Summary: A study of the beginning of Jesus' ministry in Galilee in Luke 4:14-15 will show us the characteristics of his ministry.

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Jesus began his public ministry when he was about thirty years of age (Luke 3:23). John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River (3:21-22). Then the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where he fasted for forty days. Throughout this time the devil tempted Jesus to doubt God and his word. Jesus, however, withstood the temptations of the devil by believing God and trusting his word (4:1-13).

Luke then told us about Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. However, most Bible scholars believe that between Luke 4:13 (which is the conclusion of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness) and Luke 4:14 (which is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee) “there may well have been an interval of about a year, during which the events related in John 1:19-4:42 occurred.”

So, according to John 1:19-4:42, immediately following his temptation in the wilderness, Jesus embarked on a very active ministry for about a year mostly in the region of Judea.

During this time John declared that Jesus was “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana (2:1-11).

Jesus attended the annual Passover celebration in Jerusalem, and he cleared the temple of those who had turned the temple courtyard into a market instead of a place of prayer (2:14-17). Many people were in Jerusalem for the Passover and they believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing (2:23).

Jesus met with Nicodemus, who wanted to know who Jesus really was. It was to Nicodemus that Jesus said his most famous statement, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (3:16).

Jesus met with a Samaritan woman at the well, and through her testimony her entire town came to believe that Jesus was “indeed the Savior of the world” (4:42).

By now, almost a year had passed since the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. After staying in the Samaritan town for “two days [Jesus] departed for Galilee” (4:43). “So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the [Passover] feast. For they too had gone to the feast” (4:45).

The people of Galilee had heard Jesus’ teaching and seen his miracles when they went to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. They were excited about Jesus’ presence in their region, and they were ready for more!

It is at this point that Luke tells us about Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.

Let’s read about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee that is recorded in Luke 4:14-15:

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. (Luke 4:14-15)


John Calvin was born in 1509 in Picardy, part of France. Calvin was brilliant. Initially he intended to be a priest, but his father induced him to study law. Calvin studied at different universities, including Paris, sharpening his already logical mind and avidly reading the Greek and Latin classics.

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