Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Complete Communication

Matthew records and comments upon Jesus' early ministry in this way. "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming 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" (Matthew 4:23-25).

The disciple John uses the term "logos" which means "the word" or "revelation." Jesus Christ was "the Word" -- God's revelation to mankind. Matthew's description of Jesus' ministry reveals the complete communication that Jesus' ministry was. It consisted of teaching the Scriptures, preaching the Gospel, and the healing of diseases. Luke in his introduction writes about "all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to Heaven" (Acts 1:1-2) Let us consider the various aspects of Jesus' ministry to see what he did and how he wants to use us, his Church and body, in the world today.

First of all, Jesus was known as a teacher. Even other world religions who do not accept him as the divine Son of God who came back to life recognize him as one of the great religious teachers of all time. Jesus taught and expounded upon the Word of God. What he taught about the Scriptures often stood in variance to what other rabbis had said. Jesus gave the original and correct interpretation and often had to contradict popular thought. An example of this would be Jesus' teaching on the Sabbath. As a Jew, Jesus went to synagogues which were places where people in a given locality gathered for prayer, worship, instruction and fellowship. The synagogue was and is to Jews what church services are to Christians. Bible study and teaching must be a cornerstone of the Church today.

Secondly, Jesus was a preacher of the Good News or Gospel of the Kingdom. Repentance of sin and faith in Christ are the ways that people enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus told people how they could become part of God's rule or reign. An analysis of Jesus' sermons reveals that he was principally a preacher of the way to know God and live under his authority. The idea of God's Kingdom was central to Jesus' teaching and is mentioned 50 times in the gospel of Matthew alone. People today need to hear how they can become part of the spiritual kingdom that Christ rules and reigns over which is the Church.

The third aspect of Jesus' ministry involved healing that included "every disease and sickness among the people." Jesus' success as a healer caused many people to be brought to him who were suffering from various illnesses. Matthew itemizes these things: a) people "suffering from severe pain." In other words not just a mere headache but a debilitating condition; b) the demon possessed. A cursory reading of the Gospels shows numerous individuals who were under demonic influence. One of the ways that people open themselves up to this today is through the use of drugs; c) people having seizures. A medical diagnosis today indicates that a cause is often epilepsy or tumors. d) the paralyzed. Some were in this condition due to birth and others due to accidents. It is important to note that Jesus had the power to heal all of these conditions. While these matters may be beyond our ability to help or even that of the medical community, we can still do what people did then and that is to bring these individuals to Christ through prayer. Jesus continues to heal and help those in need.

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