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Expanding His Ministry in Galilee

Expanding His Ministry in Galilee

MATTHEW 4:23-25 MARK 1:35-39 LUKE 4:42, 43



Jesus’ day in Capernaum with his four disciples has been a busy one. In the evening, the people of Capernaum bring him their sick ones to be cured. Jesus has had little time for privacy.

Now, early the following morning while it is still dark, Jesus gets up and goes outside by himself. He finds a lonely place where he can pray to his Father in private. But Jesus’ privacy is short-lived. When they realize that he is missing, “Simon and those with him” hunt for Jesus. Peter may be taking the lead because Jesus had been at his home.​—Mark 1:36; Luke 4:38.

When they find Jesus, Peter says: “Everyone is looking for you.” (Mark 1:37) Understandably, the people of Capernaum want Jesus to stay. They truly appreciate what he has done, so they try “to keep him from going away from them.” (Luke 4:42) However, did Jesus come to earth primarily to perform such miraculous healings? And is he to limit his activities just to this locality? What does he say about this?

Jesus answers his disciples: “Let us go somewhere else, into the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also, for this is why I have come.” In fact, Jesus even tells the people who want him to stay: “I must also declare the good news of the Kingdom of God to other cities, because for this I was sent.”​—Mark 1:38; Luke 4:43.

Yes, a major reason why Jesus has come to earth is to preach about God’s Kingdom. That Kingdom will sanctify his Father’s name and permanently solve all human ills. Jesus gives evidence that he is sent by God by performing miraculous healings. In a similar way, centuries earlier, Moses performed outstanding works to establish his credentials as one sent by God.​—Exodus 4:1-9, 30, 31.

So Jesus leaves Capernaum to preach in other cities, and his four disciples go with him. These four are Peter and his brother Andrew as well as John and his brother James. The week before, they had been invited to be Jesus’ first traveling coworkers.

Jesus’ preaching tour of Galilee with these four disciples is a wonderful success! In fact, word about Jesus reaches far and wide. “The report about him spread throughout all Syria,” into the region of the ten cities called the Decapolis, and over to the other side of the Jordan River. (Matthew 4:24, 25) Great crowds from those areas, as well as from Judea, follow Jesus and his disciples. Many bring to him those seeking a cure. Jesus does not disappoint them​—he cures the sick and expels wicked spirits from those who are demon-possessed.