THE LIFE OF CHRIST
In our last lesson of the Life of Christ, we ended with Jesus being in Samaria and how He had a conversation with a woman at a well, which ended up making many in that area believe that He was Mesiah.
John 4:43 Now
after the two days He departed from there and went to
After two days with the
Samaritans, Jesus makes His way to
From this point, some have Jesus going into Nazarth next, and that may be the case, but I don’t think so. However, we will look at that in just a few minutes, but first we are going to continue with John 4 and read what happens at Cana of Galilee:
John 4:46 So
Jesus came again to Cana of
This is Jesus’ second
John 4:49 The
nobleman said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies!" 50 Jesus said to him, "Go
your way; your son lives." So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke
to him, and he went his way. 51
And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying,
"Your son lives!" 52
Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him,
"Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 53 So the father knew that it
was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives."
And he himself believed, and his whole household. 54 This again is the second
sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into
This nobleman persisted
that Jesus come save his child, but Jesus did something that no one had done
before. From 16 miles away, Jesus heals his son by simply saying “your son
lives.” We can see the faith of this nobleman because He believed what Jesus
said. The next day, the nobleman arrived at home and finds out that his son was
healed at the very hour Jesus had said his son would live. This left the
nobleman with no doubt that Jesus was Lord, and all those in his household
believed as well. Verse 54 says this is the second sign that Jesus did. This
was the second sign He did in Cana, but we know He also did other signs in
As promised, we will examine what happens when Jesus goes back to His hometown in Nazareth.
Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 "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; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Jesus returns to his hometown where He was known. As we would expect, Jesus’ custom was to go to synagogue on the Sabbath, but this would be a day that His hometown would never forget. The custom was to stand when you read Scripture. When we read the word book, we think about our books we have today, but Jesus would have been reading from a scroll. The place He read from was Isaiah 61:1-2. This was interesting choice because the verses spoke about the coming Messiah.
When He finished reading these verses, He sat down to expound on what He just read. The people were very interested in what He was going to say about these verses because the Jews were looking forward to the day that the Messiah would come, but they did not expect to hear Jesus say, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." In saying this, Jesus was proclaiming before them all that He was the Messiah that Isaiah was talking about. Notice their response:
Luke 4:22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, "Is this not Joseph's son?"
If you were in their shoes, you would probably be doing the same thing. After all, this Jesus is that young boy you saw growing up in your town. While you would be amazed at the gracious words that flowed from His mouth, you could not help but remind yourself this just the son of Joseph and Mary. As the people were witnessing this and thinking on what they just heard, Jesus continues to say more as we read in:
Luke 4:23 He said to them, "You will surely say this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.' " 24 Then He said, "Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.
The idea behind this proverb was for Jesus to give proof of what He was claiming. Though they heard of the miracle done in Capernaum, which I believe was the healing of the nobleman’s son, they were not willing to accept Jesus unless he could perform a miracle there. If this is referring to the miracle of healing the nobleman’s son, it would mean that Jesus did go to Cana before he came to Nazareth as I talked about earlier. As Jesus said, He was not accepted in His own country. In fact, later on, His own brothers rejected Him as well (John 7:5).
Notice what Jesus says next:
Luke 4:25 "But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 "but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian."
Jesus uses two Old Testament examples. First, out of all the widows in Isreal, Elijah was sent to a Gentile widow during this drought. Second, Elisha did not heal the lepers in Israel, but he did heal Naaman, another Gentile. What point was Jesus making? I think He was saying that if these Jews continue to reject God, but rejecting His Son, God may skip over them and give His blessings to the Gentiles. One thing I know for sure, is that these Jews did not like what Jesus said as we continue reading in:
Luke 4:28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
Wow! These Jews were so angry, they were willing to break Roman law and kill Jesus. Forget a trial or asking more questions, they wanted Him dead. You can imagine the anger of these people and how loud they must have been as they made their way with Jesus toward that cliff, but it was not Jesus’ time to die, and being shoved off a cliff was not how He was prophesied to die. So, by some miraculous means, Jesus just passed through them and went His way. Now our text does not say that a miracle happened, but I would have a hard time explaining how Jesus could have escaped from an angry mob any other way.
We can only speculate what happened exactly, but don’t you know it would have been strange especially for those in the front of this mob who were pushing Jesus toward the cliff and then all of a sudden He was gone. I could imagine them yelling out, “where is He” and the crowd being confused as Jesus disappeared from their grasp. We learn where Jesus goes in:
Luke 4:31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.
Matthew’s account lets us know that His trip to Capernaum was not some place He decided to go, but was done to fulfill Scripture as we read in:
Matthew 4:13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 15 "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: 16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned." 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Capernaum was about 20 miles NE of Nazareth. It was an important city in Galilee and was a place of tax collection for the Romans, was the headquarters of a Roman garrison, and had Jewish synagogue. Jesus would make this city His residence for a while. As Matthew pointed out, Jesus was also fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 9:1-2 because Capernaum was far from the Jews and was close to the Gentiles. Verse 16 is a quote Isaiah 46:2, which basically teaches that Jesus would be opening the eyes of many to the truth so they no longer would be ignorant of it. The message that He was preaching is the same message that John the Baptist was preaching, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Mark’s account puts it this way:
Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
Next Jesus is going to start gathering up some men that would later become apostles. The first gathering is 4 fishermen. Both Matthew and Mark record this event (Mt. 4:18-22; Mk. 1:16-20). We are going to use Mark’s account:
Mark 1:16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
These four men knew how to fish, and it is how they made their living. If you will remember this was not their first encounter with Jesus. He did not just walk up to their boats out of the blue and say come follow me. If you will remember back when we were looking at John Chapter one, they had already started following Jesus then, but not on a permanent basis, but Jesus is now formally calling them to leave their fishing to become fishers of men, and they do.
