December 8th – Matthew 4:12-25

Spend some time meditating on this passage. Then, come back and read the commentary, my verse, and my response to God.

  • Request God’s help.
  • Read Matthew 4:12-25
  • Record a verse that stands out to you.
  • Respond to God.

Read the commentary when you’re ready.

When Jesus heard John was arrested, He withdrew to Galilee. The baton was passed from John to Jesus at that moment, but the message remained the same. “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near” (V17).

Surprisingly, I just realized how close Capernaum was to a Gentile region. After all, isn’t that where Peter, Andrew, James, and John fished? Isn’t that where Matthew collected taxes from the Jewish people? Yes, Jesus found his disciples among the Jews living close to the world.

And yet, verse twenty says, “At once they left their nets and followed Him.” That has always struck me as odd. Perhaps they already knew of Jesus? Regardless, Jesus was a rabbi who invited these lowly fishermen to follow Him. Recently, our pastor explained to the congregation that, at the time, it was a privilege to be chosen by a rabbi to become his disciple. It could have been an opportunity these fishermen couldn’t refuse. Either way, they all immediately followed Jesus.

What was your response to Jesus’ invitation when He first asked you to follow Him?

My Verse: Matthew 4:23: “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”

My Response: While in Israel in 2018, we visited the dig of a first-century synagogue in Magdala. The fact that Jesus taught in this synagogue and walked on the stones under my feet was overwhelming. So much so that I cried tears of joy as I walked the path to the sea. Still, after the wedding in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine, Jesus healed every ailment, including demon possession. His first missionary journey was in Galilee, where Jesus demonstrated His divine authority, revealing His identity to the world. Jesus had no limits on His power then, and there are no limits to His power today.

Father, may I have the faith to believe You are still helping people worldwide. You are revealing Yourself as the Messiah, the Savior of the world, and drawing people to You as You did centuries ago in Galilee. May I never stop believing that You work, even in the hardest of hearts. Amen


1 Comment. Leave new

  • My verse: “From then on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

    Dear Lord, this verse felt “new” to me, today. I associate You, Lord Jesus, with the Sermon on the Mount, and the Come to me all ye who are weary verses. And yet here You are, preaching the most basic and important lessons of the faith. We must repeatedly repent when You point out sin by your Spirit in our lives. And the beauty of repentance is, that we turn from sin and toward YOU! Help me, Lord. Show me my faults and sins and help me to always confess, repent, and draw near to You who forgives so utterly and at such a great cost.


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