The ‘public’ ministry of Jesus

Describe the main events in Jesus’ public ministry. Divide His ministry into three time segmentations.

The public ministry of Jesus can be divided in three groups of time, and ended between A.D. 30 and A.D. 33 (note that the ending date for the ministry of Jesus and His death are in dispute among scholars). These three groups of time are (1) the year of obscurity, (2) the year of popularity, and (3) the year of rejection. Although His ministry would last only a little more than three years, it’s effect on humanity would be everlasting!

The year of obscurity, proceeded by the beginning John the Baptist’s ministry, began with the baptism of Jesus (just as our Christian journey should begin with baptism. Hey, if its good enough for the omnipotent Creator of the universe, God in the flesh, it’s good enough for me!!). This period also saw the temptations of Jesus, and the making of His first disciples. Jesus also began preaching, teaching, and performing miracles during this period. Most of the ministry of Jesus was in Galilee during this period; however, He occasionally ministered in Jerusalem and other minor places

Large crowds set apart the second period of Jesus’ ministry, which is the year of popularity. Jesus continued to preach and teach the crowds, which grew larger and larger during this period. During this period, Jesus made public the choice of the Twelve Disciples after a night of prayer.

The last year, called the year of rejection, may not be accurately named. Although this year saw the rejection of the Son of Man by most of the Greco-Roman world, Jesus still had large crowds that followed Him everywhere he went. It was only when he was able to gain some privacy that He was able to devote Himself to the teaching of His disciples. A monumental event in this period is the proclamation by Peter, on behalf of the rest of the disciples, that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. During this period other events occurred, such as Jesus’ prediction of His suffering, death, and resurrection, Jesus’ transfiguration, the resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus, the week of the Passion itself, and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. This period is also noted by the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus over forty days, the real ‘40 Days of Purpose.’ This period concludes with the His ascension into heaven, which occurred a little more than a week before the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Christ on the Day of Pentecost.

The ministry of Jesus was an eventful one. Three and one-half years of ministry would and did change humanity forever. Through this ministry, the Living Sacrifice of Jesus was made public to all mankind. The conclusion of this ministry, in its physical sense, climaxed with the sacrificial death for the sins of mankind, and the resurrection of Jesus for our eternal life!

“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth”. Acts 8:32


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