When Jesus Walked the
Earth: The Model Practicum
tell my New Testament Survey classes that John gives us Jesus as he relates to
us, while the first three gospels give us as much of Jesus as he related to
them, the lost sheep of
The Gospel of Matthew tells us not only that Jesus did not focus on non-Jews while he was on earth, that he did not primarily minister to Gentiles while he was on earth. Matthew tells us not only that Jesus did not focus on all
Jesus did not primarily minister to the wealthy, although there were a few. Jesus did not primarily minister to Samaritans or the inhabitants of
I can see the Headline now: the day God came to Chorazin. Where? I bet a lot of people even in
As I have reflected on these things, I have become attracted to the idea that in his three years of ministry, Jesus was showing us one way that we are to do ministry. College and seminary minstry students often have to do something called a "practicum." They take what they've learned in the classroom and they go do it. The places they do them are more varied than they are. I did some in local churches; I did one in a nursing home. Some do them in conjunction with hospitals or prisons.
After my trip to
What did Jesus do for his practicum?
1. He started with where he was. And where he was wasn't anywhere special.
2. But every individual is special to God. And Jesus' ministered to the "nobodies" of Galilee as if they were the most important people in the history of the world.
3. Jesus ministered to their needs on every level.
He dealt with their physical needs by healing them.
He dealt with their spiritual needs by freeing them from demonic oppression and giving them an eternal hope.
He dealt with their economic needs when they were oppressed by the taxation of Herod Antipas, the one who beheaded John the Baptist. In the time of Jesus, this Herod only had control of
These were farming villages who usually just produced enough for them to survive--they didn't usually even produce enough extra to trade for other things. They mostly did it all themselves for themselves. Times must have been tough when this ruler not only notices them, but tries to squeeze everything he can get from them.
Jesus' earthly ministry in