THE second public preaching tour of Galilee began on Sunday, October 3, A.D. 28, and continued for almost three months, ending on December 30. Participating in this effort were Jesus and his twelve apostles, assisted by the newly recruited corps of 117 evangelists and by numerous other interested persons. On this tour they visited Gadara, Ptolemais, Japhia, Dabaritta, Megiddo, Jezreel, Scythopolis, Tarichea, Hippos, Gamala, Bethsaida-Julias, and many other cities and villages.
Before the departure on this Sunday morning Andrew and Peter asked Jesus to give the final charge to the new evangelists, but the Master declined, saying that it was not his province to do those things which others could acceptably perform. After due deliberation it was decided that James Zebedee should administer the charge. At the conclusion of James’s remarks Jesus said to the evangelists: “Go now forth to do the work as you have been charged, and later on, when you have shown yourselves competent and faithful, I will ordain you to preach the gospel of the kingdom.”
On this tour only James and John traveled with Jesus. Peter and the other apostles each took with them about one dozen of the evangelists and maintained close contact with them while they carried on their work of preaching and teaching. As fast as believers were ready to enter the kingdom, the apostles would administer baptism. Jesus and his two companions traveled extensively during these three months, often visiting two cities in one day to observe the work of the evangelists and to encourage them in their efforts to establish the kingdom. This entire second preaching tour was principally an effort to afford practical experience for this corps of 117 newly trained evangelists.
Throughout this period and subsequently, up to the time of the final departure of Jesus and the twelve for Jerusalem, David Zebedee maintained a permanent headquarters for the work of the kingdom in his father’s house at Bethsaida. This was the clearinghouse for Jesus’ work on earth and the relay station for the messenger service which David carried on between the workers in various parts of Palestine and adjacent regions. He did all of this on his own initiative but with the approval of Andrew. David employed forty to fifty messengers in this intelligence division of the rapidly enlarging and extending work of the kingdom. While thus employed, he partially supported himself by spending some of his time at his old work of fishing.