Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him-from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:23-25
Trending is a term used in social media to refer to whatever is currently all the rage among netizens. In social media, a hashtag (#) is used to tag a word, and if enough people start tagging the same word, it becomes a trend. For example, if you key in #iamachristian into your search, you will see all the posts linked to that hashtag.
In Matthew 4:23-25 (NIV), we read that news about Jesus spread all over Syria and they brought to Him all sick people…and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him…
Context leading to Jesus Trending in Galilee
Jesus’ movements were trending in Galilee. Before this, we read in the Bible that Jesus started moving into Capernaum after John the Baptist was imprisoned and began preaching. He knew it was the right timing, a timing of God. He was the fulfilment of the prophecy, for light dawned like never before after a season of darkness. His purpose was to announce the arrival of the kingdom of God and its King. He also went out with an invitation to the community, specifically to the fishermen, for a deeper commitment to follow Him, to fulfil a prophecy, to announce the kingdom.
Three Key Elements: Teaching, Preaching and Healing
Matthew 4: 23-25 introduces the ministry of Jesus. We see that there are three key elements to Jesus’ ministry: teaching, preaching and healing.
It records that Jesus taught in the synagogues, in a smaller group, to His people and His disciples. He taught about the kingdom of God, bringing all to a deeper revelation of what the kingdom of God entailed and what it really meant for each of them. An example of His teaching is found in Luke 4:16-30. Jesus taught that He is the Anointed One who has come to establish His kingdom not only for God’s people but for all who desire to become the people of God. This angered His people as they believed the kingdom of God is only for God’s people. Even today, not everyone likes the teaching of the kingdom.
Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom. It is a familiar theme during Jesus’ time. They knew about the kingdom but it was their understanding that was being challenged. Similarly, as people of God in the church today, our perspectives about the kingdom are also being challenged when it is the opposite of what we are doing.
We often associate the term ‘preaching’ to what pastors or preachers do from the pulpit. Preaching, actually just means to announce publicly, to proclaim and share something that is of value. This is usually done for a larger group.
Are we willing to preach the good news of the kingdom, not just the good news of salvation, to our friends, relatives or those close to us?
The kingdom of God is a major theme throughout the Bible. Some examples of the good news of the kingdom in Isaiah are:
- Everyone would be drawn to God (Isaiah 2:1)
- Nations would cease from wars (Isaiah 2:4)
- Broken hearted healed, prisoners freed (Isaiah 61:1)
The good news under the rule and reign of the Messiah is that there will be:
- Salvation, Deliverance, Redemption;
- Peace, Righteousness, Justice; and
- Restoration and Future Hope.
This invitation to the kingdom is made to ALL nations then and now.
After Jesus taught and preached, He brought healing for all kinds of disease and sickness. Healing was a part of restoration. The people were looking for freedom from foreign power but Jesus was saving them from their sins. Jesus, as the Messiah and King, performed the healing as a demonstration of His power and authority over sin and the kingdom of darkness. Healing would be complete, encompassing not only physical healing but emotional, mental and also spiritual.
Healing is not just for the individual but starts from us. Through it, we recognise the rule, reign and power of Jesus’ authority. We bring the good news of the kingdom to our community and it becomes global for all who would want to know Jesus. Furthermore, the healing is not just for this age but for eternity- the ultimate healing that we will receive.
More about Healing
Some foundational truths about healing:
- Jesus heals all people (believers and non-believers)
- Jesus heals all kinds of sickness and disease (no name is higher than the name of Jesus)
- Healing is the fulfilment of Isaiah 53:4-5
Two Major Issues/Contentions in Healing Teaching
A question often asked about healing is when someone is not healed. Is it because of insufficient faith or unrepented sin?
In the faith healing movement, we often hear this: “You need faith to be healed”. They will cite Jesus’ words: “Your faith has healed you”, “I have not seen such great faith even in Israel”. However, only 16 out of 41 recorded healings in the gospels, alluded to faith. Therefore, whether there is faith or not, God can heal. It is not contingent upon how good we are but on how good and great our God is. Faith is believing God can heal. Faith is also continual trust in God whether healing comes in your time or maybe later or even not at all.
There is a teaching that every sickness is because of sin and you must repent for every sin/ generational curse. However, if we go far back enough, it is the Adamic sin and that has been dealt with through Jesus. An example that we can’t attribute every sickness to sin is found in John 9:2-3. In fact, many illnesses are a result of our poor choices of food and lifestyle; and psychosomatic situations. The important point to note is that we need not hunt down every sin in our thoughts to repent, but be guided by the Holy Spirit to repent if convicted. Death will still overtake us at some point as the consequence of the Adamic sin continues. Our hope is in the resurrection and eternal life.
My Personal Convictions on Healing
- God still heals as He is the unchanging God. We should just keep trusting Him in whatever situations.
- Healing is only a foretaste of the full and final restoration to come.
- Whatever is not of God can still be used by God for His purposes and glory.
- Everyone needs healing that is found in Christ.
How do we follow Jesus and His ways? Matthew 4:23-25 encapsulates the three key elements that must be present in all kingdom assignments-preaching, teaching and healing.
In preaching, there is declaration/proclamation; in teaching, there is discussion/a process; and in healing, there is demonstration/practice.
In our own growth as followers of Jesus Christ, we should ensure that all three elements are in our life – when you hear a proclamation, you must ensure it is discussed and then practised.
These three elements are also found in Archippus Awakening:
- The proclamation is the Awakening
- The process is the Alignment
- The practice is the Assignment
As Jesus was trending in Galilee in God’s time, may kingdom 101 and Archippus Awakening also trend in Singapore, Asia, and the World.
“For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9b)