible

A miraculous catch of fish

Luke 5:4

Calming of the storm at sea

Matt. 8:23, Mark 4:35, Luke 8:22

Feeding five thousand people

Matt. 14:15, Mark 6:35, Luke 9:12, John 6:1

Feeding four thousand people 

Matt. 15:32, Mark 8:1

Healing a man with a withered hand

Matt. 12:10, Mark 3:1, Luke 6:6

Healing of a blind man

John 9:1

Healing of a blind man at Bethesda

Luke 8:22

Healing of a deaf mute 

Luke 7:31

Healing of a Demon possessed man

Matt. 9:32

Healing of a leper

Matt. 8:1, Mark 1: 40, Luke 5:12

Healing of a man with an unclean spirit

Mark 1:23, Luke 4:33

Healing of a stooped woman

Luke 18:11 

Healing of a woman with a hemorrhage

Matt. 9:20, Mark 5:25, Luke 8:43

Healing of an epileptic boy

Matt. 17:14, Mark 9:14, John 9:37

Healing of blind Bartimaeus

Mark 10:46, Luke 18:35 

Healing of Malchus's ear

Luke 22:50

Healing of Peter's Mother-in-law

Matt. 8:14, Mark 1:29, Luke 4:38

Healing of the Centurion servant

Matt. 8:5, Luke 7:1 

Healing of the lame man

Matt. 9:1, Mark 2:1, Luke 5:18

Healing of the Syrophenician's daughter 

Matt. 15:21, Mark 7:24

Healing of the ten lepers

Luke 17:11

Healing of two blind men in Jericho 

Matt 20:30

Healing the lame man of Bethesda

John 5:1

Healing the man with dropsy

Luke 14:1

Healing the nobleman's son

John 4:46

Healing the wild man of Gadera

Matt. 8:28, Mark 5:1, Luke 8:26

Healing two blind men


Jesus escapes from an angry crowd

Matt: 4:23

Multiple healings Matt: 4:23

Raising of a widow's son

Luke 7:11

Raising of Jairus' daughter

Matt. 9:23, Mark 5:25, Luke 8:41

Raising of Lazarus

John 11:38

Royal official's son healed John 4:46-54

Walking on the sea

Matt. 14:22, Mark 6:47, John 6:16

Water turned to wine

John 2:1

Jesus' Final Days on Earth  

Event Where to find it in the Bible
The Council Plots Jesus' Death Matt. 8:1, Mark 1: 40, Luke 5:12
Crowds greet Jesus as he enters Jerusalem  Matt. 21:1, Mark 11:1, Luke 19:29,John 12:12 
Peter's Mother-in-law is healed Matt. 8:14, Mark 1:29, Luke 4:38
Judas plots the death of Jesus Matt: 26:14, Mark 14:10, Luke 22:3
Preparation for the Passover Matt: 26:14, Mark 14:10, Luke 22:3
The Last Supper  Matt. 26:20, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19
Jesus washes his disciples feet John 13:1
Judas' betrayal is revealed John 13:10
Jesus prays for his disciples John 17
Jesus predicts Peter's denial Matt. 26:34, Mark 14:30, Luke 22:34, John13:38
Jesus agonizes in Gethsemane Matt. 26:36, Mark 14:32, Luke 22:39,John 18:1
The betrayal and arrest of Jesus Matt. 26:47, Mark 14:43, Luke 22:47,John 18:2
Jesus is brought before Annas John 18:13
Jesus is brought before Caiaphus the High Priest Matt. 26:57, Mark 14:53, Luke 22:54,John 18:19
Peter denies Jesus three times Matt. 26:69, Mark 14:66, Luke 22:54, John 18:15
Jesus comes before the Jewish Council Matt. 27:1, Mark 15:1, Luke 22:66
Jesus before Pilate  Matt. 27:2, Mark 15:1, Luke 23:1, John 18:28
Jesus before Herod  Mark 23:7
The Jews reject Jesus for Barabbas Matt. 27:21, Mark 15:6, Luke 23:18, John 19:15
Pilate condemns Jesus  Matt. 27:26, Mark 15:15, Luke 23:24, John 19:16
Roman soldiers mock Jesus Matt. 27:27, Mark 15:16, John 19:2
Jesus is led away to be crucified Matt. 27:31, Mark 15:20, Luke 23:33, John 19:18
Jesus' death Matt. 27:50, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, John 19:30
Jesus' burial Matt. 27:57, Mark 15:42, Luke 29:50, John 19:36
Jesus' resurrection Matt. 28:1, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-10, John 20:1-8

 The last appearances of Jesus after
His resurrection 

Event Where to find it in the Bible
To Mary Magdalene Matt. 28:1, Mark 16: 9, Luke 24:10, John 20:18
To travelers on the road to Emmaus  Mark 16:12-14, Luke 24:13
To the eleven disciples Matt. 28:16, Mark 16:14, Luke 24:33, 
John 20:19
To the eleven a week later John 20:26
To apostles in Galilee Mark 16:14, John 21:1
To Peter Luke 24:54
Final message to the disciples Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:44,
Ascension of Jesus to His Father Mark 16:9, Luke 24:50



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