(Part 111)


January 5, 2015

Today’s gospel:  Matthew 4:12-25

In today’s gospel we read two of Jesus’ most important statements. To everyone he says, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (v.17). This is the proper response to the saving work of Jesus. When we repent and put our faith in him, we experience the salvation he won for us on the cross. We regain entry into the kingdom of heaven in our midst, while looking to entry into heaven itself for all eternity.

We can see how such a response is most important, nay, crucial. It makes all the difference between remaining in darkness and moving into light. How can such a response come about? Aside from the grace of God, which is freely given, people need to hear about the good news of salvation in Jesus. They hear, they believe, they accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.

And so Jesus addresses another set of people. These are those who would proclaim the gospel. These are those whom he would send. He says to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishes of men.” (v.19). Jesus “proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom” (v.23c) while he was on earth, but now leaves this task up to his disciples. That is us.

Do you see how very crucial your role is? Do you see how literally life-saving your response will be? You are entrusted with the work of the kingdom. You are stepping into the sandals of our Lord Jesus. You are relied on by God to do His divine work. You can spell the difference between darkness and light, death and life, damnation and salvation, for others.

Out of love for God, out of love for neighbor, are you willing to do what you can in response to Jesus’ call? Is this work worth getting out of your comfort zones and personal priorities? The first apostles left their livelihood and family (v.20-22) in order to follow Jesus. Are you willing to make Jesus and his cause your first priority?

Expand your vision.

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