What was Jesus’ ministry? It is a safe bet to infer from what Jesus did to what his intent and what his vision were. I suggest that Matthew 4:23-25, which has a near parallel in 9:35, is a great place to see what Jesus’ intent and vision were because the Evangelist tells us what Jesus was in the business of doing. Think about: behavior indicates vision.
1. Overall, missional Jesus did what was good for others.
2. Missional Jesus taught in typical centers of religious education. What did he teach? Read the Sermon on the Mount.
3. Missional Jesus preached — which means declared good news — about the kingdom of God, which he believed was in some sense already here and in some senses yet on the horizon. What is the kingdom of God? As I have sought to explain on a number of occasions (Jesus Creed, A New Vision for Israel), Kingdom for Jesus is the “society in which God’s will is established and transforms all of life.”
4. Missional Jesus healed — which means what it says. He prayed to God, he asked for people to be healed from all sorts of maladies and sicknesses, and they were healed. We can do what we want with this today — spiritualize, demythologize, socialize — but the fact remains clear. Jesus said things and power was manifested.
5. Missional Jesus was attractive.
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.