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Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

|| Mark 1:14, 15; Luke 4:14

MT4:12 Now, having heard John [the Baptist] was arrested, Jesus retired into Galilee.[1] MT4:13 Leaving Nazareth[2] Jesus took up residence in Capernaum[3] by the sea in the districts of Zebulun[4] and Naphtali,[5] MT4:14 so that it might be fulfilled as it as spoken by Isaiah[6] the prophet, saying, MT4:15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, by the sea on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee[7] of the nations, MT4:16 those people[8] sitting in a region of death’s dark shadow saw a great Light rise upon them.” [Isaiah 9:1, 2] MT4:17 From that time[9] Jesus started preaching, saying, “Repent,[10] for the Realm of the heavens[11] has drawn near.”

Wooden longboat, Israel. 02.jpg

Wooden longboat in the large freshwater lake Sea of Chinneret (Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias) Sea of Galilee, Tiberias.

[1] Galilee: The place occurs 76 times in the Bible with the region first mentioned at Numbers 34:11 (Joshua 20:7). The fresh water “lake” is also called the Sea of Chinnereth (Numbers 34:11), the Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1), and the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1). Jesus begins his ministry here and essentially ends it also at Galilee (John 21:1, 4-19). The lake is green/blue 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. “The density of the shoals of fish in the Sea of Galilee can scarcely be conceived by those who have not witnessed them. Frequently these shoals cover an acre or more of the surface and the fish, as they slowly move along in masses, are so crowded, with their back fins just appearing on the level of the water, that the appearance at a little distance is that of a violent shower of rain pattering on the surface.” (The Natural History of the Bible, H. B. Tristram, 1889, p. 285) All of Jesus’ faithful apostles came from this area.

[2] Nazareth: Probably just after Luke 4:28-30.

[3] Capernaum: The name means “Comforting Place.” The place occurs 16 times in the Christian Bible. Mark 2:1 calls this Jesus’ “home.” (“his house”)

[4] Zebulun: The territory named after a son of Israel occurs 48 times in the Bible with the first at Genesis 30:20. Compare Psalm 68:27. The name means perhaps “Toleration” or “Lofty Abode.” Compare Revelation 7:8.

[5] Naphtali: The name means “My Wrestlings.” The territory named after a son of Israel occurs 55 times in the Bible with the first at Genesis 30:8. Compare Revelation 7:6.

[6] Isaiah: Isaiah 9:1, 2. The prophet Isaiah is named 22 times in the Christian Bible (Matthew, 6; Mark, 2; Luke, 2; John, 4; Acts, 3; Romans, 5). In addition to direct quotations there are many allusions which are subtle paraphrases (Compare John 5:29 with Isaiah 26:19 LXX).

[7] Galilee: A prophecy indicating where Messiah would begin his ministry. It is in this area where the Nazarene sees his greatest fruitage – the foundation of Christianity.

[8] Those people: Note Acts 1:11; 2:7. We have a great spiritual debt to these folks.

[9] From that time: About a year after John the Baptist began his own ministry.

[10] Repent: The first words of the “Gospel” in the mouth of Jesus. Repentance is part of the Lord’s Gospel.

[11] Realm of the heavens: Or, “kingdom of the heavens.” The meaning is two fold: a) the King is present; and, b) the opportunity to enter the Nazarene’s realm of profession by confessing him as Lord.

Capernaum, Sea of Galilee

Capernaum, Sea of Galilee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:5-7 – A Temptation to Test God

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

Next:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

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Additional reading

  1. Invitation for the Studyday about Isaiah Messenger of joy
  2. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  3. John 4 exhortation: The one that broke the mould
  4. Repentance and conversion are not milestones which we pass on the way of life and never see again
  5. Salvation, Baptism and Re-baptism
  6. Together tasting a great promisse
  7. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  8. Doest thou well to be Angry?

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Further reading

  1. Man’s true destiny
  2. My People Do Not Know
  3. The carnal mind – January 25, 2017
  4. We Have Sinned
  5. God’s Plumb Line
  6. Surrender
  7. Having Faith in God 
  8. Scripture at Sunrise 2.7.2017
  9. God’s Faithful Are Forever Blessed
  10. Only Jesus Will Give You Eternal Life
  11. Choose good over evil – February 01, 2017
  12. What is your goal in publishing Christian Pharisees?
  13. Our God is a Holy God
  14. Two Selves: One Cannot Be Improved, the Other is Perfect in Christ (Part 1)
  15. Repent
  16. “Repent and Believe in the Good News”
  17. Repentance is More than saying I’m Sorry
  18. Am I Wired To Repent?
  19. Embracing Repentance
  20. Hold Fast In The Lord and Repent
  21. Repent While You Can
  22. Guilt — Why won’t it go away?
  23. How Does One Repent?
  24. Ask The Lord To Cast Away Your Sins
  25. Jesus sends you out for your sake
  26. Living in the Light
  27. Why A Christian Should Not Say “This” To A Non-Christian – Part II
  28. Do You Really Love Jesus?
  29. Stones Into Bread
  30. 3rd Sunday After Epiphany, January 22, 2017
  31. Third Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Matthew 4:21-22
  32. 40 days
  33. 40 days and 40 nights
  34. Jesus Keeps Walking, God Keeps Moving
  35. Light to the Nations?
  36. Follow
  37. Follow Me
  38. Invited To Follow
  39. Immediate
  40. Repentance – Sermon on Matthew 4:12-23
  41. Jesus calls his first disciples
  42. Answering the Call (Mt 4:12-23)
  43. Called Together
  44. What Does ‘Fish for Men’ Mean?
  45. Are You Really Following?
  46. Faith & Fisherman
  47. Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

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