As Matthew writes his account of Jesus’ life, he structures it in a such as way as to punctuate Jesus’ teaching through his miracles with Jesus’ spoken authoritative teaching.
In chapter 8, Jesus heals a man with leprosy, a Centurion’s servant and heal’s Peter’s mother-in-law. In all three cases, dealing with the people of least significance in the society of the day who put their faith in Jesus. He then goes on to call his disciples to follow him, even though they’ll have no material possessions.
Jesus then goes on to calm a storm, cast out demons and, through into chapter 9, heals a paralytic, who is brought to him in faith, in a twofold healing both physically and spiritually, by forgiving his sins. Jesus demonstrated he had power over nature and the spiritual realm. He then calls Matthew to follow him, and through discourse with some Pharisees, calls on all sinners to follow him.
In the final triplet of miracles, Jesus heals a sick woman, raises a dead girl back to life and heals a pair of blind men. Again, in all three cases, these people put their faith in Jesus and he shows his power over sickness and death.
After these miracles, Matthew tells us Jesus continued preaching the Gospel and healing people, because he had compassion on them. Jesus then said something remarkable, he told his disciples to take on the work he was doing. He gave them authority to heal, and also told them to preach the Gospel. This is remarkable because, Jesus is God, he could’ve done this on his own, yet he doesn’t. He calls on all his disciples to have compassion on those around them, and to bring healing and the Gospel.
If we claim to be his followers, we should continue to preach the Gospel, as he commands in chapter 28 of Matthew. In order to do this, we need to have compassion for all. To do this, we need to have the same mind as Christ, which requires that we know his word, that our hearts become like his and that we pray, that he might enable us to do his will.
In this evening’s sermon, we continued looking at Paul’s advice in his letter to the church in Corinth.
Much like today, those in the Corinithian church had relationship issues. Paul response was not so much commanding, but more advising. What he assumed was that marriage was to be until death, between a man and a woman and the only outlet for sexuality.
He advised that those who were married remained as they were, and that those who weren’t married to stay as they were if they so desired. It was not a sin to do either. If anything, such things should be secondary concerns after serving God.
He also advised that those considering marriage, should only do so if they wished to marry a fellow Christian. Again, not a commandment, but advice.
Both the commandments and the advice were with the best interests of the reader in mind. For God had designed us, that by doing his will, we would glorify him, and through glorifying him we would find our ultimate joy.