What Did Jesus Do? 1


This is the first of a series of studies in the gospels focused on the actions of Christ, specifically how He interacted with the people He encountered.

For each passage we'll note who Jesus encountered, whether he initiated the contact, what type of interaction he had with them, whether He took direct action to meet human needs (see Matthew 25:35-36 for examples), whether His "do-ing" was miraculous, and any commands He gave.

Matthew 1-4

In chapter 1 we learn of Jesus' ancestry and his birth; He doesn't do anything. Chapter 2 describes the threat to the infant's life by a jealous king, His exile in Egypt in the care of His parents, and their later return to settle in Nazareth; He still doesn't do anything. The first 12 verses of chapter 3 describe the ministry of John the Baptist, and still there is no mention of Jesus doing anything.

Passage Persons Initiate?Type Direct?Miraculous?Commands
Matthew 3:13-17John the BaptistY teaching N N do it now
Matthew 4:1-11 tempter N rebuke N N go away
Matthew 4:18-20Simon, Andrew Y call N N follow me
Matthew 4:21-22James, John Y call N N [follow me]
Matthew 4:23-25crowds Y teaching, preaching, healingY Y  

Some additional things to think about: did Jesus use the same approach with each person or group? Did He use some sort of supernatural insight to determine what each person or group needed and how best to approach them?

In this last passage Jesus traveled from his home in Capernaum (Matthew 4:13) throughout Gaililee; this would be similar to one of us traveling from Aberdeen up to Humptulips, over to Ocean Shores, down to Raymond, and over to Elma, visiting all the various communities along the way.
Map of Israel in New Testament Times
Map courtesy of Bible History Online.

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