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The Character of His Ministry

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation.
–Zechariah 9:9

In Luke 24, the resurrected Jesus appeared to two disciples on their way home to Emmaus and explained to them what the Old Testament teaches about Himself. During this two-hour journey, Jesus probably pointed to the character of His ministry. He likely would have pointed to all the predictions in the Old Testament about the kind of ministry He would have.

First, He would be preceded by a messenger. Isaiah 40:3 says, “A voice is calling, clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.” Matthew 3:3 quotes Isaiah 40:3 in describing John the Baptist, who did exactly that. Notice how Matthew relates it to Isaiah’s prophecy: “For this is the one.”

Second, He would begin His ministry in Galilee. Isaiah 9:1 says He would minister by “Galilee of the Gentiles.” In Matthew 4:12-13, 17, we see that Jesus began His ministry in Galilee.

Third, He would have a ministry of miracles. Isaiah 35:5-6 says, “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.” In Matthew 9:35, we find that Jesus was “healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”

Fourth, He would teach in parables. Psalm 78:2 says, “I will open my mouth in a parable.” Matthew 13:34 says, “All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.”

Fifth, He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey. Zachariah was a prophet who wrote 500 years before the birth of Christ. Zachariah 9:9 says, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” When Jesus made His triumphal entry, Luke 19:35 says, “They brought [the donkey] to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it.”

Sixth, He would be a light to the Gentiles. Isaiah 60:3 says, “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Acts 13:47 says, “The Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed You as a light for the Gentiles, that You may bring salvation to the end of the earth.’”

I think these are some of the things Jesus likely pointed out to His two followers on the road to Emmaus. “Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27).


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Christmas on the Road” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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