What Jesus Did! 'Starting Signals' — Matthew 4:12-13

Monday, January 30, 2017

Jesus heard that John was put in prison. So Jesus went back to Galilee. Jesus did not stay in Nazareth. He went and lived in Capernaum, a town near the lake (Lake Galilee). Capernaum is in the area near Zebulun and Naphtali.
— Matthew 4:12-13
Illustration of Matthew 4:12-13 —  Capernaum is in the area near Zebulun and Naphtali.

Key Thought

"Runners take your mark ... get set ... BANG!" At the firing of the starter's pistol, the runners burst out of their blocks and the race begins. Lying behind the start of the race are years of training, qualification races, hours of practice and conditioning, and preliminary heats that brought the runners to the starting line. Once there, they are ready to hear the signal for the race to begin. As Matthew tells us the story of the Good News of Jesus, he spends the first four chapters helping us see how Jesus prepared for his ministry. Then suddenly, Jesus hears the signal: "John has been put into prison." He then moves from the obscure hamlet of Nazareth into Capernaum, the bustling commerce city of the northern Sea of Galilee. It is now his time to start. Jesus goes where he is needed—where there are many people. He identifies himself with people seeking God's great work of deliverance through the Jews—as a Jew he takes part in John's baptism of expectation and preparation. He is ready to faithfully serve both his Father and those who need him, no matter the cost. His ministry begins.

Today's Prayer

Almighty and patient Father, I confess that at times I grow anxious and frustrated with how long things take that are holy and righteous and needed. Yet I see in your greatest servants, an incredible investment in preparation and testing before they were equipped to serve. Please give me patience to wait for your timing and courageous wisdom to know when the time has come to move with your grace and then to act decisively. In Jesus' name I ask for this grace. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus heard that John was put in prison. So Jesus went back to Galilee. Jesus did not stay in Nazareth. He went and lived in Capernaum, a town near the lake (Lake Galilee). Capernaum is in the area near Zebulun and Naphtali. Jesus did this to make happen what the prophet Isaiah said: "{Look at} the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the lands by the road that goes to the sea, the area past the Jordan River— Galilee, the land where non-Jewish people live. Those people live in darkness (sin), but they have seen a great light; the light has come for those people that live in the land that is dark like a grave." From that time Jesus began to tell people {what God wanted}. This is what he said: "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon."

Matthew 4:12-17

Related Scripture Readings

So the followers came to John. They said, "Teacher, remember the man that was with you on the other side of the Jordan River? He is the man you were telling people about. That man is baptizing people, and many people are going to him." John answered, "A man can get only what God gives him. You yourselves heard me say, 'I am not the Christ. I am only the one that God sent to prepare the way for him.' The bride always belongs to the bridegroom. The friend that helps the bridegroom just waits and listens. He's happy just to hear the bridegroom talk. That's how I feel now. I'm so happy that he (Jesus) is here. He must become more and more important. And I must become less important.

John 3:26-30

Paul and the men with him went through the countries of Phrygia and Galatia. The Holy Spirit did not allow them to tell the Good News in the country of Asia. Paul and Timothy went near the country of Mysia. They wanted to go into the country of Bithynia. But the Spirit of Jesus did not let them go in. So they passed by Mysia and went to the city of Troas. That night Paul saw a vision. In this vision, a man from the country of Macedonia came to Paul. The man stood there and begged, "Come across to Macedonia. Help us!"

Acts 16:6-9

But now I must obey the Holy Spirit and go to Jerusalem. I don't know what will happen to me there.

Acts 20:22

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.