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Form 1 CRE Notes On The Galilean Ministry
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TOPIC 3 : THE GALILEAN MINISTRY
THE PREACHING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (LK 3:1-20)
John was commissioned by God while in the wilderness to start his work. He began preaching in the area around River Jordan. John came in the spirit of Elijah as the Jews believed that Elijah would appear before the Messiah.
His message to the people was:
- He preached repentance
- He urged his listeners to have a total change of heart and confess their sins.
- John wanted his listeners about God’s judgment
- Told the people not to be proud that they were Abraham’s descendants.
- For those who accepted repentance he baptized them in river Jordan
- He condemned the Jewish religious leaders who stressed on outward of observance of the law rather than the inner righteousness
- He also announced the coming of the Messiah who would be mightier than him .
- John stressed on social justice i.e need to deal and treat others fairly that those who should share with others.
- He emphasized to the people the need for honesty in their dealings.
- Tax collectors were advised not to collect more than was required.
- Soldiers were advised not to abuse power by robbing and accusing others falsely
- He condemned King Herode’s immoral behavior including her own brother’s wife Herodias and because of this John the Baptist was put in prison by Herode Agrippa
LESSONS CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM PREACHING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
1. Christians should learn to share what they have with those who do not have.
2. Christians should be honest in whatever they do
3. Christians should repent and turn away from their sins
4. Christians should accept baptism with water in preparation for baptism with fire and holy spirit
5. Christians should not be afraid to condemn evil in the society today
6. Christians should avoid corruption
7. Christians should know that God will judge and punish them for their wrong doing
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS (LK 3:21-22)
When Jesus was 30 year old, he came to John the Baptist to baptize him. John was by River Jordan Baptizing other people
WHY JESUS ACCEPTED TO BE BAPTIZED
1. By accepting John’s baptism it meant he had approved John’s work as a messenger to prepare the way.
2. The baptism of Jesus marked the beginning of his ministry.
3. He saw it as God’s plan of saving mankind.
4. Jesus wanted to identify himself with the sinful mankind.
5. It was a way of preparing those who were ready to receive the Messiah.
6. During baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus into the form of a dove.
7. It was also a way of fulfilling Old Testament prophecy about the Messiah.
8. The baptism of Jesus confirmed his divinity (son of God) for a dove came from heaven, ‘Thou art my beloved son with thee I am well pleased.’
RELEVANCE OF BAPTISM TO CHRISTIANS TODAY
1. During baptism a Christian is given a new name which symbolizes a new life in Christ.
2. Through baptism Christians are prepared for the kingdom of God.
3. It foreshadows the death and resurrection of Christ.
4. Through baptism Christians are cleansed from their sins.
5. Christians as a way of identifying with Christ.
6. Through baptism one’s faith is strengthened.
THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS (LK 4:1-13)
Soon after the baptism, he was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness he was tempted by the the devil and he stayed there for 40 days.
At the end of 40 days, Jesus was hungry. During the time that he was in the wilderness he was being prepared for his ministry. Jesus was tempted in 3 ways.
Son of God turned the stones into bread. He responded by quoting the scriptures and thus said, ‘it was written that man should not live on bread alone.’ Even though Jesus had the power to turn the stones into bread, he did not do so because that would mean misuse of his divine powers. He did not want to win people to God through material things
In the second temptation ,Satan took Jesus to the top of a high mountain and in a second showed him all the Kingdoms of the world and told him that he would give him all its wealth if only Jesus would bow down and worship him .Jesus answered him quoting the scriptures (the Laws o0f Moses).”You shall worship the Lord your god and only him shall you serve”. Had Jesus accepted to worship him, he would have given the devil the worship that belongs to God.
Finally the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the Temple and said to him. “If you are the son of god then throw yourself down from here .For it is written that He will send His angels to be in charge of you .once again he responded by quoting the scriptures. “You shall not put the lord God to test”.
When the devil finished tempting Jesus on every way, he left him for a while.
LESSONS CHRISTIANS LEARN FROM THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS
- Lack of material things such as food should not let Christians fall into temptation.
- Christians should not worship any other God a part from the Lord God.
- Christians should not put the Lord God to test.
- Since Jesus was also tempted, Christians should learn that they can also be tempted
- When tempted a Christian should not give in to temptation.
- Trough temptations and trials a Christian’s faith is strengthened
- A Christian should turn to the scriptures when faced with temptation.
- Christians should seek the Holy Spirit to enable him overcome temptation
- God does not tempt one beyond his ability.
JESUS BEGINS HIS MINISTRY AND IS REJECTED AT NAZARETH (LUKE 4:14-30)
When Jesus returned to Galilee a report concerning him went through out all the surrounding country. He came to Nazareth where he had been brought up and went into the synagogue as his custom was on the Sabbath day.
He stood up and was given the book of prophet Isaiah and found the place where it was written “the spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach goods news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind. To set at
liberty those who are oppressed and proclaim the acceptable year of the lord.” He closed and returned the book to the attendant and sat down and said to them “ today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing ‘’ The people were doubtful of the gracious words which proceeded from out of his mouth and they said “is this not Joseph’s son. Jesus told them not to be doubtful for it is written that “truly I say to you no prophet is accepted in his own country’’ when they heard this all the synagogue were filled with wrath and they rose up they put him out of the city and led him to the brow of the hill. Jesus passed through the midst of them and he went away.
Why Jesus was rejected at Nazareth
1. He claimed to be the promised messiah and according to the people this was blasphemy.
2. The people referred to him as the son of Joseph, a mere carpenter.
3. It was a fulfillment of what had been prophesied by prophet Isaiah that the messiah would be despised and rejected.
4. He failed to perform a miracle in Nazareth the way he had performed in Capernaum.
5. He annoyed his listeners when he told them that their forefathers had rejected God’s prophets.
6. He told them that a prophet is not welcomed in his own home town.
7. They rejected Jesus for telling them that the good news was first offered to Jesus but they rejected it. And so it would be made available to the gentiles.
