He Was Famous

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25)

He Was Famous

The beginning of the ministry of Jesus was remarkable. His preaching was filled with authority, grace, love, sternness, and wisdom. Multitudes in the thousands flocked to Him on the mountain, by the sea, and in many homes. The people had not heard the preaching the man from Nazareth brought to their synagogues. His style was appealing. The Jewish leaders were astonished a man of low upbringing was so wise. Great multitudes followed Jesus from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. Everyone wanted to hear what the man from Nazareth said.

Not only did Jesus teach the gospel of the kingdom in the synagogues, but He also healed all kinds of sickness and disease among the people. Blind men received their sight. Women with life-threatening infirmities found immediate relief. Young children crippled by disease were made whole again. Lepers were released from the bondage of a crippling illness. There was nothing Jesus of Nazareth could not heal as the multitudes crowded around Him for healing. Dead were raised. All who came to Jesus found relief through His healing hand. During the ministry of Jesus, men and women suffered the cruel hand of demon possession. Jesus cast out the demons. Epileptics found relief in the hand of Jesus. Paralytics received strength in their bodies to be whole again. Jesus healed them. The fame of the Healer spread throughout the land, with thousands coming to Him.

It could be said there was no one as famous as Jesus of Nazareth. The power of God was evident in the ministry of Jesus, and the people looked to Him with eyes of fame. Everyone knew the name of Jesus. He was a teacher and a healer. Thousands walked away from Jesus, fully healed of any disease returning home to the surprise of family and friends. The fame of Jesus reached the ears of the Jewish leaders and the Roman governors. Jesus of Nazareth was an anomaly that was worthy of investigation. The early days of Jesus were filled with fame that propelled Him to the front page of every city and town. There was confusion about how a man from Nazareth could be such a learned man exhibiting such great power, but there was never a doubt about the miracles, and no one could refute His teaching. For a brief time, Jesus was famous. And then they killed Him.

Fame is as fleeting as water spilled on the ground. Jesus did not seek fame, and it was not His mission to be received by the people as a person of historical importance as men seek fame. His purpose was not to take away disease and sickness. It was not the will of the Father that Jesus was raised up as a deliverer from the bondage of the Romans. There would be no awards or commendations for the man from Nazareth. No one would raise a statue in His name in the city square of Nazareth. The teacher from Galilee who enjoyed a brief time of fame was killed as a criminal at the insistence of His own people. A handful of disciples mourned his death. Few people paid attention when Jesus of Nazareth died on a hill outside Jerusalem. Two wealthy men buried the criminal in a tomb. The world took no notice of the once famous man who was now nothing but a passing notation of a failed life. And then Sunday came.

The fame of Jesus was in response to the fickle notions of human frivolity that lifted a man up for a moment and then destroyed Him. Jesus came to die. It was not His intent to be famous but to be found. Disease, sickness, and wars have continued for two thousand years, but the teachings of Jesus remain as the testimony to His purpose in coming to earth. He came to bring the gospel of salvation to heal the souls of men. There is no fame in being a servant. Accolades will not come from a cruel world objecting to the gospel. Men who seek fame in this life will not be found in eternal life. Those who seek mercy in the gospel of Christ find peace. Jesus was famous, but that is not what He wanted. The Lord desires a heart that is open to the Word and a spirit that is willing to obey. What will it profit a man if he gains all the glory of the world and loses his soul?

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