February 25, 2022
Scripture Resource Passage: Matthew 4
Prophecy bundles words, often appearing at proverbial first-glance to be simple. A careful look at those first-glance-words, may reveal the handiwork of God.
“An example,” you ask? Certainly. Examine Isaiah’s words quoted in Matthew 4. We encounter references to specific portions of Israel’s lands—Naphtali and Zebulun, just beyond the Jordan River (Isaiah 9:1-2). Geography reveals a work of God.
Matthew reports: “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” (Matthew 4:12-13).
The machinations of God, the handiwork of God, the keeping of God’s presence is often a mystery; but there is a clue here in the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali. The clue to the presence of God is smaller than the lands’ themselves.
There is this one town, not large at all and considered by many to be a no-where place probably full of not-happening people; but God, has business in this town. Within the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali the Way of the Sea, the ones beyond the Jordan sometimes called Galilee of the Gentiles is the small small place called Nazareth.
While these geography references of Zebulun, Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, or Galilee of the Gentiles [nations] are probably obscure to us, we clearly see Christ proclaimed as God’s great light. “…[T]he people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned…’” (Matthew 4:13-17).
Are there other occasions when God has chosen an obscure location or person to play a significant role in the scheme of redemption?
What insight do you draw from the phrase, “…on those living in the shadow of death…” (Matthew 4:16)?
How does the city of Capernaum fit into the life of Jesus?
What is the value of having a place like Capernaum? Does life find you on center stage or in a small place?
Thank you for reading. Please pray for the people in all the small towns and large cities of Europe.
These are hours of conflict and war during which the business of God will be hard to see.