PREDICTION AND PREPARATION
WITH what words had John the Baptist announced Christ's ministry?
"He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." Matthew 3:11.
How old was Jesus when He began His ministry?
"And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age." Luke 3:23.
By what act and what miraculous manifestations was His ministry opened?
"And it' came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Naza- reth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straight- way coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him: and there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Mark 1:9-11.
Before entering upon His ministry, through what experience did Jesus pass?
"And immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto Him." Verses 12, 13. (See also Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13.)
With what was Jesus anointed for His work?
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him." Acts 10:38.
ANNOUNCEMENT AT NAZARETH
Where did Jesus begin His ministry?
"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.
And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all." Luke 4:14, 15.
How did He announce His mission while at Nazareth?
"And 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 for the read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He bath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliver- ance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. . . . And He began to say unto them, This day is this scrip- ture fulfilled in your ears." Verses 16-21.
How were the people impressed with His preaching?
"And all bare Him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth." Verse 22.
Why were the people at Capernaum astonished at His teaching?
"And [He] came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. And they were astonished at His doctrine: for His word was with power." Verses 31, 32.
Wherein did His teaching differ from that of the scribes?
"And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." Matthew 7:28, 29. How did the common people receive Christ? "And the common people heard Him gladly." Mark 12:37.
In His ministry, what work was closely associated with His preaching?
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." Matthew 4:23.
NOTE.—In His ministry, Christ combined plain, practical teaching with practical, helpful relief work.
How extensive was His fame, and how many were attracted to Him?
"And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them. And there followed Him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." Verses 24, 25.
What expression used frequently in narrating His ministry shows Christ's deep sympathy with mankind?
"But when He saw the multitude, He was moved with compas- sion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He' healed their sick." Matthew 9:36; 14:14.
THE BURDEN OF JESUS
In what few words did Christ sum up the object of His ministry?
"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10. How did Christ feel over the impenitence of Jerusalem? "And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it." Verse 41.
A REFORMER AT HEADQUARTERS
In no other place did Christ appear so much a reformer as in Jerusa- lem, the headquarters of the Jewish religion, which religion, though having come from Christ Himself, had degenerated into mere formalism and a round of ceremony. Both the beginning and the close of His ministry here were marked by a cleansing of the temple. (John 2:13-18 and Matthew 21:12-16.)
O BLESSED Christ! my Strength, my King,
He is my comfort and my stay;
In Him I hope, of Him I sing,
While toiling o'er life's rugged way.
Chiefest among ten thousand He,
For Christ, my King, is all to me.
-MRS. L. D. AVERY-STUTTLE.
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