Where the realm of heaven is breaking out, we find healing and liberation. Jesus' ministry and that of his disciples entail the exorcism of demons, an issue that will pose a stumbling block for many congregations.
One path is simply to skip over this detail, as modern congregations find it either baffling or irrelevant.
The Bible simply does not address things like dating, egalitarian relationships, and women who have built lives of their own.
In this conversation I suggested that the parts of the Bible most pertinent to our sex lives might not say anything directly about sex at all.
He seemed surprised when I suggested that perhaps he was asking the wrong question.
When we think about things like economics and government, we don't ask the Bible to tell us how to manage things directly.
Apparently written to Torah-observant Jewish followers of Jesus, the Gospel anticipates a Gentile mission (; -20).
Preachers should exercise prudence with this matter, since Matthew's Gentile program carries an ugly underside.
Whether with Jesus or commissioned by Jesus, the authentic proclamation of God's realm is marked by healing and liberation.
This is precisely Jesus' reply when John the Baptist inquires, "Are you the one who is coming, or should we wait for another?
Matthew's Gospel requires that proclamation first extend to Israel before it may move along to the nations.