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

Saturday, January 30, 2021

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.
— Matthew 4:12-13 NLT

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 giving us background information on Jesus and helping us see how Jesus prepared for his ministry. Then suddenly, Jesus hears the signal: "John had been arrested." Jesus first goes back to the obscure hamlet of Nazareth, his hometown (Matthew 2:19-20, 23), then moves to 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 previously took 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 to be accomplished, things 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 give me 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 3:26-30
  • Acts 16:6-9
  • Acts 20:22


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Illustration of Matthew 4:12-13 NLT —  He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.