Why did Jesus spend so much time in Galilee? (Mark 1:14)

Why did Jesus spend so much time in Galilee? (Mark 1:14)

Jesus’ baptism marked the beginning of his public ministry. After spending 30 years in Nazareth, he went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9). Immediately after his baptism, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and resisting Satan’s temptations.

When John the Baptist is imprisoned, Jesus heads back to Galilee and begins to preach the gospel (“good news”) of the kingdom (Mark 1:14). His message is clear and summed up as: “Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

I am intrigued by the fact that Jesus returned to Galilee to begin his preaching ministry. Why not stay in the south of Israel? Why didn’t he spend his time where most people were – in Jerusalem, the political and religious capital of Israel.

There are at least three reasons why Jesus returned to Galilee.

1. To fulfill a prophecy.
Matthew, the converted tax collector, makes good use of the many Old Testament predictions of the Messiah. He points out that when Jesus returned to Galilee, he first went to Nazareth, his hometown. But apparently he did not stay long in Nazareth: “Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake (Lake of Galilee) in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali” (Matthew 4:13)”. And why does Jesus go to Capernaum? Answer: “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet Isaiah” (Matthew 4:14). Matthew then quotes Isaiah 9:1-2, which says that one day God will honor the region of Galilee with the presence of the Messiah , an area that was frowned upon by Jews in the south because of the influx of Gentiles who lived there.

In “Galilee of the Gentiles” it will be that “those living in darkness saw a great light; upon those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, light has dawned” (Matthew 4:16). Jesus declared that he was “the light of the world” (John 8:12). And about 700 years before his arrival, Isaiah predicted that Jesus the Messiah would shine his light in Galilee.

2. To find his students.
The second reason for establishing his ministry in Galilee is that Jesus had a plan to train a small group of disciples to carry on his work after his death. He knew he was on a divine schedule – three years of public ministry followed by his death, resurrection and ascension. When you think about it, that’s really not a long time, humanly speaking. And he knew it would be critical to spend as much time as possible in those three short years with men he personally trained to continue what he had started.

And where would you find the best candidates for such a project? In Capernaum, because four fishermen worked there. Peter and Andrew, James and John – two sets of brothers who spent their days fishing together in the Sea of ​​Galilee – these ordinary workers were to become the inner circle of people whom Christ chose to be his apostles.

Jesus had already spent time with at least three of these four fishermen near the Jordan River. These men were disciples of John the Baptist and the forerunner of Jesus introduced them to Jesus. The book of the apostle John tells us about this meeting (see John 1:35-42).

So I think Jesus came to Capernaum to find these four fishermen and call them into full-time ministry, which he does in Mark 1:16-20.

3. To emphasize the universal purpose of the Gospel.
Yes, Jesus was the Messiah, the King of the Jews. But he was also King of kings and Lord of lords. He came not only to save his people Israel, but all nations. He calls men, women and children of all nations to follow him. The gospel is for everyone, Jew and Gentile alike. And spending time in “Galilee of the Gentiles” shows us the universal purpose of Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost in every language.

In the gospel accounts, we see Jesus interacting with all kinds of people—rich and poor, educated and uneducated, the righteous and the unrighteous. He came to offer salvation to all by giving his life on the cross “as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). After the resurrection, his parting words to the disciples were to continue this mission by preaching the good news “to all creation” (Mark 16:15) and by making disciples of “all nations” (Matthew 28:19). So we must continue to do what Jesus demonstrated so clearly in Galilee – as our Master, we must share the gospel with all nations, Jew and Gentile alike.

#Jesus #spend #time #Galilee #Mark

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