Jesus came into the world to save people from their sins, and through Him they would have eternal life. To do this, He had to die on the cross and resurrect from the dead to fulfill God’s purpose for the salvation for mankind. While He was on earth, He prepared His people for eternal life, healed the sick, delivered the demon possessed and taught about the Kingdom of God.
Jesus came to earth to serve us and not to receive service. This is what ministry is all about – service. We serve others with the gifts God has given us so we may achieve the purpose for which He created each of us. Your purpose on earth involves ministering to the needs of others.
What 10 lessons do we learn from the ministry of Jesus?
Jesus was faithful to God’s work for Him on earth – save the lost, and He did what He needed to do – die on the cross. He knew this was the only way to fulfil the will of God for man’s salvation. He prepared His disciples for this moment and prayed for Himself because He knew death on the cross was the reality He faced.
Be faithful to the call of God on your life even though it may be costly. He has already prepared you to pay the price to serve others according to His purpose for you. Remembering why you are ministering to others will help you remain faithful to the end. We glorify God when we complete the assignments He has for us on earth as we minister to those He has left in our care.
I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Jesus understood there is an order to doing things. There was a right time for every assignment in His ministry and everything fell into place. His ministry had to start with John the Baptist baptizing Him even though John objected at first (Matthew 3:13-15). Jesus let His mother know His time had not yet come when she told Him wine had run out at a wedding they attended (John 2:4). He turned the water into wine, anyway. He also knew that after His resurrection, He had to go to heaven first before God could send the Holy Spirit to be our Helper.
Your ministry has a certain order. You will have different platforms from which you will minister to others. Some platforms will be seasonal. As you mature, your capacity to handle more responsibility in ministry will increase. There will be a time of preparation before you begin your ministry. God will reveal the order to you so the opinions of men will not sway you.
But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to be a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe him. Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.”
#3 Clarity of purpose
Jesus knew why He was on earth; His purpose was clear – salvation of mankind. After John baptized Him, and He overcame the devil’s temptations in the desert, He went preaching and telling everyone to repent for the kingdom of God was near. He preached in the synagogues and healed the sick. He knew He would die and on the third day resurrect (Matthew 17:22-23). He had to face the cross, and He knew this from the beginning.
Likewise, we need to be clear on how God is calling us to minister to others. Before you were born, God had already set you apart for a certain purpose on earth and He will reveal it to you so you can minister to others. Being clear on your purpose gives you the confidence you need as you take your message out into the world.
Jesus answered, “my teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth: there is nothing false about him.”
Jesus gave power and authority to His disciples to do what He did as He ministered to others. He not only called them to follow Him but showed them how to do what He did when on earth. He empowered His disciples and followers through His teachings. He sent the Holy Spirit to His disciples after He went to heaven so He (Holy Spirit) would lead them (and us) into all truth that all may know God’s will.
Empower others in your ministry to avoid dependence on you for everything. Empower those you teach so they can grow after they leave your ministry. Equip others to stand on their own.
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
#5 Leading by example
Jesus showed us what He expects us to do and how we should live life. He taught us to follow His example. That is why we are to be Christ-like. He washed His disciples’ feet and expected them to do the same for others. As you minister to others, show them the way by walking in it first. You show them how to do things by first having done them yourself. This is how you walk them down the path you have walked through so they may live a victorious life.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
#6 Rest for the weary
Those Jesus calls us to minister to are weary and need rest. Through Him, we can extend this rest to those He has called us to serve. They have burdens that cause them to weary. We are to provide them with rest as Jesus reveals to us how to do so. God’s purpose for our lives is to minister to a certain group of people and they have needs God has equipped us to meet. As you fulfil your life purpose, you will reconcile these people to God by sharing Jesus with them.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
#7 Facing opposition
As you do what God has called you to do, you will face opposition. Jesus faced opposition from His siblings, hometown, Pharisees and fellow Jews. Jesus strategically dealt with this opposition. He did not do miracles in the places where they rejected Him; sometimes He had to escape for they wanted to kill Him because of His teachings. He instructed His disciples on what to do when rejected in a certain place. He prayed for His disciples that when He leaves the earth that God would protect them from harm.
Jesus has empowered us through the Holy Spirit to know how to deal with opposition today. The Spirit of Truth leads us into all truth and we will know what to say or do when faced with opposition. That is why He is our Helper.
“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.”
Jesus had compassion on those to whom He came to minister. For example, when He taught the five thousand, He directed His disciples to feed them when they wanted Him to dismiss the people to buy food. Jesus also healed them because of the compassion He had for them. He did not send them away like His disciples wanted. We need to get in touch with the heart of the Father that is full of compassion, which we can extend to those who are partakers of our ministry.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
Jesus prayed for Himself, His disciples and all believers (John 17). Jesus prayed for what He would face – the cross. He prayed for God to protect His disciples in the world because He would leave them. He prayed for unity of believers that the world may believe God sent Him. He asked His disciples to pray for themselves not fall into temptation.
It is important to set apart time to pray for ourselves, our ministry and those God has called us to serve. We need to pray for God to meet the needs of those we minister to according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. We are to pray that God will heal, deliver and bless them. We must also encourage them to pray for themselves.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
What will happen to your ministry when you have to leave? Does it continue to impact generations? Jesus’ ministry lives on today because He had successors – His disciples and those who would believe in Him. Those who succeeded Him were those He trained while on earth. You and I are part of His lineage through salvation. Your ministry can continue through your family or your ministry team who believe in what God has called you to do. It also lives on through the lives of those you touch and generations after them.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”