“My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.”—JOHN 4:34.
THE setting in which Jesus said the above words reveals much about the focus of his life. Jesus and his disciples had been traveling all morning through the hilly country of Samaria. (John 4:6, footnote) Thinking that Jesus must be hungry by now, the disciples offered him some food. (John 4:31-33) In his reply, Jesus summed up his purpose in life. To him, doing God’s work was more important than eating. In both word and deed, Jesus lived to do God’s will for him. What did this include?
▪ Preaching and teaching about God’s Kingdom The Bible explains Jesus’ lifework, saying: “He went around throughout the whole of Galilee, teaching . . . and preaching the good news of the kingdom.” (Matthew 4:23)
Jesus did not simply preach, or proclaim, God’s Kingdom to others. He also taught people—that is, he instructed, explained, and convinced by sound reasoning. The Kingdom was the theme of Jesus’ message.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus taught his listeners what God’s Kingdom is and what it will do. Note the following truths about the Kingdom, along with the Scriptural citations that give us Jesus’ words on the subject.
▪ God’s Kingdom is a heavenly government, and Jesus is the one whom Jehovah has appointed as King.—MATTHEW 4:17; JOHN 18:36.
▪ The Kingdom will sanctify God’s name and cause his will to be done on earth as in heaven.—MATTHEW 6:9, 10.
▪ Under the rule of God’s Kingdom, the entire earth will be transformed into a paradise.—LUKE 23:42, 43.
▪ God’s Kingdom will soon come and carry out God’s will for the earth.—MATTHEW 24:3, 7-12.
▪ Performing powerful works Jesus was known primarily as “Teacher.” (John 13:13) However, during his three-and-a-half-year ministry, he also performed a number of powerful works. These works served at least two purposes. First, they helped to prove that he was indeed sent by God. (Matthew 11:2-6) Second, they provided a preview of what he as King of God’s Kingdom would do on an even grander scale in the future.
Notice some of the miracles he performed.
▪ He calmed a stormy sea and quieted strong winds.—MARK 4:39-41.
▪ He healed sick people, including the blind, the deaf, and the lame.—LUKE 7:21, 22.
▪ He caused food to be multiplied, thus feeding hungry crowds.—MATTHEW 14:17-21; 15:34-38.
▪ On at least three occasions, he restored life to the dead.—LUKE 7:11-15; 8:41-55; JOHN 11:38-44.
Imagine what life on earth would be like under the rule of such a powerful King!
▪ Revealing the personality of Jehovah God When it comes to teaching others about Jehovah, no one is more qualified than God’s own Son, the one who became known as Jesus Christ. As “the firstborn of all creation,” Jesus lived alongside Jehovah in heaven longer than any other spirit creature. (Colossians 1:15) Think about the opportunities he had to absorb his Father’s thinking and learn His will, standards, and ways.
Jesus could rightly say: “Who the Son is no one knows but the Father; and who the Father is, no one knows but the Son, and he to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.” (Luke 10:22) When on earth as a man, Jesus willingly—yes, eagerly—revealed what his Father is like. Jesus spoke and taught from a unique perspective; he drew on memories acquired firsthand in the spirit realm and in the lofty presence of the Most High God.—John 8:28.
What Jesus did in revealing his Father might be illustrated by what an electric transformer does. Such a device can take in electricity of high voltage and change it into lower voltage, thus making it suitable for use by the average consumer. When on earth, Jesus took what he had learned in the heavens about his Father and transmitted it in ways that lowly humans on earth could readily grasp and easily apply.
Consider two important ways in which Jesus revealed his Father.
▪ In his teaching, Jesus made known the truth about Jehovah—His name, his purpose, and his ways.—JOHN 3:16; 17:6, 26.
▪ By his actions, Jesus revealed many beautiful facets of Jehovah’s personality. Jesus reflected his Father’s personality so perfectly that he could, in effect, say: ‘If you want to know what my Father is like, just look at me.’—JOHN 5:19; 14:9.
We marvel at the way Jesus lived. We can benefit immeasurably if we examine why he died and if we act in harmony with what we learn.