Section 3: The Second Year of Jesus’ Public Ministry

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, (1979), 48–83

Timeline chp. 6


  1. 7.

    The Calling of the Twelve

  2. 8.

    Be Ye Therefore Perfect

  3. 9.

    Whomsoever Shall Do the Will of My Father

  4. 10.

    He Spake Many Things unto Them in Parables

  5. 11.

    He That Receiveth Whomsoever I Send Receiveth Me

A Brief Summary of the First Year of the Savior’s Ministry

The first year of the Savior’s public ministry was opened by the dramatic event of the cleansing of the temple. Significant interviews with Nicodemus and the woman of Samaria followed, in which Jesus declared his identity and important doctrines for entrance into his kingdom. This period is referred to by scholars as his early Judean ministry.

This was followed by what is usually called his Galilean ministry, which included his visit to Nazareth, which is in the northern province of Galilee. Rejected there after the declaration of his messiahship to his townsmen, Jesus turned toward the cities that surrounded the Sea of Galilee. Peter, James, John, and Andrew were called to follow him. This period marked the beginning of Jesus’ miracles and his preaching to the Jews.

An Overview of the Second Year

The second year opened as Jesus came down from Galilee to attend the feast of the Passover at Jerusalem. While there he healed a man on the Sabbath day. So reactionary were the Jewish leaders to a healing on the Sabbath that they sought to kill Jesus (John 5:16). You will read in this section how Jesus answered charges concerning the violation of the Sabbath and how he established his credentials before them.

The plot against Jesus caused him to withdraw again to Galilee, where he called and ordained twelve men, whom he designated as apostles. This ended the first of three phases of his Galilean ministry.

Highlights of the Second Phase of the Galilean Ministry

Some of the highlights of the second phase of the Galilean ministry are as follows:

  1. 1.

    Jesus’ instructions to his disciples and to the Twelve (the Sermon on the Mount).

  2. 2.

    Further miracles in which the Twelve learned about the power of the priesthood. Among these miracles are two in which the dead were called to life again.

  3. 3.

    Mounting opposition against Jesus, causing him to use another teaching method—parables. These were sometimes designed to conceal his message from the unbelievers. You will receive some help in interpreting these parables and applying them to our time and circumstances.

  4. 4.

    Jesus’ second rejection at his hometown, Nazareth!

  5. 5.

    The sending forth of the Twelve with a special commission, and their return and report.

Some Notable Places and Events during This Phase of the Galilean Ministry

Some of the places and events mentioned by the Gospel writers in this section are these:

Bethsaida, where Jesus retired with his apostles following their return from their missions (Luke 9:10, 11).

Capernaum, where, among others, the following miracles occurred: the centurion’s servant healed; Jairus’s daughter raised from the dead; a woman with an issue of blood healed.

Gadara (Gergesa), where Jesus healed a man afflicted with evil spirits, which then entered into a herd of swine (Mark 5:1–21).

Nain, where Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11–17).

Nazareth, where Jesus was rejected a second time (Mark 6:1–6).

The introductory map illustrates these cities and their relationship to one another.

With this overview, turn now to the events of this portion of our Lord’s ministry.