Behold the King
“The Proclamation of the Kingdom” Matthew 4:12-17
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 60:1-5 – New Testament Reading: John 12:31-50
Behold the King
“The Proclamation of the Kingdom”
In chapters 1-3, Matthew addresses the events and issues relative to the King’s arrival:
- His royal genealogy, His miraculous conception, His homage by the Magi, the way He was announced by John the Baptist, and the way He was anointed by the Holy Spirit and confirmed by God the Father at His baptism.
In chapter 4, Matthew addresses the events and issues relative to the Kings activity:
- His self-proclamation as the God-sent Savior, His transition from John the Baptist, His initial ministry to reveal men’s hearts, His deliberate repudiation of the religion of Judaism, His intentional validation of those who knew they were sinners in need of a Savior, and His prophetic selection of the specific city to prove Himself as the God-sent King.
WALK WHERE JESUS WALKED!
- According to biblical researchers, Jesus walked 21,525 miles during His 33 years on earth, including 400 miles from Egypt to Nazareth, 18,000 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem and back, and 3,125 miles during His three years of ministry. The longest mile was through the city of Jerusalem to Calvary and the cross.
EVENTS COVERED IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN BUT NOT IN THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW.
- John 1:19-51 – John openly declared Jesus as the Messiah – the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, and he urged two of his disciples to leave him and to follow Jesus. Jesus added three more disciples.
- John 2:1-25 – Jesus performed the first miracle at Cana, changing water into wine. He made a whip and ran the money changers out of the temple, establishing Himself as the Messiah, the Savior sent from God, and stirring the hatred of the Pharisees and Sadducees against Him.
- John 3:1-36 – Jesus witnessed to Nicodemus, with no visible effect. He returned to work with John the Baptist until the time of transition came.
- John 4:1-54 – On the way to Galilee, Jesus intentionally went through Samaria and witnessed to the half-breed, adulterous woman at the well, and her conversion caused the first recorded revival. He healed the Nobleman’s son, proving He had the power of life and death.
- In performing these deliberate actions, Jesus revealed the hearts of all men toward the God-sent Savior:
- He attracted the common people with His unconditional love for those who were hurting –
- He repudiated the religionists with His righteous indignation toward their religion –
- He infuriated the arrogant Jews by going to Samaria and talking with a mixed-race woman –
- He aggravated the Romans by the crowds that came to hear Him preach and heal their bodies –
- In performing these deliberate actions, Jesus revealed the hatred of the people in Jerusalem toward Him.
- God used the people’s hatred against Jesus to cause Him to leave Judea and go to Galilee to begin His ministry, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 9 and confirming Him as the Promised King.
1. Jesus Was the Right Man – Vs. 12 – “When Jesus heard that John (the Baptist) was cast into prison, He departed into Galilee.”
Even though Jesus was God of very God, He was always sensitive to the Father’s timetable and adjusted His ministry to work within it.
- When Jesus heard that John had been imprisoned, He knew the time of transition had come.
- John was imprisoned because he dared to reprimand Herod Antipas for seducing his own brother’s wife, forcing her to divorce his brother and to marry Him.
- Those who took John’s life thought they were silencing the voice of a man who was bold enough to confront them with their sin.
- But their actions were part of God’s divine timetable, giving Jesus the signal to begin His earthly ministry, with a much larger megaphone to call all people to repentance.
2. Jesus was at the Right Place – Vs. 13 –16 – “Leaving Nazareth, he dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zebulon and Naphtali.”
The first place Jesus went when He returned to Galilee was to the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth.
- After reading the prophecy of Isaiah, describing the ministry of the Messiah, Jesus verbally proclaimed Himself as the Messiah for whom they had been praying.
- The people rose up against Him, and had He not used His divine powers to escape, they would have killed Him.
- Jesus said, “A prophet is without honor in His own country.”
- But God used this “rejection” to cause Jesus to leave Nazareth and go to Capernaum to establish His ministry, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 9 and confirming Him as the Promised King.
Why Capernaum of Galilee:
- It was strategically located – all of the great roads of the ancient world passed through Galilee and crossed at Capernaum – the gospel could be heard and taken to other lands by the merchants and workers.
- It was diversely populated – because of wars and repopulation, Capernaum included people of different races and cultures – they were more open to new ideas and concepts of life. Josephus estimated the population in that day to exceed 3-million.
- It was prophetically selected – because the tribes of Asher, Zebulon, and Naphtali did not eradicate the Canaanites as God commanded, the Israelites lost their pure concept of God and began to worship false gods.
- 2 Kings 17:18 – God withdrew His favor and allowed them to suffer the consequences of sin.
- Isaiah 8:22 – God’s judgment was on the horizon: distress, darkness, gloom, and anguish.
- Isaiah 9 – God said a day would come when those who “walked in darkness would see great light”!
- That “LIGHT” came 750 years later with the birth and the ministry of Jesus Christ.
3. Jesus had the Right Proclamation – Vs. 17 – “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
- There was no ambiguity – Jesus preached with certainty.
- There was no duplicity – Jesus preached with authority.
- There was no trickery – Jesus preached with conviction.
- His proclamation was the same as John the Baptist’, the Apostles Peter and Paul: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Change your heart toward God!
- When the “light” of God’s truth reveals the “darkness” of our sin, the next thing we do reveals our true heart for God. Have you seen the light?