A Light Shining in the Darkness – Matthew 4:13-22; Mark 1:16-20

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

August 18, 2013

Ministry in Capernaum, Part 1

A Light Shining in the Darkness

Matthew 4:13-22; Mark 1:16-20

Introduction

Some years ago I was talking with someone who did not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to God. Or conversation was revolving around several questions he had concerning Christ. As I was going over some of the historical evidences for the life of Jesus and His resurrection, this person said, ” I am not concerned about history.” To be honest, I was a little shocked by that. Not concerned about history? He might have as well said he could care less about what is true.

Now in the person’s defense, I will say that since so many ” historians” have rewritten the history text books to conform with their own philosophical or political agenda, I can understand his cynicism toward it. However, though it has become more difficult to dig out the truth of history, it is well worth the effort because a knowledge of true history brings understanding to the present and helps to avoid the mistakes of the past. When history is ignored, or worse, revised to fit a philosophical or political agenda, then the follies of the past will be repeated. Frankly, that is a major reason for many of the troubles facing our own nation. Too many of our leaders are ignorant of or are purposely ignoring true history and so are making the same foolish decisions as past leaders with a vain hope that the outcome will be different.

Knowledge of history is crucial in making wise decisions in the present. Perceptions of history guide decisions made in international politics. Some nations hold historical grudges against other nations that seem irrational in the present, yet past history still directs the current antagonism. Nations routinely guess at the future actions of other nations based on the past history of that nation. An incorrect understanding of history can easily lead to wrong guesses resulting in international crises and even war. Failure to understand and apply the lessons of history led to a long series of decisions that resulted in World War II.

History is crucial for those facing a lawsuit or criminal charges. Establishing the truth of past events can either exonerate or bring conviction in a criminal case and determines the liability of each party in a lawsuit. When historical truth is unknown or ignored, the result is often injustice – both in criminals being set free and innocent men going to jail.

Your medical records, including those of blood relatives, is often vital in making a diagnosis of present problems or preventing future ones. That is why a good doctor takes a thorough medical history. Because our family doctor knew my history, he was able to correctly diagnosis Jonathan’s sickness as appendicitis and have the needed surgery. Because I know the medical history of my ancestors, I am able to take preventative measure so that I do not die of colon cancer as did my grandfather and uncle.

Even your decision to purchase an item or service are rooted in history. Products and companies that have established good reputations build a strong customer base. Those without such a record struggle to become established and often fail. A nearby local restaurant used to have long waits to be seated, then a cook did something wrong and a lot of people became ill one night. The restaurant even changed its name, but could not regain a strong enough customer basis and eventually went out of business. It could not get past its history.

My point is simply that a knowledge of history is very important in daily life, and even more so for spiritual life. If the history of a religion reveals it to be false, then there is no reason to believe its claims concerning spiritual matters or eternity. If the history of a religion demonstrates it to be true, then there is a great need to consider what it says about spiritual life and eternity.

This morning I am going to talk about some of the historical facts concerning Jesus’ life and His early ministry. The historical facts concerning why Jesus came, what He did and the message He brought to man will change your life if you believe them. Contrary to the claim of Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard, Christianity is not a blind leap of faith. It is an historical and reasonable faith. In fact, if you reject the historical facts, then you will continue to live according to the absurd fairy tales and lies of the devil.

Turn to Matthew 4:12 and as we begin our historical journey.

Journey to CapernaumMatthew 4:12-13

12 Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, he withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.

As we have already seen in our study of John 4 and Luke 4 over the last month, Jesus had been in the lower Jordan valley where He had been preaching and His disciples baptizing those that repented. John the Baptist had been doing the same thing farther north in Aenon near Salim. Two events occurred about the same time that caused Jesus to leave there and return to the region of Galilee. First, the Pharisees were starting to pay closer attention to Jesus because His ministry had grown larger than John’s. Second, Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, had John arrested because he did like John telling him that it was unlawful for him to have his brother’s wife (Luke 6:14-20). It was not yet time for the antagonism between Jesus and the Pharisees to escalate, so Jesus left and went to Galilee (See: Pointing to Jesus).

