When Jesus started His ministry at the age of 30, what was His message? What was it that He preached to people as He walked from town to town? His message was simple and bold, and His message still applies to all people on earth today.
The above picture is of Capernaum, which is on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee in current day Israel. This is where Jesus lived after John the Baptist was put in prison, and this is where He started His ministry. It was here that He called the first disciples, preached the sermon of The Beatitudes, taught in the synagogues, healed many people, and drove out many demons. I would really love to go to Israel someday and visit all of the Holy Land historical sites! This is a top one on the list!
“When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali–to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles–the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
The “lake” is the Sea of Galilee. It is referred to as the lake throughout the New Testament. That “great light” the prophet Isaiah is talking about is Jesus Christ. That prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus traveled from Nazareth to Capernaum. Jesus is The Light of the world!
In the very next verse upon reaching Capernaum, we learn what Jesus preached as He traveled about Galilee:
“From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
That’s it folks! It was a simple message then, and it is a simple message now. Repent, which means turn around 180 degrees and go the other direction. Stop going your own way and repent of your sin and go God’s Way. Why? Because “the kingdom of heaven is near,” that’s why! That is good news!
“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.”
That was how Jesus started His ministry and three years later He defeated sin and death at the cross. He preached a simple message of repentance and forgiveness. Repentance of sins=forgiveness and reconciliation with God in the Kingdom of Heaven! That forgiveness comes through receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
As Jesus said:
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
If Jesus had been born in our time and He had started His ministry in your town, He would have preached the same message and healed and blessed people the same way as He did in Galilee. His power and love are still with us today through the Holy Spirit, which you receive upon accepting Jesus! Read my posts titled “Who is the Holy Spirit?” and “The Day Jesus Promised The Holy Spirit” to learn more about that.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”
His message has not changed even in our time! Forgiveness and salvation in Jesus is for every single person on this earth, and that promise is for you too!
Grace and peace to you all!