Reflecting on Matthew 4: 12-23
And so it begins. The Spirit hovers over Jesus, and announces his identity as God’s own Son. Soon afterwards, John is arrested and shut up in prison. It is time, the time marked out from the beginning of time. Jesus the Christ moves away from the comfortable Jewish neighborhoods of Nazareth and launches the Age of Grace in the Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness now see a great Light. His name is Jesus, and he is living, and preaching, and healing among them. And he is calling them out of their boats into the greatest fishing adventure of all time.
Sometimes you just know that it’s time. Time to grow up. Time to move away. Time to put away childish behaviors, petty resentments, unhealthy habits, and immature ideas about God that keep you at a safe (but so unsafe) distance from the One who is God with us.
The distance between Nazareth and Capernaum was only 48 miles. Sometimes the greatest journeys we take are the shortest in distance, but in looking back we say, “Yes, that’s when my life changed forever.” Jesus knew it was time to stretch out his arms to every person, Gentile and Jew, to heal and console, to catch all creation in his safe embrace, and let anguish take wing.
In time, those healing arms would be stretched out on a cross. Did he know that when he left tiny Nazareth to catch Peter and Andrew and James and John in the net of eternity? He caught us too, of course. We live in gratitude for that, and hope to be his best catch ever.
What has been a significant time of transition in your life?