TO CHEW ON: “Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.” Matthew 4:12
The news of John’s death seems to have been a turning point, a watershed, a crossroad moment for Jesus. Look at how many changes He made following that incident:
1. He moved residences, left Nazareth to live in Capernaum - Matthew 4:13.
2. He focused His message to “'Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand'” - Matthew 4:17.
3. He began choosing disciples - Matthew 4:18-22.
4. His presence, with its powerful message accompanied by healing virtue, attracted crowds and He began regularly to minister to the multitudes - Matthew 4:23-25.
It’s almost as if the death of John woke Him up to the life-and-death nature of His own mission. That incident seemed have been a catalyst, launching Him into living out His own destiny.
I ask myself, have I been similarly awakened—have you:
- to the fragility, unpredictability, and brevity of life?
- to the seriousness of living as a child and heir of the kingdom Jesus preached?
- to the possibility that such an awakening might mean changes in day-to-day living, in how we spend our time, where, and with whom?
What might it take to wake us up to these things? A serious illness? A brush with death? The death of friends and family members? Or…?
If and when that moment comes, am I, are we prepared to make the changes God might show us need to be made?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to face the realities of life, death, and what really matters, as it seems You did when You were on earth. May I be courageous to make any changes You reveal to me. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.