Even the best of ancient historians were interested in the meaning of history, its moral, as well as its information; most biographers especially explored their characters as positive or negative examples. (Many ancient writers, unlike many modern ones, had a sense of responsibility to their society!) The Gospel writers are interested in more than listing all Jesus' deeds (as if that were possible anyway-see Jn 21:25); they select examples from their materials to emphasize relevant points for their own readers (compare Jn 20:30-31). In narrating events like Jesus' healings, Matthew encourages his audience that the Lord to whom they pray for their needs in the present demonstrated his ability to meet those needs during his earthly ministry. While Matthew addresses particularly the need to trust Jesus to heal, the principles can apply to other desperate needs in our lives.
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