Here is your message and mandate

Matthew 4:12-25

Jerry A Collins




v                 What is the message and ministry of Jesus?

v                 How does Jesus authenticate Himself?

v                 How should we get disciples and develop them?


Our lives are full of new beginnings and each one demands a sense of where it is we are going and what it is we are to be doing. These new beginnings are like launching pads that propel us into the new direction with gusto and perspective. What are we going to do with them? Ignore them and stay with what is safe? Or take advantage of them and move forward with courage and faith in the Lord? Sometimes new beginnings are actually planned by us. I am considering work on my Doctorate. That would be a planned new beginning. Others are forced upon us because of circumstances we cannot control like the death of my father this year. How good are you at new beginnings? Matthew reveals Jesus new beginnings. Here we will learn that the time is ripe to begin His ministry in earnest and proclaim His message to those now in darkness. With the victory over temptation, Jesus shows he is qualified to fulfill the work given to Him by His Father. Between vs 11-12 is nearly a year Matthew passes over. Before returning to Galilee, He has called his 1st disciples, Cana, Jerusalem Passover, Drove money changers out, Talked to Nick, encounter with Samaritan woman on his way north again. It is here that Matthew picks up the story about a year later.


Notice that all three sections of this passage take place in Galilee (12, 18, 23). Jesus parents were from Galilee; He was raised there; He began His ministry there; Many followed Him from there; Most of his earthly ministry was there; He met His disciples after His res there. We can consider a couple of things. First, Galileans were not highly regarded but viewed with contempt (Jn 1:45-46; 7:40-42, 50-53). Even Nathaniel had his doubts about Galileans. Second, Jesus fully identified with Galilieans. He even chose His disciples from there (Mt 26;69-70; Mk 14:69-70; Acts 1:10-11; 2:5-8; 4:12-14). The disciples were accused of being uneducated and ordinary men.  Jesus Himself was born in the humblest of circumstances, rejected by people of Jerusalem and prophesied to be a Nazarene Mt 2:23. All of this is part of the humiliation of Jesus as Messiah. He would be rejected and despised with no sense of majesty on him (Isa 53:1-3). But this reveals significance for Jesus’ ministry. He is drawn to those who are most aware of their need as well as to those who are despised by ones who think themselves spiritual and without any need. So He comes to seek sinners who know they are lost and manifests His grace among these. It is just like Jesus to seek and save those who are in great need.

Arrest of John 12-16 This is the turning points in Jesus ministry. The forerunner has nearly concluded His ministry with this arrest and Jesus now heads north to Galilee to Nazareth and eventually settles in Capernaum. This was the same region of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. Isa prophesied that light would come to this region 15-16 from Isa 9:1-2. Matthew saw this movement of Jesus as fulfillment. Messiah’s works would bring light into darkness.

Message to Repent 17 This message has a familiar ring to it. First, the need to repent. Never heard before. Second, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. So God’s work quickly moving toward establishing this kingdom and if you want to be part of it, you must repent. No one gets in because of merit or blood. Anyone can get in by repenting. It is mandatory if fellowship with God is to be enjoyed. This would be a very unpopular message. Even to his hometown folk. Jesus never sought to be popular, but presented Himself in such a way that people had to either accept Him or reject Him for who He was and what he taught—not presented for who they wanted Him to be. We must tell people about the Jesus of the Bible—not the Jesus they want Him to be (Explain)


There are a few callings of the disciples. We have one in Jn 1:35-51. This was the initial calling of the disciples. They began to follow Him and recruited others to do so as well. This is the beginning of the formation of His team. The calling here is later and is more permanent in nature and involves only four of the disciples. Here we read that they leave their fishing business to accompany Jesus on a full time basis. (1) With John’s imprisonment, Matthew indicates Jesus public ministry commences in earnest. What better time for the disciples  to  follow  Jesus  full time. (2) It says that both sets of brothers ‘left their nets’ and even James and John left ‘their boat’ and their father. (3) Jesus words ‘follow me and I will make you fishers of men’ indicate some change in profession for them. So a more permanent departure seems to be in view—one that would be the major turning point in their lives. (4) They did so immediately twice—their nets and their boat. This is not the first time they have been called but first time to be called in permanent fashion. Jesus spoke and taught with authority. He called them to learn of this kingdom and empower them to proclaim it’s message to many others who would need to repent. They could then also make disciples of others. So this calling comes with a cost as it does for us. Jesus said we must even hate our families—even our own lives—if we are to become His disciples. That is demonstrated with these disciples calling. What kind of a disciple are you? What costs have you borne for Christ? Jesus ministry prioritized people and that is what they will be doing from now on.


Jesus ministry apparently started out with a bang. It was an instant success and could not have been otherwise. In all Galilee He was teaching , preaching and healing. No ailment was too difficult for Him to heal—every kind of disease, every kind of sickness 23; various diseases, pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics. This underscored His authority. It gave Him credibility. Both the fulfillment of prophecy and the healing were neon signs that the Messiah has arrived. Great multitudes followed Him. His ministry in Galilee did not bring obscurity as many believed of Galileans—it propelled Him into prominence. The impact was dramatic and news spread all over the region. We should teach, proclaim, and do good. Do all the good you can for everyone you can, whether it has anything to do with the Gospel or not.

1. The spiritually needy are those who recognize their sinfulness. The first question is not when were you saved but when were you lost. Knowing I am lost is essential to being found.

2. Address everyone with the gospel but look for those willing to repent. Don’t focus attention on the unwilling. Proclaim the gospel to all but go after the repentant. These are the ones Jesus is calling to Himself like the disciples he chose.

3. Disciple those who repent so they can become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Salvation is only the beginning. Now they must conform their lives to Jesus Christ and transform into Christlikeness.