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1. Location (verses 12-16)
2. Message (verse 17)
3. Method (verses 18-22)
4. Miracles (verses 23-25)

In recent months, we have experienced the anticipation of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. I believe that it was about six years ago that it was first announced that the Winter Olympics would be here in the United States. Several years ago, a scandal of financial corruption broke out, but plans continued forward. Several months ago, I remember the local news covering the story of the torch passing through Illinois. All of this time the anticipation was building and building and building. Then, last Friday night, the ceremonies began. It was a time of great celebration, because the festivities had begun. Massive fireworks created a majestic display of color and power and beauty. Entertaining music and dance celebrated the moment. In some sense, we received a glimpse of coming attractions, as all of the athletes were paraded before everybody. Everybody who was competing in the Olympics was there in the stadium for all to behold. Athletes from all around the world were there to demonstrate their abilities and compete for the gold.

Our text this evening is a little bit like the opening ceremonies. For three and a half chapters, we have looked upon the preparation of Jesus Christ for His public ministry. In chapter 1, we saw Him born in the line of David in a miraculous way. In chapter 2, we saw Him, as an infant and child, protected from Herod, while fulfilling multiple prophecies concerning Himself. In chapter 3, we saw His forerunner baptize Him, and God anoint Him. In chapter 4, we saw Him tempted by Satan, Himself. We finally get to the point where we deal with the public ministry of Jesus Christ as recorded for us in Matthew 4:12-25.

In our text this evening we will see a preview of coming attractions. Just as all of the athletes were paraded before the crowd on Friday night, so also will we see Jesus' ministry parade before our eyes. We have here a brief, synopsis of Jesus' ministry throughout the rest of this gospel. As a film preview gives clips from the motion picture, so will we begin to see small examples of the ministry of Jesus. We will see Jesus teaching, healing, discipling, showing compassion, and fulfilling prophecy. Tonight we get a foretaste of the rest of Matthew. Tonight we will taste His ministry. In weeks and months and years to come, we will feast upon Jesus. You might consider my sermon this evening as an appetizer to the main course, which we will study in the future.

We will see four characteristics of Jesus' public ministry. First, let's look at Jesus' ...
1. Location (verses 12-16) (i.e. where He ministered).

"Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali" (Matthew 4:12-13).

These first two verses give us an indication about when and where Jesus was ministering. In terms of the chronology of Jesus' ministry, we have perhaps a time-gap of about a year between verses 11 and 12, when Jesus' ministry overlapped that of John. We read in the first four chapters of the gospel of John that Jesus was ministering in Judea during the same time John was. This may have lasted for up to a year.

When John was taken into custody, Jesus traveled north to the region of Galilee. He settled along the western edge of the sea of Galilee, where the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali were given their inheritance. (The tribe of Manasseh received their inheritance along the eastern shore of the sea).

At this point, a question does naturally arise. Why would Jesus go and settle in the north, away from Jerusalem? If the Messiah would come, certainly He would come to Jerusalem, the place in which God had chosen to dwell, where God had chosen to put His name forever (2 Kings 21:7; 2 Chr. 6:6). The Jews knew, and everybody knew, that Messiah wasn't going to come to Asia, Egypt, or Arabia! He was going to come to Jerusalem, the religious city -- the city of God. In the south, it was very religious. The city of Jerusalem was very sacred, and many of the religious leaders were there.

It seems as if the Messiah would minister in Jerusalem, rather than in the north, where the atmosphere was quite different. This region, where Jesus chose to minister, was quite secular. Sure there were Jews there, but there were also a fair number of Gentiles in that area as well (see the phrase, "Galilee of the Gentiles" in verse 15). The city of Capernaum, where Jesus will settle (according to verse 13) was along the Great Trade Road. People from all over the world would travel through city (on their travels from the continent of Africa to Asia) as they traded their goods. As a result of the world passing through this town, it was more of a secular town, rather than a religious town. (By contrast, Jerusalem was up in the hills, away from the influence of the world.)

Why would Jesus go and settle in the north, away from Jerusalem?

1. To seek safety. Reading the gospel of John, you begin to discover that Jesus' ministry was gaining more of a following than John's ministry. When the Pharisees found out about this, Jesus left town and headed north (see John 4:1-3). Certainly, the opposition of the Pharisees and Herod, would begin to mount against Jesus if He would have continued to remain in the south. If John was imprisoned for preaching of God's righteousness (verse 12), Jesus was in danger of the same.

