Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In our Gospel reading for this week, Matthew 4:12-25, Jesus shows himself to be the one who brings good news and deliverance to the people who were dwelling in darkness. He is the one who fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah. He goes to the very place where the prophet said the people would be rescued. Matthew, true to form, is quick to identify this as an activity performed to fulfill the prophecy.
What does Jesus do? He calls people to repent of their sin. They are to do so because God’s kingdom is present. It is not to earn God’s kingdom, but as a response to the presence of the Lord. We notice in verse 17 that this is the message which Jesus took up consistently.
How does Jesus work out that repentance? He begins calling people to himself. He first gatheres Peter and Andrew, then James and John. With these four, he goes to many different locations. His message is that of God’s kingdom. He demonstrates the power of God’s kingdom by bringing healing. Matthew’s account points out that there is no kind of disease or spiritual attack which Jesus cannot deal with.
Jesus shows himself to be the one who rescues us from the power of darkness, sin, and even death. Will we respond, as his hearers did in the first century, by repenting of our sin and recognizing that God’s kingdom has come to us?
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