Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
The Ministry Begins
The Ministry Begins
Matthew 3:1–12; 2 Peter 1:19; Philippians 2:5–8; Matthew 4:1–12; Isaiah 9:1, 2; Matthew 4:17–22
April 9, 2016
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist. He is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. Tesla was renowned not only for his scientific achievements but also for his showmanship, eventually earning him a reputation in popular culture as an archetypal "mad scientist". 
Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk has certainly carried on the Tesla tradition. Tesla Model 3 pre-sale orders began during an Apple-like carnival atmosphere—the “Big Reveal”—at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California. Orders for Tesla Motors’ new Model 3 electric sedan topped 253,000 in the first 36 hours. The Model 3, which is slated to go into production in late 2017, will sell at an average price of $42,000 which will give the initial flurry of orders an estimated retail value of $10.6 billion.
Sometimes, though, a big splash can leave people all wet. Tesla is already concerned about meeting its delivery date because of parts supply issues. There are concerns among some investors in Tesla, which has promised to turn profitable this year. Higher-than-expected demand could mean that some customers making early reservations may not take delivery until 2019 or 2020, analysts said. 
The big splash at the Big Reveal generates excitement, but it also raises questions like: Can Tesla deliver? Can Tesla survive as a company? Is Tesla Motors a good investment? Only time will tell.
In our lesson this week we see that Jesus began His ministry with a flourish as well. John the Baptist called people to turn away from their sins, then introduced Jesus with the lofty words “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” The ministry of Jesus was central to John’s message, and when he baptized Jesus he got to see the culmination of his message as the Spirit of God descended from heaven like a dove.
Jesus got off to a great start in ministry by resisting the devil’s temptations while in a hunger-driven state of weakness. He confounded Satan by relying on the power of the Word of God. Jesus then expanded His ministry by raising up a team of ministers to carry on His mission after He was gone—a group of simple fishermen. They may have been uneducated and a bit rough around the edges, but they met the number one qualification for ministry: they were willing to follow Jesus.
Jesus’ ministry began with a bang, but His early followers must have wondered: Can Jesus deliver? Can Jesus’s ministry survive in the hands of the ragtag group of followers He’s assembled? Is it really worth investing one’s life into the hands of Jesus? The continuing story of Jesus and His ministry will tell.