For a rising prophet, who was going to resist the status quo of the religious leaders, Jerusalem wasn't exactly the safest place to be. John's fate demonstrated that fact. Jesus' death upon the cross will demonstrate that fact. Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, not in Antioch.

2. To fulfil prophecy. In verse 14, we see the ultimate reason why Jesus was in these region. Yes, on the one hand, Jesus was living in these regions because of the potential difficulties in Judea, near Jerusalem, though Jesus will face these difficulties head on when His hour comes. But, in a greater way, "this was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, ..." (Matthew 4:14).

This is the 7th time in four chapters that this familiar formula (or something close to it is used) (see 1:22; 2:5, 15, 17, 23; 3:3). The Messiah was to be born of a virgin. Jesus was. The Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. Jesus was. The Messiah was to come out of Egypt. Jesus dis. The Messiah was to come out of Egypt. Jesus did. The Messiah was to grow up in Nazareth. Jesus did. The Messiah was to minister in Galilee. Jesus did. We see here the Almighty hand of providence orchestrating natural events of history to insure that the scripture might be fulfilled.

3. To minister to those in darkness. In verses 15-16, Matthew quotes Isaiah, chapter 9 to describe this fulfillment of Jesus ministering in this area. "THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES-- THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND TO THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED."

Notice that verse 16 goes beyond merely the fact of where the Messiah would minister. It speaks of what will happen in His ministry. The Messiah would minister to people who were sitting in darkness. Turn off the light and you will get a sense of what it was like in Galilee. What happens when you try to walk around in the dark? You get nowhere. You trip and hurt yourself. But Jesus came to shine a light upon those in Galilee. As it is written, "upon them a light has dawned" (verse 16).

This was the ministry of Jesus, to be a shining light, for the world to see. He said, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). "In Him was life and the life was the light of men" ( John 1:4). It was said of John the Baptist, that "He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light" (John 1:7-8). Jesus was "the true light, ... coming into the world" (John 1:9).

But the sad thing is, that men rejected this light. John 1:4-5 records this, "In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." Though most translations translate this word, "comprehend, or understand," there is a more literal sense of this word, which you need to understand. It means, "to lay hold of, to seize, grasp." In Mark 9:18, it speaks about a demon "laying hold of, seizing, grasping" the man and throwing him into convulsions. In 1 Cor. 9:24, Paul speaks of "winning" a race (i.e. grasping the prize). A close relative to this word is found in John 1:12, where it describes people "receiving" Jesus. This is the sense of John 1:4-5. Jesus shone in the darkness, but the darkness didn't grab on to it. They neither understood Him, nor "grasped" Him.

The light shined in the darkness, but they rejected it. "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light" (John 3:19). Jesus came and shined in a dark world and the world didn't like the light. Instead, they preferred the darkness, for, "... their deeds were evil" (John 3:19), or, as James Montgomery Boice once said, "their eeds were deevil."

This sounds to us like a strange thing. Why would people love the darkness? Think about animals. The cockroach will scurry when you turn the light on. The owl does his hunting at night. The hamster prefers to go out at night and sleep during the day. People are no different. We like to revel in the darkness. We like to sin where no one sees. When the light comes upon a sinful soul, unless softened by the spirit of God, it is a painful experience.
People run, and don't like it.

You may begin to share the gospel with people and they will be glad to talk and talk with you. However, when you begin to shine the light on their own sin, they will begin to hate it. Remember in Pilgrim's Progress, there was a man named Talkative, who would easily talk about the saving grace of God in the heart of man as long and the discussion would stay in the general. But when Faithful asked Talkative if he ever experienced it himself, Talkative began to balk and eventually left the scene. He was happy to talk of the hearts of other men, but not his own.

The simple fact is that "our gospel is veiled ... to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:3-4). People of this world are walking around with blindfolds over their eyes. They can't see where they are going. They can't see what you are talking about. Sharing the gospel with people is like trying to describe artwork to a blind man. It is like taking a deaf man to a symphony. The senses simply aren't prepared to hear the truth. The eyes are blinded.

This is what happened in Capernaum and the surrounding region of Galilee. Though Jesus grew up in Nazareth, when His ministry began, He chose to dwell in Capernaum (according to the prophecy in Isaiah 9). At one point, Capernaum is called, "His own city" (Matt. 9:1). In this city, Jesus, ...

