Daily Archives: 17 Jun 2018

Jesus’ Tripartite Ministry Was Viewed By the Crowds as Singular

What I mean by that is that Matthew describes the ministry of Jesus as threefold- and in order of importance:

Mt 4:23 – Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25 And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

Jesus was teacher (i.e., Rabbi), Evangelist, and healer.  Yet the crowd doesn’t follow Jesus for his teaching or his evangelizing- the crowd follows him simply because they are concerned for their physical condition.

Matthew is implicitly critical of the crowds – just as John is explicitly critical of the crowds in John 6.  Both evangelists see the interests of the crowd to be merely on the level of having their ‘felt needs’ met.  The herd doesn’t care about what Jesus teaches nor does it care about the Good News. It simply wants it’s illnesses healed so that it can return to pursuing whatever it is it pursued before.

And nothing has changed since.  The herd is still far more concerned about physical wellness than it is spiritual truth.  If you don’t believe it, just listen to the things people ask you to pray for.  I guarantee that 90% of the time or more the focus will be on some temporal illness and not some spiritual deficit.

New Things from Avraham Faust

The Southern Levant Under Assyrian Domination, edited by Shawn Zelig Aster and Avraham Faust, and published by Eisenbrauns (an imprint of the Pennsylvania State University Press).

Happy Father’s Day

To all the dads deserving of the name.