Some brethren, in an attempt to avoid the commitment of marriage in Matthew 19, have affirmed that the gospels do not apply to us in the Christian era, since they belong to the old law. But the very structure of Matthew’s gospel shows differently:

Then Jesus went throughout all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness.
Matthew 9:35 NET

This verse is almost identical to that of Matthew 4:23. The two verses frame the beginning of Christ’s ministry, describing the nature of what he does. He teaches and proclaims (chapters 5-7) and heals (chapters 8-9).

In the conclusion to this section of the gospel, immediately following the verse above, Jesus tells his disciples to pray so that God would send more workers into the harvest (verse 35). Next, in chapter 10, he sends his own disciples. (Don’t pray for something you’re not willing to do.)

Jesus sends them to do exactly what he has done: heal and preach. Though there are limits within this truth, for them, geographical (they go first only to Galilee) and, for us, ministerial (we cannot operate miracles today), the principle applies both to the message (“all I have commanded you,” 28:19) and to the practice and the fulfilling of the mission.

What Jesus did, let us also do. What Jesus taught, let us also teach.

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