JESUS HEALS IN CAPERNAUM (LK.4:31-37)
Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee where he taught the people on the Sabbath .They all amazed at the way he taught because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an evil demon in him .He screamed in a loud voice. “Ah! What do you want to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who you are .You are the holy one of God. Jesus commanded the devil to be quiet and come out of the man .The demon threw the man down and went out of him without doing any harm to him.
The people were amazed and said to one another. “What kind of words are these? With authority and power this man gives orders to the evil spirit and they come out.”The report about Jesus spread everywhere in that region.
Why Jesus commanded the devil to be silent
- He did not want his identity to be publicized.
- He feared the people might think that he had to establish an earthly kingdom.
- He did not want people to see him as a miracle worker
Lessons that Christians learn about Jesus from the healing at Capernaum
- Jesus is the son of God (He is the promised messiah.
- Jesus is Holy
- Jesus has power over evil spirits
- Jesus came to save mankind from slavery of sin
- Jesus heals those who have faith in him
- Jesus came to destroy the kingdom of Satan and establish God’s kingdom.
JESUS CALLS THE FIRST DISCIPLES (5:1-11).
A disciple means learner or follower .In the bible ,the word disciple is used to refer to “learners “who followed a particular master to learn more about religious matters .
One day, Jesus, was standing on the shores of Lake Gennesaret .while the people pushed their way up to him to listen to the word of God. He saw two boats pulled on the beach .The fishermen had left them and were washing their nets .Jesus got into one of the boat, that belonged to Simon and asked him to push it off a little from the shore .Jesus sat in the boat and taught the crowd .when he finished speaking, he said to Simon ,”push the boat out further to the deep water ,and you and your partners let down your nets for a catch ;” “Master ,Simon answered ,we worked hard all night long and caught nothing .but if you say so , “I will let down the net” .They let them down and caught such a large number of fish that the nets were about to break .So they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them .They came and both boats so full of fish that the boats were about to sink .when Simon Peter saw what had happened, he fell on his knees before Jesus and said, ‘Go away from me Lord! I am a sinful man!’’
He and the other with him were all amazed at the large number of fish they had caught. The same was true to Simon partners; James and John the sons of Zebedee. Jesus said to Simon,’ don’t be afraid, from now onwards you will be catching men.’’
They pulled the boats up on the beach, left everything, and followed Jesus.
LESSONS CHRISTIANS CAN LEARN FROM THEIR CALL
1. Just as Jesus called the first disciples, so God is calling people to serve him in various ways.
2. God does not discriminate. The first disciple peter John, and Jane came from ordinary family (they were fishermen).therefore a Christian should not discriminate against others.
3. Just as the first disciple humbled themselves before Jesus, Christians need to humble themselves before God.
4. Christians should trust the lord just as peter trusted in Jesus when he was told to put back the net into the water.
5. A Christian has to acknowledge, his or her sins, Simon knelt before Jesus, and acknowledged his own sinful state.
6. God can intervene in people’s life through interacts. Jesus wanted to share the power of God through miraculous catch of fish. Symbolized the many that should turn to God.
7. Christians who faithfully follow the teachings of Jesus Christ are assured of the God’s care and protection.
8. When a Christian is called he should leave everything including their families to serve the lord
9. God reveals himself to people in everyday activities.
JESUS FACES OPPOSITION
During Jesus ministry, he faced a lot of opposition from the Pharisees, the scribes and seduces. the Pharisees believed strongly on the observance of the mosaic laws .They believed on the teachings of the prophets and other writings of the old testament.
They believed and waited for the Messiah. They also believed that the messiah will lead a rebellion against Roman authority. On the other hand, the Scribes, were the writers and their work was to make copies of the Jewish Scriptures.
Some of them rented schools where Jewish male youths leant the Mosaic laws (Rabbinic Schools).The Sadducees were a very influential group .They believed only in the first five books (laws)as having been inspired. They did not believe in the coming judgment and the Messiah. This group of people never accepted Jesus as the Messiah, this is because they had suspected a
Political Messiah instead Jesus came as a suffering Messiah. It was because of this opposition that Jesus was crucified.
OCCASIONS WHEN JESUS WAS OPPOSED
1. The cure of the leper (LK 5:12-15)
While he was in one of cities, a man full of leprosy came and fell at Jesus’ feet. The leper said to him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” This is one of the occasions where Jesus hid his identity. And Jesus did so then the leprosy left him but charged him not to tell anyone what had happened but to go and show himself to the priest and make an offering of cleansing as Moses commanded as a proof to the people, but the report spread and great multitude gathered to hear the word and be healed.
Significance of the cure of the paralytic
I. Jesus had power over sickness
II. Jesus is the son of God .The leper referred to Jesus as the son of God
III. It also showed the importance of faith .The leper had a lot of faith in Christ .Christians therefore should have faith in Christ.
IV. It also showed the compassionate nature of Jesus .Christians therefore should be concerned about the welfare of the poor and the despised.
V. It also showed that Jesus came for all including the untouchables.Christians therefore should not discriminate
VI. It showed that Jesus had respect for the Mosaic law for he told the leper to go to the priest to examine him as a proof.
VII. By commanding the leper not to tell anybody what had happened, it meant that Jesus never wanted to publicize his Messiahship.
THE CURE OF THE PARALYTIC (LK.5:17-26)
One day when Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and the teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every town in Galilee, Judea and Jerusalem. The power of God was with him to heal the sick .Some men came carrying a man on a bed who paralysed.They was tried to
him in and lay him before Jesus but they could not. When they could not find room to bring him in, they removed the tiles from the roof and brought the man down.
When Jesus saw this, he told the man that his sins are forgiven .And the scribes and the Pharisees questioned which authority he had to forgive sins .They regarded this as blasphemy.
According to them only God has the power to forgive sins.
Jesus knew what was in their mind and asked them “which is easier to say ,your sins are forgiven or rise and walk .He told the paralytic to rise up and take his bed and go .And he immediately took his bed and went home glorifying God.
