Summary: This message reveals some of the reasons Jesus’ fame spread.
Text: “And immediately His fame spread throughout the region around Galilee” (Mark 1:28).
What does it mean to gain fame or become famous?
To gain fame or to be famous means attaining a state of great reputation, recognition and to be widely known.
How many of you fit that definition or in other words, how many of you are famous or have gained fame?
Our President has gained recognition and is widely known, so he must be famous. Bill Cosby is famous because he has gained recognition and is widely known. Hollywood has brought many people to the screen and these people have attained fame. Nashville has unleashed a multitude of country singers, many of whom have become successful and widely known.
When we think about fame, we also think about money which brings big estates, fancy cars, airplanes and many other worldly possessions. People who are famous have all that the world has to offer. By the same token, some people who have all the world has to offer are often unsatisfied and empty in their heart.
Why did Jesus’ fame spread throughout the country around Galilee? I believe there are a number of reasons He gained popularity and recognition during His ministry.
Let’s look at some of those reasons we should follow if we are to be His disciples.
Jesus was very active in His ministry.
Jesus went to the people.
Jesus went to where people were working.
Jesus went to where people were worshiping
Jesus went to people who were in need.
1. How was Jesus active in His ministry?
Jesus’ ministry began after His baptism and after the temptations brought about by Satan. Scripture records three temptations that are well-known to us, but in reality, Satan attacked Jesus many times during His ministry just as he attacks us on a daily basis.
Hebrews 2:18 says, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.”
Temptation was very painful and hurting to Jesus because He had no sin, but was tempted for our benefit. His example of overcoming temptation is the guide we should follow.
Every temptation we will ever have, Jesus already had. In this way, Jesus is able to empathize and sympathize with us. Scripture says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus active ministry was powered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. His ministry was set in motion when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Jesus continued to preach the message started by John which was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).
John’s message attracted the attention of many people and many people came to him for water baptism. Once Jesus appeared and was identified by John as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” people began to migrate to Him. In fact, two of John’s disciples were the first to follow Jesus.
Soon after Jesus called His disciples, the group began to move throughout Galilee preaching and teaching the Gospel message. Jesus and the disciples wasted no time taking care of the needs of the people. As the needs of the local people were met, word spread which increased His following.
This is what happens today in our churches. Churches that are preaching the Word and meeting the needs of the local people are the churches that are growing. Where there is positive activity there is positive growth. Where there is fellowship without regard to race, color, creed, clothes, hair, looks, occupation, wealth, etc. but instead, is centered on the presence of the Lord Jesus, there is growth.
Jesus’ ministry was very active because He was not concerned about worldly things, but He was concerned about the souls of people and the saving of those souls. People migrated to Him because He was interested in their issues and their conditions. Jesus wanted to spread the Message in an active way and that active way was to meet the needs of the people
2. Jesus gained fame because He went to the people.
He did not set up a tent with a sign out front that said, “Jesus is inside waiting for you.” Jesus walked along the shore of Galilee to meet people. He went to Capernaum because it was the largest fishing city around the Sea of Galilee which meant there were many people living there.
Luke tells us that “Jesus went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God” (Luke 8:1). Jesus knew there were people everywhere who needed to hear the Word, so He traveled about like a circuit preacher.
There are ministries today that actually go to people. We have people who walk the streets and preach the Word to those who take time to hear. We have people who take the Word into the prisons. There are people who share the Word in hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities where people are confined. We have military chaplains who take the Word to those who are serving their country.