Though it would have been easier for Jesus to return to Galilee by just traveling up the Jordan river valley, He instead went up over the mountains to the road that goes north from Jerusalem and through Samaria to Galilee for Jesus had a divine appointment with a woman by Jacob’s well near Sychar. During Jesus conversation with her, He demonstrated how to talk with strangers about spiritual matters. Jesus sparked her interested, created curiosity, and gently exposed her sin before He revealed His identity. Jesus also gave her a lesson on true worship that is still important to everyone. True worship must be done in spirit and truth. (See: Witnessing to Strangers). The woman went back to Sychar and told the people there about Jesus and many came out to meet Him for themselves resulting in many coming to believe that Jesus was indeed ” the Savior of the world.” The Samaritans demonstrated greater faith and spiritual integrity than did the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem. Jesus used the occasion to teach His disciples important lessons about ministry and seeing past what was physically obvious to the spiritual work being accomplished (See: Seeing Beyond the Physical) .

The first place that Jesus went after returning to the region of Galilee was Cana where He had turned the water into wine. That was a miracle that clearly demonstrated His divinity because only God can create or change elements without either an expenditure or release of energy. The water in the jar, a simple molecule of hydrogen and oxygen, became complex molecules which now included the elements carbon, nitrogen, potassium, sodium, iron, sulfur, chlorine and phosphorus. While in Cana this time, Jesus does a second miracle that demonstrated He is God. This time Jesus healed a boy who was sick and near death but was 16 miles away in Capernaum. Jesus healed him by simply declaring it to be so. (See: Miracles and Rejection).

According to Luke 4:14-15, Jesus then began to teach in the synagogues throughout the region and came to His hometown of Nazareth. As was His custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, and there they gave Him the honor of reading the Scriptures and teaching from them. The people responded positively at first for this was a local boy who had grown up and become famous, but when Jesus made it clear that He would not perform miracles to satisfy their curiosity and demands, they became an angry mob that tried to kill Him. (See: Miracles and Rejection).

It is as this point that Matthew adds to the story. Matthew condenses all of John 2-4 and Luke 4:14-30 and where Jesus went next into the simple statement, ” Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, he withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.

Matthew jumps from the temptation of Jesus in the Judean wilderness the previous Spring to His move to Capernaum sometime late that Fall or early that Winter because his purpose in writing is simply to demonstrate to a Jewish audience that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Matthew makes no attempt to give a comprehensive overview of Jesus life. In presenting a logical flow of argument demonstrating Jesus’ identity, Matthew does not even keep the events in Jesus life in chronological order.

From Matthew’s perspective, all the ministry prior to coming and settling in Capernaum was preliminary to the rise of Messiah taking the prominent position in calling the people back to following God. Jumping ahead to Matthew 4:23, we find that Jesus will be extremely busy from this point forward, ” And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”

Matthew 4:13 points out that Jesus has moved and settled in Capernaum which is on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. Capernaum at that time had become an important small city which included a Roman garrison and a tax office. While the Roman garrison would be negative in the sense that it represented Rome’s rule over the region, at the same time, it was positive because it would have provided protection to the city and its inhabitants. The tax office would be seen as negative to most people simply because people do not like to pay taxes, however, its location there indicates that Capernaum had become an important center of commerce. Four of the men Jesus would call as His inner circle of disciples lived in or nearby Capernaum. These were the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, and the two brothers, Andrew and Peter, who lived in Bethsaidia. The royal official whose son Jesus had healed by decree while he was in Cana lived in Capernaum. Jesus became so identified with Capernaum that it is referred to as ” His own city” in Matthew 9:1

The Land of Darkness Matthew 4:14-16

Matthew points out that Capernaum is in the region that was given to the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. The land immediately around the northern and western shore of the Sea of Galilee and then north up the Jordan river valley to the slopes of Mt Hermon belonged to Naphtali. The land of Zebulun was to the west of the Sea of Galilee between Asher and Naphtali. Nazareth was in the territory of Zebulun.

Matthew then goes on to quote from Isaiah 9:1-2 and states that this is the fulfillment of that prophecy. Matthew 4:14-16, 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 15 ” The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 ” The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.”

The land that was then called Galilee of the Gentiles was dark. From ancient times the northwestern corner of the nation of Israel had been a dark place. Contrary to God’s command, Zebulun and Naphtali failed to remove all of the Canaanites from their territories (Judges 1:30-33). This unfaithfulness in one area showed up in unfaithfulness in other areas. The people of those Jewish tribes began to intermarry with the Canaanites left living in the land which resulted in a strong pagan influence upon them.

