A Call from Galilee

Matthew 4:12-17:

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen. From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.


All of the Apostles were from were from Galilee.  Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem (in Judah), but raised in Nazareth, was from Galilee, as well.  St. John the Baptist was born in Judah and Baptized there.  When Jesus came to St. John the Baptist to be Baptized, he left Galilee to do so.  The irony is that Galilee, beyond the Jordan, was known as the Galilee of the Gentiles.  Jesus began to Preach there, telling all to “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  The fact is that the King of the Jews (Jesus) spent a lot of His Ministry time on earth with the Gentiles.  Many Biblical scholars point to the Apostles and St. Paul who Ministered to the Gentiles, but it was Jesus who first preached to the Gentiles in Galilee.  Galilee is infamous for the amount of Miracles that Jesus performed while there – including Miracles performed for Gentiles (e.g. the woman with the bleeding sore, the centurion with the ailing servant).  But, it had to be this way, because it was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah, “Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.”  It’s sometimes easy to become overly-focused in modern times on the New Testament, but like many great movies, you can’t have the “sequel” (the NT) without the “original” (the Old Testament).  If we find ourselves wandering away from the OT, we should make time with the Lord to read it (again or for the first time).  God’s entire Salvation Story was foretold within the OT and can, at times, be a sobering reminder of God’s Love, but also of His Expectations of those who profess that they love Him.  As Jesus declared in Matthew 7:22-23, “Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.”  So, let’s remember the Whole Story (OT+NT) and do our best to Love God in our actions and efforts, as well as in our hearts; and, to “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

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