Large crowds followed [Jesus] wherever he went — people from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, from all over Judea, and from east of the Jordan River.
— Matthew 4:25 NLT
In many of our minds, this list of towns is just a collection of Jewish hamlets. However, this list of towns — along with Syria in the previous verse (Matthew 4:24) — is telling us something essential about Jesus' ministry: These towns had Greeks, Romans, Samaritans, and Jews living in them, and they 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 and can keep us from breaking down the barriers that separate us. Matthew wanted us to know that even though Jesus' earthly ministry was primarily concentrated on the Israelite nation, his goal was to reach all peoples through his ministry and 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 showed 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.
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 break down 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.
Related Scripture Readings
- Matthew 28:18-19
- Revelation 7:9-10
- Matthew 8:10-11
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Friday, February 5, 2021
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.
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