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The Healer’s Demands

Like so many people today, back in the 1500’s Martin Luther was making a critical mistake – he thought for God to accept him, he first had to clean up his act in his own strength, and then he could come to God.

Matin Luther discovered in 1517 that the word repent, the word metanoia in the Greek, had been wrongly translated into Latin as “do penance.” For 1,000 years people had been reading it wrongly. They were trying to “be perfected” in their own strength to bring themselves to Christ, whereas Christ was calling for a change of mind that would lead them to ‘be perfected’ by faith in Christ alone.

And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness.    -Romans 4:5

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.  -Galatians 5:6

Read Matthew 4:12-25

Jesus changes His address    V. 12-16

John’s arrest brought his public ministry to an end. He would never leave prison, and be executed there. The forerunner’s public job was done – Jesus’ public ministry was just beginning.

Capernaum was an important town on the trade route at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, linking Damascus of Syria in the North with Egypt in the South. It was also the home of Peter, Andrew, John, James, and…Matthew (9:9).

Jesus demands we change our minds    V. 17

Jesus didn’t tone the message back because He already had encountered opposition – He demanded repentance from everyone He met. Change your mind and turn to Jesus for eternal life.

Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.    -Luke 24:46-48

Jesus demands we change our focus    V. 18-22

Following Jesus means putting Him first in every area of your life.

If these men had rejected following Jesus they would have been the ones to miss the eternal blessing of being on mission with God. They said yes and became their best selves, although it cost them and their families.

Christ heals, but His call to repent and follow disrupts our agenda. Sins we once did with no thought we now cast away, and we embrace being His disciples in every area of our life.

The vast extent of Christ’s ministry (and ours)    V. 23-25 

Notice the threefold ministry of Jesus – Teaching; testifying; healing.

We want to be like Jesus, don’t we? So we teach each other here at church, and then we testify everywhere following Him takes us during the week, and meet needs for people in all the ways we can as His followers.

Speaking of valuing people, look at the extent of Jesus’ ministry. From Galilee He reached out to Jews and Gentiles, men and women, rich and poor, soldiers and those they occupied. He ministered beyond borders – to Jews in Gentile places and Gentiles in Israel, as Isaiah the prophet had predicted!