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.
This is a time in ministry of Jesus when He is now going to replace John. John up until now had been used to be a messenger for Jesus and helped pave the way for His coming. Jesus withdrawing to Capernaum and the prophecy being fulfilled has great significance. This prophecy is referring to a time in which Galilee was ruled by another Gentile Empire. Roman control had been established over Galilee in destroying Jerusalem and its temple before Jesus started His ministry. Matthew’s Gospel is written some time after that and the cities that are referred to in Isaiah describe Roman rule as darkness and death. This now places Jesus in the prime position, to begin His public ministry as the light and saving presence that shines in the darkness of Rome’s rule over the land. Christ now comes and asserts His light in Roman Galilee.
Jesus begins His ministry by first declaring His rule in Galilee by using the words “the Kingdom of Heaven”. This was to signify that God’s rule was going to one day come and take over the world again. The second step He takes is by calling followers to not only come join Him in His mission but also to prepare them to take over once He goes back to Heaven. The third way is by beginning to exercise His perfect love and authority by teaching the good news of Christ and performing miracles by healing the sick.
Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation. He is the only one that can truly heal us not only from physical ailments but from spiritual sickness. He shines His perfect light in the darkest places of our hearts and shows us that our sin is not what has to define us. He allows for us to see that there is the perfect and free gift of Salvation and Grace waiting for those who accept it.
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