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The New Testament - A Brief Overview
|Brief History of the Early Works of Jesus|
Scriptures and Topics Covered:
Behold the Lamb of God
The First Disciples
Jesus Wanted to Go To Galilee
The Wedding in Cana
Behold the Lamb of God
John the Baptist was still preparing people at the Jordan River for the coming of the Messiah, yet he had already baptized Jesus and now Jesus walking by ready to begin His mission. John turns to two of his disciples and says something very remarkable, "Behold the Lamb of God." He said this because he knew that Jesus would lay down His life as the Passover Lamb and die for the sins of the world. He told this to his disciples because they must follow Jesus now, John's work has come to an end. He was baptizing people to prepare them for the coming of the Messiah, and now He was baptized and is walking in their midst. The two disciples leave John to follow Jesus.
The First Disciples - Andrew and John
The Jesus turned around and saw them following him, and he immediately asked them, "what do you seek?" and they answered, "Rabbi, where are you staying?", and Jesus responded, "come and see." they continued to journey with him throughout that day. The Bible mentions the name of one of the two disciples, his name is Andrew, but the others name is not mentioned. Most scholars agree that the other disciple was John, the author of the Gospel of John. There are certain times throughout his writings that he refers to himself as "the other disciple" or "the disciple whom Jesus loved", etc.
"One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother." John 1:40
Andrew found his brother Simon, and said to him, "we have found the Messiah" and Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon and said, "You are Simon, son of Jonah, you shall be called Cephas, Aramaic for "stone" (Peter in the Greek).
Jesus Wanted to Go To Galilee
This is a very powerful portion of Scripture, especially after studying the messianic prophecies in the Old Testament. Jesus desired to go to Galilee in the North, instead of Jerusalem, the holy city, where the Temple was and all the most holy Jews. Going back into ancient history when David was the first king of Israel, he had a son named Solomon who built the First Temple in Jerusalem. When Solomon died his sons fought for the throne. There was a civil war in the land of Israel and 10 tribes followed Jeroboam in the North calling themselves Israel. The remaining two tribes stayed in the South with Rehoboam and they called themselves Judah. Every King in the northern kingdom of Israel was evil and worshiped idols. The Lord's patience finally came to an end in 722 BC, and he empowered the Assyrians to come and conquer them. When the Assyrians arrived they spared no one, and savagely plundered every city in the territory, especially the areas of Zebulun and Naphtali, which was the region of Galilee. At this time the prophet Isaiah spoke an amazing prophecy about the Messiah coming to Galilee:
"The people (of the land of Zebulun and Naphtali) that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." Isaiah 9:2
The next day they came to Galilee and Jesus found a man named Philip and said to him, "follow Me" and Philip followed Him. Philip was from Bethsaida, which was the home of Andrew and Peter.
Then Philip found Nathaniel and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph," and Nathaniel said to him "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." When Jesus saw Nathaniel approaching He said, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these." And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
Map of Galilee in the Time of Jesus
This map shows the cities of Galilee. Notice Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum, and Bethsaida.
It's amazing how many people in the land of Israel John the Baptist must have influenced. Wherever he was baptizing there were probably swarms of followers being influenced by his words about the Messiah, and that He was here in Israel. Andrew, John, Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel were no doubt greatly influenced by John and now they became followers of Jesus. Little did they know that the their lives would never be the same and the same goes for the the whole world. A group of fishermen from the Sea of Galilee area were His first disciples and they would be the ones to carry the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
The Wedding in Cana
Two days later the disciples and Jesus heard that Mary, the mother of Jesus was attending a wedding in Cana and they were also invited so they came. It must have been a fun journey for the disciples and Jesus through the hills of Galilee since there was no main road from the sea of Galilee across to Cana. When they arrived Mary came to Jesus and said that they were out of wine, and Jesus spoke softly to her in certain words that would make her aware that God would be in charge of His life from now on. Jesus then ordered the servants to fill six stone waterpots used for ritual cleansing with water. He suddenly turned the water into wine and told them to bring them to the ruler of the feast. The ruler tasted the wine and then called the bridegroom and said:
"Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: [but] thou hast kept the good wine until now" - John 2:10
The first miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine for a wedding feast. This is very interesting because in ancient Israel wine was a symbol of joy and celebration. Wine was used often in ceremonies as a type of the kingdom of God which would someday bring joy to the whole earth. Drunkenness was a sin but wine was a blessing, and Jesus chose this as his first miracle.
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him." - John 2:11
Photo of the Hills of Galilee
This photo shows the beautiful hills near the Sea of Galilee.
After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days." - John 2:12
Jesus journeyed with a group of people including His disciples and His mother, and they arrived at the Sea of Galilee at Capernaum. Jesus stayed there for a short period of time because the Feast of the Passover was about to begin in Jerusalem and Jesus intended to be there.
Map showing Jesus going from Capernaum to Jerusalem for the Passover.
The route Jesus might have took going from Capernaum to Jerusalem for the Passover.