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Emails to God – Jesus Figuring Out His Ministry (Matthew 4:12-17)

11 Nov

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,

the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,

Galilee of the Gentiles—

16 the people living in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death

a light has dawned.”

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Dear God, I wonder how much of the plan for the rest of his earthly life Jesus understood at this point. Did he know he was three years away from the cross, or did he just know what the next step was? It is interesting that at the beginning of his ministry his message is strikingly similar to John the Baptists: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” In fact, according to this translation, Matthew put the same words in both of their mouths.

My guess is that Jesus was figuring this out as he went. Perhaps he started to get a clearer vision during the 40-day fast. I am sure there was a lot of prayer time with you out there. I am also sure that the angels ministered more than food and water to him at the end of the fast. They probably gave him some encouragement since he was possibly bothered by the revelations he was getting.

What I have learned for my own life is that it is better if you keep me in the dark regarding the future. It is not good for me to know the long-range plan because if I do, and the path will be difficult, I am less likely to walk down it. It is good for me to focus only on today and not tomorrow. Kind of like coaches of all types tell their teams: “We just have to take it one game at a time.

Father, help me to be at peace with the day you have given to me. This day, in particular, has the potential to be a great day because I am going to spend it on vacation with my mom and her family. So I ask that you help me to be a blessing to my mom. Help me to be a blessing to my uncle, aunt, grandmother, and cousins. Help me to decrease as you increase. Be glorified through me as I simply seek to submit myself to you today without thinking too much about tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Matthew

 

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