The Fourth Gospel emphasizes that the destiny of Jesus of Nazareth was bound up with the figure of John the Baptist (cf. John 1:15, 26–28, 29–34). By John he found his first disciples (John 1:35–39). For a time his work paralleled that of the Baptist, perhaps in somewhat of a strained relation to some of John’s followers (cf. John 3:22–30). According to the witness of John, he was the Lamb of God whom the Father chose, as once before in the story of Abraham and his son (cf. Gen. 22:8; John 3:16).
The Synoptic Gospels have not narrated the activity of Jesus in the Jordan valley, because for them his ministry in Galilee and Jerusalem was decisive. The work of Jesus in the Jordan valley was evidently unaccompanied by any miracle, even as John also accomplished his work without miracles (cf. John 10:41). According to all the Gospels, the ministry of Jesus was confirmed by miracles first in Galilee. It is important to hold to this point on which the Gospels concur.
Perhaps Jesus’ zeal for the purity of the Temple (cf. John 2:12–22) is a Hasidic and Zealotic trait. For sure, his unique, insistent and sharp attack upon the priestly society in Jerusalem does not reflect the secluded protest of Qumran. Jesus acted to confront the whole people with a decision. His change of water into wine (cf. John 2:1–11) revealed the Messiah who was reviving the powers of ancient time, even as once Elisha cleansed the water in Jericho (cf. 2 Kings 2:19–22). To adduce Hellenistic and heathen parallels, as speculative research is wont to do, does not fit the action of Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth evinces no Hellenistic traits. He rose from a movement which was antithetical to Hellenism. His miracles in feeding the multitude, changing the water, and raising ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more