Monday Morning Blog with Pastor Abe

Scripture Passage from January 22nd

Matthew 4:12-23: Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.

I wanted to take this time to go through other parts of our Scripture passage from Sunday morning. Feel free to comment on the Facebook post about what stands out to you from this blog post or from Sunday mornings sermon and worship service. We hope that this will help our church stay connected throughout the week. Enjoy this week’s post!

The Scripture passage from Sunday morning is the start of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, after He has been baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting and being tempted by Satan. So, Jesus went off to live in Capernaum near the Sea of Galilee. What is great about Matthew is that he always points out where Jesus’ actions and other events throughout his Gospel account connect to the Old Testament. With Jesus moving to Capernaum, it is fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 9, where the prophet where he said in verse 1, But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. You see, Matthew points out how Jesus moving to Capernaum, in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, shows one of the many ways that Jesus fulfilled many prophecies.

And this is how Jesus begins His earthly ministry. He starts by calling people to repent and that the kingdom of heaven has come near, and as He went throughout Galilee, teaching and proclaiming all over the region’s synagogues and curing people of their diseases and sicknesses. What I find great about these parts of our Scripture passage is that Jesus’ ministry was well under way before we come to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5 through 7. Jesus was telling the people in the region of Galilee all about the coming kingdom of heaven and His fame grew to where He had to go up on a mountain because of the size of the crowds coming to hear Him.

All those people were wanting to hear Jesus because His fame began to grow. And His fame began to grow and grow to where He had to utilize mountains to preach and teach the crowds. I wonder if Jesus would be as famous today. Would Jesus have millions of followers on Instagram or have thousands of friends on Facebook? Or would Jesus even be welcomed in some of the churches here in the United States? I think that Jesus would have the same influence He had when He was here in the 1st century. Yet, how does Jesus influence our lives today?

What are ways that Jesus influences our own lives? Are you listening to the ways that Jesus is speaking to you through His Word or other people or in your personal prayer times? How is Jesus convicting you to repent, to change our hearts and lives? How is Jesus healing you in this season of your life? How is Jesus teaching you and sharing the good news of the Kingdom? As you take time to pray and read Scripture this, ask yourself these questions. Feel free to answer some of them on the Facebook thread. In the time that we are living in, we need to listen to where Jesus is influencing. Let God be with us this week as we seek to listen to Jesus’ influence in our lives.

Pastor Abe