A Light Among the Gentiles (Mt 4:12-17)
O Jesus, let your light shine upon my whole life.
Picture Jesus going to Capernaum with his disciples.
Many prosperous towns were around the lake of Galilee. Since Capernaum was larger than Nazareth, Jesus moved his headquarters there to reach a wider audience. In this region, the first Israelite tribes (Zebulun and Naphtali) were destroyed by the Gentiles. This text sees Jesus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy of being a great light for the Gentiles.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he retired to Galilee. He left Nazareth and came to Capernaum, near the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, along the sea by the Jordan, heathen Galilee; a people living in darkness have seen a great light. On those who inhabit a land in the shadow of death, light has arisen.”
From that time on, Jesus began to proclaim this theme. Reform your lives! The Kingdom of heaven is at hand!
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Jesus has an intense drive to bring his message to the widest possible audience
- After John is arrested, he immediately begins to preach.
- What was first stolen from Israel, (this land of the two tribes), will be the first regained by Jesus.
- Once he begins, Jesus will never stop preaching.
- Jesus sees a special moment. God will intrude into human history and the Kingdom of heaven will begin.
- Jesus describes the response needed to enter this Kingdom, “Reform your lives.”
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, you want me to hear and respond to your word.
- You keep coming closer. You will not stop until I respond.
- I was carried off into sin. But you will reclaim me.
- Jesus, I live in the shadow of death. Come with your light.
- The Kingdom of heaven is here. I will believe and respond.
- Help me, Jesus, to reform my life.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will examine the areas of darkness in my life.
+ In every situation today I will ask for Jesus’ light.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
A people living in darkness have seen a great light.