Harmony of the Gospels, Leaves for Galilee

 Harmony of the Gospels

-AD 27-
(10) Leaves for Galilee
Matthew 4:12, Mark 1:14, Luke 4:14, John 4:1-4

Now Jesus goes to Galilee.  This is the area where He grew up, because Nazareth is there.  Also, Capernaum is by the Sea of Galilee, and He has made that city His home base.


And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  (Matthew 4:18)

Peter and Andrew would become two of His disciples, and later on they would be apostles.  They were hardworking fishermen.  They were poor and uneducated.  I doubt that they ever dreamed that someday they would preach before audiences of thousands, or that they would write letters that millions of people would hold in high esteem.  When I see the men that the Lord called to be His disciples, I am encouraged to think that we don’t have to be super-duper saints, to be used by God.  He may even be able to use a person like me, or a person like you.


Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.  (Mark 1:14)

After John the Baptist was imprisoned, Jesus came into Galilee.  He begins His ministry now, preaching the Gospel of God, saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  The Gospel of God is that the Kingdom of God is at hand.  In some places the Gospel writer speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven, and in other places he speaks of the Kingdom of God.  There is a distinction between the two.  The Kingdom of Heaven is God’s rule over the earth, but the Kingdom of God includes the entire universe, even that which is beyond the bounds of this earth.  The Kingdom of God includes the entire universe and all of God’s creations.  As far as the earth is concerned, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God are synonymous.


And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all of the region round about.  (Luke 4:14)

After Satan tested the Lord Jesus, He was strengthened, and He went about His ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Temptation will do one of two things to an individual; it will either strengthen him or it will weaken him.  Suffering and testing will sweeten you or sour you; soften you or harden you.  Our Lord identified Himself with mankind.  Scripture confirms that, “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  (Hebrews 2:17)  The Lord Jesus Christ became a man, so after His ordeal, He needed the strengthening of the Holy Spirit.  And if our Lord needed the Holy Spirit, after His testing, how much more do we need Him!


When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.  (John 4:1-3)

Notice, that it says that Jesus only baptized his disciples.  His ministry was different from that of John, who preached repentance for sins and baptized those who repented.  Jesus preached the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of God, and He performed miracles to punctuate His message.  He left the baptisms to the disciples.

When John was imprisoned, Jesus left Judea and went into Galilee.  Why did He leave Judea?  Things were moving too fast there.  He had a heavenly plan and a heavenly schedule, set by the Father.  He made it very clear that He came to do the Father’s will.  He said of His life, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:18)  They can’t touch Him until His time had come.

And he must needs go through Samaria. (John 4:4)

Why must He go through Samaria?  In order to meet a certain woman.  In John 4:34 He says, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”  He must go through Samaria, because it was the Father’s will for Him to do so.  His destination was apparently Cana of Galilee, where a certain nobleman’s son was sick.  There were at least two other routes that He could have taken, that would take Him around Samaria, but He went through Samaria.  Jews hated Samaritans and would do anything to avoid them, but He went through Samaria, because He was doing God’s will.



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