... healed the demoniac in the synagogue (Mark 1:21-28)
... healed the centurion's servant (Matt. 8:5-13).
... healed Peter's mother-in-law of a fever (Matt. 9:14-17; Mark 1:
... healed the paralytic, who was lowered through the roof (Matt. 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12).
... called and transformed Matthew (Matt. 9:9).
... healed Jairus' daughter (Matt. 9:18-19, 23-25).
... healed the hemorrhaging woman (Matt. 9:20-22).
... healed many others who were "ill with various diseases" and demon-possessed" (Mark 1:32-34).
... pulled a coin out of a fish's mouth to pay taxes (Matt. 17:24-27).
... taught there often.
... prayed there.

The light shined in Capernaum -- perhaps in greater ways than anywhere else. But Jesus also shined His light in the surrounding cities as well. Those in Capernaum could have gone and spoken to anybody in Galilee with little effort. These things were within reach and verifiable. In the region of Galilee, Jesus ...

... preached the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5-7).
... taught many parables of the kingdom (Matt. 13).
... taught on other lengthy occasions (Matt. 18:1-35).
... cleansed a leper (Matt. 8:1-4).
... calmed the sea with a rebuke (Matt. 8:23-27)
... healed several blind men (Matt. 9:27-31).
... granted speech to several dumb, demon-possessed men (Matt. 9:32-34; 12:22-23).
... healed the man with a withered hand (Matt. 12:9-14).
... fed 5000 people (Matt. 14:13-21).
... walked on the water (Matt. 14:22-33).
... fed 4000 people (Matt. 15:32-39).
... healed the lame, crippled, blind, dumb, and many others (Matt. 15:29-31).

The light shined in Galilee. In Capernaum, they loved their darkness, rather than the light. In the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, they loved their darkness, rather than the light. Jesus acknowledge the light that shined in these regions when He "began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 'Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in [the] day of judgment, than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in [the] day of judgment, than for you'" (Matt. 11:20-24).

Chorazin and Bethsaida were towns near Capernaum. To put it in the local context, you might easily compare them to Beloit and Belvidere. Tyre and Sidon were large Phoenician cities on the Mediterranean Sea, which were constantly denounced by the Old Testament prophets for the wickedness and Baal worship. Sodom was burned to the ground by God because of their wickedness. To put these cities in the local context, you might think of Las Vegas or Amsterdam -- cities where wickedness runs rampant.

Catch the reasoning of Jesus. The judgment in Capernaum will be greater than the judgment in Sodom. This is because the wickedness of Capernaum is greater than the wickedness of Sodom. In other words, rejecting the light that shines is a worse sin than open, unashamed wickedness, where no light has shone. Beloved, realize that Rock Valley Bible Church basks in the light. We open our Bible and teach God's truth every time we get together. We shine the light all the time. We are like those at the beach on a sunny day. Not only does the sun shine down on us, but the reflection off the ocean is great as well. Perhaps we ought to come to church with sunglasses on! For us to reject the light will place us in greater judgment than millions in our land who have never seen the light. D. A. Carson wrote, "The implications for Western, English-speaking Christendom today are sobering" (The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8, p. 273).

Why did they so reject Jesus? Because the sovereign hand of God so determined it! Just after Jesus pronounced this woe upon these cities, Jesus said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You hid these things from [the] wise and intelligent and revealed them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal [Him]" (Matt. 11:25-27).

The reason that we are here tonight, is because of the Sovereign pleasure of God. God has been gracious towards us in two things: (1) To shine the light in Rockford and (2) To give us eyes to see the light that shines. Never, ever, be proud of your achievement. We ought never to be proud of Rock Valley Bible Church, as if we had something to do with it. This ministry is not about us. God is the one who progresses the work here! It is He, who shines in our hearts "to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). May we never be guilty of neglecting this light that God shines. May we ever pray to Him to keep us seeing the light. May we ever trust Him to continue to reveal the light in our hearts! May He teach us, to look "not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen" (2 Cor. 4:18). May our joy be found in communing with the living God of the universe.

Let's now focus our attention on Jesus' ...
2. Message (verse 17)

Verse 17, "From that time Jesus began to preach and say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" We saw John preach this same message. Look over at Matt. 3:2. John spoke, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." I know that we have spoken much about this recently, so I'm not going to dwell much on this second characteristic of Jesus' ministry.

Let me simply affirm, however, that this is the fundamental message Jesus and the apostles proclaimed. You simply can't escape the verses like this to say anything else! If you look at the sermons of the apostles, Peter and Paul, they constantly called people to "repent." Our American, easy-believism, Christianity has often missed this truth today.

