Summary: Survey of Matthew: The Change In Jesus’ Ministry
Survey of Matthew: The Change in Jesus’ Ministry
Recorded Sunday, September 30, 2007; Wayne ODonnell; http://bible.ag
The Two Key Outline Verses
This is a survey of the gospel of Matthew and it is called, “The Change in Jesus’ Ministry.” Is anybody missing the handout? Everybody has one? Cora, there’s a couple by you there.
“The Change in Jesus’ Ministry” because—and this is a repeat for Ann and Rita, but it will be shorter. “The Change in Jesus’ Ministry” because there was a change in Jesus’ ministry in chapters 11 and 12 of Matthew, and it is important to know that to understand the gospel of Matthew.
So first let’s look at Jesus’ ministry before the turning point in chapters 1 through 10. We will look at two key outline verses to start with. The first verse is Matthew 4:23. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
So there’s three parts to Jesus’ ministry: teaching, preaching and healing. As for the first part, teaching, he taught “in their synagogues”. That meant that he taught the law, because they didn’t let you teach in the synagogues unless you taught the law. And he preached “the gospel of the kingdom”. The word “preach” in the New Testament means “announce.” So he was announcing the “gospel”, the “good news” of the kingdom. And he healed “all manner of sickness and all manner of disease”, so he healed “all”. That’s a good way to characterize his healing ministry.
Then let’s look at the other key outline verse, Matthew 9:35. In Matthew 9:35 it says, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” It sounds pretty much the same, doesn’t it? Teaching the law in the synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom [announcing the good news of the kingdom], and healing all, “every sickness”, “every disease”.
So that was Jesus’ ministry...that characterized Jesus’ ministry before the turning point in chapters 11 and 12. But we are going to look at each of these three points in more detail now.
Jesus’ Ministry Before the Turning Point
In chapters 1 through 4 Matthew describes Jesus preaching ministry in more detail. And, first, we will look at Matthew 3:1. “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” That was the message that John the Baptist announced and it is the same message that Jesus announced in 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
So when the outline verse said that he was preaching the gospel of the kingdom, that was a description of his preaching, but here are the actual words of his preaching: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
And “the kingdom of heaven”, this phrase comes from the book of Daniel chapter 2 where God says that after the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires, that in the time of 10 kings, he is going to set up a kingdom. It says that “the God of heaven” (Dan. 2:44) will set up a kingdom that will never end and never be destroyed.
And if “the God of heaven” sets up a kingdom, then what would be the name of that kingdom? Well, one name for the kingdom would be “the kingdom of the God of heaven.” And that can be shortened; in Matthew, he shortens it to “the kingdom of heaven”. In Mark, Luke, and John, they shorten it to “the kingdom of God”. In the Lord’s Prayer, it is shortened to “thy kingdom.” But it is all the same kingdom, “the kingdom of the God of heaven”.
And this is a political kingdom on earth just like the ones that were talked about in Daniel chapter 2 like the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. And this is the kind of kingdom that the people of Israel were expecting, because there was so much detail about it in the prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. And if Jesus was going to offer them a different kingdom than what they were expecting, this would have been the place for him to say it, right here, but he gives no explanation of what the kingdom is because they already knew which kingdom it was. They already had all that information and they were already expecting it.
The good news was not that a new, unexpected kind of kingdom would be set up, but that the one they had been waiting for, for hundreds of years, was ready to be set up. The good announcement he was making was that “the kingdom ... is at hand”. It was ready to be set up. And the requirement in order for it to be set up was repentance, repent. Ok, so that is a little more detail on Jesus’ preaching ministry.