Monday 12 August 2013

Matthew 4:12-25 - The first disciples

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Matthew's account begins to describe Jesus' ministry in Matthew 4:12-25. There are three elements to his work, the same things that he later called his followers to continue, the same three things we are therefore also called to do.

The first is proclaiming the nearness of the kingdom of heaven (verses 12-17). The second is making disciples (verses 18-22). And the third is bringing healing (verses 23-25).

How seriously do we take these things in terms of how we live our own lives?

Jesus left Nazareth where he had an established business in the building trade. He settled instead in Capernaum on the shore of Galilee, fulfilling prophecy and telling people to repent because the kingdom had come near.

Notice how his first disciples responded to his call. They dropped what they were doing, left their old lives behind, and followed him immediately. How do we compare with this level of dedication?

And pay attention to what he did as he travelled. There are several verbs to notice - went, taught, proclaimed, healed. And also note the impact this had. News spread, people came, large crowds followed. And his new disciples saw it all.

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