In the book of Matthew 4:12, we find Jesus at the start of something new. His ministry.
This is after John the Baptist has been put in prison. Scripture says that Jesus began to preach with a message - “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Recognising the time
Sometimes in order to walk into the new, we have to recognise when the old has finished and when it’s time for the new.
When these events with John took place, Jesus knew it was his time.
But how did he know this? Through prayer, through hearing the Father’s voice and through obedience. John had baptised Jesus and so all things were in order.
It’s not always going to be easy
Scripture says that when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison he withdrew to Galilee, he left the familiar and usual comfortable surroundings of Nazareth where he would have grown up, where he would have enjoyed the familiar people and places. The bible says he went and lived in Capernaum.
Jesus had to make multiple sacrifices throughout his ministry in order to see the plan of God fulfilled.
The scripture following says he moved to a people living in great darkness. “A people living in darkness have seen a great light.” – Matthew 4:16. Meaning this new place would have presented its challenges. These were a people without light. Jesus brought the light to them.
Often when we are looking for a new beginning, we are looking for something glamorous and comfortable and therefore we may not always be aligned to God’s will or be able to fulfil what God has for us because it is not always glamorous, comfortable or easy.
Obedience is required
To begin anything that will be successful and useful to God and to others we must be obedient to God.
Scripture says that when Jesus left his home town, this was to fulfil scripture “what was said through the prophet Isaiah.” (Isaiah 9:1,2) meaning Jesus was exactly where he was supposed to be.
In many other instances Jesus was exactly where he was supposed to be and it fulfilled prophecy. Including his birth. The start of his ministry was no different.
Perhaps to those that lived with him and knew him, leaving Nazareth and moving to Capernaum may have seemed like a strange move. The wrong thing to do. Going backwards or failing or not useful. But not to God. Jesus was in obedience to God and this would be the beginning of his ministry according to the book of Matthew.
A re you beginning something new this year? Ask God for wisdom that you will be in the right place and time no matter how it looks to others around you.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus maintained his God given purpose, the reason he had come to the earth. Part of that was to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. Therefore, when he had positioned himself to begin his ministry, scripture says “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Jesus had come near. His ministry had started.
When his disciples began to preach in Acts 2, they too carried the same message - repent and believe God for the forgiveness of sins.
They began Jesus’ Church. The Holy Spirit had come upon them - they recognised the time. They knew it wasn’t going to be easy but just like Jesus they too walked in obedience and in their purpose to fulfil God’s plan for their lives.
I pray that this year you will fulfil God’s plan as you walk in alignment to his purpose for your life.