By repentance, I simply mean the confession of your sin before God and the turning from your sin to God, and believing in Christ, alone to forgive. This is repentance. Now, this takes various shapes and forms and identities. To the first disciples, Jesus said, "Follow Me" (Matt. 4:19; 9:9). To the rich young ruler, Jesus said, "go and sell your possession and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven and come follow Me" (Matt. 19:21). As we saw earlier, the cities were rebuked, because of their failure to repent at the miracles of Jesus (Matt. 11:20-24). He said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24). (this is exactly what Jesus said). This is what Jesus said before His crucifixion, and this is what the apostles spoke after His crucifixion.

Of course, you need to bring into your understanding of repentance the idea that your sins are only forgiven in the cross. You aren't made right and whole by personal reform. You aren't going to turn from your sins, never to sin again, and thus God will accept you. It is only in the cross of Christ where forgiveness takes place. The cross is where the substitutional blood of the Lord Jesus Christ was offered. But your faith in the cross comes about in your repentance and brokenness before your own sin.

This is the message of Jesus. This is the message He preached. Let us "go and do likewise."

My wife grew up in California where people were constantly outside. I remember the first time that she experienced "the great coming out" in the spring that happens on the first decidedly warm day of the spring. She was astonished. Next door neighbors we hadn't seen in months were still alive! They were walking down the street -- in shorts! Summer is coming and people are going to be mingling around outside. Don't let it pass you by without an effort to reach out to your neighbors with this message of Jesus. Plan some events now in your neighborhood. Befriend some non-Christians and share the light of Jesus with them. Now is the time to plan to reach out to them. We are in the process of planning our events right now.

Let's now turn to His ...
3. Method (verses 18-22)

Matthew 4:18-22
"And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He *said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.' (20) And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the [son] of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed Him."

We have here Jesus calling His first four disciples. Jesus called them in pairs. He first called Peter and Andrew, who were brothers. Then, He called James and John, who were also brothers. These first four men were fishermen. Peter and Andrew were called as they were casting their net into the sea. They would have stood in their boats and threw out a circular net, which measured some 15-20 feet across. They would have thrown it out like a parachute and little weights all around it would force it to fall down in the water and capture the fish that were below it. James and John were called as they were fixing their nets. Presumably, when you use you cast your nets into the water and drag a net full of fish into your boat, or back to shore, there will be rips and tears that need to be mended. In both instances, they immediately obeyed Jesus' call to follow Him -- even leaving their father in the boat (verses 20,22). This is a picture of repentance -- forsaking all and following Jesus.

This was Jesus' method for ministry: He used men. Women contributed to His ministry as well. Look at Luke 8:1-3 and you will see the financial help that Jesus received from women. Look at Mary and Martha and you will find that they served Jesus in great ways. However, the core of Jesus' method was training men to minister. In Mark 3:14,15, we find a great purpose statement with respect to Jesus and His disciples. It explains why He called them, and what His purpose was with them. "And He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons" (Mark 3:14,15). We see two purposes: (1) to be with Him and (2) to send them out.

Of this first purpose, (to be with Him), one man has said, "This was the essence of His training program -- just letting His disciples follow Him. ... All Jesus did to teach these men His way was to draw them close to Himself. He was His own school and curriculum" (Robert Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism, p. 38). He didn't have a syllabus. He didn't use classes. He taught His disciples through life. His disciples watched as Jesus taught, explained, reacted, and suffered. This was a 24/7 training opportunity.

If you trace the life of Jesus through the Scriptures, you will find that His strategy to reach the world was pretty straightforward. He sought to impact many people a little, and to impact a few people a lot. In other words, with the multitudes, He spent a little time and moved on, but with the disciples, He spent a lot of time and persevered. Even when they blunder after blunder after blunder. Why did He persevere? Because His disciples were of utter importance. In fact, when Jesus left the earth, He had but a handful of followers -- 11 disciples, a few women, and a few other followers. These followers impacted the world!

I think of a great application for our children. Try as we may, our church will never be able to impact your children for Jesus Christ as much as you parent will. They will be at church for a few hours every week. You will be with them for the other 165 hours in the week. I exhort you men to take active roles in training your children! Gather them for family worship. Teach them in whatever way you can of the things of God.

Of the second purpose (to send them out), Jesus did this as well. We will see in Matthew 10 how Jesus instructed them and sent them out to preach. Additionally, after His resurrection, they will be sent out to the uttermost parts of the world.

