Matthew 4:12-23 (NRSV)
Read Matthew 4:12-23 on biblegateway.com
Verse 12Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. Verse 13He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, Verse 14so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: Verse 15"Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles- Verse 16the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned." Verse 17From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
Verse 18As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea-for they were fishermen. Verse 19And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Verse 20Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Verse 21As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Verse 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
Verse 23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.
Jesus is on the move. He leaves behind his home in Nazareth and heads to a place where people are sitting in darkness. And once settled into his new home, Jesus shines where he is. But he will not shine alone. He gathers and creates a new kind of community — a community of light, beginning with Peter and Andrew, James and John. And they, too, will shine where they are, participating in what God is doing in the world around them. With Jesus as their light, they will bring light to the dark places, healing to the broken places, love to the empty places, and hope to the desolate places.
You, too, belong to this community of light. God in Christ has blessed you and has made you a light to shine in the world, reflecting God's love and grace. And the promise spoken through Isaiah is still being fulfilled as you shine Jesus' light today. So shine where you are.
Christ our light, thank you for your presence that shines and heals and loves. Help us to shine your light in our families, churches, communities, and world. Amen.