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Daily Reading: 17th July 2016

Matthew 4.23-25

23 And He went around the whole of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.

24 And the report about Him went out into the whole of Syria. They brought to Him all who were ill, those having different diseases and tormented with afflictions; those being possessed by demons, and being epileptics, and paralyzed, and He healed them.

25 And large crowds followed Him from Galilee and Decapolis, And Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

Jesus did not confine Himself to one location; He did not remain in Capernaum, but He travelled around. Initially this was in the area of Galilee.

He did not set up camp in one place and expect people to come to Him. Instead He went into the whole of Galilee so that He could reach as many people as possible.

How very different from our modern way of doing things. There is a place for hiring large venues in a central location to proclaim the good news of Jesus, but we must also take note of the method of evangelism that Jesus used, which was to move from place to place in order to reach as many people as possible.

The necessity of this in our modern world is so that people, who would not consider travelling far, can be reached with the gospel of Jesus.

Jesus went to the local synagogues. There would have been a synagogue in even the smallest of places. W Barclay states that the synagogue was different from the temple, which was located in Jerusalem. The temple was a place for worship, and for the sacrifices required by the Law.

The synagogues were different, and W Barclay states that there were three parts to the synagogue service:

  1. Prayers;
  2. Readings (involving the people);
  3. Teaching.

The teaching was not given by one person, but anyone whom the president of the synagogue thought was a suitable person.

In Luke chapter four we read that Jesus was invited to read the Scriptures, Isaiah, after which He also taught from that passage.

The synagogues were an ideal place for Jesus to preach about the Kingdom of God, and to demonstrate in power the validity of His teaching.

We know from that chapter that the teaching of Jesus in the synagogue in Nazareth was not well received, and the people in His own town rejected Him.

We also must use the opportunities to preach and teach the good news about Jesus. We must also use the opportunities that He gives to us to demonstrate the power of the Kingdom of God.


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