Jesus Begins His Ministry


Jesus Begins His Ministry

After He was baptized, Jesus left the Jordan River and went to the wilderness of Judea. There He would be alone and prepare to begin His mission.

In the wilderness Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights. It was a time when He could feel close to His Heavenly Father. By the end of the 40 days Jesus was very hungry, and Satan came to tempt Him.

Satan taunted Jesus. He said that if Jesus really was the Son of God, He should turn stones into bread so He could eat. Jesus did not listen to Satan. Instead, He answered Satan with the words of a scripture: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Next, the Spirit took Jesus to the top of the temple in Jerusalem. Satan came again to tempt Jesus. Satan dared Jesus to prove He was the Son of God by jumping from the top of the temple and calling for angels to catch Him.

“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,” Jesus told Satan.

Satan tempted Jesus a third time. From the top of a high mountain Jesus saw all the lands and peoples of the earth. Satan said that Jesus could have power over the whole world if He would worship Satan.

“Get thee behind me, Satan,” Jesus answered again with scripture. “For it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Jesus had overcome all of Satan’s temptations.

Now it was time for Jesus to begin His mission to teach the gospel. Jesus walked to the land of Galilee and went to Nazareth, the town where He grew up. He went to the synagogue and read scriptures out loud that foretold that He would be the Savior. Many people were angry. They did not think that someone they knew as a boy could be the Messiah.

Jesus went to other cities. When He spoke, people were astonished at the power of His words. He healed many sick people, and they knew they had been healed by the Son of God. Jesus Christ’s great work of spreading the gospel had begun.

Fasting

Fasting is choosing to go without food and water for a time to develop spiritual strength. Moses fasted for 40 days on Mount Sinai when he received the Ten Commandments from the Lord (see Exodus 34:27–28).

Queen Esther fasted for strength and courage to talk to the king about the safety of her people (see Esther 4:16).

Synagogue

A place where Jewish people meet each week to worship God.

Queen Esther by Minerva Teichert © William and Betty Stokes; right illustration by Dan Burr