Jesus begins his special work for God

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 2 - John the Baptist and Jesus begin their work - Part 10

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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

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Jesus *preaches at Nazareth

After Jesus left the desert, he returned to his home in Nazareth. On the sabbath [Saturday, which is the Jews' special day for prayer] he went into the *synagogue. He taught there. He chose these words from Isaiah:

Isaiah 61:1, 2 I have the Spirit of the *Lord God. He has chosen me to tell good news to poor people. He has sent me to comfort sad people. He has sent me to free the prisoners. He has sent me so that blind people will see. This is the year when God cares for his people. I declare this.

Jesus said that these words were about him. Jesus came to begin the *kingdom of God. He would free people from *sin. Then they would be in God’s *kingdom. But Jesus read only part of Isaiah 61:2.

The rest of Isaiah 61:2 is about the ‘day when God punishes’. Jesus will return to the world when that day comes. We call this event 'the Second Coming'.

·  The first time that Jesus came, he announced God's good news. He spoke about God’s *grace and *mercy. He showed that God loves us. Jesus came for sinners. Jesus invited the people to trust him. Isaiah wrote about the *Lord’s servant who would suffer. These words all came true.

·  Jesus will come again, for the second time. Then he will be the *Lord from *heaven. He will be the judge of everyone: people who are alive and people who are dead.

The people at Nazareth could not have understood this at that time.

Why the people of Nazareth wanted to kill Jesus

The people of Nazareth did not like what Jesus said. Jesus explained that, soon, the Gentiles would trust him. [Gentiles are people who are not Jews.] This made the people of Nazareth very angry. They tried to kill Jesus.

Jesus' words impressed many people. His words were wonderful. He taught with authority. Also, his *miracles attracted many people. But people did not want to change their attitudes and behaviour. They would have to change these things if they belonged to the *kingdom of God.

Jesus' work in Galilee

Jesus went about in Galilee. He *preached in the *synagogues. He said the same words that John had said, ‘Be sorry for the wrong things that you have done. The *kingdom of *heaven is near’ (Matthew 4:17). Jesus taught many things. The first four books of the *New Testament tell us a lot about these things. They tell us that his words impressed the people. His words pleased the people. He also cured every illness. He freed people from *demons. He cured even people who had great pain. Some people could not move their arms or legs. He cured these people. At this time Jesus chose his first *disciples: Peter and his brother Andrew, and James and John, who were sons of Zebedee (John 1:35-51, Luke 5:2-11).

A single day in the life of Jesus

Mark gives us a short but complete report of a day in Jesus’ life in Mark 1:21-45. He shows us clearly the authority of Jesus and the power of the *Kingdom of God. Jesus changed people's lives by the power of the *Holy Spirit.

Mark 1:21, 22 They went to Capernaum. On the Sabbath Jesus went into the *synagogue. He began to teach. His words impressed people. He spoke with authority. He was not like the teachers of the law.

In verses 21 and 22 we see the authority of Jesus when he teaches. People knew that Jesus was not the same as their usual teachers.

Mark 1:23-28 There was a man in their *synagogue. He had an evil *spirit. He cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – you are the Holy One of God’!

‘Be quiet’! Jesus ordered. ‘Come out of him’! The evil *spirit shook the man. It came out of him with a scream.

This impressed all the people. They asked each other, ‘What is this? This is something new – and this man has authority! He even gives orders to evil *spirits. And they obey him’. News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

In verses 23 to 28 we see the authority of Jesus over *demons. Jesus' authority impressed people. Jesus did not argue with *demons. We can see this. He told them what to do. Then they had to leave a person.

Mark 1:29-31 As soon as they left the *synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon’s wife’s mother was ill in bed. They told Jesus about her. So he went to her. He took her hand. He helped her to get up. The illness left her. She began to serve them.

In verses 29 to 31 we read about the authority of Jesus over illness. Jesus cured the mother of Simon’s wife. He cured her completely. She could cook a meal immediately. She did not need time to get well.

Mark 1:32-34 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick people. They also brought everyone who had *demons. Everybody came to the door. Many had various diseases. Jesus cured them. He also sent away many *demons. He would not let the *demons speak. They knew who he was.

In verses 32 to 34 we read more about the authority of Jesus. He cures many people. He frees other people from *demons.

Mark 1:35-37 Very early in the morning Jesus got up. It was still dark. He left the house. He went away to a quiet place. He prayed there. Simon and his companions went to look for him. When they found him, they said, ‘Everybody is looking for you’!

These verses show us where Jesus got power for his work. He spent time alone with his Father, God.

Mark 1:38, 39 Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else. There are villages near. We will go to these villages. I want to *preach there also. That is why I have come’. So he travelled through *Galilee. He *preached in their *synagogues. He forced *demons to leave.

Verses 38 to 39 show us the most important part of the work of Jesus. This is when he *preaches about the *kingdom of God. The *miracles were important. But they are not enough. They showed the power of the *kingdom. Jesus spoke about this power.

Mark 1:40-45 A man with illness on his skin came to Jesus. The man knelt in front of Jesus. The man said, ‘If you want to, you can cure me’.

Jesus loved and cared for the man. He reached out his hand. He touched the man. ‘I do want to’, Jesus said. ‘I am curing you now’! Immediately the illness left the man. Jesus had cured him.

Jesus sent the man away at once. Jesus warned him, ‘Do not tell this to anyone. Go to the *priest. Give to God the gifts that Moses commanded. This will show people what has happened’.

Instead the man went out and he began to tell everybody. The result was this. Jesus could no longer enter a town. He had to stay outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

Verses 40 to 45 tell us some things again. Jesus had authority to cure people’s diseases. These *miracles show the power of the *kingdom again. Also, Jesus had great care for people. We see this here. He touched the man with the skin illness. Nobody else would touch that person.



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