Our scripture this week is Matthew 4:12-23.
When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 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.”
Jesus came to fulfill a need in people to see a perfect example of God’s love. Instead of going to Jerusalem and teaching at the temple, He went to the outlying provinces of Israel, where He spoke to small groups and those who were shunned by society. The prophet Isaiah had written seven hundred years earlier that “the people living in darkness have seen a great light”, and while he indicated the location where Jesus went to teach, the people living in darkness was a much larger group than that.
Jesus came at a specific time and place to show us how much God wanted to connect with us, but His plan to reach all people continues today. He has called each of us to bring the light of His love to the dark places that still exist. This is the beauty of God’s plan for us, that He wants us to be part of the work.
God has blessed us with gifts to be used in His service, carrying His invitation to all people everywhere. Our task is to go where we are needed, as Jesus did, to ensure no place or group is left out. God has called us to be the light in the darkness, letting people know how much He loves us all.
Wise and wonderful God, in Your perfect plan for creation You have made a place for each of us and a task for us to accomplish. Help us to see the work You have for us and help others to know Your love through our witness. Amen.