As the northern boarder of the nation, it was often the first area invaded by other nations. The region was conquered by Assyria under Tilgath-pileser by 732 B.C. Most of the people were taken away as captives and the region was repopulated with people from other lands. Even with the temporary revolts under Judas Macabeus in 164 B.C. and Aristobulus in 104 B.C. the region remained largely populated with non-Jews and was under Gentile rule. That is the reason the region is referred to as ” Galilee of the Gentiles.” The Jews that remained there became very weak in both Biblical and traditional Judaism.

The region remained dark. The words of Jesus in John 3:19-21 fit it well, ” And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed, but he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” In Nazareth, as already pointed out, not only was Jesus’ message rejected, but they sought to kill Him by throwing Him off a cliff (Luke 4:29). The region was dark with sin.

The darkness upon Galilee had just become deeper, because as already briefly mentioned, John the Baptist was now in jail. Matthew 14 describes the reason John was put in jail and later martyred there. In brief, following the death of Herod the Great in 4 B.C., Rome divided his kingdom among his four sons, so each became a tetarch, a ruler of a fourth. Philip became tetarch over the northern portion and Herod Antipas became tetarch over the portion that included Galilee and Perea. Phillip had married Herodias, his niece, the daughter of his brother Aristobulus. Some years later, Herod Antipas began an affair with Herodias, his sister-in-law and niece. They divorced their spouses and married each other. John the Baptist’s opposition to Herod’s immorality so enraged him that he arrested him, bound him and put him in prison. Herod would have killed John then except he feared the people. It appeared utter sinfulness had gained the upper hand again and was reigning supreme.

In addition to all of this, anyone from Galilee was looked down upon by the Jews in the south. The common saying was that nothing good could come from Galilee. Even Nathanael who was from Beth-saidia which is the region of Galilee remarked when Philip told him that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, ” Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” In the confusion over who Jesus was the argument used against Him being the M
essiah was, ” Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?” When Nicodemus tried to get Jesus a fair hearing before the Sanhedrin, he was put down with, ” You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and see that not prophet arises out of Galilee.” Yet Matthew shows right here that there would be a prophet in Galilee. There would be a light shining in that dark place. Matthew again uses the very arguments used to doubt Jesus being the Messiah to prove that He is Messiah. Again, prophecy is fulfilled and to this very land, to these people that were complacent in their darkness. Notice that verse 16 states that they are ” sitting.” To these people in the shadow of death, the light dawned and shined among them.

The Light ShinesMatthew 4:16

16 ” The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.”

What a wonderful metaphor ” light” is to describe our Savior. Light. It brings the idea of illumination (knowledge and wisdom), exposure (our sins), and radiance (holiness) to our minds. The apostle John used the metaphor a great deal in his writings. In John 1:4-5 he says of Jesus, ” In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Later in the same chapter he quotes John the Baptist saying that he, ” came that he might bear witness of the light . . . the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man (vs 8,9). Jesus Himself said in John 8:12 that, ” I am the light of the world, he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Jesus, who is the light of the world, brings that light to men who are in darkness.

When and where did this light begin to dawn? In a sense, we would certainly want to say at the birth of Christ in Bethlehem for it was over that spot that the star shined bright. However, Bethlehem is in Judea and this prophecy concerns the lands of Naphtali and Zebulun. We might also want to say that the light began to shine in the region of Galilee as soon as Joseph took his family and moved back to Nazareth. Certainly there was some sense in which there was a light shining even while Jesus was growing up in Nazareth and working as a carpenter, but the prophecy from Isaiah cited by Matthew here is that the people saw a great light. There is no record that the people saw the light of Jesus earlier. This also excludes Jesus’ first miracle in Cana of Galilee because the only ones that knew about the miracle were the servants that had filled the water jars.

Matthew claims that Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled after Jesus arrived in Galilee. That is when the light dawned as we have seen from our earlier studies in John 4 and Luke 4. Jesus’ fame was spreading and He had started teaching in the synagogues. Even though Jesus was rejected in Nazareth, there is no question that He had not shined a bright light that exposed the wickedness of their hearts. It is after Jesus leaves Nazareth and takes up residence in Capernaum that His ministry becomes intense. Matthew 4:17 states, From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ” Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled for a great light had dawned in the land of darkness and was now active among men. If they would see it and follow Him, they would have the light of life (John 8:12).

