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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 4:17-20 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

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

Comments

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.

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.