Giving All, Gaining Everything
Thank You, Jesus, that Your light has broken in on my life. Illuminate Your Word to me today.
Read Matthew 4:12–25
12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 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.”
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
18 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. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 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, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Jesus Heals the Sick
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 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. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectSit for a moment with your eyes closed. Then open them and take in the scene around you as you enjoy the light.
So Jesus starts his ministry. Matthew makes another link with Old Testament prophecy. Galilee was looked down on by the elite—but it’s where Jesus did much of his work. Gentiles were “outsiders”—but not to Jesus. He offers transformed lives to all—just like moving out of total darkness into blinding light (16). This is what happens when we welcome God’s rule into our lives (17). But as we’ve seen before, this demands a change on our part.
Jesus calls us—as he called these first disciples—to learn from him so that we may share in his work of telling others the good news of what God has done (23). And not just to use words but to demonstrate it, just as he did (23,24). Sometimes God’s power will work through us in amazing ways; sometimes we shall quietly show his love in our actions and concern for others. Following Jesus and working with him may be costly. It may involve a change of life, giving up some of our own cherished ambitions (20). It will involve allowing him to call the shots rather than running our lives the way that we choose. But it will be worth it.
What part of your life do you need God to take over running? What do you need to surrender today?
My Lord, “All of my ambitions, hopes and plans, I surrender these into your hands” (Robin Mark).