Jesus’ message was the same as that of John the Baptist, ” Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” We discussed the meaning of this message several months ago (See: The Ministry of John the Baptist). The call to repentance was the same message given by the prophets throughout Israel’s history. The message of repentance involved 1) Turning to obedience to Yahweh’s will, 2) Turning to trust in Yahweh and 3) Turning from everything ungodly to righteousness. The message called for the people to be radically transformed.

John the Baptist’s message was a call for people to repent and get ready for the kingdom of heaven to come – Prepare yourself for the Messiah is coming! In the early part of His ministry, Jesus proclaimed the same message as John and also had His converts baptized as part of the preparation for the kingdom of heaven to come (John 4:1-2). After John’s arrest there is a subtle change in the message. Yes, the calls is still, ” Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” but now it is even closer for Messiah is here. You will not find a reference to the disciples of Jesus baptizing anyone again until Jesus completes His ministry of atonement and tells His disciples to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Matthew 28:19. John’s baptism of repentance was in preparation for the coming of Messiah. Messiah was now here. After Messiah completes His work of atonement – His death, burial and resurrection, baptism will be practiced again with a whole new meaning and purpose. It would no longer be the outward manifestation of a heart prepared for Messiah to come, but rather the identification of a person who belongs to Messiah Himself and is part of His spiritual kingdom.

The light now shines brighter than ever before. Messiah has come! And in His coming He brings hope to the nation. But Jesus would not be doing this ministry alone. He would take other men with Him and train them to do what He was doing. They would continue the work of ministry after Jesus completed His work on earth.

The Call of the Four Matthew 4:18-22

18 Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, ” Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

John 1:35-51 records when Jesus first met Andrew and Peter. Jesus had just returned from His temptation in the wilderness. Andrew and Peter had been disciples of John the Baptist, but began to follow Jesus after John had declared Jesus to be ” The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” They then went with Jesus to Cana of Galilee for the wedding there, and shortly after that, they went with Jesus to Jerusalem for the Passover. They would have been with Jesus while He preached in the lower Jordan valley and would have been doing the baptizing of those that repented. They had accompanied Jesus through Samaria on the way back up to Galilee, but then apparently at some point they had gone home for awhile.

As Jesus is walking by the Sea of Galilee, he sees Simon Peter and Andrew busy about their work as fishermen. They are casting their net, an ” amphiblastron” which could have been up to 9 square feet, into the deeper waters off the shore. They are hard at work, and Jesus simply calls out to them, ” Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Please note that Jesus did not command them to come, but instead gave them a passionate invitation. How wonderful is our Savior! Jesus certainly had the right to command them if He desired, but Jesus does not coerce His way into someone’s life. The command is to ” Repent” (Acts 16; Matthew 4:17), but the invitation is to ” follow.”

Jesus invited them to have their lives changed. Currently they were just fishermen, but Jesus would change them into fishers of men. This was not to be their permanent occupation just yet, for Luke 5 records that they are fishing again when Jesus does call them to a full time occupation of ministry. At this point the invitation is for
them to follow and He would make them into fishers of men. Jesus would train them. The emphasis is that Jesus would do this work in them.

The same thing is still true today for us. Jesus invites you to serve Him and tell others about Him, but it is the Holy Spirit that will be doing the work through you. You simply need to be faithful and obedient to Him to be witnesses for Him. In His grace, He will use you to bring others to salvation and glorify Himself in His own timing.

Pastor Len G. Broughton told the story of a mentally retarded young man in his church who had a sincere desire to see souls saved. One day, this young man came up to a well dressed man and asked him, ” Do you want to go to heaven?” The man bluntly responded, ” NO!” Not knowing what else to say, as the young man walked away he said, ” Go to hell, then.” God’s Holy Spirit used that sincere effort to awaken the slumbering soul of that haughty sinner, and soon he turned to Christ as his Savior and heaven became his eternal home.

Peter and Andrew had already spent a lot of time with Jesus and already believed that He was the Messiah, so they knew the truth of what He was saying. They responded without hesitation and followed Him. They could not know all that the future would hold for them by following Christ, but it was enough for them to know Jesus and trust Him for the future. That is the nature of faith. The same needs to be true for us.

