Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Matthew 4:12-17 (NIV)
Jesus Begins to Preach
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.”
Maybe you’ve noticed my love of Old Testament prophecies. Whenever I see the quote marks in the gospel text, I get a little excited. Today we get a glimpse of Isaiah. In these few verses, it might be easy to get lost in the geography, which I’d have to spend 20 minutes searching out. Yet, God’s faithfulness is easy to see. The ancient prophet Isaiah was told by God that “the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them, a light has dawned”. (Matt 4:16; Isaiah 9:2) God is fulfilling this promise in the life and ministry of his son, Jesus. From these ancient days, until today, this is our God. He keeps his word, he is faithful, and he brings light and hope to his people. Do you see God’s hand at work in your life today?