Memory Verse: Matthew 4:19-20
4:12-17 Jesus, The Great Light
- 4:12-13 When Jesus heard that John was cast into prison, He left Nazareth and departed for Galilee. He lived in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim. Matthew doesn’t record everything that Jesus did before He came to Galilee, but we know there was more from the other Gospel accounts. Therefore, we are told, “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison,” so that we know where in the timeline of events that the following story took place.
Matthew 14:1-12; John 1:29-4:42; Luke 4:14-30
- 4:14-16 Jesus moved to this specific location to fulfill scripture. Isaiah (Esaias) the prophet said, “The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness…”—This area had suffered from an invasion by Syria (their time of darkness). But the prophet continues saying they “saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.” Even though they had suffered in the past, there was hope in their future. Matthew tells us that this hope is going to be fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus is the Great Light. Just as light causes darkness to cease, Jesus will cause the captive to be free. If today you are living in a “dark” place, there is good news for you because Jesus brings the light of change. He is here to free you from your chains of bondage.
Isaiah 9:1-2; 2 Kings 15:29
- 4:17 The light was Jesus Himself and the message that He brought. From that time, Jesus began to preach. He came with a message for mankind, saying, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This is the same message John the Baptist was preaching. Repentance is the change of mind that produces a change in behavior. The reason they needed to repent was because the kingdom of heaven—God’s rule over the life of believers is at hand. Jesus was here to establish God’s kingdom in the hearts of mankind. He is preaching salvation and the victorious life. Will you listen?
4:18-22 Jesus’ Call To Full-time Discipleship
- 4:18-20 Jesus is walking by the sea of Galilee when he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and Andrew. We know from the Gospel of John that Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist. Therefore, we know that these men have heard of Jesus. They know that He is possibly the promised Messiah. We can assume that they received John’s baptism and their hearts are ready for the Christ according to all that John the Baptist taught. These two men were also fishermen. As they were casting a net into the sea, Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus had greater plans for their lives than they did. He called them out of their profession to “follow Him”. Every disciple of Jesus is called to follow Him wholeheartedly, but some will be called to leave their profession to serve Him full-time. Jesus’ plan for their lives is to make them “fishers of men” instead of “fishers of fish”. He is going to train them to take the message of the “kingdom of heaven” to the world. These two brothers immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. These men didn’t take the time to consider the implications of leaving their full-time occupations to follow Jesus, but they exemplified the faith needed to step out and follow the calling of God. God is calling some of you men to do the same.
- 4:21-22 Jesus went on from there and He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John. They were mending their nets in a ship with their father Zebedee. Jesus called them. He probably called them in the same way that He called the two other brothers. These two brothers immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him. Not only did these two brothers leave the family business to follow Jesus, but they left their father. Jesus didn’t ask if their parents approved of them being in full-time ministry, but as men He knew they were to make a decision of their own. Today, the calling is the same, every man must make the decision about serving Jesus. It will cost you leaving your occupation. It will cost you leaving your parents. There is a price to pay, but it is worth it. God is looking for men today to give their lives to serve Him full-time. Will you?
4:23-25 Jesus’ Full-time Ministry
- 4:23 Jesus went about all Galilee doing three things: (1) Teaching in their synagogues—these were places where the Jews congregated for worship and instruction, therefore Jesus would go there and cause them to understand the true meanings of the Old Testament Scriptures. (2) Preaching the gospel of the kingdom—Jesus would publicly proclaim the good news of the kingdom. Everything was going to change because of everything He was going to do and He was preaching this new way. It was a message for all to hear. (3) Healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people—Jesus also preformed works of compassion and mercy. He didn’t just focus on the rich and comfortable, but His message and healing power reached the lowest of the low among societies order of importance.
- 4:24 Jesus fame went throughout all Syria, therefore, the people brought all the sick people that were taken with divers diseases, torments, possessed with devils, lunatics, and those who had the palsy unto Him and He healed them. Jesus didn’t turn away those who society would deem as crazy and not worthy of the time of such a leader who is quickly becoming famous. Jesus took time to minister to these people. He performed miracles that couldn’t be denied. The sick people were immediately healed every single time. It wasn’t like today’s false teachers who claim to heal people and it doesn’t work or the person wasn’t really sick and they claimed to be healed to cheat others into believing something false. The power for Jesus to heal also wasn’t based on the faith of the people He was healing, but was based on Him, the Healer. Today’s false teachers do the opposite, blame their failures on the lack of faith of others.
- 4:25 The response to Jesus’ constant teaching, preaching and healing caused great multitudes of people from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judaea and from beyond Jordan to follow Jesus. Things were really happening and people were responding to Jesus. They wanted to know more about who this person was. I am sure their mind was filled with questions: Was He really performing miracles? Where did His wisdom of the Scriptures come from? What was this gospel of the kingdom He spoke of? Could this really be the Christ? They followed Jesus to find these answers and we will find them out as well.
- Why was it important for Jesus to go to Galilee?
- Who is the great light?
- What did the first two brothers have to give up to follow Jesus?
- What did the second two brothers have to give up to follow Jesus?
- What three things did Jesus do as full-time ministry?