What Jesus Did! 'To All Peoples' — Matthew 4:25

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Many, many people followed Jesus. These people were from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, Judea, and the area across the Jordan River.
— Matthew 4:25
Illustration of Matthew 4:25 — Many, many people followed Jesus. These people were from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, Judea, and the area across the Jordan River.

Key Thought

In many of our minds, this list of towns is just a collection of Jewish hamlets. This was not so. Greeks, Romans, Samaritans, and Jews all made up the people who interacted with Jesus in his earthly ministry. Jesus carried out his ministry in a hotbed of hate and suspicion among different races and social classes. As human beings, we can easily slip into racial, ethnic, and social prejudices. Our own insecurities make it easier for us to have suspicions and fears about other people rather than breaking down the barriers that separate us. Matthew wants us to know that even though Jesus' earthly ministry was primarily concentrated on the Israelite nation, his goal was to reach all peoples through the ongoing ministry of his disciples. In the book of Revelation, the last message of our Bible, God reminds us of his dream for heaven: a place where there are no barriers between people who honor his Son as Lord. Jesus shows us in glimpses throughout his ministry that he loves all people. His legacy of love to all peoples today, however, must be shown in the lives of his disciples. That's us! So what are we waiting for? We all need to follow Jesus' example and serve people today no matter their gender, race, ethnicity, or social standing.

Today's Prayer

Dear Father, God who loves all people, give me a heart that refuses to tolerate injustice and prejudice among your people and give me a willing spirit to reach through any barriers that divide your children. Please use me to include those left out and to bring them into my circle of fellowship. In the name of Jesus, who died for all, 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

So Jesus came to them and said, "All authority (power) in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:18-19

Then I looked, and there were many, many people. There were so many people that a person could not count them all. They were from every nation, tribe, race of people, and language of the earth. These people were standing before the throne and before the Lamb (Jesus). They all wore white robes and had palm branches in their hands. They shouted with a loud voice, "Victory belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Revelation 7:9-10

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Jesus said to those people that were with him, "I tell you the truth. This man has more faith than any person I have found, even in Israel. Many people will come from the east and from the west. Those people will sit and eat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 8:10-11

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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.