Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Ministry of Jesus

The last third of the fourth chapter of Luke's Gospel describes the ministry of Jesus (see Luke 4:31-44). There are five things in particular that Jesus did: teaching, exorcisms, healing, prayer and preaching. Let us look into these ministries to see what they involved then and what the Church, which is "the Body of Christ," should be doing today. Luke notes in the introduction to the Book of Acts about "all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day that he was taken up to heaven..." (Acts 1:1-2). Jesus continues his ministry today through his followers. Believers can be ministered to as well as be ministers by reaching out to to the world.

First of all, Jesus was known as a teacher of the Scriptures or Word of God. People who heard him teach were impressed by his message and authority (Luke 4:40 and Matthew 7:28-29). Unlike other rabbis, Jesus did not just "quote" authority but he spoke with authority. He could do this because he was the Son of God and very familiar with what the Spirit of God had inspired the biblical writers with initially. Jesus' teaching often stood in variance to interpretations that were incorrect because they were based upon distortions of the Word (i.e., his teaching on the Sabbath, see Matt. 12:1-12).

Secondly, Jesus frequently delivered people from the power and the bondage of Satan (Luke 4:33-36). Numerous times in the Gospels individuals had demons cast out of them. It has been observed that there is more instances of this in Jesus' ministry then found elsewhere in the Scriptures. No doubt the devil attempted to thwart the mission of Jesus and his completion of God's will. Christians should be encouraged today by the fact that "...because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). If you ever have to confront demonic forces, utilize the power of prayer and the Word of God. The same applies for addictions.

Thirdly, Jesus healed "all kinds of sickness" (Luke 4:40) by laying his hands on people. We usually turn to doctors, hospitals and medicines but in Jesus' time, most people did not have access to a physician. This is true today in much of the Third World. Jesus can heal through faith and prayer now just as he did when he was here on the earth. The next time you are sick or you know someone who is ill, remember this fact.

Fourthly, Jesus was a person of prayer. He got up early in the morning and went to a solitary place so he could pray (see Luke 4:42 and Mark 1:35). If Jesus needed to speak to his Father in heaven, then we certainly need to likewise. Start your day in this way and see the difference that it makes.

Fifthly, Jesus was a preacher of the Gospel or Good News about the Kingdom of Heaven (Luke 4:43). Like John the Baptist, Jesus challenged people to repent of sin and turn in faith to God. This is how one enters the Kingdom. We are then to live under his lordship following his commands and doing God's will.

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