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About-Him Devotional 03-15-03
The life of Christ, from His baptism to His ascension, following the Harmony of the Gospels.
56a: The Early Galilean Ministry - Mt. 4:12-17; Mk. 1:14-15; Lu. 4:14-15; Jn. 4:3, 43-45
Mark 4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
John the Baptist had just been imprisoned. The fame of Jesus was now eclipsing that of John, Therefore to avoid confrontation, Jesus left Judea and traveled north through Samaria to Galilee. Matthew says that He dwelled in Zabulon and Nephthalim, towns so far from the religious influence of Jerusalem that they were considered to be in darkness. Matthew quotes Isaiah 9:2 to say that the people who dwelled in darkness had seen a great light.
Luke tells us that Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. The closest equivalent Greek word for power translates as dynamite. There was a spiritual explosion every place that Jesus went. An idle word never fell from His lips. When he spoke, something happened. When He prayed, heaven responded. When He confronted sickness and despair, it had to leave. Devils trembled at His feet. He taught in the synagogues and was glorified of all.
The message that Jesus preached is what we are still preaching today:
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
57: Healing the Nobleman's Son - John 4:43-53
Jesus had returned to Cana where He had performed His first miracle of turning water into wine. His fame reached the ears of a certain nobleman who lived about 20 miles away at Capernaum. The man came to Jesus, "Sir my son is dying, come and say the word that he might live." Jesus put him off by placing him in the class of the many miracle chasers who's only interest was in seeing the spectacular. The man cried out again, "Sir, come my son is dying." Jesus was moved and told the nobleman to go home, his son would live. When he arrived home he found that his son's fever had left at the same hour that Jesus spoke the word. He and his whole household became believers.
Conclusion and application:
Jesus turned His back on the popularity and acclaim He was enjoying in Judea and went to remote regions to continue preaching. His sole motive was to advance the kingdom of God. Are we willing to do the same? Conditions may change, the message remains the same: "Repent and believe the gospel."
When those of the religious establishment rejected Jesus, He took His message to the remote regions where He found receptive listeners. When Jesus spoke, people listened, because He spoke as one with authority (Matthew 7:29; Luke 4;22; John 7:26).
Jesus found it unnecessary to travel 20 miles to pray for the nobleman's son. He simply spoke the word. Many today go to elaborate lengths to get God's attention. Some today act similarly to the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18:28) who prayed and carried on in a frenzy all day. We don't have to be like that. We need only to believe the word and speak it in the name of Jesus. (Mark 16:17-18) Heaven is obligated to respond (Luke 21:8; John 14:13; Hebrews 4:16).
Next Week: His Discourse at Nazareth
We have compliled all of the segments we have written on the Life of Christ into one document, minus the jokes and quotes fond in the weekly devotionals. You can find it at http://about-him/com/life/life_1.html
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A tour guide was showing a tourist around Washington, D.C. The guide pointed out the place where George Washington supposedly threw a dollar across the Potomac River.
"That's impossible," said the tourist. "No one could throw a coin that far!"
"You have to remember," answered the guide. "A dollar went a lot farther in those days."
"It's hard to stumble when you're down on your knees."
Keep Looking Up!
Don & Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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