The Ministry Of Jesus
By Bernie Parsons
Presented Before the Dan Ridge church of Christ, PM, September 4, 2005
Hello, friends, brothers and sisters,
Tonight, as we wrap up this weekend series of meetings, which I have called,
The Life of Christ series, I wish to take a look at the ministry of Jesus.
We first get an important perspective on His ministry, when we see that, as
a mere twelve-year-old, He was able to authoritatively discuss the Old
Luke 2:46: “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the
temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking
47: And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48: And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him,
Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought
49: And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I
must be about my Father's business?”
Jesus was born into the flesh for a reason. He came to minister. Now, we
often misunderstand the word minister, because it is so often abused. To
minister quite simply means to serve.
Mark 10:45: “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to
minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Jesus came to serve, rather than to be served. That was His mission here on
the earth. He came to minister to others. This He did with excellence. Here
is how He did it.
Matthew 4:17: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
He preached repentance, and He gave a good reason. The kingdom of heaven was
fast approaching, and the people needed to get ready. Sinners needed to
Matthew 9:9: “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named
Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me.
And he arose, and followed him.
10: And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many
publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11: And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth
your Master with publicans and sinners?
12: But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need
not a physician, but they that are sick.
13: But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not
sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to
Mercy, and not sacrifice—what beautiful words! At the same time that Jesus
called for sinners to repent, He emphasized showing mercy to one another
over giving material gifts to God. Of course, He was quoting:
Hosea 6:6: “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God
more than burnt offerings.”
Jesus went forth to turn the hearts of the people of Israel back to the God
who had made them a nation. He did this by announcing the imminent approach
of the eternal kingdom of God, prophesied by Daniel. More than this, he told
the people to repent. To establish and confirm the source of His knowledge,
and His tremendous power, He performed miracles. He walked on water. He
calmed the raging sea. He fed thousands from a few small fishes and loaves
of bread. He healed the sick. He opened the eyes of the blind. He unstopped
the ears of the deaf. He loosed the tongues of the dumb. He raised the dead.
And, most importantly, He was Himself resurrected from the dead.
Matthew 11:1: “And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding
his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their
2: Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of
3: And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for
4: Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things
which ye do hear and see:
5: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are
cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the
gospel preached to them.
6: And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.”
His service was to persuade the people to trust Him, and to return to God.
To this end, He performed miracles. But His primary ministry was to preach
the gospel of the imminent kingdom of God. He had to draw the attention of
the world to His message.
John 12:31: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this
world be cast out.
32: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
John 6:43: “Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among
44: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:
and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Jesus was raised up on the cross to draw attention of the world to Himself,
and His message. Those who were drawn to that message would be raised up to
eternal life. He became a servant, and in doing so, taught His followers to
be servants, as well.
John 13:3: “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his
hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4: He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and
5: After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the
disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6: Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou
wash my feet?
7: Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but
thou shalt know hereafter.
8: Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him,
If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9: Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and
10: Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet,
but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11: For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all
12: So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was
set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13: Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14: If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to
wash one another's feet.
15: For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to
16: Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his
lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17: If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
Jesus is our example. He came to serve us, and He wants us to serve one
Matthew 20:20: “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her
sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
21: And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that
these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the
left, in thy kingdom.
22: But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to
drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism
that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
23: And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized
with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and
on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it
is prepared of my Father.
24: And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the
25: But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of
the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise
authority upon them.
26: But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you,
let him be your minister;
27: And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,
and to give his life a ransom for many.”
How do we serve one another? We do this by elevating each other. If you are
looking out for my best interests, and I am looking out for yours, are we
not both helped?
Galatians 5:13: “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use
not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself.”
Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are
spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering
thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2: Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
If we see our brother or sister in trouble, we need to go to their aid. We
need to be there for them. If they are weak, we need to be strong for them,
and be there to help hold them up. If they sin against us, we need to be
forgiving. If they are hurting, we need to share their pain.
1 Corinthians 10:23: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not
expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
24: Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.”
This is the example that Jesus set. We are to set the other above our self,
and we are to promote our brother or sister’s welfare.
Ephesians 4:1:”I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye
walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2: With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one
another in love;
3: Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
We are to live in peace, and work together for peace and unity in the body
This is the ministry of Jesus Christ. He came to serve, and gave Himself to
ransom us. He bought us back with His blood, and reconciled us to our
heavenly Father. In doing so, He taught us to love one another, and to
express this love in the lives that we live. Where more so is this
expression of love to be seen than in the very body of Christ—His called-out
1 John 4:7: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every
one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8: He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9: In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent
his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent
his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
1 John 3:16: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his
life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17: But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and
shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God
18: My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in
deed and in truth.”
This is the plea of Jesus—that His followers love one another. This is His
legacy, and this is the proof that the Spirit of God lives within us.
John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as
I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one
Jesus has served us all. He died for me, and He died for you.
Philippians 2:1: “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any
comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2: Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of
one accord, of one mind.
3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind
let each esteem other better than themselves.
4: Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of
There is no doubt that Jesus taught that we are to help one another, to ease
one another’s burdens, and to lift one another up. If I lift you up, and you
lift me up, we are both uplifted! That is the way of God! This is true,
whether in things pertaining to the word of God, or in things pertaining to
our needs in this life.
If you are here tonight, not walking in Christ, and not heeding His message,
you are none of His. If you are not a Christian, why not believe that Christ
is Lord, and turn your heart to God? Let God direct your footsteps, in the
footsteps of Jesus! Will you confess that He is Lord? Let His blood cover
your sins. Be washed in the cleansing blood of the Lamb.
If you have erred from paths of righteousness, why don’t you return to the
Why don’t you come tonight? This may be your last opportunity.