What Jesus Did! 'The Kingdom Calls' — Matthew 4:17-20

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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." Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Simon's brother Andrew. The two brothers were fishermen and they were fishing in the lake with a net. Jesus said, "Come follow me. I will make you a different kind of fishermen. You will work to gather people, not fish." Simon and Andrew left their nets and followed Jesus.
— Matthew 4:17-20
Illustration of Matthew 4:17-20 — "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon."   ——   "Come follow me. I will make you a different kind of fishermen. You will work to gather people, not fish."

Key Thought

We have a tendency to think of kingdoms in terms of property or geography. For Jesus, the Kingdom of God (or "Kingdom of Heaven" as Matthew often puts it) is not about property or geography. Jesus taught that the Kingdom was about submission to his reign in his disciples' hearts and lives. His goal for them was to be like him in character and obedience. They had to be ready to surrender to him anything that might get in the way of his leadership in their lives. This kind of kingdom requires conquest, but not a conquest of nations or territory. Instead, it is the conquest of hearts. Peter and Andrew left all to follow him. They wanted Jesus to rule their hearts. For us, there are still some fundamental questions regarding the Kingdom and following Christ: "What do I find most difficult to surrender to the Lordship of Christ? Where do I start? What is that one thing that is most difficult?" I must let him have rule over that one area—and ultimately over every area. If I will do this, he may very well give it back to me to use, only now it will be for him, through us, by his power.

Today's Prayer

O Lord God, I want Jesus to be Lord of my life. I want to follow him and honor him in every way. Please gently show me the areas of my life that I have not surrendered to his Lordship. I want you and your Kingdom to be the consuming passion of my life. I want to live for you so that I may be used by you to bless others. In the name of the Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

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." Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Simon's brother Andrew. The two brothers were fishermen and they were fishing in the lake with a net. Jesus said, "Come follow me. I will make you {a different kind of} fishermen. You will work to gather people, {not fish}." Simon and Andrew left their nets and followed Jesus. Jesus continued walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee. They were preparing their nets to catch fish. Jesus told the brothers to come with him. So the brothers left the boat and their father, and they followed Jesus. Jesus went everywhere in the country of Galilee. Jesus taught in the synagogues and told the Good News about the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus healed all the people's diseases and sicknesses. The news about Jesus spread all over Syria. And people brought all the sick people to Jesus. These sick people were suffering from different kinds of diseases and pain. Some people were suffering with very bad pain, some people had demons inside them, some people were epileptics, and some people were paralyzed (crippled). Jesus healed all these people. Many, many people followed Jesus. These people were from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, Judea, and the area across the Jordan River.

Matthew 4:17-25

Related Scripture Readings

These two men followed Jesus after they heard about Jesus from John. One of these two men was named Andrew. Andrew was Simon Peter's brother. The first thing Andrew did was to go find his brother, Simon. Andrew said to Simon, "We have found the Messiah." ("Messiah" means "Christ. ") Then Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at Simon and said, "You are Simon, the son of John. You will be called Cephas." ("Cephas" means "Peter. ")

John 1:40-42

These are the names of the twelve apostles : Simon (also called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James, son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James, son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. Judas is the one that gave Jesus to his enemies.

Matthew 10:2-4

The Lord is not being slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. God doesn't want any person to be lost. God wants every person to change his heart and stop sinning.

2 Peter 3:9

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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.