Christ’s Ministry: Wisdom & Courage Personified

The four Gospels record the life of Jesus Christ into three main sections:

(i) His birth and early childhood (12 years); for 18 years no record;
(ii) His public ministry, i.e., His teachings, healing, miracles, and other recorded activities; and
(iii) events of His death and resurrection*

*(final one week recorded in greater detail when He entered Jerusalem as Israel's Messiah-King, cleansed the temple, debated with the Jews and taught His disciples on many subjects. Then He allowed his enemies to arrest him, treat him cruelly, condemn him falsely, and finally crucify him. Three days later He rose from the dead. His final appearance concluded with His ascension to heaven, with the reassurance to His disciples that one day He would come again.

A striking feature of Jesus' ministry is the wisdom and courage He showed in answering tricky questions, and training His disciples. His example is highly relevant to us in our role as Christians.


When asked difficult questions, Jesus wisely simplified them, e.g., the Pharisees questioned Him as "Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?" Jesus' reply was "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give God what is God's (Luke 20:26). Jesus could also discern what the critics had in mind (Luke 5:22). We may not have our Lord's special Holy Spirit, but we do have the assurance that God will give the Holy Spirit to those who seek (Luke 11:13). We also have the assurance that "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should pray to God who will give it to him, because God gives generously to all" (James 1: 6-7).

Jesus was wise in training His disciples. He taught them through the natural flow of daily events, and made effective use of questions. He allocated responsibility to the disciples, sending out 12 on their own (Mark 3:14-15). On another occasion He sent 72 of His disciples out in in pairs, to serve and then return for debriefing (Luke 10:1).

Jesus did nor hesitate to correct them when they were wrong (Mark 10: 13-16). When the pressure was great He was also sensitive to their physical and mental needs, and said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:31). He also taught His disciples individually, particularly Peter whom He chose for leadership (Luke 22: 31-32, John 21: 15-22). Above all, He prayed fore them (John 17:9). What a wise teacher He was? We should also be honest with our students, giving them ample opportunities for gaining knowledge and practical experience, individually and in a group.


Another feature of Jesus' life was His courage to face hostility, criticism, physical torture, and death threats. He showed great calmness when he confronted the Gadarene demoniacs (Mark 5:1-13); the crowds at Nazareth who tried to throw him off the cliff (Luke 4: 29-30); and the soldiers who came to arrest him in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:3-4); He condemned hypocrisy squarely with calmness and composure (Mathew 23: 13). He also physically disrupted business in the temple by overthrowing the tables of the money changers (John 2:14-16, Luke 19: 45-48).

As human beings we are far from perfect in our bearing and dealings in life, nevertheless we should always be ready to admit our mistakes and imperfections. Thus, constantly keep trying to attain the goal.

"Everyday will I praise you and bless your name for ever and ever" – David S. Short (1918-2005)


More by :  Dr. Frank S. K. Barar

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