Jesus Establishes His Ministry
Intro to the Gospel
We begin our study with Luke, who spends the most time on Jesus' early life. We then see Jesus establish several key elements in His ministry. We see him performing miracles, calling disciples, teaching about God's kingdom, and reaching out to non-Jews.
People & Places
John the Baptist
Considered to be the first prophet in hundreds of years, John the Baptist was critical in preparing the way for the ministry of Jesus. His work is also recorded by Roman historian Josephus. He spent much of his ministry working beside the Jordan river, probably not far from the Sea of Galilee.
A Pharisee and government official that appears several times in the Gospel of John, Nicodemus discusses Jesus' teachings, speaks before the Sanhedrin council, and assists in Jesus' burial.
James & John
Jesus refers to these brothers as the “Sons of Thunder”. They would later be essential in the establishment of churches. John would later go on to write the book of Revelations.
Today, the city is primarily driven by tourism but remains small at only around twenty-five thousand inhabitants. It was an ancient city even in Jesus' day, being over a thousand years old at the time of His birth. Bethlehem is about one hundred miles from where Jesus grew up, in Nazareth.
Roman historian Pliny the Elder described Jerusalem as "the most famous city in the East, not just in Judea". At this time, the city had a population of around 50,000 people. Roman architecture had made its way to the Jerusalem in the form of both an amphitheater and a hippodrome for horse racing. What set Jerusalem apart from other roman cities was a lack of temples to roman gods or statues of emperors. The city sits at close to the same latitude as El Paso, Texas.
A fishing village on the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee, the small town was abandoned some time in the 11th century. It is now an archaeologically important site, containing the ruins of homes and synagogues from the time of Jesus.
What to Look For
Promises fulfilled in Jesus' birth
Ministry and goals of John the Baptist
Jesus displays His humanity by enduring temptation
John the Baptist endorses the ministry of Jesus before being arrested
Jesus performs His first recorded miracle
Encounter with a Samaritan woman
Healing the son of an official
Jesus publicly states His mission
Teaching, healing, and calling of disciples