Jesus is traveling to the towns and villages around the Sea of Galilee. He is not on a sightseeing tour; He is on a mission that is as visible as a high-definition television. This mission consisted of three purposes.
• “Preaching the good news”—Jesus was out preaching the gospel, which is evangelism.
• “Teaching in their synagogues”—This was a common practice of Jesus. Luke 4:14–44 gives us great detail of one of those experiences.
• “Healing”—Jesus was always ministering to the hurts and needs of people.
Later in Matthew’s Gospel we see Jesus repeating the pattern of this three-fold mission.
“Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness.” (Matt. 9:35 HCSB, emphasis mine)
We often ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” After reading these two verses in Matthew, we can change this to “What did Jesus do?” because the Scripture gives us such a clear picture into His mission. We have correctly been taught that Christians ought to do what Jesus did. I submit to you that Sunday School should also do what Jesus did! Jesus was reaching people, teaching people, and ministering to people. These three purposes form the bedrock foundation upon which we must build our “Sunday School house.”
Foundations are to a building what fundamentals are to a sports team. Every coach knows that you must constantly keep working on the fundamentals of the game. As a boy I had a baseball coach who reminded us that we must be able to field a ground ball if we were going to play the game. So every practice he lined up the whole team at third base, and we took turns catching twenty grounders each. Coach told us that he wanted us to stop the ball even if we had to lie down in front of it. This man believed in the basic fundamentals! Webster’s II New College Dictionary defines “fundamental” as “constituting or functioning as an essential component of a system or structure; of major significance.”
Taylor, A. (2009). Sunday school in hd. Nashville: B&H.