August 30, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Saturday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 31, 2 Sam. 16:5-19, 2 Cor 5:11
Evening – Psalm 29, 30, Mt4:12

Commentary, Matthew 4:12-25

John had committed no crime.  He simply preached a message of hope in God.  He simply wanted people to enjoy the privileges and blessings of the new era of the Kingdom of God.  Many followed John, outwardly.  Most were unmoved inwardly.  Ultimately, his message was soundly rejected by his people, and he, like his Master, was arrested and murdered by the corrupt leaders of church and state.  Yet his passing worked to the glory of God, for as John himself had said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30).

Our Lord now returns to Galilee, where the great majority of His time and teaching are spent.  Note again how Matthew relates this to fulfilled prophecy.  Quoting Isaiah 9:1-2, he shows that the Light seen in Galilee is Christ, the Light of men (Jn.1:4).  The journey took Christ from Bethany, near Jerusalem, to Nazareth, about seventy miles north if He traveled through Samaria.  From Nazareth he walked to Capernaum on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, about twenty miles.  It was in Capernaum that He began His ministry.

His message was strikingly similar to John’s.  “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17).  Jesus is telling people the time of fulfillment is upon them.  The Old Testament prophecies and promises regarding the Messiah and His Kingdom are in the process of being fulfilled right before their eyes.  The era of Promise is over.  The Era of the Kingdom is now.  The Light is come.