CHRIST’S EARTHLY MINISTRY AND OURS
The apostle Matthew described the earthly ministry of Jesus as having three important aspects. They were teaching, preaching and healing the sick. These three aspects of Christ’s earthly should also be ours as members of Christ’s body, which is the Church.
Teaching. Jesus had a teaching ministry. This ministry was primarily with the Twelve, but Jesus also taught everywhere He went. His teaching ministry was marked by both answering and asking questions, telling stories and parables, and often explaining passages of Scripture. In the Great Commission, Christ commanded His followers to make disciples, baptizing them and “teaching them” (See Matt. 28:19-20).
Preaching. Jesus preached the good news. This is different from teaching in that it is less interactive and is more about announcing and proclaiming, than explaining. Good preaching will include explanation, but its practice and purpose is different than teaching. Jesus taught for understanding, but He preached for faith. Christ has commanded His Church to preach, saying: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).
Healing. Everywhere Jesus went, He healed people. He gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, healed the leper and even raised the dead. This ministry should also be an important aspect of the Church’s ministry today. As the apostle James wrote, “Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health” (James 5:14-15).
The most important aspect of Christ’s ministry was dying for our sins and being raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25). All His teaching, preaching and healing pointed to this ultimate act of love. Jesus has ascended to the Father, but His Church is still here. And we are called to teach, preach and heal in Jesus’ name.
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Jesus. He is our Lord and Savior, but also our example. For He shows us how He wants us to live teaching, preaching, and healing others in His name. Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit to be the Church that ministers as Jesus did. In Jesus’ name, amen.