Significance of the cure of the paralytic
- The miracle showed that Jesus was not only concerned with the physical body but also to win people for the kingdom of God. Christians therefore should strive to win more souls to the kingdom of God
- Christians are also reminded to have faith in Jesus and trust. The people who brought the paralytic had a lot of faith that Jesus would heal the man.
- The miracle showed that Jesus had power to forgive sins for Jesus told him that “Your sins are forgiven”. Therefore, through Jesus Christians can have their sins forgiven
- Jesus is the son of God.
- Christians should praise and thank God for the gift they have received.
- The miracle also strengthened the faith of Jesus’ audience. Those who saw the miracle went home glorifying God.
- Christians should be willing to forgive others.
THE CALL OF LEVI (LK: 5:27-32)
Jesus was passing by and he saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax collector’s office and he told him to follow him. Luke brings out the element of the man being a tax collector because tax collectors were known to be corrupt people who took more than was required.
The tax collector left everything and followed him.
Sometime later the Levi made Jesus a great feast in his house and many tax collectors came. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured against Jesus saying “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners.”
Jesus answered them by saying; those who are well do not need a doctor. By this, Jesus meant that he came for the sinners and outcasts and not for the righteous.
THE QUESTION ABOUT FASTING
The Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus why his disciples are not fasting like the disciples of John the Baptist.
In reply, Jesus told them that it is not possible to make the wedding guest fast while the bridegroom was still with them.
The day would come when the bridegroom would be taken away from them. It is only them that they would fast.
In this parable, Jesus meant that the present time is like a feast because Jesus was still with them.
That his disciples would only fast after his death and resurrection. He also pointed out that it was not merely the observance of religions practices that was required but faith.
Why Christians fast
- A time which one can dedicate himself to prayers
- One can dedicate himself to reading the bible or word of God.
- To give to what they ought to have eaten that day to the needy.
- A period when one can repent from his sins.
- To strengthens ones faith
Ways in which Christians should treat the despised or the poor
-Christians should treat the poor and outcasts with Love.
- Give them hope in life.
- Christians should offer them financial assistance.
- Help them start income generating projects by giving them necessary training and skills that can make them be self-reliant.
- Preach to them the word of God and help in converting them to become useful members of the society.
- Christians should offer prayers to them.
THE PARABLE OF THE GARMENT AND THE WINESKINS (LK:5: 36-39)
Jesus told them the parable of anew garment and the wineskins
He told them that ‘No one tears a piece from anew garment and puts it on an old garment.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins, if he does the new wine will burst the skins and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine designs new for he says the old is good.
Significance of the parables
- Jesus used the new garment and new wineskins to represent Christianity, while the old garment and old napkins represents Judaism.
- Jesus taught that Christianity and Judaism were in conflict.
- That Christianity does not only concern itself with the outward observance or the law but with the inner heart.
- That Christianity is greater than Judaism
- For some Christians it may be difficult to leave up the old ways.
Some traditional customs condemned by Christianity
- Wife inheritance
- Killing of twins
- Female circumcision
- Witch craft
- Songs and dances.
THE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SABBATH (LK6:1-5)
On the Sabbath while Jesus and his disciples were going through the grain fields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain rubbing them in their hands
Some Pharisees questioned why they were doing what was unlawful on a Sabbath day.
Jesus responded by quoting the Old Testament scriptures. Jesus asked them if they had not reas what king david did when he was hungry. They entered the house of God took and ate the bread which was meant for the priests only
Significance of the question on the Sabbath
- Doing a good thing was more important than mare observance of the law.
- Jesus is lord of the Sabbath
- Sabbath was made for man not man for Sabbath
THE HEALING OF MAN WITH A WITHERED HAND (LK: 6:6 – 11)
One the Sabbath day, Jesus entered the synagogue and began teaching. And there was a man with a withered hand.
And the Pharisees and the scribes were waiting to see if he could heal on the Sabbath day
Jesus knew their thought and called the man with the withered hand to stand up and come out
Then Jesus asked them if it was lawful to do well on the Sabbath or to destroy
And after looking around he told them man to stretch his hand. He did so and his hand was restored, but they were filled with madness and began planning what they could do to Jesus.
Examples of miracles that Jesus performed on the Sabbath day
- The casting out of demons at Capernaum.
- The healing of Simon’s mother –in – law
- The cure of a man with leprosy
- Cure of a man with a withered hand
Why Jesus faced opposition from the Pharisees and the scribes.
- He claimed to have the ability to forgive sins which the Pharisees and the scribes considered as blasphemy.
- On several occasions he healed on the Sabbath. His disciples also plucked grains on the Sabbath which the Pharisees viewed as work
- That his disciples did not fast like the disciples of John the Baptist.
- Because of the miracles that Jesus performed, his reputation continued to grow and many people followed him to have their sicknesses cured.
- He mixed and ate with sinners and tax collectors.
- Jesus called them hypocrites for they put the law before the well being of human beings.
- That Jesus called himself the Messiah (son of God) that was promised in the Old Testament.
WHY SOME PEOPLE DO NOT ACCEPT THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS
- Due to education and scientific knowledge that gives a different interpretation of the origin of life.
- Some receive strong opposition from devil worshippers.
- Others also lack faith in spiritual matters.
- Some are afraid of facing rejection or persecution.
- Worldly pleasures such as the desire to acquire more wealth also distract others attention.
- The existence of other religious beliefs such as Islam that does not regard Jesus as the son of God.
- There are also inadequate role models in our societies that others can emulate.
- Many churches also experience leadership wrangles that make others drop or move away from the church.
- There is also different interpretation of the Bible teachings on certain issues e.g. on polygamy and alcoholism.
- High level of expectation from the church which others are not able to meet.
- Many people who pose as Christians are hypocrites.
- Others are also discouraged by members of their peer group who may not be Christians.
THE CHOOSING OF THE TWELVE DISCIPLES AND JESUS’ TEACHING ON TRUE OF DISCIPLESHIP (Lk.6:12-16, 27-49)
The word disciple means follower .Jesus went to the mountain to pray and when it was day, he called his and chose from them twelve, whom he called Apostles.
