When Jesus got word that John had been arrested, he returned to Galilee. He moved from his hometown, Nazareth, to the lakeside village Capernaum, nestled at the base of the Zebulun and Naphtali hills. This move completed Isaiah’s sermon:Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,road to the sea, over Jordan,Galilee, crossroads for the nations.People sitting out their lives in the dark saw a huge light;Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,they watched the sun come up.This Isaiah-prophesied sermon came to life in Galilee the moment Jesus started preaching. He picked up where John left off: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” Matthew 4:12-17 (MSG)
Today’s message is such a treat, we get to watch the Sun come up, just like the people living in the land of zebulun and Naphatali. So in this passage of scripture, John the Baptist, the fore runner of Christ Jesus is arrested and this creates an opportunity for Jesus Christ, to continue where John left off. Testifying to the fact that no matter what happens the will of God prevails and His word never passes away, the preachers may come and go but the Word of God remains.
Jesus Christ then moves out into the dark country of death. I really love this. The true light of God, in Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men…(John 1:4) Yet in all the places to live He moved into the dark country of death. This is so that He could shine and no matter how much the darkness tried it could never overpower, appropriate or absorb the light. His mission was to save the God’s people trapped and stuck, living in the dark. Jesus Christ instantly begins to preach repentance which means to change your mind, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life.
The King of kings begins to build the kingdom of God in the dark country of death. Jesus Christ is not only humble to lower Himself to be in human form, but He goes further to dark and in death just to save people. How great is the mercy and grace of God for us. How great os the love of God for us.
You know thinking about this makes me wonder why most people when working want to be deployed to work in the best cities, the safest areas, in urban cetres as opposed ho rural area. Most people are sefish and self centred, only thinking of the best for themselves. Jesus on the other hand , gladly put aside His deity not only that even while on earth, He did not petition for special treatment as God. Infacf He rejected during His birth, to the point that He was born in a manger. When He began His ministry, He was deployed by His Father to move to the dark city of death. Remember Jesus did nothing on His own intiative ( John 12:49-50)
One important thing that today’s devotion carries is that just because people are living in the dark city of death, does not mean that they are worthless. Our worth is not as a result of our status in life but our worth comes from our Heavenly Father who created us and predestined us for glory through His beloved Son.
All we have to do is believe this, there is hope for people on earth today because of the finished work of Christ and we have to carry the heart of God our Father for people. What moves Him should moves is just like it moved Jesus Christ to love them enough to reach out to them, preaching repentance( change your mind or believe system about God and abandon your sinful ways and seek Him instead).
We should love other people so much that we care enough to reach out to them while they are still living in sin. Remember while we were still slaves to our sins Christ Jesus died for us. He never waited until we repented so that He could die gor us, He made the first move, He reached out, He stepped into our darkness and shone the bright light of God into our lives changing us forever, He still, does even right now. He still loves us that much, so let us repent abandon our wicked ways and submit to the will of God.
What is amazing is that the Lord called His first disciples from the dark country of death. He called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew first. Jesus Christ later goes on in Matthew 16:18 and tells Simon Peter, the same disciple whom He called from the dark country of death..
And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hades (death) will not overpower it.
I believe their is treasure lots of it hidden in people that society condems as lost, living in darkness and sin. We just have to know the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ and be conscious of His love for us, to care enough to reach out to them in love.
Meditate on: There is hidden treasure in everyone, the lost included. We just have to love them enough to reach out and speak the truth in love.