Monday after Epiphany, 7 January
I. Reading: 1John 3:22-4:6: Test the spirits, to see if they come from God.
Gospel: Matthew 4:12-17. 23-25: The kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Jesus’ Ministry: Going Forth with Purpose, Mt 4:12-17
The time had now come-the time when Jesus was to go forth to His great purpose. This is for every believer, laypeople, and ministers alike. Every believer is called of God, actually sent into the world for a specific purpose. The sad fact is that too many believers are not aware of their purpose. They do not know why God sent them into the world. Let us go forth as Jesus Christ went forth, to carry on the great task which God has given him to do.
1. There was the sign to begin: John’s imprisonment (v.12)
2. There was the chosen headquarters: Galilee (v.12-13)
a. Jesus left Nazareth
b. Jesus headquartered in Capernaum
3. There was the deliberate decision to fulfil Scripture (v.14)
4. There was the mission (v.15-16)
a. To go to needy lands
b. To take people in darkness and show them great light
c. To take people in death and give them light
5. There was the message (v.17)
b. Reason: The kingdom of heaven is near
Jesus’ Dramatic Fame: A Successful Ministry, Mt 4:23-25
A successful ministry is a ministry that follows in the footsteps of the Lord. This message shows forth what the Lord did and the results of what He did. His activities set a pattern for every believer, minister and laypeople alike.
1. Jesus’ sphere of activity (v.23)
a. Through all Galilee
b. In the Synagogue
2. Jesus’ daily activities (v.23)
b. Preaching the gospel
3. Jesus’ fame: Spread throughout all Syria (v.24)
4. Jesus’ power (v.24)
a. Over the spiritual
b. Over the mental
c. Over the physical
5. Jesus’ following (v.25)
a. Large crowds followed
b. From everywhere: Both Jew and Gentile
Thought: Where are the large crowds today?
i. Are people no longer hungry for God? Are the fields no longer white unto harvest? (Jn 3:35)
ii. Do preachers not seek God as much as Christ did? (Mk 1:35, 6:46; Lk 5:16, 9:18, 22:41)
iii. Are preachers not as compassionate and concerned as Christ was? (Mt 9:36, 14:14; Is 63:9)