The word apostle means “one who is sent out”
The twelve chosen were:
1) Simon whom he called Peter
3) James son of Zebedee
4) John the brother of James
7) Mathew the tax collector
8) James the son of Alpheus
10) Judas son of James
11) Simon the zealot
12) Judas who became the traitor
Significance of the calling of the 12 disciples
- The number 12 represented the 12 tribes of Israel.
- The calling of Mathew a tax collector and Simon a Zealot meant that Jesus was universal savior.
- Since Jesus prayed before the choosing of the 12 disciples, showed the importance of prayer.Christians therefore should be committed to prayer.
- Jesus knew that he was going to die and therefore wanted to leave behind people who would continue with the work. Christians therefore must be willing to carry on with Jesus work of spreading the Gospel.
- Christians also learn that spreading the work of God is a continuous process.
- Jesus trained his disciples on the true cost of discipleship. Christians therefore should undertake training in various aspects of Christian ministry.
THE SERMON ON THE PLAINS (Lk.6:17-49)
After the choosing OF the twelve disciples, Jesus went on a level ground (plain) and started administering to the crowd.
The sermon on the plains contains the blessed sayings and the woes. The blessed sayings are referred to as the beatitudes.
The sermon on the plains is divided into
1) The blessed sayings: verses 20-23.
2) The woes: verses 24-26
3) The teachings on love: verses27-36
4) Judging others: verses 37-49
At this point Jesus wanted to involve his disciples in his work.
Lessons that Christians learn from the sermon on the plains
- The poor or those who renounce their earthly wealth for the sake of the Kingdom of God will be blessed in the, they will inherit the kingdom of God.
- The hungry and those who weep for the sake Christ should count themselves blessed for they would be satisfied in God’s kingdom.
- Those who face rejection for the sake of Christ should count themselves blessed for their reward will be great in heaven.
- The rich are warned against using their wealth to oppress the poor.
- Those who are happy and enjoy now shall mourn and weep.
- Christians must live according to the teachings of Jesus.
- The followers of Christ must practice love and do well to those who hate them
- Christians should show generosity to others .They must be willing to share what they have with those who do not have.
- Christians are urged not to revenge.
- The followers of Christ are urged not to judge others so as not to be judged.
- There is need for Christians to examine themselves and be role models.(Lk.6:42)
- They should be merciful to others as the father in heaven is.
- They should be willing to forgive those who wrong them.
Qualities of true discipleship of Jesus as brought out in the sermon on the plains.
- The disciples must be ready to face persecution for them to receive eternal life.
- A true disciple should love their enemies and do good to those hate them.
- The disciples have to have absolute faith.
- They should be ready to face rejection by others for the sake of Christ.
- They are expected to be obedient to Jesus by accepting the lordship of Christ.
- The disciples are urged to revenge by striking back
- They should live a life of prayer and even pray for those who mistreat them.
- The disciples must be ready to win more people for the kingdom of God.
- The need not to be hypocrites by judging or condemning others they should examine themselves.
- The disciples are expected to be merciful to others just like the father in Heaven is.
- Disciples must be willing to forgive so that they can also be forgiven.
JESUS WORKS OF COMPASSION
- On several occasions Jesus performed works of mercy for those distressed and showed pity for the suffering.
Jesus works of companion include: -
1. THE HEALING OF CENTURION’S SERVANT (LK 7:1-10)
As Jesus entered Capernaum centurion came forward to him and told him that his servant was lying at home paralyzed.
The centurion was a gentile (non Jew) and senior officer in the roman army but feared God.
He therefore sent elders of the Jews to Jesus so that Jesus could heal his servant.
Before they reached the house, the centurion sent his friends again to Jesus saying he was not worthy to receive Jesus in his house but to say just a word and the servant will be healed.
For he said “just give orders and my servant will be well .I too am a man placed under authority and have soldiers under me ---I order this one, go and he goes”.
When Jesus heard this he marveled at the faith of the man and exclaimed that he had not found such faith among the Jews.
And the servant was healed at the very moment.
Significance of the miracle
- The miracle demonstrates the importance of faith. The centurion officer had faith that even Jesus words would make the servant well therefore Christians need to have faith in Christ.
- The centurion officer was a non Jew. This showed that salvation was not only for the Jews but also for the gentiles. Jesus was universal savior.
- Christians should know that Jesus had the power to heal all form of illnesses.
- The centurion had great love for his servant. This is a challenge to Christians to show love even to their juniors. Employers should therefore treat their employees the lot of love.
- The centurion officer was a senior person in the roman government but had a lot of respect for God. Likewise senior people in the society should trust in God
- Christians should not discriminate against others just as Jesus did not discriminate against the centurions officer.
- The miracle showed the importance of obedience. He said the junior officers took orders from him. Christians should therefore have a lot of faith in God
- Christians should not be afraid to ask God to help despite their weakness.
- The miracle also teaches on the importance of humility. Despite being a senior person in the army, he decided to humble himself before God. Christians should likewise be humble before God .
The raising of the widows son in Nain (Lk. 7:11-17)
As Jesus came to the town of Nain he saw a widow weeping because her only son had died. Jesus sympathized with the widow and told her not to weep. He then touched the coffin and ordered the young man to rise from the dead. Jesus gave him back to his mother.
The large crowd was filed with fear and glorified God. They acknowledged that Jesus was a great prophet and the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and all over the countryside.
Lessons learnt from the miracle
- That Jesus had authority over death
- Jesus showed empathy to the needy and Christians should do like wise. Jesus took the initiative to restore the boys’ life.
- Showed that Jesus is a great prophet. He is a fulfillment of the old testament prophecies
- The way Jesus showed concern for the widows, Christians should also show concern for widows and orphans.
- The fact that Jesus touched the coffin of the dead, he broke the Jewish ceremonial laws. Therefore Christians should not be hindered from performing acts of passion by traditional laws.
ASSURANCE TO JOHN THE BAPTIST (LUKE: 7:18-35)
- John the Baptist had been put in prison after he rebuked Heron for taking his brothers wife.
