Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
Lesson: Isaiah 9:1b-4 or Amos 3:1-8
Psalm: Psalm 27:1-9
CLB Pastors Network – Dr. Gaylan Mathiesen
Matthew wants his readers to see how God is accomplishing His saving mission in His Son, Jesus Christ.
In this passage, we see three things: first, that Jesus is the Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament (12-16). Secondly we see Jesus announcing that the kingdom of heaven–the redemptive reign of God–has come near, (17) and lastly, he shows Jesus carrying out His plan for ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven—making disciples who will join Him in bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth (18-22).
Jesus would accomplish the particular work of salvation on His own through the cross and the resurrection, but His broader redemptive work would also include the gathering of followers into a community of God’s missionary people, living under God’s reign.
Here we see Jesus doing what He will later call the Church to do in chapter 28:18-20: calling and equipping a growing body of believers whom He will send out to proclaim to others, in word and deed, the arrival of God’s saving reign on earth.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
“Several have argued that the words ‘from that time on’, found only here and in 16:21; 26:16, mark major turning points in this Gospel. In its strong form, this theory divides Matthew into three sections with important interpretive implications. Though there are good reasons for rejecting this structure, the phrase “from that time on” nevertheless marks an important turning point because it ties something new to what has just preceded it. We best see this when we examine the content of Jesus’ preaching. Assuming the soundness of the text preserved in the NIV, the burden of Jesus’ preaching so far is, in itself, identical to that of John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near”. Matthew often shows ties between Jesus and John the Baptist. But when John the Baptist says these words, they are placed in an OT context that highlights his function as the forerunner who looks forward to the Messiah and his kingdom; when Jesus says the same words, they are linked (by “from that time”) with an OT context that insists Jesus fulfills the promises of a light rising to shine on the Gentiles.”
Carson, D.A., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: With The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995.
People’s Bible Commentary – Matthew
“Peter and Andrew understood exactly what Jesus meant when he said he would make them fishers of men. In their new calling they would still have to be patient and persevering, never knowing for sure what the results of their labors might amount to. They would follow Jesus’ instructions and trust him to bring about the results he had in mind. They would use the ‘net’ that he provided. We call that ‘net’ the means of grace, the gospel of Christ in Word and sacrament. There is no other power in the whole world that can bring sinners into Christ’s kingdom.”
Albrecht, G.J. and Albrecht, M.J., People’s Bible Commentary – Matthew. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1996.
The NIV Application Commentary – Matthew
“The areas that Matthew names in 4:24-25 take the reader to the regions that encompass the whole of the area that is populated with Jewish people. While some of these regions were populated extensively with Gentiles (e.g., the Decapolis), it is doubtful that Matthew means to imply that there is a widespread Gentile following. Those coming to Jesus are still primarily Jews, buy they come from everywhere. Jesus is generating a tremendous stir in Israel with his message of the arrival of the kingdom, which has been validated by widespread healings.”
Wilkins, M.J., The NIV Application Commentary – Matthew. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004.