Matthew 3 - 4
In Matthew Chs. 1-2, we saw, among other things, the birth of Jesus and His flight to Egypt. What did God’s Old Covenant son, Israel, do after their departure from Egypt? They were baptized in the Red Sea and were tempted in the wilderness (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-5). So too, in Matthew we read of Jesus’ baptism and His temptation in the wilderness. Yet with this Son (unlike Israel), God is well pleased (3:17). Where Israel failed in the wilderness temptation by grumbling and complaining against God, Jesus, the new Son, succeeds, relying on God’s Word (4:4), not putting the LORD to the test (4:7), and worshiping and serving God alone (4:10). Having succeeded in all the ways Israel failed, this Son is indeed prepared for the ministry for which the Father sent Him. So He commences that ministry, calling people to repent, announcing that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand (4:17),” and recruiting a few fishermen to join Him (4:19). So the ministry of Jesus is off and running, and it’s one of proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, as well as healing diseases and affliction (4:23). It is, in the most literal sense of the words, a “truly life-giving ministry.”
Reflect: As those who are no different than God’s Old Covenant son, Israel, failing again and again to be righteous in our own strength, what are we to do when God calls us to trust in His new beginning, but to repent and follow Him? Nothing but a life of repentance and following Jesus can prepare you for the ministry He has called you to—so follow hard after Christ, and invite others to follow Him as well.
Connect: Andrew, to whom Jesus said the famous words, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men (4:19),” had apparently already met Jesus. The opening chapter of the Gospel of John tells us that Andrew, upon meeting Jesus, went and told his brother Peter that he had met the Messiah. He then brought Peter to Jesus, that Peter might know this Messiah for himself.
One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus…
- Rev. John McCombs
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This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.