- It was he prison that john sent his disciples to ask Jesus to ask whether from he was the one come or should they expect someone else. He wanted to reassure his disciples that Jesus was the expected Messiah.
- In response to John’s question, Jesus performed some miracles; he cured many people of diseases and evil spirits and gave sight to blind. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy(Isaiah :61:1-2)
- Jesus therefore told John’s disciples to go and report to him what they had seen and heard.
- After the disciples of John had gone Jesus paid a tribute to John.
What did Jesus say about the John Baptist?
- He acknowledged John as being the greatest of all the Prophets.
- He portrayed John as his forerunner.
- He described him as a man of strong character that could not be swayed.
- He said that none born of a woman is greater than John.
- That people rejected John as the forerunner of the Messiah.
- He referred to him as the messenger foretold by Malachi.
Relevance to Christians today
- Just as people were discontented with the teachings of Jesus, so are some people still discontented with his teachings?
- Many people still cast a lot of doubt on the saving power of God just as John had doubts about Jesus.
- Christians recognize and appreciate saving works of God.
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINFUL WOMAN (LUKE 7:36-8:3)
- On one occasion, Jesus was invited by Simon the Pharisee to his house to eat with him
- Then a sinful woman entered Simon’s house with a jar of perfume and started wiping Jesus’ feet with her tears then she wiped them with her hair, kissed and perfumed them.
- Luke brings the contrast of a Pharisee and a sinful woman .the Pharisees considered themselves righteous and were not supposed to mix with sinners.
- These actions drew a negative reaction from Simon and wondered how Jesus would allow such a sinner to touch him.
- Jesus knew Simon’s thought and told them a parable of two debtors. One owed a money lender 500 Denarii and another 50 Denarii, because they were not able to pay back the money lender cancelled the debts.
- So Jesus asked, “Who was more grateful? “Simon’s reply was that the one with a bigger debt.
- Then turning to the woman he told the woman that her sins are forgiven.
The significance of the forgiving of the sinful woman in Simon’s house
- Christians should not judge others. It was not right for Simon to judge the woman as sinful
- The fact that Jesus forgave the sinful woman meant that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins.
- Christians should show compassion to those in need.
- The woman was repentant and therefore Christians should be ready to repent. The sinful woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears.
- Christians should show faith in Christ just as the woman was.
- By forgiving the woman, Jesus elevated the role of women who were despised in Jewish community.
- The fact that Jesus visited Simon, a Pharisees and accepting a sinful woman, leant that Jesus had come establish a new Israel in which all would be welcomed.
- Christians should be grateful when they have their sins forgiven.
Ways in which Christians show compassion to the less fortunate members of the society.
- Offering guidance and cancelling to especially those who are sick.
- Offering prayers to them.
- Giving them financial material assistance.
- Helping them to initiate income generating project.
- Helping them to get relevant training.
- Showing love to them e.g. keeping them company and putting them hoping.
How church continues with healing ministry of Jesus
- Christians pray for the sick.
- They practice laying of hands on them.
- They provide guidance and counseling services.
- They provide curative drugs to the sick.
- They pay for medical expenses to the sick.
- They publish literature that provides public awareness.
- Visiting the sick.
- Organizing seminars or workshops.
- Providing basic necessities such as food and clothing.
THE PARABLES AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE
-A parable is a story with a hidden meaning
- A parable can have one or several meanings.
- In his teachings, Jesus started from what his listeners knew to what was unknown to them.
- Some parables were straight forward and needed no further explanation .Others however had deeper, meanings and the disciples asked Jesus to explain their meanings.
How did the disciples react to the use of parables?
- The disciple found the parables interesting and caught their attention.
- Some of the parables, the disciples did not understand.
- They felt challenged by the parables.
- They asked Jesus to explain the meaning of some the parables.
- They marveled at Jesus ability to teach in parables.
-They put the disciples’ into critical thinking.
Why Jesus taught in parables
- He used parables to attract attention of his listeners.
- He used parables to sought out serious listeners from the rest (Luke :8:8)
- He wanted provoke his listeners into critical thinking.
- At other times Jesus used parables to conceal his true identity as the promised Messiah.
- He wanted to avoid direct confrontation with Pharisees, Sadducees and the scribes.
- He used parables to explain unfamiliar messages in a language that his listeners would understand.
- Most of the parables had specific teachings about the kingdom of God. Many revealed that kingdom of God had come through Jesus Christ e.g. the parable of mastered seed (Lk. 13:18-21)
- Most of them were derived from experiences of daily life. He used things that were familiar to the people.
- Because Jesus was a gifted teacher, (Rabbi), the use of parables was also natural to him.
- It was a common way of teaching in Palestine during the time of Jesus.
THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER (LK.8:4-15)
And Jesus told this parable to a crowd of people who had come to listen to him as he preached the gospel.
That a sower went out to sow and as he was broadcasting the seeds .The seeds fell on different parts of the soil.
Some fell on the path and were stepped on by foot and the birds of the air came and ate them.
Some fell on the rock and as they grew withered because there was no moisture.
Some fell among the thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
Some fell on the good soil and grew and brought good harvest.
And Jesus concluded, “Listen, then, if you have ears”
The significance of the parable
- The seeds planted by the farmer are the word of God.
- The sower is God and its messengers.
- The different types of soil represent different types of people who hear the word of God as it is reached.
- Seeds that fell along the foot path were stepped upon and eaten by the birds represent t the people who hear the word of God but allow the devil to take the message away.
- The seeds that fell along the rocky ground and grew for a short time represent t those who hear God’s word and receive it with a lot of joy and in time of k temptation fall away.
- And as for what fell among the thorns, are those who hear but as the go on their way they are chocked by the pleasures of the world.
- The seeds that fell along the good soil and grew represent those who hear God’s word, the believe in it and live according to the teachings.
Lessons that Christians learn from the parable of the sower
- Christians should be aware that the word of God is received differently.
- God’s messengers are still spreading the word of God.
