4:12. Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
Notice that there were at that time only two great ministers of God,
John the Baptist, he must go to prison and to death; — Jesus, the Son
of God, he must go to the desert to be tempted of the devil. If any
Christians escape temptation, they will not be the leaders of the hosts
of God. Those who stand in the van must bear the brunt of the battle.
Oh, that all who are called to such responsible positions might be as
prepared to occupy them as John was, and as Jesus was!
Matthew 4:13-16. And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum,
which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
that it might he fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet,
saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of
the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat
in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and
shadow of death light is sprung up.
Oh, the tender mercy of our God! Where the darkness is the deepest,
there the light shines the brightest. Christ selects such dark regions
as Nephthalim and Zabulon that he may dwell there, and shine in all his
Matthew 4:17. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
He was not afraid to give an earnest exhortation to sinners, and to bid
men repent. He knew better than we do the inability of men concerning
all that is good, yet he bade them repent.
Matthew 4:18-23. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two
brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net
into the sea: for they were fishers. And he said unto them, Follow me,
and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their
nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two
brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship
with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And
they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. And
Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and
preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness
and all manner of disease among the people.
I like those words "all manner"— that is, every kind and every sort of
sickness and disease Christ met. Perhaps you, dear friend, are
afflicted in your soul after a very peculiar fashion. Ay, but this
great Physician heals all manner of diseases. None are excluded from
the list of patients whom he can cure; twice the words "all manner" are
used: "Healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among
Matthew 4:24. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto
him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments,
and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were
lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Our Lord Jesus lived as in a hospital while he was on earth; wherever
he went, the sins and sorrows of men were all open before his
sympathetic gaze. But oh, what joy it must have been to him to be able
to deal so well with them all! Am I addressing any who are sick in
soul? Our Master is used to cases just like yours; your malady is not
new to him. He has healed many like you; of all that were brought to
him, it is written, "he healed them." Lie before him now, in all your
sin and misery, and breathe the prayer, "Thou Son of David, have mercy
on me," and he will surely hear you, and heal you, for he delights to
bless and save all who trust him.
This exposition consisted of readings from Joh_1:19-51; and Matthew 4:12-24.