According to the Gospels, Jesus began his public career at about the age of 30 when he was baptized by John the Baptist (see Baptism of Jesus). Jesus then spent from one to three years teaching and working miracles among his disciples and before large crowds.
Jesus' recorded miracles included turning water to wine, walking on water, cursing a fig tree, healing the sick, multiplying a small meal to feed a crowd, casting out demons, and even raising a man from the dead.
The teachings of Jesus focused primarily on the "the kingdom of God" and were usually relayed through parables drawing on familiar images from agricultural life. He rebuked the hypocrisy of some Jewish leaders and taught the importance of love and kindness, even to one's enemies.
While Jesus' teachings were fundamentally Jewish, they departed significantly from the Jewish law of his day. Perhaps most astonishing of all was that he taught on his own authority. Whereas Jewish prophets had always prefaced their messages with "thus saith the Lord," Jesus said things like, "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.'" (Mt 5:27)
Jesus' popularity grew quickly, but so did opposition from local leaders. Roman rulers were uncomfortable with the common perception that he was the Messiah who would liberate the Jews from Roman rule, while Jewish leaders were disquieted by Jesus' shocking interpretations of Jewish law, his power with the people, and the rumor that he had been alluding to his own divinity.