Jesus spent a lot of time with people!
Matt. 9:35 tells us that Jesus spent a lot of time travelling around, ministering to the people.
A couple of verses later, we see that Jesus speaks to His disciples about the amount of work that still must be completed: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”” (Matt. 9:37b-38).
Today, I’d like to look at some specific instances of Jesus’ ministry work. I believe that much of His ministry were forms of outreach, and are indications about what type of work we should be doing; to truly be workers of the harvest.
JESUS FEEDS THE HUNGRY:
The feeding of the 5000 found in Mt. 14:13-21, Mk. 6:30-44 and Jn. 6:1-15. Also, the feeding of the 4000 found in Mt. 15:32-39 and Mk. 8:1-9.
Feeding the hungry, either out of necessity because they are poor, or as a form of showing hospitality is an excellent example of outreach. As food is shared, hearts are hopefully softened and opened to the Gospel message.
JESUS HEALS THE AFFLICTED:
The healing of the blind man found in Mk. 8:22-25 and Jn. 9. The healing of Lepers found in Mt. 8, Mk. 1:40-45 and Lk. 17:11-19. The healing of the paralytic found in Mk. 2:1-12 and Lk. 5:17-26. The healing of the woman with hemorrhaging found in Mt. 9:20-22, Mk. 5:25-34 and Lk. 8:43-48.
Though the ability to miraculously heal is an infrequent occurrence, any missionary will tell you that medical care has become a key outreach technique on the mission field. Surely, outreach through medical support in our local community could have similar results.
JESUS CARES FOR THE NEEDY:
Jesus’ teaching to sell possessions to give to the needy found in Mk. 2:13-17 & Mk. 10:21. Jesus’ teaching on giving to beggars and lending without refusal found in Mt. 5:42. Jesus’ teaching that caring for the poor, naked, imprison and estranged; is like caring for Him found in Mt. 25:31-46.
We have already mentioned feeding the hungry, but there are so many other necessities in life such as clothing, shelter, transportation, etc. Every time we provide a need for someone in this community, we will build a bridge to conversation, which in turn can become a chance to evangelize.
JESUS VISITS THE SEEKER:
The visit to Zacchaeus house found in Lk. 19:1-41. The visit with the woman at the well found in Jn. 4:1-26. The visit with Martha and Mary found in Lk. 10:38-42. The visit with sinners found in Mk. 2:13-17.
In this day and age, time is more valuable than it has ever been. Visitation as an outreach ministry has become lost in our world of busyness. By simply spending quality time with the people in our community, and listening to their stories, we can soon grasp an opportunity to share the Gospel.
JESUS SPEAKS FOR JUSTICE:
The rebuke of the Scribes and Pharisees found in Mt. 23:1-4 and Mk. 7:1-23. The prevention of stoning of the woman caught in adultery found in Jn. 8:1-15.
This can be any social issue. Examples are found in our attempts to end slavery, abuse, abortion, corruption, etc. Our outreach is found in standing up and speaking for those who do not have a voice.
Coming back to the opening passage found in Matt. 9, if we claim to be Followers of Jesus, then we are the workers to which He speaks. Furthermore and from our next references, He has given us some excellent examples of how our work should be done.
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
How would a Christ-centred outreach ministry impact your local church?