The Final Phases of Jesus Public Ministry
Grand Canyon University
September 18, 2009
The Final Phases of Jesus Ministry
Jesus, the Messiah had just been baptized by John the Baptist. Then the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended from Heaven, and God the Father’s voice beamed from Heaven telling the crowd that this was His Son; God was overjoyed with Jesus because of His obedience to the Father (NIV, 1973).This public recognition of the Father in Heaven for His Beloved Son Jesus- demonstrated that Jesus was and is confirmed, as the Holy Messiah. John also spoke of the kingdom and told the people that they must repent in order to be received into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus went on to perform miracles, while John continued to spread the Word of God through his baptism ministry. There are many illustrations Jesus used, during His Ministry here on earth, to convey the meaning of the Kingdom of God. Metaphors are something that discovers a similarity between two subjects that are entirely different. For instance, the challenge will be to find similarities within kingdom living by comparing it to an apple. Also, the butterfly will be used to discover similarities that relate this insect to the kingdom of God. When we think of an apple, we automatically get this picture in our mind of something kind of peachy red, or yellowish green that is edible. Right away my stomach grumbles, thinking of how this mouth watering fruit will taste. Will it be sweet and dripping with good flavor, or will it be bitter and unflattering to the taste buds? The crowds that followed Jesus during His three year Ministry asked Jesus questions like: Where is this Kingdom, and who is the greatest in the Kingdom, and what do we do in order to get there? Once we understand some of these basic principles, then we can stretch our thoughts to encompass two metaphors that will strengthen the context of these ideas. The subjects chosen to represent the metaphors are an apple and a butterfly. These two items will be compared within the content of Jesus teachings, or parables and will focus on the Kingdom of God. The parable Jesus spoke that is most interesting to me is found in Luke 17:20. The Pharisees were asking Jesus questions about when the Kingdom of God will come. The metaphor using an apple to compare this part of the Kingdom of God is as follows: When you bite into an apple looking at the outside seeing the delectable rosy red fruit-one may think it will taste delicious as they plunge their teeth into the first bite. But, the minute the flavor drips onto their tongue-the bitterness fills your mouth and you can hardly take subsequent bites. Finally, you finish this piece of fruit that was so sour: You wonder how it became like this. This is exactly how the Pharisees were towards pinpointing the specifics of the law to try and determine whether, or not Jesus was living up their standards. The attitude of the Pharisees was as bitter as that first bite of the apple-it looked so pretty on the outside, but was completely sour and bitter on the inside. Jesus replied, "The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ’Here it is," or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (NIV, 1973) The reason this is interesting is because it just seems fitting that kingdom living is in our hearts and growing there. It is kind of hard to describe a feeling, but when I focus my thoughts in prayer on God and who the Bible tells me He is and then reach out to Him: It is difficult to put into words those feelings of serenity and unconditional love that only- He can reciprocate in this manner. And It is even so much more than that-It is like everything good is peering down at you and there are no words, but you know what the words are. This is how I know, that I know, that I know-this parable is...