2nd year of ministry

The second year of Jesus' ministry is sometimes referred to as the "Year of Popularity." He performed many miracles during this phase of his ministry and became increasingly popular.

Jesus explains he is salvation; God is his father
(see John 5:17-47)
Hawaiian rainbow - Copyright R KonigThis is one of the most important Bible passages. Here, Jesus explains that God is his father. Jesus also explains that all who believe the words of Jesus will have eternal life: . . . the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:22-24 NIV).

The workers are few
(see Matthew 9:35-38)
A group of disciples gathered around Jesus as he traveled throughout the countryside. The word disciple means "learner" and the relationship of a teacher to his disciples was considered important by Jews in ancient times. The Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes, for example, had disciples. In fact, John the Baptist had disciples. Jesus entrusted his disciples to serve people:

Photo of grapes - Copyright Anette Linnea RasmussenJesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matthew 9:35-38 NIV).

Jesus sends out the Twelve Apostles
(see Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16)
From among his disciples, Jesus gave some the ability to heal people of their diseases and illnesses. Jesus did this after going up a mountain and spending the night in prayer to God the Father. These disciples became known as the twelve Apostles. They were:

1. Peter, also known as Simon Peter.
2. Andrew, brother of Peter.
3. James, son of Zebedee.
4. John, brother of James.
5. Philip.
6. Bartholomew.
7. Thomas.
8. Matthew, the former tax collector.
9. James, son of Alphaeus.
10. Thaddaeus, Judas the son of James.
11. Simon the Zealot.
12. Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount
(see Matthew 5-7)
Jesus not only healed many people and performed miracles that showed that he is the Son of God, he also preached the greatest sermons in history. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7 is observed by many as the greatest of all. It establishes the basic themes of his teachings. After pronouncing a series of blessings (the beatitudes) Jesus spoke of the law and its fulfillment.

He asserted that his purpose was to fulfill the law and the prophets, at the same time claiming the authority to speak in a way that went beyond the law. Jesus laid out several contrasts between his own teaching and that of traditional law; each opened with the phrases "You have heard that it was said...But I say to you" (Matt. 5:21-22). His intent was to move away from a law intended to be enforced by judicial authorities toward a standard of thought and commitment that could only be applied internally to one's own heart and life. He dealt with difficult topics of anger, adultery and covetousness, retaliation, and resisting evil.

Finally, he came to the heart of his teaching, a commitment to love without boundaries. Jesus rejected the common attitude of loving one's neighbor and hating one's enemies, asking them to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matt. 5:44) There are 16 great sermons listed in the four Gospels, which includes: the final tribulation, his fathers House, the bread of life, judgment and resurrection, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Devil and his children, the Good Shepherd, against religious hypocrites, etc.

Here's a part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew 5:43-48: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The "Our Father in Heaven" prayer
(see Matthew 6:6-15)
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus talks about praying to God:

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This, then, is how you should pray:

" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:6-15 NIV).


Jesus heals the servant of a Roman officer
(see Matthew 8:5-13)
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a town in Galilee, Jesus was asked to heal the servant of a centurion (a Roman officer). Jesus said he would go to the servant and heal him. But the centurion replied that he was unworthy to have Jesus come to his home, and he said "just say the word, and my servant will be healed." By saying that, the centurion was confessing that he had complete faith in Jesus, and that he knew that Jesus could heal his servant simply by saying words from a distance. This impressed Jesus who then turned to his followers and said of the centurion's faith: ". . .I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. . ." (see Matthew 8:10). Jesus then told the people that the servant would be healed, and the servant was healed.

Jesus brings back to life a widow's son in Nain
(see Luke 7:12-16)
Jesus was about to enter the town gate of Nain when a group of people were carrying out a dead body. The dead person was the son of a widow, who was crying. When Jesus saw her, he told the woman not to cry. As explained in Luke 7:14-16 - Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, "Young man, I say to you, get up!" The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people." (NIV translation).

Jesus talks about the "unpardonable sin"
(see Matthew 12:25-37)
When a group of religious leaders saw that Jesus had the power to cast out evil spirits from people, they accused Jesus of getting his power from the devil. Jesus, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, rebuked them and explained that only good can come from good, and only evil can come from evil. He also said, as quoted in Matthew 12:30-32 - "he who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."

A Bible scholar named John Gill offered his opinion of what is meant by the 'unpardonable sin:' "because such persons willfully, maliciously, and obstinately oppose the Spirit of God, without whom there can be no application of pardon made; and remain in hardness of heart, are given up to a reprobate mind, and die in impenitence and unbelief, and so there is no forgiveness for them ..."

Jesus calms a raging storm
(see Matthew 8:24-27)
Jesus was in a boat with his disciples when a storm began to toss high waves and rock the boat. The disciples were concerned that the boat would tip over so they awoke Jesus who was sleeping. Jesus told the men to have faith. Then Jesus commanded the storm be calmed. Immediately the storm went away. This was one of the miracles where Jesus showed that he could command the forces of nature.

Jesus brings back to life Jairus' daughter
(see Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26)
A nobleman came to Jesus and said that his daughter had just died. The nobleman had strong faith that Jesus could make his daughter well again. Jesus and his disciples went to the nobleman's home and saw a gathering of mourners. Jesus told the mourners to leave the house. He also told them that the girl was not dead but asleep. The mourners laughed at him. But, after the mourners had left the home, Jesus took the girl by the hand and the girl rose up to her feet.

Jesus heals two blind men
(see Matthew 9:27-34)
Two blind men learned that Jesus was nearby and they called out to him, "Have mercy on us, Son of David." Jesus asked the blind men if they truly believed that he had the power to heal them. They told him that they did. Jesus then touched their eyes and restored their sight. Jesus told them, "According to your faith will it be done to you." When the blind men referred to Jesus as the "Son of David," they were alluding to Biblical prophecies, such as Jeremiah 23:5-6 and Isaiah 11:1-10, that said that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David, which Jesus was.

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