Four Drastic Changes in Christ's Ministry

At this point the ministry of Jesus changed dramatically in four major areas. These four changes can only be understood in light of the official rejection of Christ as the Messiah in response to the second messianic miracle. The first change concerned the purpose of His miracles. Before His rejection, their purpose was to authenticate His messiahship, but after His rejection they were only for the training of His twelve talmidim. So the emphasis changed from the nation to the apostles.

The second change concerned the people for whom He performed the miracles. Before His rejection Jesus performed miracles for the benefit of the masses and did not ask for a demonstration of faith, but after, He only performed miracles on the basis of individual need and a demonstration of faith. So the emphasis changed from the multitudes without faith, to individuals with faith.

The third change concerned the message that He and the Twelve gave. Before His rejection Christ and His apostles traveled all over Isra’el proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah. When Jesus would perform miracles He would say, “Go and tell what God has done for you.” But after His rejection He instituted a policy of silence. Then He would say, “Do not tell anyone.” The Great Commission in Mattityahu 28:16-20 would rescind that policy of silence. But before that, the emphasis changed from “Tell all,” to “Tell none.”

The fourth change concerned His method of teaching. Before His rejection Christ taught the masses in language they could understand, but after,He would only teach in parables. The very day that Jesus was rejected He began to speak to them in parables (Matthew 13:1-3, 34-35; Mark 4:34). It is impossible to understand why His ministry changed in these four areas unless we first understand how critical the official rejection by the Sanhedrin was (see Eh – Jesus is Officially Rejected by the Sanhedrin). The rejection of His messiahship on the grounds of demon possession was a direct response to the second messianic miracle (see Ek – The Second Messianic Miracle: It is Only by Beelzebub, the Prince of Demons, That This Fellow Drives Out Demons). Therefore, sufficient light had been given to them. The Pharisees and Isra’el had rejected the light and no more would be given. So the emphasis changed from clear teaching to parabolic teaching.668

The same day of His rejection by the Pharisees and the nation of Isra’el, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the Sea of Galilee. Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then He began to teach them in parables (Mattityahu 13:1-3a).

Some time later, the disciples came to Jesus and asked: Why do You speak to the people in parables (Matthew 13:10)? The Lord gave them three reasons.

First, for the twelve apostles, the purpose of the parables was to illustrate spiritual truth. Jesus replied: Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you (Matthew 13:11a).

Secondly, they were to hide the truth from unbelievers. By that time sufficient light had been given to respond correctly in faith. But lacking faith, they responded incorrectly by rejecting His messianic claims. So no further light would be given to them (Matthew 13:11b). After His first parable Jesus said: He who has ears, let him hear (Mattityahu 13:9). Believers would have spiritual ears to hear and understand the parables, but unbelievers were blinded from the truth and lacked the spiritual ears to hear.

Thirdly, the parables were given to fulfill prophecy in the TaNaKh (see my commentary on Isaiah Bs – Who Shall I Send? And Who Will Go For Us?).

 

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