Submitted by: Clark (Mission Viejo, CA)
I think there are two common situations that Christians find themselves in. The first situation is that they need to make a big decision. This could include where to live, who to marry, where to go to college, etc. The second situation is all the time in between those crisis moments: studying in school, making a living, raising a family, etc.
Matthew 4, on the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, has an important lesson for each situation.
Verse 12 begins “Now when He heard that John was delivered up, He withdrew into Galilee.” At this time in the Bible, God was turning away from the old Jewish religion and beginning something fresh. The Jewish religion had turned away from God, as seen by their treatment of John the Baptist. Jesus heard this news, considered the circumstances, and decided to begin His ministry in Galilee. This was according to God’s plan.
When we find ourselves in a life-crisis, we usually go to one of two extremes. Either we pay attention to our natural inclination and understanding and make a decision based on that, or we pray and expect a deep spiritual conviction about what to do. According to Matthew 4, Jesus did neither. He made his decision based on the environment, the circumstances around Him. We also need to consider the implications of our environment. This may lead us to God’s plan for us.
The second situation is the non-crisis time. In verses 18-20, Jesus came to Peter and said “Come after Me.” This was actually the second time Peter met Jesus. The first was in John 1:40-42. It was there that Peter had probably been baptized. But then, Peter went back to fishing. It seems like he’d forgotten his experience. Later, Jesus came and called him. Then, he followed the Lord.
Many of us have had a wonderful salvation experience. However, we may have forgotten what the Lord did to us in the past and go back to our “fishing.” The Lord desires to come to us again as a Great Light, shine on us, and say “Come follow Me.” We must open to the Him, drop our “nets,” and follow after Him. Is the Lord calling you?