Another way at looking at emerging evangelism, or what we might better call a missional preoccupation in life, is to examine how Jesus related to others. So today we will simply sample Matthew 8–9, two chapters that record Jesus’ interactions with others.
Before anything else, let’s begin with this: Jesus was constrained and shaped by his world and his context and his language and his interactions. There may be continuing relevance in “what would Jesus do?” but there is also a time-anchoredness to what Jesus did. Here’s a brief sketch of what Jesus did:
1. He restored folks to the socio-ecclesial community of faith: Matthew 8:1-4.
2. He healed people physically and even by proxy faith: 8:5-13; ;9:28; 8:14-17; 9:1-8, 27-31, 32-34.
3. He included everyone who looked to him: 9:9-13, 18-26.
4. He summoned people to radical commitment to follow him: 8:18-22.
5. He provoked severe spiritual battles: 8:28-34; 9:32-34.
6. He understood sin as consequential: 9:2, 22.
7. He was motivated by mercy: 9:13, 27.
8. He called customs into question: 9:14-17.
I’d put this together like this: Jesus was out and about and he was doing good for others and he was loving others and he helped them along and he summoned them to find God and redemption through himself and through what he was teaching and he summoned to find God and redemption by attaching themselves to his kingdom vision.