A Christ Shaped Ministry
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A Christ Shaped Ministry

Matthew 12:1-21  (ID: 3322)

Gospel ministry—the ministry of the Word of God—is to be Christ-shaped by definition. How then should the servant of the Lord approach it? Alistair Begg explains that he must do so in dependence on God and in accordance with His mission and character. Pastors must lead their congregations from the front, demonstrating the humility and love of the Good Shepherd. They cannot drive them forcefully from behind.


Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

1At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

A Man with a Withered Hand

9He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

God's Chosen Servant

15Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all 16and ordered them not to make him known. 17This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

18“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,

my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.

I will put my Spirit upon him,

and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

19He will not quarrel or cry aloud,

nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;

20a bruised reed he will not break,

and a smoldering wick he will not quench,

until he brings justice to victory;

21and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.