My Daily Journal:
First, I was struck by the calling of the first apostles. Not so much in what they were called to do, but in what they were not called to become.
Jesus didn’t call them to become high priests. He didn’t call them to become the pharisees or Sadducees. He didn’t call them to become government leaders. He called to be who they were, but to be it for Him.
We forget this. We think that to serve God we must become someone else. If I am a fisherman, Jesus calls me to be a fisher for Him. If I am a laborer, I am called to labor for Him. If I am a teacher, to become a teacher for Him. Our “market place skills” are not something to diminish or discard in our following of Christ, they are simply God-given gifts to be redirected to serve Him.
Second, I was struck by the duality of Jesus message and ministry. He came with power and compassion, with retribution and love. He calls us to repentance and joy. But, in our way of looking at things, these can often seem like opposites. When we think about being repentant, we think about being sorrowful and mournful not filled with joy and celebration.
But we forget (or are in denial that) we are caught in a trap. Look at how many times and ways the word “snare” is used throughout the old testament. We have gone off the path and have been caught in the snare of sin. Jesus screams to us to cry out. Not over anguish that we have been snared, but so that He can set us free and carry us back to the path of righteousness. Jesus said repent AND be healed. Not only did He say it – He did it for all to see. The gospel is Good News!
He lived in Capernaum by Zebulun and Naphtali
A shoot came up from the stump of Jesse (the Vine – Jesus)
All old testament prophecy ultimately points to the arrival of Christ. He didn’t do things to “fulfill prophecy”, more what He was doing had been prophecied
At once they left and followed Him
I will send you out to fish for people
Most of my ministry is to children. There is no earthly recognition or gain from this, no earthly profit, but it honors my God.
Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near – proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, healing
Same message, but he took the batton to the conclusion of the race. He not only washed, but he healed (both physically and spiritually).
That the time of salvation through the Son of God, a descendant of David, the Messiah, had arrived
He came with retribution&power against sin and those who choose the path, AND with compassion and love. Not to destroy, but to save out of the clutch of sin. He came for a time of repentance AND joy (they go together) Judges 2:3 their gods (false idols) will become a snare to you. Ps 18:15 the snares of death confronted me, Ps 25:15 the Lord, only he will release snare (see also Acts 1:22, Ps 147:3)
He is King and Lord and never sets that aside. He has full power to justly punish sin and sinners alike. And, He, through benevolance and grace chooses to lift me up to be considered not just his servant, but also His son.