Embryonic New Family
Lord Jesus, keep my heart and my mind open to hear You and follow You when You call me.
Read MATTHEW 4:12-25
 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.  Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali-  to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:  “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles-  the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”  From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”  At once they left their nets and followed him.  Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them,  and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did Simon and Andrew respond to Jesus’ call?
Jesus’ ministry began in Galilee, and would largely remain there (a place of light—see 4:16) until he begins his journey south to Jerusalem, the place of darkness and rejection. Note how his preaching exactly matches that of John the Baptist (3:2)—a call to repentance in light of his coming. Significantly, Jesus’ first act was to draw together a group of followers with a challenge to change their lifestyle. They would bring in people instead of fish (4:19). From this point onward, his disciples are always around, even if only hovering in the background.
They probably did retain their fishing businesses (they had easy access to a boat, 8:23; 9:1; 13:2) and their family life (Peter was concerned for his mother-in-law, 8:14), but the discipleship that Jesus commanded from them with his “Come with me!” meant giving up everything (see also 8:19-22; 19:27). It truly was a life-changing somersault, one that remains the same challenge to us who hear his call today. With this new “family,” Jesus would plant the beginnings of the promised Kingdom of heaven. Truly, the kingdom of heaven was drawing near!
How are you going to live out your “life-changing somersault” in 2012? Ask God to help you make the leap.
Lord, as this year draws to a close, I turn my eyes forward to what You’ll do in me in 2012.
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