“Powerful in . . . Word”
8. Following his anointing, what was Jesus empowered to do, and how did he use his power?
8 Evidently, Jesus performed no miracles when he was a boy growing up in Nazareth. But that changed after he was baptized in 29 C.E., at about 30 years of age. (Luke 3:21-23) The Bible tells us: “God anointed him with holy spirit and power, and he went through the land doing good and healing all those oppressed by the Devil.” (Acts 10:38) “Doing good”—does that not indicate that Jesus used his power aright? After his anointing, he “became a prophet powerful in work and word.”—Luke 24:19.
9-11. (a) Where did Jesus do much of his teaching, and what challenge did he face? (b) Why were the crowds astounded at Jesus’ way of teaching?
9 How was Jesus powerful in word? He often taught in the open air—on lakeshores and hillsides as well as on the streets and in marketplaces. (Mark 6:53-56; Luke 5:1-3; 13:26) His listeners could simply walk away if his words did not hold their interest. In the era before printed books, appreciative listeners had to carry his words in their mind and heart. So Jesus’ teaching needed to be thoroughly arresting, plainly understood, and easily remembered. But this challenge posed no problem for Jesus. Consider, for example, his Sermon on the Mount.
10 One morning early in 31 C.E., a crowd gathered on a hillside near the Sea of Galilee. Some had come from Judea and Jerusalem, 60 to 70 miles (100 to 110 km) away. Others had come from the seacoast area of Tyre and Sidon, to the north. Many sick people drew close to Jesus to touch him, and he healed them all. When there was not even one seriously ill person left among them, he began to teach. (Luke 6:17-19) When he finished speaking some time later, they were amazed by what they had heard. Why?
11 Years later, one who had heard that sermon wrote: “The crowds were astounded at his way of teaching; for he was teaching them as a person having authority.” (Matthew 7:28, 29) Jesus spoke with a power they could feel. He spoke for God and backed up his teaching with the authority of God’s Word. (John 7:16) Jesus’ statements were clear, his exhortations persuasive, and his arguments irrefutable. His words got to the heart of issues as well as to the hearts of his listeners. He taught them how to find happiness, how to pray, how to seek God’s Kingdom, and how to build for a secure future. (Matthew 5:3–7:27) His words awakened the hearts of those hungering for truth and righteousness. Such ones were willing to “disown” themselves and abandon everything in order to follow him. (Matthew 16:24; Luke 5:10, 11) What a testimony to the power of Jesus’ words!
“Powerful in Work”
12, 13. In what sense was Jesus “powerful in work,” and what diversity was there in his miracles?
12 Jesus was also “powerful in work.” (Luke 24:19) The Gospels report over 30 specific miracles performed by him—all in “Jehovah’s power.”* (Luke 5:17) Jesus’ miracles touched the lives of thousands. Just two miracles—the feeding of 5,000 men and later 4,000 men “besides women and young children”—involved crowds probably totaling some 20,000 people!—Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-38.
“They beheld Jesus walking upon the sea”
13 There was great diversity in Jesus’ miracles. He had authority over demons, expelling them with ease. (Luke 9:37-43) He had power over physical elements, turning water into wine. (John 2:1-11) To the amazement of his disciples, he walked on the windswept Sea of Galilee. (John 6:18, 19) He had mastery over disease, curing organic defects, chronic illness, and life-threatening sickness. (Mark 3:1-5; John 4:46-54) He performed such healings in various ways. Some were healed from a distance, whereas others felt Jesus’ personal touch. (Matthew 8:2, 3, 5-13) Some were healed instantly, others gradually.—Mark 8:22-25; Luke 8:43, 44.
14. Under what circumstances did Jesus demonstrate that he had the power to undo death?
14 Outstandingly, Jesus had the power to undo death. On three recorded occasions, he raised the dead, giving a 12-year-old daughter back to her parents, an only child to his widowed mother, and a beloved brother to his sisters. (Luke 7:11-15; 8:49-56; John 11:38-44) No circumstance proved too formidable. He raised the 12-year-old girl from her deathbed shortly after she died. He resurrected the widow’s son from the funeral bier, no doubt on the day of his death. And he raised Lazarus from the burial tomb after he had been dead for four days.