What does the New Testament say that those called to minister for God should do ? In the previous post in this series from Matthew’s Gospel we considered the qualities required for ministry. In this post we consider the final verses in Matthew chapter 4, from verse 18.
Matthew records that Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him. They did so immediately, forsaking their livelihoods and all they knew. But he called them to something not unrelated to their previous experience – fishing.
Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
All Christian ministry is concerned with this.
The purpose is to bring people to faith in Christ – and to maintain them in that faith in Christ.
And the minister can only do that because he himself has, and will, follow Christ. How can anyone plausibly and sincerely be a minister for Jesus Christ who does not himself live under the rule of Christ ?
Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their manifest hypocrisy. He does not call men to minister for him in order that they might commit the same mistake !
It is clear that Jesus himself lived in close and continuing relationship with the Father. And from that close and continual relationship ministered what the Father wanted ministered.
The minister of Christ must then live in continual and close relationship with Jesus Christ. Because it is Jesus Christ he is called to minister – the life of Christ through his Words and the example of Christ for our lifestyle.
Jesus set the example. As we read in verse 23, 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