How did Jesus do mission?

1. The mission of Jesus has two parts to it:
A Message – Jesus announces that God’s kingdom has come near.
A Ministry – He carries out actions that point to the nearness of the kingdom. These are the signs of the kingdom.

2. The signs of the Kingdom are actions that point to the imminence or arrival of the kingdom of God:
a. Announcing good news to the poor;
b. Healing the sick and driving out demons;
c. Eating and drinking with sinners (a taste of the messianic feast);
d. Gathering a display community to live under God’s generous rule and continue mission of Jesus.

3. We can see this pattern in each of the synoptic gospels:
Mark 1.14-20 Jesus calls men to follow him;
1.21-27 He drives out an evil spirit in the synagogue;
1.28-31 He heals Peter’s mother-in-law;
1.32-34 He heals all the sick and demonised in Capernaum;
1.39 He travels through Galilee preaching … and driving out demons.

Twofold ministry: proclamation – the Age to Come is near demonstration – this is what it looks like

4. Jesus understood his ministry as a powerful confrontation between the in-breaking Kingdom of God and the rule of Satan.
a. He is destroying the devil’s work (1 John 3.8).
b. He is binding the strongman and plundering his house (Mt 12.28).

5. Matthew 11.4-6 It is Jesus’ actions as well as his words that demonstrate the presence of the God’s rule. Just before his execution, John the Baptizer’s sent a question to Jesus (Are you the one, or did I get it wrong?). Jesus answered in terms of Isaiah 35 and 61: ‘Tell him what you see: the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up. The poor hear good news’.

6. So, what’s the good news? It is that, in some sense, the kingdom rule of God has come near in Jesus and the benefits of God’s generous rule are now available (in part, at least) to those who follow him.

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