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.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Jesus went out among the people to gather His disciples. He chose common people, no one special – because to Jesus we are all special. He didn’t look for people with power or wealth, but He didn’t turn them away either.
Jesus wanted to show that no one was beneath His dignity. He ministered to the poor who were often forgotten and pushed aside. He preached to the rich who were often hated for their wealth and position. He taught Jews and Gentiles that they all had the same Heavenly Father in spite of their differences.
Jesus wanted us to know how much we were the same and how much God loves us. He wanted us to understand that God is ready to forgive and welcome us back into a relationship with Him. Jesus has so much to share with us if we only take time to listen and believe.
Gracious God, you sent Your Son to love and heal and free us from our sins. May we be faithful to what He taught and share Your love with all the world. Amen.