In verse 21 we find Jesus going farther down the shore until He sees James and John. It is thought that John was the disciple that was with Andrew when he first met Jesus (John 1:35). If so, John would have done all that they had done with Jesus. If not, this is the first mention of the two sons of Zebedee, but it is very doubtful this was the first time they had met Jesus. As fellow fishermen and men zealous to see the coming of Messiah, they would have been acquainted with Andrew & Peter and most likely they were already good friends. Only a short time after this, Luke 5 mentions that the two sets of brothers are partners with each other. We would undoubtedly expect that Andrew and Peter would have introduced James and John to Jesus when He was at Capernaum. We would also expect James and John to have sought out Jesus themselves when He was in the area since His fame was already spreading.

Verse 22 supports these thoughts about them because they also immediately follow Jesus when He calls them. Note as well that they were in the boat with their father, Zebedee, busy mending their nets. Zebedee gives no opposition to their leaving when Jesus called even though that would mean more work himself and the servants with him. The implication is that Zebedee also recognized Jesus and was supportive of His work.

That is the way we need to respond when the Lord calls us or someone close to us to some particular work. There should be no hesitation, and the more we understand what is truly important in life the less hesitation there will be. You can trust the Lord with your life and future. You can also trust the Lord with the life and future of your children or others that you love. When the Lord lays it upon your hearts to do something for Him, then respond quickly. How many opportunities to share the gospel with someone is lost because of our own hesitation. We delay because it may be inconvenient, or we shy away for fear of being embarrassed or misunderstood. Any of us can come up with one excuse afer another if you are more concerned about temporal things rather than eternal ones. But what is actually important? None of us knows what the future holds, and life can end quickly and then the opportunity may be lost forever.

Dr. R.A. Torrey told this story that occurred to one of his workers when he was in Bristol, England. The Christian worker had gone to a restaurant for his evening meal after the afternoon meeting. His attention was drawn to the man who was waiting on him and there came upon his heart a strong impression that he should speak to that waiter about his soul, but that seemed to him such an unusual thing to do that he kept putting it off. When the meal ended and the bill was paid, he stepped outside the restaurant, but continued to have such a strong feeling that he needed to talk to that waiter that he decided to wait outside until the waiter came out. In a little while the proprietor came out and asked him why he was waiting. He replied that he was waiting to speak with the man who had served him at the table. The proprietor replied, ” You will never speak to that man again. After waiting upon you he went to his room and shot himself.” How many people do you know that were suddenly killed in some accident or other tragedy? The opportunity can be taken away in a moment.

Conclusions

All of these things are facts of history. You can deny them only at the expense of turning from the truth and following the devil’s lies. What will you do with Jesus? He is the light shining in the darkness. Will you seek the light or remain in the darkness?

And Christian, what about you? Jesus said in Matthew 5:14 that ” you are the light of the world.” Is your light shining out or hidden? Our society is also cloaked in the darkness of sin and you are the one He invites to take the light of truth and hope into the blackness around you. Will you do it? If you do, you will see Him change you and work through you. Or will you continue being preoccupied by the things of this world and ignore His invitation? If you do, you will find yourself grieving at the end of your life for all the missed opportunities to be used by God and see Him at work through you.

There are three interrelated areas in which you can be a light shining in the darkness as you accept Jesus’ invitation to follow Him and become a fisher of men.

1) Proclaim the Gospel. Man can be free from his burden of sin and guilt. People can have real purpose and meaning in this life and have a promise of eternal life, but do they know who Jesus is, what He has done for them and what He offers to them?

2) Teach the truth. At every opportunity stand up for the truth. Do not hold back from letting others know what God says about things.

3) Demonstrate true Christian compassion. While you cannot do the compassionate miracles Jesus did because those were to demonstrate His deity, you can show the compassion that Jesus did and love both your neighbors and your enemies.

KIDS KORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the word ” light” is used. 2) How is Jesus ” the light shining in the darkness” and how is the Christian to be the ” light of the world” ?

