Jesus Christ began his public ministry when he was around thirty years of age. His coming was announced by John the Baptist.
The story begins with John the Baptist calling for all people to be baptized and for seeking pardon for their sins. He baptized all in the River Jordan. From him came the first message about Jesus, the Messiah. He prepared the way for Jesus’ Ministry.
Jesus came to John and requested him to baptize him. At first, John hesitated to saying, “It is I who need baptism from you and yet you come to me.” Yet Jesus insisted, and John baptized him. As soon as he emerged from the water, the heavens opened, and spirit of God descended like a dove and rested on him. There was also a voice from up above: “This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him”.
Testing in the Desert:
Jesus retired to a quiet place where he meditated and fasted for forty days and forty nights. After this, Satan came to tempt him, defying him to turn stones into food, jump from a height so as to be carried by angels and also to pay homage to the evil one so that he gets all the splendour and kingship over the world. Jesus spurned all his three offers and set an example for mankind to overcome temptations of the Devil.
As Jesus began his Ministry, he chose twelve special men as his disciples. They were to be called as the Twelve Apostles of Christ. They were mostly simple fishermen chosen to spread God’s word to all humanity. Jesus instructed them intensely on all matters.
Jesus went around the whole of Galilee, instructing in the synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God and curing all types of diseases and illness among people. His miraculous healing led to the spread of his fame throughout Syria. Large crowds started following him.
His teachings are exemplified by his Sermon on the Mount. In this, he said that the gentle, the peacemakers, the merciful and the pure in heart should inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
He instructed all to forgive the wrong done by another and “if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well.” This was a revolutionary idea, far removed from the Old Testament decree of “Eye for an Eye and Tooth for Tooth.”
He instituted the Lord’s Prayer so that everyone prays for the will of God in their lives. He also said that prayer, piety and charity must be done in secret without parading it before others.
“Set your hearts on the Kingdom of God,” he said, and all other things will be given to you. He exhorted, “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you.”
Jesus combined his teachings with the performance of many miracles; curing the blind, the deaf and the lame, exorcising evil spirits and even raising the dead to life. In the Miracle of the Loaves, he fed a crowd of over five thousand with a few loaves of bread and fish. He walked on water as seen by the Apostles. He calmed the storm in the sea when the boat carrying him and the Apostles were in danger of sinking.
Some incidents in his Ministry stand apart. Jesus went to the Temple of God and chased away all who were doing business there, making money from poor believers. He defied the authorities saying, “The scriptures say my house will be called a house of prayer, but you are turning it into a bandit’s den.”
Jesus also taught the simple people around him in parables- simple stories with great moral value. For instance, in the famous Parable of the Prodigal Son, he explained how God was like a loving father waiting to forgive a repentant son. In the Parable of the Talents, he pointed out that one had a duty to God to make full use of one’s talents.
With his teaching and miracles, Jesus proved himself as the Messiah and the Son of God. He always knew about his oncoming passion, which he accepted willingly, and he promised his apostles that after his death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, he will one day return in Glory to Judge all mankind.