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Matthew 4:12-25

Talks for Growing Christians

The Beginning of our Lord’s Galilean Ministry, and the Call of Four Disciples

Matthew 4:12-25

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Lesson Number 7

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord preached the Gospel of the Kingdom in the early days of His ministry.
  2. The Lord called His first disciples in the early days of His ministry.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t forget your background.

Questions

  1. How much time elapsed between verses 11 and 12 of Matthew 14?
  2. Did Jesus leave Judea because He was afraid of Herod Antipas, who had beheaded John the Baptist?
  3. What was the “Gospel of the Kingdom”?
  4. Was the “Gospel of the Kingdom” preached to everyone?
  5. Must you leave your secular job to be a disciple of the Lord?

Answers

  1. Almost a year elapsed between the Temptation of Christ and the beginning of His Galilean Ministry. John records his ministry in Jerusalem and Judea during that time.
  2. No, Galilee was also under Herod Antipas’ jurisdiction. His move to Galilee foreshadowed the time when His Gospel would be open to the Gentiles, not only the Jews.
  3. It was essentially the same gospel that John the Baptist preached: “??Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” ??(Matthew 3:2, 4:17) This was the good news that the Messiah had arrived, and His kingdom predicted in Old Testament prophecies was at hand.
  4. This gospel was only preached to the Jews, not to Gentiles or Samaritans. See Matthew 10:5-7.
  5. No, the Lord does not call all of His followers out of secular service, although this was the case with the first disciples.

Discuss/Consider

  1. The Lord preached the Gospel of the Kingdom in the early days of His ministry. But the Jews rejected the offer of the kingdom. As a result, the Lord began to teach in parables about the form the kingdom would take at this present time, until Christ returns again to finally establish His kingdom. In the meantime, the gospel of the Great Commission is going out. Now the Lord has set up His Church, which includes Jews and Gentiles together. Praise the Lord for the revelation of His Church, because He has graciously included us in His plan of salvation.
  2. Discuss some principles of fishing. Go where the fish are; use the right bait; know when to draw in the net; etc. The disciples could use their background in their new ministry as fishers of men. Discuss how God can use your background to prepare you for ministry.

Challenge

  1. You don’t have to leave your secular employment to be a disciple of the Lord. Allow Him to use you where you are. The skills you have learned in your employment could be useful for ministry.

Key Verses

  • “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
  • “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

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