When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.
The public ministry of Jesus can be divided into three periods.
The Year of Inauguration. This designates the time when Jesus started His ministry. He was baptized by John the Baptist, tempted by Satan in the desert, and then headed north to Galilee. There, Jesus performed His first miracle by turning the water into wine at a wedding feast.
The Year of Popularity. Jesus’ fame spread throughout the country of Israel. Crowds of people came to hear Him teach and see Him heal the sick. Many believed Jesus was the Messiah and expected Him to establish an earthly kingdom. At one point they tried to make Him king by force.
The Year of Opposition. The Jewish leaders opposed Jesus from the beginning of His ministry. He was a threat to their power and control. They challenged His claims and teachings. They were intent on putting Jesus to death.
As we continue our journey through the gospels we will be in the year of opposition. In our remaining time, we will see the love and compassion of Jesus as He prepares for His ultimate purpose. He came not to be served but to serve and give His life a ransom for you and me. As we enter into this time of Jesus’ life, let’s thank Him for His great sacrifice.
Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to earth for the mission of the cross. Thank You for voluntarily sacrificing Yourself so that I could live. Help me respond to Your great love each day by following hard after You. In Your name I pray. Amen.
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