“… 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.’” Matthew 4:16-17, NIV
After John was imprisoned, Jesus went to Galilee (where people lived in darkness – Matthew 4:16) and went to live in Capernaum, which was by the lake – the area of Zebulun and Naphtali, two tribes of Israel. His preaching of the Gospel to the Jews, as well as the non-Jews (the world), started here. His message was simple: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (verse 17)
Jesus’ teaching and preaching were not limited to a synagogue or temple. The open air, a boat, mountain, garden, or house, served as his pulpit. His metaphorical preaching and parables unlocked truths in the crowds’ hearts and spirits. He addressed relationships, values, and man’s lifestyle and way of life. Do yourself a favour and read the Beatitudes concerning Jesus’ authoritative preaching of God’s will. (Matthew 5-7)
Healings and miracles were synonymous with Jesus’ ministry. He changed water into wine, multiplied bread and fish, and quieted a stormy sea. He raised a girl from the dead; healed a woman with an issue of blood; gave sight to the blind; healed lepers; straighten lame legs; and … on it goes. What was his secret, except for the fact that he was Jesus, the Saviour, Son of God? Luke 5:16 answers the question: “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” But all honour is due to his source of power: “And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to hear those who were ill.” (Luke 5:17)
I cannot grasp that this magnificent work of Jesus could have continued to grow without his hand-picked and committed followers accompanying him on the journey. A journey that did not end with his disciples but still going strong by the witness and lifestyle of modern-day, called believers. And will continue to propel forward until he comes to take us home. The question though is: Are you one of his disciples leading the way? Do you often withdraw to lonely places to hear his voice?
Prayer: Our Father, thank you for snatching me from twilight into the Light. May my minuscule part in the work of your kingdom be made worthy by your involvement. Amen.