Matthew 4:12-25 Called To Follow Jesus

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. Their Condition

A. Living In Galilee Among Ungodly People

1. Also called “Galilee of the nations”
2. Inhabited by Egyptians, Arabians, Phoenicians
3. Region of Galilee- 204 villages with no less than 15,000 people in each
4. A highly populated area, but populated with many ungodly people, and half-breed Jews
5. It was a place looked down upon and avoided by the religious elite of Jerusalem
6. It was the place where Jesus spent most of His time ministering to people, & loving them

B. Sitting In Spiritual Darkness 4:16

1. Matthew quotes Isaiah 9:2, which says, “The people who walked in darkness”
2. Matthew says they were sitting in darkness.
3. 750 years had passes since Isaiah. Nation had declined even more than in Isaiah’s day.
4. “Walking in darkness” has a bit of a hope to it. Some ability to get along.
5. “Sitting in darkness” speaks of resignation, inability to move forward, fatigue.
6. QUESTION- Over time, have you grown in light, or declined into more darkness?

C. Sitting In Spiritual Death 4:16

1. A shadow is caused by something between a person and the source of light
2. The object causing the shadow not only prevents the light from shining, but it casts its outline and form upon a thing or person.
3. Death is personified as being between the people and the Light of Life.
4. The whole area was described as a region of death and darkness
5. It is no wonder that the people flocked to Jesus

II. What They Are Called To Do 4:17

A. Repent

1. Jesus continues on with the same message as John the Baptist

a. A person cannot come to Jesus unless they repent from their sins
b. As God reveals to them their sin, they need to be willing to turn from their sins.
c. Our sins separate us from God, who is perfect in His holiness

2. Repent- a compound word in Greek- metanoeo

a. From meta- “after”
b. noeo- “having understanding”
c. Repent, metanoeo- “after understanding; after consideration”

3. Why turn away from sin?

a. Because the Kingdom of God is coming
b. God is going to judge the world and judge sin
c. How wise is it to actually continue to live in death and darkness?
d. Requires a confession that they had chosen to live in darkness & death
e. Requires humility that such a bad choice had been made and defended for so long

4. Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

B. Follow Jesus 4:18, 19, 21

1. This was a rabbi’s call to a prospective student. This was learning by observation.
2. A call to give up self-determination
3. Abandon whatever kept them from following Him

III. Their Response

A. They Left Their Lives Behind 4:20, 22

1. These men left their careers to follow Jesus, and learn of from Him
2. They left their ability to be self-determining men. A career risk.
3. They left behind family, friends, what they were familiar with, their comfort zones

B. They Stepped Into An Uncertain Future

1. They had met Jesus earlier. They were not following a stranger. (John 1:35-51)
2. But there was much they did not know
3. They had come to believe that He was the Messiah, the Son of God
4. They knew His promise to change their lives
5. Having a conviction about who Jesus is isn’t enough. They knew they needed to follow.

C. The Necessity Of Following Him

1. You will never know the new life of Jesus until you abandon your old life
2. You never know His power until you give up your own power
3. You never know His wisdom until you give up your own wisdom
4. You never know His ability to change you until you quit trying to change yourself
5. You never know His plan until you give up your own plan

IV. What They Gained

A. They Heard His Teaching

1. “Never a man spoke like this before.”

B. They Heard His Preaching Re. The Gospel Of The Kingdom 4:23

1. Gospel- “good news”. They had the joy of watching and hearing Jesus preach good news
2. They asked Him the meaning of the preaching. (Parable of the sower)
3. They received insights the masses never received. They grew in their understanding.

C. They Saw His Power Over Sickness & Disease
D. They Saw His Power Over Demons
E. They Saw The Power & Presence Of God Draw People
F. They “Saw A Great Light” 4:16

1. They couldn’t create the light or bring the light.
2. The light (Jesus) came to them
3. Jesus is the Light. See John 8:12
4. Don’t reject the Light of Jesus Christ. See John 3:16-21