Primary scriptures: Matthew 4:12 - 17, Mark 1:14 - 15, Luke 3:19 - 20, 4:14 - 32, John 2:13 - 4:54.
April to May
Jesus Ejects Crooks from Temple!
Jesus and his disciples, shortly before celebrating Passover at sunset on April 8 (John 2:13), travel to Jerusalem to keep the Holy Day. After arriving in the city the Lord visits the temple which fulfills Biblical prophecy (Malachi 3:1). What he sees, however, in the Court of the Gentiles angers him.
What Was Wrong?
The buying and selling of animals, the exchanging of money and so on were services needed in order to worship at the temple. Pilgrims who wanted to offer God an animal sacrifice or who needed a lamb in order to keep the Passover (Exodus 12) benefitted from a convenient place to purchase such beasts.
Those visiting Jerusalem from around the world, who wished to make a monetary offering, had to convert their "pagan" currency (e.g. Roman) into special coinage that was acceptable to the temple. People providing these services, especially those dealing with currency exchange, charged a fee for what they offered.
Jesus was not upset, strictly speaking, with the services offered in the Court of the Gentiles. He was angered, however, because people were being ripped off. Worshippers were charged exorbitant fees, or otherwise being cheated, by those greedy for gain. It was the behavior of those who turned the area into a den of robbers and thieves (Matthew 21:13, Luke 19:46), who indulged in unrighteous profiteering, that Christ rejected.
Christ immediately makes a whip out of some cords and drives away the animals, while also overturning the tables of the moneychangers, in order to cleanse the temple. After the Jews question his actions, he prophesizes his death and resurrection (John 2:14 - 25). He additionally performs several unknown miracles during the spring Holy Day season (John 2:23).
Nicodemus Secretly Meets Jesus
The Lord, while still in Jerusalem, is approached by a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin. Nicodemus chooses to meet Jesus at night in a likely attempt to avoid being seen with someone who recently angered them. His opening words reveal that many of the Jewish religious leaders know that God is with Christ.
"Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher Who has come from God; because no one is able to do the miracles that You are doing unless God is with him." (John 3:2).
The Lord's response appears disconnected and odd, in part, because it seems to have no relationship or connection with what was initially stated to him.
Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly I say to you, unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3).
One possible explanation for the Lord's puzzling response is that He was immediately addressing the "real" reason for the visit which was to inquire about the Kingdom of God. Jesus launches into an explanation that one must be "born again" or resurrected from the dead as a spirit being in order to fully enter God's Kingdom. He also reveals to Nicodemus that he will die via crucifixion and explains how much God loves humanity (John 3:1 - 21).
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten star Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:16 - 17).
Christ and his disciples leave Jerusalem for Judea so that they can be trained to baptize people. They quickly are baptizing more people than John the Baptist who is doing so in Aenon (John 3:22 - 24, 4:1 - 2).
John the Baptist reveals it is God's will that the Lord's ministry should increase while his decreases (John 3:25 - 34).
Traveling Through Samaria
The Lord and his followers, after spending a short time in Judea, travel through Samaria on their way to Galilee.
Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John, (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples,) He left Judea and departed again into Galilee. Now it was necessary for Him to pass through Samaria (John 4:1 - 4).
Woman at Jacob's Well
The group, while traveling north of Judea, stops near the city of Samaria (Sychar). Jesus then rests by Jacob's Well while the disciples go into the town to buy food. When they are gone, he shocks a Samaritan woman approaching the well by asking her for a drink. The woman is amazed a Jew talks to her as most first century Jews steered clear of any interactions with Samaritans. In the course of his dialogue Jesus privately admits that he is the Messiah.
The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming, Who is called Christ; when He comes, He will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I Who speak to you am He." (John 4:25 - 26).
After the woman informs those in Samaria about the Lord, they flock to talk to him. After two days of preaching the gospel to the Samaritans he leaves for Galilee and the city of Cana (John 4:5 - 42).
John the Baptist in Prison
John the Baptist is thrown into prison sometime between the spring Holy Days and Pentecost (Luke 3:19 - 20).
The First Healing
Just before Pentecost a royal official from Capernaum, who knew Christ was in Cana, travels to the city to request his sick and dying son be healed. Instead of visiting the child, however, Jesus simply declares the son will live! This spectacular show of power and mercy is the first healing miracle recorded during Jesus' ministry!
The royal official said to Him (Jesus), "Sir, come down before my little child dies." Jesus said to him, "Go; your son shall live." And the man believed the word that Jesus said to him and went away.
Now as he was going down to his house, his servants met him and reported, saying, "Your child is alive and well." Then he inquired of them at what hour he began to improve. And they said to him, "Yesterday, at the seventh hour, the fever left him." Therefore, the father knew that it was at the hour that Jesus said to him, "Your son shall live." (John 4:49 - 53).
Preaching in Power
Christ, after John the Baptist is imprisoned, preaches with power throughout Galilee (Mark 1:14 - 15, Matthew 4:12, Luke 4:14 - 15).
Jesus Reveals He Is the Messiah
Jesus travels to Nazareth and, while in the city on the Day of Pentecost, visits a local synagogue (Luke 4:16 - 20). Asked to read from Scripture, he finds and selects a well-known passage from Isaiah the prophet concerning the Jubilee Year.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim pardon to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18 - 19 quoting from Isaiah 61:1 - 2).
Christ then declares, after reading this 600+ years old prophecy, to the utter surprise and amazement of his audience, that "Today, this scripture is being fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4:21)! Although his ministry began in the fall of 26 A.D., Jesus waited until Pentecost in 27 A.D. (due to its symbolism) to publicly announce he was the Messiah in the small, isolated synagogue of his hometown!
The synagogue crowd, many of whom knew Christ as a child, have a hard time accepting what he is teaching in spite of them knowing about his Capernaum miracles. The Lord's chastisement of their faithless attitude so enrages those worshipping on the Sabbath that they gather to push him off a cliff!
Now all in the (Nazareth) synagogue who heard these things (Jesus' chastisement of their hard hearts) were filled with indignation.
And they rose up and cast Him out of the city, and led Him to the edge of the mountain on which their city was built, in order to throw Him down headlong; But He passed safely through their midst and departed (Luke 4:28 - 30).
After escaping the wrath of those in Nazareth the Lord travels to Capernaum (Luke 4:31, Matthew 4:13 - 17).