Our strategy at Rock Valley Bible Church is exactly the same as Jesus. It is our desire that you be "with Jesus." Now, obviously, we can't walk around with Jesus, like the disciples did. We are like those to whom Peter wrote, "you have not seen Him, ... you do not see Him now" (1 Peter 1:8). Yet, Peter says, "You love Him. ... You greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:8). How can this be? This is the same thing we talked about last week, "intimacy with Jesus."

This is our desire, that you would have an intimate walk with Jesus Christ -- that you would be "with Jesus." The avenues for this are quite simple: (1) the word of God and (2) prayer. We will seek, as a church, to do all that we can do to cultivate your relationship with God. We will encourage you in your Bible study, that you might think correctly about Him. We will encourage you in your prayer, that you might know Him.

Down through the ages, this has always been the standard: Prayer and Bible Study. David Brainerd wrote to a young ministerial candidate, "Give yourself to prayer, to reading and meditation on divine truths: strive to penetrate to the bottom of them and never be content with a superficial knowledge" (Mr. Brainerd's Remains, consisting of Letters and Other Papers, Letters to His Friends, Letter IX). Martin Luther said, "Prayer, meditation, and temptation, make a minister" (as quoted by Charles Bridges in The Christian Ministry, p. 50). Robert Murray M'Cheyne, said, "It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God" (Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne, p. 282).

It is our desire that you be "with Jesus." It is our desire that you be "sent out." Every week, we send you out into this world to speak of His grace to the world. We gather to be edified and we scatter to evangelize. I will tell you, from experience, that the best way to be bold in telling others of Jesus is to be walking rightly with Him, now. When your mind is focussed upon Jesus and you are thinking about Him, your witnessing to the world will be much easier.

You might say that our strategy at Rock Valley Bible Church is building depth, trusting that God will bring the breadth. Those who know and love the Lord deeply cannot help, but to proclaim His name. I don't care how big we get or small we stay. We are not about getting lots of people by creative recruiting. We are not calling people to minimum commitment. We aren't trying to be manipulative. Rather, we are seeking to be genuine lovers of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our goal is to build depth into each of your lives. This is the purpose of our Bible studies, our Men's Equippers, our Ladies' Bible Study, and our Sunday worship. It is all in an effort to help you develop intimacy with Jesus, that you might speak His worth to an unworthy world.

Finally, let's look at the fourth characteristic of Jesus' ministry, ....
4. Miracles (verses 23-25)

Matthew 4:23-25
And [Jesus] was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. And great multitudes followed Him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and [from] beyond the Jordan.

These verses are simply a summary of the far-reaching healing ministry of Jesus. On several occasions Matthew records statements like this just so we don't forget that Jesus' healing went beyond the healings that Matthew has recorded for us (see 9:35; 15:29-31).

This naturally brings up the question, "Why did Jesus heal?" Healing was important in the ministry of Jesus. But it was not the most important. In Mark 1, we have a story which gives us insight into what truly was most important to Jesus. He had performed many miracles in Capernaum. Early the next morning, He departed to a lonely place to pray by Himself. When Simon finally found Him, He said, "Everyone is looking for you." But Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, in order that I may preach there also; for that is what I came out for" (Mark 1:38). In other words, Jesus wasn't sent to heal. He was sent to preach. The healing ministry was only of secondary importance to Him.

Jesus' purpose was to spread the news about Himself. The miracles her performed simply attested to this fact. In many ways, the miracles of Jesus acted just like the ministry of John the Baptist -- they pointed to Jesus. This is clearly illustrated in Matthew 11. In this passage, we find John in prison sending a delegation to Jesus to inquire, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" (Matt. 11:3). John was wanting a "yes" or "no" answer. But Jesus' response gives is a great insight into the miracles which Jesus performed. He said, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: [the] BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and [the] lame walk, [the] lepers are cleansed and [the] deaf hear, and [the] dead are raised up, and [the] POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me" (Matt. 11:4-6).

Notice Jesus' reasoning. John wants to know if Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus doesn't say "yes" or "no." Rather, Jesus answers the question points out the miracles that are happening. This is a clear reference to the ministry of the Messiah! Jesus alludes to the words in Isaiah 35:5-6, which describe the miracles which will accompany the Messiah. Jesus also alludes to Isaiah 61:1, which describes the gospel that will be preached by the Messiah. Jesus healed, because it confirmed the validity of His claims.

Thus began the public ministry of Jesus Christ. Like the opening ceremonies to the Olympics, we have received a preview of coming attractions.

 

This sermon was delivered to Rock Valley Bible Church on February 10, 2002 by Steve Brandon.
For more information see www.rvbc.cc.