The Message and the Miracles

Matthew 4:23-25 (NIV)
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Jesus was preaching the good news of the kingdom and the crowds flocked to be near him. Miracles flooded the hillsides. Over the last two thousand years the Christian Church seems to have lost the plot almost entirely.

We no longer have a simple, easy to understand, way of preaching the good news of the kingdom and, as a direct consequence, the full flood of miracles has become a little dribble. We have taken Christ’s kingdom message and diluted it with Greco-Roman tradition, western European power building, Individualism and liturgy, theology, psychology and philosophy and ended up with a rather sodden mass of salt which has lost its saltiness and become virtually useless.

But here’s another piece of real good news — it is possible to learn to strip all that diluting culture away and return to the original message, as near as we can get there. The result is an easy-to-understand picture of the kingdom, an attractive picture, a compelling picture, a picture the telling of which enables God to work with us and let flood the miracles again.

Those who travel back this way find themselves naturally becoming natural mission people with a gospel easy to share and full of Christ’s joy.

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