Part seven. Jesus starts his teaching.
After Jesus had spent time, being tempted in the wilderness he began his teaching. This is described in three of the four gospels; all record the same thing but place emphases on different things. But still keeping to the same basic facts.
Mathew chapter 4 verse 12 to 17
Preaching in Galilee
Now when Jesus heard that John had been imprisoned, he went into Galilee. While in Galilee, he moved from Nazareth to make his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled:
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way by the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and on those who sit in the region and shadow of death a light has dawned.”
From that time Jesus began to preach this message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
[Mathew whilst keeping to the facts, places the emphasis on Jesus fulfilling the scriptures]
Luke chapter 4 verse 14 to 24
The Beginning of Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee
Then Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the surrounding countryside. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by all.
Rejection at Nazareth
Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.” All were speaking well of him, and were amazed at the gracious words coming out of his mouth. They said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Jesus said to them, “No doubt you will quote to me the proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ and say, “We have heard that you did in Capernaum, do here in your hometown too.’” And he added, “I tell you the truth, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.
[Luke is more concerned with pointing out the facts that Jesus was allowed to read in the Synagogue. In doing so Jesus was openly stating in his hometown—where people had seen him grow up—that he, with God’s help was beginning his teachings.
To set free those who are oppressed?--Who were oppressed and oppressed by who? As I try to understand more about the teachings of Jesus I find he is forever having a dig at people in authority who place oppressive burdens on people. Be they religious rituals by religious leaders, or unjust laws by political leaders.]
Mark chapter 1 verse 14 to 39
Preaching in Galilee and the Call of the Disciples
Now after John was imprisoned, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God. He said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” As he went along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen). Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.” They left their nets immediately and followed him. Going on a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in their boat mending nets. Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
Then they went to Capernaum. When the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. His teaching amazed the people there, because he taught them like one who had authority, not like the experts in the law. Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him: “Silence! Come out of him!” After throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. They were all amazed so that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands the unclean spirits and they obey him.” So the news about him spread quickly throughout all the region around Galilee.
Healings at Simon’s House
Now as soon as they left the synagogue, they entered Simon and Andrew’s house, with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was lying down, sick with a fever, so they spoke to Jesus at once about her. He came and raised her up by gently taking her hand. Then the fever left her and she began to serve them. When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered by the door. So he healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
Praying and Preaching
Then Jesus got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer. Simon and his companions searched for him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He replied, “Let us go elsewhere, into the surrounding villages, so that I can preach there too. For that is what I came out here to do.” So he went into all of Galilee preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
[“Now after John was imprisoned, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God” Now Mark is saying that Jesus is proclaiming the Gospel of God? But the Gospels were written after Jesus’s death, plus they are a collection of things that Jesus had said or did. So this cannot be fact.
As Jesus was a Jew, what he was spelling out in his teaching to Jews, and others was what was written in the Torah—Or as Christians call the Old Testament—that the teaching in the Torah is not just about the history of the Jews, or dietary laws, or the correct way to pray and offer sacrifices etc.]
There are lots in the Torah about compassion, helping others and simply getting along with one another.
Micah chapter 6 is just one example of what God wants, in the reading of the full chapter. God sums up what the religious authorities say that God wants. But in verse 8 Micah sums up all that God requires.
The Lord Demands Justice, not Ritual
8 He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God.
And again in Isaiah chapter 1 is another example of what God wants, and again they differ from what religious leaders say. Verses 11 to 17 covers in more detail what Micah says.
Obedience, not Sacrifice
11 “Of what importance to me are your many sacrifices?” says the Lord. “I am stuffed with burnt sacrifices of rams and the fat from steers. The blood of bulls, lambs, and goats I do not want.
When you enter my presence, do you actually think I want this—animals trampling on my courtyards?
Do not bring any more meaningless offerings; I consider your incense detestable! You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations, but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations!
I hate your new moon festivals and assemblies; they are a burden that I am tired of carrying.
When you spread out your hands in prayer, I look the other way; when you offer your many prayers, I do not listen, because your hands are covered with blood.
Wash! Cleanse yourselves! Remove your sinful deeds from my sight. Stop sinning!
Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!
Or as Jesus sums it up, “The greatest commandment is this, Love your God with all your heart, mind and body. Also treat your fellow man as you would have him treat you.”
Less then 30 words sums up a good way of getting along with other people? You could say that all the rituals in religion are to please man and not God; then again that is only my view.