Few successful people accomplished great things through ordinary methods. Jesus did not fit peoples’ idea of a "Jewish Messiah". Most Jews expected the Messiah to overthrow the government and set up a kingdom that would dominate all facets of religion, commerce and culture. When Jesus did not meet the expectations of the religious leaders, they rejected Him as a fraud. Nathanael, hearing of Jesus said, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Jesus had to struggle to forge His own pathway against a wave of criticisms, misunderstanding and hostility.
1. Jesus showed great courage in the face of titanic opposition from the religious leaders. Authority figures continuing questioned Christ’s authenticity. Even the Lord’s own parents misunderstood him when he went to the temple to discuss issues with learned men. Jesus had to say to his angry parents, "Do you not know that I have to be about My Father’s business."
2. Jesus continued to walk in a way that pleased the Father in all respects because He took instructions from God moment by moment. Our Lord was not willing to just go along with the religious trends to get along.
3. When Jesus saw something contrary to the will of God, He called the authorities to account. "One day Jesus entered the temple and observed that men selling cattle and exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He said, ‘Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!’" Jesus knew when to stand up and speak out for what was right even if it might cost Him dearly with powerful people.
4. Jesus turned the water into wine to show God can do miracles with marriage. Reluctantly, Jesus responded to His Mother’s request for more wine at a wedding celebration. He performed a miracle, with the help of the servants, by instantly transforming well water into more than 100 liters of delicious wine. When our Lord performed this first miracle at Cana of Galilee so that disciples and other witnesses would know that great works of God are not limited to conventional places, people or occasions.
5. Jesus called fishermen and working class men to be His disciples to demonstrate God’s power to transform anyone who is willing to find success in God’s will. Normally, people would have expect someone like Jesus to set up a theological school under the auspices of the temple. Christ’s methods were largely misunderstood because He trained the apostles in the streets and lanes of normal life.
6. Jesus used uncommon illustrations to explain how to go to heaven. When Nicodemus came to Jesus, the chief Pharisee misunderstood the meaning of being "born again". The elderly Pharisee said, "How can a man be born when he is old?" Jesus had to explain the new birth was done through the Holy Spirit entering into the heart of every new believer. New ideas often require new ways of thinking.
7. Jesus witnessed to a Samaritan woman by referring her to His teaching as living water. Our Lord often taught realities through the use of fresh analogies. To carve out a new path you often need fresh concepts
8. Jesus brought healing to people with unconventional methods. Jesus healed an invalid who had suffered for 38 years by asking Him, "Do you want to get well?" The invalid replied, "Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." Jesus said, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked." (John 5:6-9) Never doubt God’s ability to find a new cure for an old infirmity.
9. Jesus walked on the water to demonstrate that God’s power is not limited by the physical limitations of our world. Do not be limited by traditions, shortages of provisions, or physical constraints. Jesus said, "If you say to this mountain, be moved, it will be removed."
10. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to insure that every individual would be led of God in unique ways. No one person can insist that God’s will must be done as it has been done before. Jesus demonstrated that the Holy Spirit’s leading is beyond human understanding or predicting.
11. Jesus gave us the scripture so that each person can be responsible for discerning the will of God through their own study of its teaching suitable for their own gifts, callings and abilities.
12. Jesus knew how to give each person a special feeling of significance through God’s particular plan for every individual, church and family. Nobody can claim that they have found all of the directions for everyone. Jesus wants us to seek Him and commit our way to Him and then He will direct our paths.