- Christians should not allow the devil to take root in their hearts.
- Christians should not give in to temptations.
- Those who allow the pleasures of the world to lead them a astray will receive punishment.
- Christians should hear the word of God and live up to it .They will receive reward in heaven.
THE PARABLE OF A LAMP (LK: 8:16-18)
Jesus used another parable to illustrate the work of the disciples. Jesus taught that no one can light a lamp and cover it with a bowl or hide it under a bed. Instead they put it on the stands to light the room.
- In this parable Jesus is the light and the disciples are those of whom the light shines.
- They therefore have a duty to pass on what they had learnt from Jesus to other people.
- He advised the disciples to listen to him carefully and hear correctly.
- A Christian has a duty to share the knowledge of God with others.
- One cannot claim to be a Christian if this knowledge is kept and not shared.
JESUS TRUE FAMILY (LK 8:19-21)
Jesus mother and his brothers came to look for him but they could not reach him. When he was told that they desired to see him, he told them that his mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.
This is perhaps the last time that the gospel of Luke talks about Joseph the foster father of Jesus. Different views have been brought by scholars .others say that probably he had another wife. Yet others say that he might have died after that. Well those may not be so important in the salvation history.
- Here Jesus did not mean to reject his people but he wanted the people to understand the Devine nature of his work.
- He wanted to show that those who heeded his teaching were therefore closer to him.
- That those who follow him are members of the kingdom of God.
THE MIGHTY WORKS OF JESUS (LK 8:22 - 56)
The life of and teaching of Jesus Christ had a lot of extra-ordinary happenings. E.g
- bringing people back to life
- healing the sick
- Multiplication of loaves
- Casting out of demons.
All these extra-ordinary happenings are referred to us miracles .Luke referrers to them as the mighty works of Jesus.
A miracle therefore is a happening that looks impossible according to ordinary forces of nature.
These extra-ordinary happenings were used by Jesus to demonstrate the presence of God among the people.
They are grouped into.
- The nature miracles e.g. the calming of the storm
- The raising of the dead e.g. the raising of Jairus daughter.
- The healing miracles e.g. the healing of the Centurion officer’s servant
- The casting out of demons e.g. the casting of demons at Capernaum
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MIRACLES OF JESUS
- Certain miracles showed that Jesus had the power over evil spirits e.g. the casting out of demons at Capernaum.
- Some miracles were performed out of compassion e.g. the raising of the widow’s son at Nain, the feeding of the five thousand.
- Jesus at times performed miracles to meet the temporary needs of the people e.g. the feeding of the five thousand.
- Some demonstrated that Jesus the power to forgive sins e.g. during the cure of the paralytic, Jesus told him that his sins are forgiven.
- The miracles also showed that Jesus had power over nature e.g. the calming of the storm.
- Some of his listeners had their faith strengthened .After the healing of the paralytic, those who saw the miracle went home glorifying God.(Lk.5:26)
- At times the miracles demonstrated that Jesus is the son of God and the ‘promised Messiah (Lk 4:33-34). Even the demons acknowledged Jesus as the Holy one of God when He healed the demoniac at Capernaum.
- They showed that Jesus was a universal savior. He healed both the Jews and the Gentiles e.g. the healing of the Centurion’s servant.
- The fact the Jesus raised the dead showed that Jesus k had power over death. He is the life and resurrection.
- The miracles that were performed on the Sabbath showed that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath.
- Certain miracles showed the need for thanks giving e.g. the healing of the 10 lepers. Only one out of the ten came back and gave thanks to Jesus.
- They showed that the Kingdom of God had come through Jesus Christ.
THE CALMING OF THE STORM (LK. 8:22-25)
One day as Jesus and his disciples were sailing across the sea of Gennesarete, a great storm arose, such that their boat was about to sink. Jesus was fast asleep. His disciples woke him up saying, “Master! Master! Save us! We are about to drawn.” Jesus said to them, “How little faith you have!” Then he got up and ordered the winds and the waves to stop. There was a great calm.
The disciples became amazed and asked, “What kind of a man is this. Even the wind and waves are obeying him?”
The significance of the miracle
- The miracle showed that Jesus had power over nature. He had the authority to calm the storm
- Since the storm was associated with evil, the miracle showed that Jesus had power over evil spirits.
- The miracle showed the importance of the faith. Therefore, Christians should have Faith in Jesus.
- The fact that Jesus fell asleep showed the human nature of Jesus.
- The storm symbolized the trials and temptations Christians undergo. Jesus had the power to help us overcome trials and temptations.
HEALING OF DEMON POSSESSED MAN, THE GERASENE DEMONIAC (LK. 8:26 -39)
After calming of the storm, Jesus and His disciples crossed to the eastern side of the lake to a quiet place.
As soon as he and his disciples landed, they were met by a demon possessed man who was very violent. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down and said in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, son of the Most High God?”
Many at times it had seized him and he was, therefore kept under guard and bound with chains.
When Jesus asked him his name, he said “Legion” meaning many.
The demons begged not to be destroyed and asked to be sent to the grazing herd of pigs.
According to the Jews the swine were considered as unclean.
When the demons left the man, they entered into the pigs which drowned into the lake.
Those who had been looking after the pigs saw what happened and ran off and spread the news in the town.
The cured man wanted to follow Jesus, instead Jesus told him to go home and declare what God had done to him.
The man went through the town j telling what God had done to him.
The significance of the miracle
- The action showed that Jesus had power over evil spirits. Therefore, Christian s should constantly fight against Satan.
- By sending the demons to the pigs meant that human being were more important than animals. Therefore, Christians should put more value on human life than on material things.
- The sending out of the demons showed the compassionate nature of Jesus.
- The man was a Gentile. This indicated that Jesus was a universal savior. Christians have a duty to carry the message to all regardless of the race or geographical location.
- The fact that Jesus told them not to follow him was an indication that he wanted the man to help spread the news about the Messiah. Christians therefore should spread the word of God.
- Jesus is the son of God-even the demons acknowledged this.
