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Thursday, January 21, 2010

1/22/10- Matthew 4:23-25 Miracles for All

(Nicolas Colombel 1682 St Louis Art Museum)
1/22/10- Matthew 4:23-25

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 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. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Calvin abridged: (pp. Mt 9:35). Christ performed innumerable miracles in many different places, so it is expected that this be mentioned two or three times. The kingdom’s good news meant that an eternal happiness was being established and not just prosperity and joy in this life. “Healing every disease” really means healing every kind of disease. Christ proved his divinity because he healed these diseases that were not naturally healed.

Thoughts: Jesus had a three-fold ministry that complimented each other- preaching, teaching, and healing. My seminary mentor, John Leith, used to say that if every minister concentrated on these three things- their ministry would likely be successful- preaching, teaching, and pastoral care. People followed Jesus because of his power—probably the power to help them now- in this life. The early crowds followed because of the miracles like feeding the multitudes and healing others. It is important that even at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus was reaching beyond the Jews (Syria, Decapolis and beyond the Jordan were Gentile places). All people were drawn to him, for he answered a deep human need. Today there are Christians in every country in the world we are the first and only religion to be able to say that. Jesus said at the end of his earthly ministry: “and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come” (Mt. 24:14). Of course we remember, “Go into all the world and make disciples.” His world-wide appeal and the fulfilling of the vision that “earth would be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea” started here.

Prayer: As you had a heart for all people, Lord- give me that same heart.

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