Monday, July 7, 2008

Matthew 4:23-25 "Three-Part Ministry"

"Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those
having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him." NIV

Jesus' three-part ministry -- teaching the people about God's love and how to live pleasing to Him, preaching the news of repentance and the hope it brings, and healing the sick. Jesus wanted to touch every part of their lives physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. People were drawn to Jesus' teaching, but they seem to be more drawn at this point in his ministry to the healing. I don't see that other rabbi's had the ability to heal so it is not surprising that the sick would flock to Him. Then after He had met their need, He shared the truth with them of God's love and redemption.

Here's the pattern established for our Christian churches to follow today. Meet people at the point of their need, share the good news of Jesus Christ and then train them up to live the Christian life and to go out to share with others. Sounds simple when placed in a single sentence. But much harder to carry out. And we, as the body of Christ, are all responsible to follow Jesus' example.

Lord, keep me focused on my ministry to others. Guide me to the hurting who I can help, the lost that need to be found, and the students of Your Word. I want to be about Your work each and every day.

Further Thoughts:

  1. How did the early church follow Christ's example? (Read Acts 2:42-47.)
  2. Jesus' ministry is all encompassed in love. What are other passages that speak of how to live in love? (See 1 John 3:11-24; Philippians 2:1-11, Colossians 3:12-17.)
  3. In the last month, 6 months, or year, how has your life followed Jesus' example? Are you patterning your life after His or allowing other things to dictate? We all have seasons of life to live, but even in the season, we can live out at least one of the three parts of Jesus' life. (i.e. Helping a sick neighbor who can't care for him/herself; sharing with a co-worker about Jesus, teaching a Bible study class on how to have a strong, Christian marriage.)

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