- The man went through the town telling what Jesus had done to him. Christians, therefore, should bear witness of what Christ has done in their lives.
THE RAISING OF JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER ( LK. 8: 40 -42, 49-56)
Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue, a very important officer in the Jewish community.
When Jesus returned after healing the man with evil spirits, they welcomed him because they had been waiting for him.
Jairus was so desperate as his only 12 year old daughter was very sick and at the point of death.
Jairus was one of the people who opposed Jesus and did not welcome him in the Synagogues.
Jesus set off with a large crowd towards Jairus’ house.
Before they reached, a word came, that Jairus’ daughter was already dead and that Jesus should not bother reaching the house.
But Jesus told Jairus not to worry but to have faith.
When Jesus reached the house he ordered everybody out and went in only with James, Peter and John, and the parents of the girl.
He held the girl’s hand saying “Child, arise” and immediately her life returned and the girl stood up. And the he directed that she be given something to eat.
Significance of the raising of the Jairus’ daughter
- The miracle showed that Jesus had authority over death.Christians therefore should have the trust that through Jesus’ power they will overcome death.
- The fact that Jesus commanded the people not to tell others about what had happened meant that he did not want to be in conflict with the Jews.
- It also shows the importance of faith. Jairus had faith in Jesus. Christians should therefore, have faith.
- Jairus did not despair. Christians should therefore, not despair.
- Jesus did not discriminate, although Jairus was one of those who were opposed to Jesus. Therefore, Christians should not discriminate.
- Jairus humbled himself before Jesus. Therefore Christians should humble themselves before God.
- The fact that Jesus refers to the girl as being only ‘asleep’ signified that there is life after dearth. Christians therefore, are assured that there is life after death.
- The mighty works of Jesus made the popularity of Jesus to spread.
THE HEALING OF A WOMAN WITH ENDLESS FLOW OF BLOOD (LK,8:43-48)
While on his way to Jairus’ house, with a large crowd following him, Jesus en countered a woman who had had an endless flow of blood for 12 years and had visited the doctors with no success.
She came behind Jesus and touched his cloak and immediately, her flow of blood stopped.
Jesus asked who had touched him. He said this for he sensed that Power had gone out of him.
And when the woman saw that she had been discovered, she fell before Jesus and declared why she had touched Jesus.
Jesus then told her that her faith had made her well.
Jesus demanded to know who had touched her because:
i. He wanted her healing to be made public so that her unclean status could be removed.
ii. She could now be received into the society because one suffering from such kind of disease was not supposed to mix with others.
iii. Jesus wanted to show the woman and all those present that it was the woman’s faith that had healed her.
iv. The woman was a Gentile. Jesus wanted to show that salvation was for all.
THE COMMISSIONING OF THE TWELVE DISCIPLES (LK. 9:1-9)
Jesus knew that his time was nearing and he wanted his disciples to continue spreading the good news.
He therefore called the 12 disciples and commissioned them. He gave the following instructions:
- They were to go out and exorcise demons.
- Heal the sick.
- Preach the word of God.
- They were instructed not to carry anything for the journey. This was a sign that they had to abandon earthly things for the Kingdom of God.
- He also told them to stay in a house where they were received. Here they would be taken care of and provided for.
- And whenever they were not received they were to shake off the dust from their feet as a testimony against them. This showed that the apostles had no association with those who rejected the Good News.
The disciples left and travelled through all the villages, preaching the Good News
- The preaching and healing by the apostles disturbed Herode. He was confused because some thought that Elijah or one of the prophets of the Old Testament had appeared. Others thought that may be John the Baptist had come back to life. He wished to meet Jesus in person.
What can Christians learn from the sending of the twelve?
- Just as the disciples were sent by Jesus to spread the Good News so are Christian s required to spread the Good News.
- God has given His messengers the power to perform miracles and heal the sick.
- Christians should abandon the earthly materials to pro claim the word of God.
- Christians should welcome God’s messengers and give them necessary assistance.
- Those who do not receive God’s people and reject the message will not receive God’s blessings.
- Christians should aware that they would face opposition in their attempt to spread the gospel.
THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND (LK. 9:10-17)
When the disciples came back from their mission, they reported to Jesus everything they had done.
Jesus then took his disciples to a quiet place in Bethsaida to rest.
However, when the crowd learned of his whereabouts, they followed him.
- Jesus turned and preached to them about the kingdom of God and healed the sick.
- When it was evening, the disciples asked if they could send the people into the villages to look for accommodation and food.
Jesus asked them to provide the people with food. The disciples said that they only had five loaves of bread and two fish which could not feed the 5,000 people.
- Jesus told them to make the people sit down in groups of 50.
Taking the five loaves and two fish, Jesus looked up to heaven, thanked God, blessed
He broke them and gave to the disciples to distribute to the people.
And all ate and were satisfied and the remains were collected and filled 12 baskets.
Significance of the miracle
- The miracle showed that Jesus had power over nature (He had divine power)
- The miracle shows that Jesus was not only concerned with the spiritual needs but also the spiritual needs, but also the physical needs. Christian s should also bed concerned with physical needs of the people such as food.
- The fact that Jesus prayed and gave thanks to God shows the need for thanks giving by Christians.
- The feeding of the 5,000 people was a fore-shadow of the last supper that Jesus was going to have with his disciples.
- Jesus shared the food among his disciples. This shows that Christians need to share what they have with others.
- Jesus delegated the work of distributing food to his disciples. Leaders also need to delegate duties to others.
- Jesus asked the disciples to put the people to sit in groups. This meant that God’s work is orderly. Christians therefore, need to be orderly in their work.
- The remains were collected and filled in 12 baskets. This shows that Christians should not be wasteful and need to keep the environment clean.
- The 12 baskets of the remains symbolize 12 tribes of Israel.
THE PERSON AND DESTINY OF JESUS (LK. 9:18-27)
When Jesus was about to start his journey to Jerusalem to accomplish what he had come to do, he asked the disciples who the people said he was. And they answered, John the Baptist, and to others, Elijah and the others, he was one of the Old Testament prophets.
