When Jesus began His ministry He employed three lines of work: teaching, preaching, and healing. (Matt. 9:35-) He did not at any time discontinue or even minimize any of these lines during His entire ministry. It is true that He gave more time and effort to healing than to teaching and preaching. This was not because the work of healing was of the most importance. It was because it opened the way for that most important of all matters— the preaching of the Word.
All through His ministry Jesus employed the work of healing for this purpose. One of the last acts of His ministry was that of healing the severed ear of the high priest's servant.
The three lines of work are not to be separated one from the other in the work of the church today; nor are any of these lines to be discontinued from the work of the church; nor are they to be minimized in the work. The true teacher will not devote his interest exclusively to teaching. The understanding preacher will not devote his interest exclusively to preaching. The consecrated physician will not devote his interest exclusively to the art of healing.
Though each of these workers properly should make his special line of work his major activity in his daily service, he will at all times bear in mind that to open the way for, and to advance, the preaching of the gospel should be the one and ultimate purpose of all he does in all his work all the time.
The preacher, of course will give himself to preaching, but he will not ignore the importance of teaching and healing; nor will he minimize their importance. In like manner the teacher, though giving himself to teaching, will not ignore the importance of preaching and healing. The physician, though engaged largely in the service of healing, will not ignore or minimize the preaching and teaching of the Word.
On the contrary, each should not only become deeply interested in these three lines of gospel work, but to the extent of his ability actually and practically incorporate these three lines in his own work. Fully to follow the methods of the Master requires this of each laborer who professes to represent and follow Him.
Jesus is the great teacher, the great evangelist, the chief physician. His methods of evangelism have not become obsolete. They have not been improved upon. No effective substitute for them has been found. His methods, faithfully followed, will still produce the best fruitage in abundance.
Should a right-handed man neglect to use his right hand in the work he performs, he can only imitate the good work he could have done had he used his right hand. But should a right- handed man attempt to do all his work with his right hand only, neglecting the assistance that the other members of his body could render, he would and could but imitate the good work he might have done by using the other members of his body also. Just so gospel workers who neglect the right arm of the message in their ministry, and likewise those who attempt to do all the work with the right arm, can but poorly imitate what they could do were they to combine all the methods of the Master in their work. His methods are still the correct and perfect pattern.
"The medical missionary work should be a part of the work of every church in our land. Disconnected from the church, it would soon become a strange med ley of disorganized atoms. It would consume, but not produce. Instead of acting as God's helping hand to forward His truth, it would sap the life and force from the church, and weaken the message. Conducted independently, it would not only consume talent and means needed in other lines, but in the very work of helping; the helpless apart from the ministry of the word, it would place men where they would scoff at Bible truth.
"The gospel ministry is needed to give permanence and stability to the medical missionary work; and the ministry needs the medical missionary work to demonstrate the practical working of the gospel. Neither part of the work is complete without the other. . . .
"If the work of the third angel's message is carried on in right lines, the ministry will not be given an in ferior place, nor will the poor and sick be neglected. In His word God has united these two lines of work, and no man should divorce them."—Counsels on Health, pp. 514, 515.