Day Five: Monday, March 6

cross_13347acMatthew 4:12-25

Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
toward the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sat in darkness saw a great light,
to those who sat in the region and shadow of death,
to them light has dawned

From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Walking 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. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men.”

They immediately left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them. They immediately left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people. The report about him went out into all Syria. They brought to him all who were sick, afflicted with various diseases and torments, possessed with demons, epileptics, and paralytics; and he healed them. Great multitudes from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan followed him.

   World English Bible (WEB)

Meditation: “Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” The word I have rendered ‘here comes,’ has exercised many interpreters. Does it mean the kingdom is near, or does it mean the kingdom is present? Does it suggest a future or a present kingdom? It means both: it is on its ways, it is just about to break in, in fact it is breaking in, in some ways, as Jesus’ very words are spoken—‘here comes!’ The translation ‘here comes’ keeps the kingdom from being a static object either in heaven (is near) or on earth (is here); it protects the kingdom from the desecration of being so present it can be taken for granted and from the irrelevance of being so future it doesn’t matter… ‘Here comes the kingdom’ means the kingdom is breaking in right now through Jesus’ person and Word like a great landslide or like lightning from heaven. The kingdom is vital, alive, moving, and breaking in.” (Dale Bruner, “The Christbook”, p. 123.)