Let’s start with the good news about Jesus Christ, who the prophet Isaiah wrote extensively about. “I will send someone to introduce you who will set the events in motion. He will make his announcement from a desert pulpit. “Repair the road for your Lord, straighten your streets for him”
And it was John who came baptizing in the desert and campaigned for a baptism intended for the forgiveness of sins.
All the people in the Judean suburbs and the city of Jerusalem went to see him. They confessed their sins and were baptized in the Jordan River.
and his strict diet consisted of grasshoppers and honey.
And his message was also different for he announced: “After me will come someone even more distinctive than I. Someone whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and polish.
For I can only splash water over you. But the coming one, he will fill you with the Holy Spirit.”
Around that time Jesus came from Nazareth to Galilee. And he too was baptized by John in the Jordan River. As Jesus stepped out of the river he looked up and witnessed heaven split open and the Spirit gentle as a dove landed on him. A voice rang out of the opened skies and exclaimed. “You are my son, and I love you, I am so proud of you.”
Suddenly this Spirit pushed Jesus deep into the desert. And Jesus did his time there for forty days, being tempted by Satan and living among the wild animals. But the angels kept him safe.
After John was incarcerated Jesus took over and went into Galilee preaching the good news about God. “Now is the time,” he explained. “God’s kingdom is almost here. Turn away from evil and believe this good news that sets you free.”
One morning as Jesus strolled the beach of Galilee lake, he watched Simon and his brother Andrew (whose job was catching fish), casting their lines into the lake.
As they walked along Jesus noticed James and John, also brothers and sons of Zebedee, in their fishing boat getting their nets ready. Right then he called them over and they quit the business, left their Dad with the other employees, and followed Jesus.They all hiked to Capernaum and on the Sabbath they went to church where Jesus was scheduled to preach. The people were amazed at his gracious speech and teaching, for he taught with authority like he knew what he was talking about – in stark contrast with those who only taught the law.Suddenly from the back row a man possessed by an evil spirit interrupted him shouting,
“What authority do you have over us, Jesus from Nazareth? Have you come here to throw us out? I know you; you are the Holy One from God.”“Shut up and come out of him you evil one!” Jesus yelled back.The demon grabbed the man from the inside and shook him violently and with a maniacal shriek, let him go.
All the people were flabbergasted; they asked each other and themselves, what is this? “A new religion with the backing of authority. Wow, he tells evil where to go and it obeys him!”
This news worthy event about Jesus spread quickly through the province of Galilee.
After the service they all went with James and John to Simon and Andrew’s house for lunch. Simon’s mother in law was confined to her bed, sick with a high fever. They told Jesus about her condition, and he went to her room and held her hand and then he helped her get up. The fever went down and left her and she got up and helped out in the kitchen.
That evening at the end of the Sabbath the villagers brought to Jesus all the sick and demon possessed. It seemed like the whole town was standing on the front porch. And Jesus healed many of them from numerous diseases. He also called out many demons but he would not let them talk for they knew he was the Holy One of God.
Early Monday morning before dawn, Jesus got up, left the house and went for a walk to a secluded place. There he spent quiet time in prayer.
When Simon and his buddies woke up they went out to look for him. When they found him they exclaimed, “Hey we’re all looking for you.”
Jesus nodded, “Yes I know, but let’s go somewhere else. How about the next village, so I can also preach there? That is main reason why I am here.”
So he hiked around Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and kicking out demons.
There they came across a man disfigured by leprosy. He came to Jesus, dropped to his knees and begged him, “I believe that if you are willing, you can also make me clean.”
Jesus overcome with compassion reached out and put his hand on the man’s shoulder. “Of course I am willing,” he assured him. “Be clean then,” he commanded.
That instant he was cleansed and the leprosy also left him.
Jesus immediately sent him off with this stern warning. “Don’t tell anyone about this healing. But go straight to the Priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses prescribed for your type of cleansing as evidence to them that you are healed.”
Instead, the man went all around town blabbing about how Jesus had healed him. This hurt Jesus’ expanding ministry so that he could not walk about freely in town, but had to stay on the outskirts in solitary places.
Regardless, the people were still drawn to him from all over the place.