As you prepare for the year ahead, ask God to give you a renewed and clear sense of your call.
Read Matthew 4:12-25
 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew 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 of the Sea, beyond 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 has come 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 send you out to fish for people.”  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, proclaiming 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 these fishermen react to Jesus’ call?
After stepping into the fruit of John’s revival through his baptism, after being affirmed in his identity by word and Spirit, and after being tested and “proven” in the wilderness, Jesus returns to Galilee to begin his public ministry. It’s instructive that Jesus begins by thinking about the where, the who and the how of ministry. The where involves moving to Capernaum, close to the “way to the sea” mentioned by Isaiah, an ancient trading route. A major crossroads on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum is a great strategic base. Such practical questions matter. The who involves calling the first disciples, turning on its head the established practice of disciple approaching master. From the very beginning, Jesus’ ministry is in the context of committed relationships and involves apprentices. The how involves moving from only proclaiming to demonstrating the kingdom. John’s emphasis on “It’s near” becomes “It’s here” (Matt. 12:28): in Jesus’ ministry, the kingdom has come.
Have you got the where, the who and the how right in your life, work and service? Ask God to make it clear to you.
Lord, I want to hear Your call clearly and respond immediately. Help me do so as I look to the year ahead.
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