And he asked them who they said he was. From the question, Jesus wanted to find out if the disciples knew his true identity (his divine nature)
Although many people, including his disciples, knew that he was not an ordinary person, they did not understand his true identity.
This was because the Jews expected an earthly Messiah.
He asked them this question because he knew that if the disciples still did not know who he was, then his work was in vain. Because he knew he was going to Jerusalem and he was going to die.
Peter identified Jesus as the ‘Son of God’.
This meant that Jesus was the son of God. Peter might have been influenced by the Holy Sprit. It meant that Jesus had succeeded in his mission.
Jesus told them not to reveal this to anybody. This was because he feared the crowd due to the political expectation of the Messiah.
Then Jesus told them the nature of his Messiah ship. That he must suffer and be rejected and killed. This is the first timed that Jesus talks about his coming death.
He cautioned his disciples that they must be ready to suffer.
They must leave everything behind including even their family.
He said his followers must be ready to carry their own crosses. This meant rejection.
THE TRANSFIGURATION (LK. 9:28-37)
Transfiguration can be defined as the transformation of the physical body into heavenly glory.
As Jesus was preparing for his last days of his ministry, he took with him Peter, James and John and went up the mountain to pray. Note that this is one of the occasions that Jesus went with the three disciples.
As he was praying, his appearance changed and his clothes became dazzling white.
And behold two men talked with him; Moses and Elijah. They spoke about his departure which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. This is another occasion where Jesus tells his disciples not to tell anybody about what has happened.
When Peter, John and James woke up, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
And as the men were departing, Peter suggested that they build three booths or tents- one for Jesus, one for Moses and the other for Elijah.
But as he was still talking a thick cloud came and covered the three and a voice was heard from the crowd echoing, “This is my son, my chosen, listen to him.”
And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone.
The significance of the transfiguration
- Moses represented the law and Elijah represented the prophets. This showed that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies and laws.
- During the transfiguration the appearance of the cloud that covered the three symbolized the presence of God.
- The voice that came from heaven once more confirmed that Jesus is the son of God.
- The discussion they held was important to Jesus as a re-assurance that his was a mission of death for the salvation of mankind.
- The appearance of Elijah and Moses re-assures us that there is life after death of the righteous.
- The dazzling whiteness of Jesus’ clothes is an indication of the holiness and glory of God.
- The appearance of the clouds that covered them symbolized the presence of God.
- This great event took place in the midst of prayer which is further indication to the Christians about the importance of prayer.
- The booths mentioned by Peter, represented the tabernacles of Old Testament where God .lived.
- It was meant to strengthen the faith of the apostles, so that they would continue with his work after his death.
JESUS’ TEACHING ON FAITH AND HUMILITY (LK. 9:37-50)
Jesus’ teaching on faith and humility focused on the problems and difficulties his disciples would face in their mission.
When Jesus came back from the mountain after the transfiguration a large crowd was waiting for him.
There was a boy who was the only child of his parents. He had been possessed by an evil spirit which made him to convulse.
The father of the sick boy had requested the disciples to help him but they were unable.
Jesus was disappointed that his disciples could not heal the boy. He said, “Oh, faithless generation, how long am I to be with you...” Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and cured the boy and gave him back to his parents.
At this point he talked about his coming death (9:44-45). He told them that he would be delivered in the hands of men.
At this point the disciples still could not understand fully what he meant.
At this point an argument rose among them as to who was the greatest.
Jesus took a child and put before them and taught them that whoever received the child received him.
By this Jesus meant that whoever wanted to be greatest in the kingdom of God must humble himself and that he was more concerned with liberating those in suffering and the despised lot. Jesus did this teaching because he wanted to prepare them for his death and the responsibilities they would take after his death.
When the disciples saw the non-follower but a believer casting out demons in Jesus’ name, they forbade him, in the grounds that he was not in them. Jesus pointed out that whoever is not against you is for you.
Lessons Christians learn from the incident:
- That Jesus had power to heal and cast out evil spirits. Therefore, Christians to believe in Jesus in times of suffering.
- Christians need God’s revelation of Jesus. This is why disciples still could not understand the nature of suffering Messiah.
- Christians should humble themselves before God. Whoever wants to inherit the Kingdom of God must reduce himself to the level of a child.
- Christians should not be afraid to approach God at times of problems such as the man approached Jesus when his child was sick.
- Greatness, according to the kingdom of God is different from earthly greatness. God’s kingdom needs humility.
- There is need to work in unity for the kingdom of God.
How Christians demonstrate their humility
- By forgiving those wrong them.
- Assisting the needy and the lees fortunate members of the society.
- Be ready to preach the word of God.
- Must be a role model in the society.
- By serving in the church.
- Abandoning earthly materials to serve God.
- By obeying God’s commandments.
DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF DISCIPLESHIP (LK. 9:51-62)
Jesus was preparing to go to Jerusalem where he was to undergo suffering.
And Jesus sent messengers ahead of him to the village of Samaria to make the people ready for him.
The Samaritans were however very hostile to them.
The apostles, John and James were unhappy and wanted to call fire from heaven to consume them.
But Jesus told them that he did not come to destroy the people’s lives.
As they proceeded with the journey, one person wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus warned him that following him meant abandoning earthly things and enduring hardship.
Jesus invited another man to follow him but the man requested Jesus to let him burry his father first. This means that he wanted to meet family obligations first.
Jesus’ response to the man’s request was to leave the dead to burry themselves.
By this, Jesus meant that family obligations are secondary to the kingdom of God.
Another person declared his willingness to follow Christ bur still felt that he had to bid goodbye to family members. Jesus responded by telling him, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.
This meant that whoever turns back after accepting Jesus Christ does not qualify for the kingdom of God.
Christians can learn that:
- The discipleship requires total commitment and sacrifice.
- Christians should be ready all the time to work for Christ.
- Christians must accept suffering as a condition for following Christ.
- Following Christ means being loyal to him.
- Those who accept Christ must never turn back.
- Christians should abandon their earthly possessions.