Jesus’ Life and Ministry
Why Jesus Came to Earth
AS WE learned in the preceding issue of this magazine, Jesus’ day in Capernaum with his four disciples had been a busy one. First, he healed the demonized man in the synagogue, then at Peter’s house he healed Peter’s mother-in-law, and then on into the evening the people of Capernaum were bringing him all their sick ones to be cured. There was no time for privacy.
Now it is early the following morning. While it is still dark, Jesus gets up and goes outside by himself. He travels to a lonely place where he can pray to his Father in private. But Jesus’ privacy is short-lived because when Peter and others realize that he is missing, they go out searching for him.
When they find Jesus, Peter says: “All are looking for you.” The people of Capernaum want Jesus to stay with them. They appreciate what he has done for them! But did Jesus come to earth primarily to perform miraculous healings? What does he say?
According to one Bible account, Jesus answers his disciples: “Let us go somewhere else, into the village towns nearby, that I may preach there also, for it is for this purpose I have gone out.” Even though the people urge Jesus to stay, he tells them: “Also to other cities I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.”
Yes, Jesus came to earth particularly to preach about God’s Kingdom that will vindicate his Father’s name and permanently solve all human ills. However, to give evidence that he is sent by God, Jesus performs miraculous healings. In the same way Moses, centuries before, performed miracles to establish his credentials as God’s servant.
Now, when Jesus leaves Capernaum to preach in other cities, his four disciples go with him. These four are Peter and his brother Andrew, and John and his brother James. You will recall that, just the week before, they had been invited to be Jesus’ first traveling co-workers.
Jesus’ preaching tour of Galilee with his four disciples is a wonderful success! In fact, the report about his activities spreads even into all Syria. Great crowds from Galilee, Judea, and across the Jordan River follow Jesus and his disciples. Mark 1:35-39; Luke 4:42, 43; Matthew 4:23-25; Exodus 4:1-9, 30, 31.
◆ What happens the morning after Jesus’ busy day in Capernaum?
◆ Why was Jesus sent to earth, and what purpose did his miracles serve?
◆ Who went with Jesus on his preaching tour of Galilee, and what was the response to Jesus’ activities?