Several years ago, a nationally known radio and television speaker said about Jesus, “We want to know who he is. We will not find our answer by philosophical discussion. We must follow him through the streets and plains of Palestine, see what he does, and listen to his words.”
Of course, Jesus’ disciples — both men and women — were able to do exactly that. As he led them from one place to another, they gradually learned more and more about him.
There were some things which even his closest disciples, the apostles, failed to understand about him until the Holy Spirit revealed them after Jesus returned to heaven. (You can read the promise of that teaching in chapters 14-16 of the gospel according to the apostle John.) But the things they saw, heard and learned about him captivated most of them to the extent that they remained faithful to him for the rest of their lives.
Of course, Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was an exception. Even though there were times when they temporarily succumbed to fear and intimidation — such as their flight from the garden when Jesus was arrested, and Simon Peter’s denial of him in the courtyard of the Jewish high priest — they were “faithful, even to the point of death,” and have received the fulfillment of their Master’s promise of the “crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
One of the most elementary statements about Jesus found in Holy Scripture is that he “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). Those good deeds took many forms —miracles, encouragement, lifting people from the physical and spiritual misery caused by Satan.
The miracles of Jesus were not sidelights to his ministry. Indeed, it was by them that the words and deeds of his ministry were confirmed to be from his Father in heaven, and he was seen to be the Son of God. According to the apostle Paul, his resurrection was the crowning proof of his deity (See Romans 1:4).
Contrary to what some seem to believe, these things weren’t Jesus’ way of just making people feel better. No, he was seeking to demonstrate the very nature of God, and the power of God to meet the needs of men in a spiritual and eternal sense.
This is one of the most significant things we can learn about Jesus — that he cared about people. He was “moved with compassion” when he saw the crowds following him, because they were like “sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34).
But his concern went far beyond the physical — he knew that we are eternal beings. His goal was and is to lead us to the eternal God so we may live with him in an eternal home. Everything Jesus said and did was based on that premise.
I’m hoping and praying that you’ll want to know more about this man named Jesus, and will learn how to follow him by searching the Scriptures, the only completely reliable and infallible source of information we have about him.
May God help all of us in our search, not just for information, but for him.