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why is history so important? What is the danger of being ignorant of history or of being taught a false history? What decisions do you make based on historical data? Why is history so important in being able to discern whether the claims of a religion are valid or not? Why does Matthew skip all the events that occur after the temptation of Jesus and skip to Jesus withdrawing to Galilee and leaving Nazareth to live in Capernaum? Where is Capernaum and what is its importance? Why do the scriptures refer to the lands settled by the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun as a land of darkness? Why was the area referred to as Galilee of the Gentiles? Why did Herod Antipas put John the Baptist in jail? Why did other Jews show such disdain for those that came from Galilee? Do the
scriptures speak of a prophet coming from Galilee? Why is ” light” such a good metaphor to describe Jesus and His ministry? Why wasn’t the birth of Jesus or any point during his early ministry the dawn of the light? What significantly changed in Jesus’ ministry after He moved to Capernaum? What is required in the call to repentance? Why isn’t there a mention of baptism from Jesus’ move to Capernaum until after Jesus’ resurrection? When did Andrew and Peter first meet Jesus? What had they already done with Him? Was Jesus’ call for them to follow Him a call to vocational ministry? Why or why not? What evidence is there that John and James and previously met Jesus? Why doesn’t Zebedee object to his sons leaving him? What is your response to Jesus’ call? How can you be a light to the world?

Sermon Notes – 8/18/2013

A Light Shining in the Darkness – Matthew 4:13-22; Mark 1:16-20

Introduction

Though _________________, it is worth the effort to dig out the truth of history

Knowledge of history is crucial in making wise decisions in the _____________: International __________

______________and Criminal charges; ________________treatment; Consumer ______________

History is even more important in determining the relevance of _________________claims

Christianity is an historical and _______________faith, not a blind leap into absurdity

Journey to CapernaumMatthew 4:12-13

After John the Baptist was arrested, Jesus _____the lower Jordan valley to avoid antagonizing the Pharisees

Jesus had to go through Samaria in order to witness to the woman by the well and the __________in Sychar

Jesus taught His disciples to see beyond the physical to the ________________ harvest that was present

Jesus returned to ________, site of His first attesting miracle, and healed a distant boy by simply declaring it

Jesus began to teach in area Synagogues and did so in ________too, but was rejected by the murderous mob

Matthew jumps in time because he is presenting Jesus as the _____________, not giving a full chronology

Capernaum was an important city on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee (Map)

The Land of Darkness Matthew 4:14-16

Capernaum is in the region that was given to the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali (Map)

Matthew declares that Jesus has fulfilled Isaiah _____________ by His move to Capernaum to minister

The land was dark because neither tribe fulfilled God’s command and so intermarried with the ___________

The area was _______________by Assyria by 732 B.C., most of the people deported and Gentiles imported

The region was largely populated by and ruled by ________________- hence ” Galilee of the Gentiles”

The region was dark ______________- even the Jews in Nazareth attempted to murder Jesus on a Sabbath

John the Baptist rebuked the ___________of Herod Antipas so he had him arrested, bound and put in prison

Galilee was considered to be a _________________area so the people from there were disdained

The Light ShinesMatthew 4:16

_____________brings illumination (knowledge & wisdom), exposure (of sins), and radiance (holiness)

This light _________________refer to the star that shined at Jesus birth or His early miracles and ministry

This light dawns when Jesus arrives in ________and begins His extensive ministry of preaching & teaching

Repentance involves __________away from ungodliness and toward godliness by trusting and obeying God

The message remains the same, but there is no mention of ___________again until the church is established

Jesus’ light is shining brightly, and He begins to _____________the men who would carry out His ministry

The Call of the Four Matthew 4:18-22

Andrew and Peter had been disciples of John the Baptist and first met Jesus just after He was _______(Jn 1)

As Jesus is walking by the Sea of Galilee, He sees Andrew and Peter casting their nets ____________

Jesus ________________them to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men

God does His work through us, we only need to be ______________to follow and heed His directions

Andrew and Peter responded without hesitation and ______________Jesus

John may have met Jesus the same time as Andrew (________________)

James & John would certainly have met Jesus _________________to this through Andrew and Peter

James & John also _______________________follow Jesus upon His invitation

The lack of any protest from Zebedee indicated he was also ________________of Jesus’ work

You can trust the Lord for your life and future and that of your ______________and other loved ones

Pursue what is actually __________, for you do not know the future hold and opportunity can be lost forever

Conclusions

To deny the facts of history is to turn from the truth and follow the ______________of the devil

Every Christian is to be a _____________in the world (Matthew 5:14) – is your light shining or hidden?

1) Proclaim the Gospel

2) Teach the truth

3) Demonstrate true Christian _________________


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