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

Monday, February 1, 2021

[After moving to Capernaum,] Jesus began to preach, "Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near."

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers — Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew — throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!" And they left their nets at once and followed him.

— Matthew 4:17-20 NLT

Key Thought

We have a tendency to think of kingdoms in terms of property or geography. For Jesus, the "Kingdom of Heaven" (or the "Kingdom of God" in the other Gospels and occasionally in Matthew) is not about property or geography. Jesus taught that the Kingdom is about submission to his reign in his disciples' hearts and lives. His goal for his early disciples was for them 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 Jesus. They wanted Jesus to rule their hearts. Jesus' goal for us is the same. For us, there are 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. If so, it now will be used through us but only for him and 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. Jesus, 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 your name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 1:40-42
  • Matthew 10:2-4
  • 2 Peter 3:9


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Illustration of Matthew 4:17-20 NLT — "Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near."   ——   "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!"

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.