Obey Right Away – Matthew 4:12-25

Obey Right Away is a common theme in our house.  We even added a final verse to “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock” that goes:

So listen to God’s Word and obey every day, right away!

Jesus and the disciples make it pretty clear that dropping everything to obey right away doesn’t just apply to toddlers who need to leave behind their Play-doh creations and put their shoes on.  I’m realizing it’s possible that my 4-year-old may not be the only one in the house with selective hearing…

  • V12 – Why does He leave the area?  Because it’s a political hotbed?  Just to fulfill the prophecy?  Now that John’s not there, he has no reason to stay?  Point is, He’s attentive and obedient to where God wants Him to go next.

◊ Am I ready/willing to pull up roots and move when/if God wants me to?

  • V15-16 – More prophecies – this shows that the OT isn’t a bunch of interesting but disconnected stories.  It was like a giant parable being laid out so we could better understand our need for a Savior and what a gift that Savior is.
  • V16 – My ESV Study Bible notes say the area had seen a lot of turmoil.

◊ Are there neighborhoods/areas nearby that are particularly dark and “in the shadow of death”?  How can I reflect God’s great Light to them?

  • V17 – Jesus didn’t do any preaching until after He spent 40 days in intense communication with His Father.  Once He started, He didn’t stop.
  • V17 – His message echoed John’s.  Repent – turn from your sins and turn to God – don’t let your sinful nature control you, give control of your life to God

◊ Do I understand (and act accordingly) that this is something I have to do every day (every hour, every minute)?

  • V18-20 – Peter and Andrew knew Jesus already (according to ESV Study Bible notes) but still worked at their “day job.”  Jesus asks them to leave their family business to “catch people.”  They do it without hesitation.

◊ Do I know and love Jesus well enough that when/if He asks me to leave everything so that others might know Him I would immediately and eagerly drop everything and jump at the opportunity?

  • V18 – Jesus chooses “schmoes” who didn’t choose Biblical studies as their life’s work to be the ones to start His church.

◊ Do I assume I’m unqualified to do anything of significance for God’s Kingdom?

  • V23 – “Proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom…” – What is the gospel before Jesus has died?  The Kingdom, in its fulness, will be a place of no sin, disease or sadness – where our actions aren’t motivated by selfishness, but where everything is done to and for God’s glory.

◊ What a beautiful picture!  Who could resist longing to live in such a place?  Why don’t I share this element of the gospel of the kingdom more often?

  • V23 – Jesus met their spiritual and physical needs.

◊ Do I look after people’s physical needs without addressing their spiritual needs or vice versa?

◊ Do I bring my physically or spiritually sick friends to Jesus with confidence that He can and will heal them?

  • V25 – People were flocking from all over, lots of them Gentiles.  Jesus’ message is attractive.

Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:

  • Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
  • What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
  • Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
  • What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
  • What do these verses move me to pray for myself?

About knockinguntilitopens

I am a Christ follower, a wife, a mom, and a creator. I like to share my stuff.
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