Luke’s gives us even more detail of what happened during this time.
Luke 5:1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men." 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Luke teaches us that Jesus was preaching and the people were crowding Him so He gets into Simon’s boat to get some space. He has Simon go out a little bit and Jesus’ continues teaching the crowd, which would be perfect for them to be able to hear Him because the surface of the water would help His voice to be heard. After He finished His sermon, He has Simon go out to the deep to put out his nets one more time. Though they had no luck with catching fish all night, Simon follows Jesus’ instructions. To Peter’s surprise, they caught more fish than their net could handle. We learn that James and John were their fishing partners, and they came and helped them. There were so many fish that they had to put them into both boats and the weight of them was causing both boats to sin.
Peter knew that this was no ordinary catch so fell down at Jesus’ knees confessing that he was a sinner and did not deserve to be in His presence. So, Jesus used this miraculous catch to prove even more that He was worthy of following, and He speaks that famous line about how He will make them fishers of men. Then we see, that they left their business behind to follow Jesus.
Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
When Jesus taught, everybody could tell a difference between Him and the scribes because He spoke with authority. As recorded in other places, Jesus would say things like, “but I say to you.” People were not used to that, so they were amazed at Jesus’ teachings.
Mark 1:23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are -- the Holy One of God!" (See also Lk. 4:33-37)
This man was possessed by an evil spirit who had no problem recognizing who Jesus was. He was afraid of Jesus because he knew that Jesus had the power to get rid of him. This would just be one many instances where demons would speak out and identify who Jesus was. This demon calls Jesus “the Holy One of God!”
Mark 1:25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." 28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.
God allowed demon possession to happen during this time to show the power of His Son, but it was only temporary. Demon possession does not happen today. The demon had no choice but obey the authority of Jesus. It appears that the demon was trying to hang on to his host as he convulsed the man and then cried out with a loud voice right before he was expelled from the man. Luke’s account tells us that no harm was done to this man during this removal of the demon.
The people could not help but be amazed. Jesus did not have to do some long ritual or anything else. He simply told him to be quiet and come out and he did. The people’s eyes were being opened to the truth that something new was happening. Since Jesus was able to speak with authority and also have authority over a demon, it caused His fame to be spread throughout Galilee because no man could do what He did. Next we read:
Luke 4:38 Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon's house. But Simon's wife's mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her. 39 So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them. See also Mark 1:29-31 and Mt. 8:14-17.
We do not know the cause of Peters’ mother-in-law’s fever, but they requested that Jesus do something about it, which means they thought Jesus had the power to take care of it. So, he rebukes the fever and Mark’s account adds this detail:
Mark 1:31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
Jesus had no problem curing her fever no matter what was causing it and she rose up and served them. Also, did you notice that our verses said that Peter had a wife. This is significant because Jesus did not demand that those who would follow Him and would later become apostles to be unmarried. Unlike the Catholic church who claims that Peter was the first Pope and was not married, these verses teach otherwise. The fact that he was married, would disqualify Peter from being the first Pope based on their own theology. Of course, the idea of a Pope is not found in Scripture.
Luke 4:40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of God!" And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the Christ. See also Mt. 8:16-17; Mk. 1: 32-34.
Jesus did not turn anyone away. There was no sickness or demon that He could not take care of. He was not like the fake healers of today who only supposedly heal those who have some ailment that you cannot see or verify. No, He healed many visible ailments that no one could deny was a miracle. Again, we see Him casing out demons, who recognized who He was, but He did not allow them to continue to speak because He did not need the testimony of the demons to prove who He was. Matthew’s account tells us that these healings and casting out of demons was also fulfilling prophecy:
Matthew 8:16 And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses."
Mark 1:35 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. 37 When they found Him, they said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You." 38 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.” 39And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons. See also Lk. 4:42-43.
We do not know how long Jesus continued healing the people and casting out demons, but early the next morning before it was light, Jesus went off to a secluded spot and prayed. While He loved being able to help people and more importantly teach them what they needed to know, He needed His time alone to pray to the Father. We should always take time out of our day, no matter how busy we may be and spend some quiet time alone praying to our Father in heaven.
Eventually, Simon and those with him found Jesus and told Him how everyone was looking for Him. No doubt there was probably another crowd of people that wanted to be healed, but Jesus’ main purpose was to preach and not heal. The miracles were used to prove that He was the Son of God, but now it was time for Him to move on to other towns, so He could get the message out. So, Jesus leaves and continues preaching His message in the synagogues throughout Galilee.
Well, this brings us to the end of our lesson. I hope you have enjoyed it and learned some things along the way. I especially hope you have seen how compassionate Jesus was and learned how important it is that we commit ourselves to following after Him and doing what we can to be fishers of men.