Daily RCL Bible Reading Devotional – February 3rd, 2016

Scripture Reading(s)

Matthew 4:12-23

4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee.

4:13 He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali,

4:14 so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

4:15 “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles

4:16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”

4:17 From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

4:18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen.

4:19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”

4:20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

4:21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.

4:22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.


Lydia.jpgWhen Jesus first began His public ministry He began to also look for those who would join Him in spreading the gospel. It is important to note that those whom  He sought were just ordinary men with everyday jobs. They were not of high ranking status, they did not belong to any social or important group, nor were they wealthy. They were ordinary people like you and me that had an immediate desire to follow after Christ.

Jesus could have very well started and continued His ministry on His own. However He chose to use people like the disciples to do His work in spreading the love of Christ to others around them. I love how the response was as the text says “immediate”. There was no hesitation and no questions asked. They left their lives and all that they knew behind to follow after Christ. There was no desire to bring with them any prized possessions, or go back and say goodbye to their family and friends. There was nothing more important to them then being a disciple of Christ.

In our own lives, how many things do we hold onto that takes the place of putting Christ first? I know in my own life there is the temptation to stay within my own comfort zone. For others it could also mean either sticking to a place in which we are comfortable or familiar with. Or thinking we can have the best of both worlds, such as our love our prized possessions and attempting to follow after Christ.

There is nothing else in this world that can ever satisfy us the same way Christ can. Let us answer the same call that Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 16:24-26 “ Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” He is searching for hearts that are willing to boldly step out and spread the message of the Gospel. He is looking for a heart that is willing and open. 

Justin-Holmes1.jpgWe see the gospel being proclaimed at the start of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee, as prophesied in Isaiah 9:1-2. Notice that in both Matthew and Luke Jesus declared His ministry to be specifically to the sick and outcasts of society.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed
(Luke 4:18-19)

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

This is no surprise as Jesus also declared that He would come back to judge humanity based on what they had done “for the least of these.” (Matthew 25:40)

What does this have to do with anything? We must not forget that our faith should be accompanied by action. Just as a painter paints and a comedian tells jokes, a Christian should imitate Christ. To follow Christ one must carry on His work. We are His hands and feet here on the earth until He calls us home or comes back.



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