The Gospels – The Gospel According to Matthew
The Beginning of Jesus’ Mission
From Matthew 4:17 we read “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
From the first words that He uttered, He set the tone that was to characterize His mission. It was to be a mission to teach people, to admonish and adjure them to change for the better. Here He was telling the people of Israel and for that matter anyone who cared to listen to change for the better. To become better human beings because the Kingdom of God, which is akin to a Judgement was at hand, was near. This was like a warning to the people to make haste before a terrible Judgement overtakes them. Nowhere here do you hear anything even close to the taking of anyone’s sins. We were to repent and change for the better if we wanted to see the new Kingdom of God.
Matthew 4:23-25 – And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24 – And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
25 – And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
This paragraph speaks for itself; Jesus taught in synagogues and was preaching the good news of the Kingdom. He complemented these teachings with the healing of the sick. Here we must realise that the miracles that Jesus performed were an adjunct and in fact a necessary adjunct to His Teaching. It was meant to instil belief and faith in the power of God still further in the people. Seeing the miracles, the people were meant to ponder over these events and come to a conclusion that only He who worked in Divine Power could accomplish such deeds.
So He walked among the people, taught them and healed the ailing. He announced to them that the new Kingdom of God was to be established on earth, but that in order for them to see this Kingdom, they would have to change for the better. They would have to be pure at heart. They would have to make the efforts themselves if they were to make it. The miracles that He performed and the Power in His words attracted people from diverse areas from the north of the country which is Galilee to the east comprising the Decapolis, which is a region of ten Hellenistic cities; to the south as far as Jerusalem and also to other countries as far as Syria.