- Sermon Notes
Let There Be Light
Intro: Can I borrow your glasses?
Today we are going to study the end of Matthew chapter four, which depicts the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth. It is in these verses were will see Jesus, the light of the world, come close to those in darkness in order to show them the way. Jesus came to show us the way and as we see the ministry of Jesus begin, may we be encouraged to let the light of Jesus shine in the places we go as well. May the light He brings give us the opportunity to go forward and never look back.
Read: Matthew 4:12-22
Upon hearing that John the Baptist had been imprisoned, Jesus leaves Nazareth, the place He grew up and moved to the region of Galilee, specifically Capernaum. Matthew makes clear that Jesus, taking residence in Galilee, was another prophesy fulfilled. In the land of Galilee, a land of great darkness, with both Gentile and Jewish believers, Jesus begins His ministry.
In verse 16, we read that the people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned. The light, which was now dawning on the region of Galilee would bring the opportunity for those in and throughout the region to receive new life.
I. Turn Toward Jesus
- Jesus said in John 12:46, that He came into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Him may not remain in darkness.
John 1:9-12, There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become Children of God.
- Jesus begins His ministry on earth with an offer to all to turn, change their course or turn their lives around.
- John the Baptist had begun his ministry by declaring that people were to repent, for the kingdom of heaven was at hand.
- The term “repent” as we discussed a couple weeks back is to turn around, or to have a change of mind and heart. To leave one place and head to another.
- Upon coming to Galilee and beginning His ministry, Jesus begins with the same phrase.
- Jesus was now personally letting the world now that the kingdom of Heaven, the kingdom of God was at hand.
- While His kingdom was and is at hand, it requires acceptance on the part of the believer.
- The opportunity being given to the region of Galilee, is the same opportunity that our world has today.
- Saying yes to Jesus, is saying yes to the greatest gift of all, the gift of life. That gift is received when we leave the life of sin and the self-life and turn toward Jesus.
- Another important truth is that wherever you or those you know sit today, the Light of Jesus can begin to change your world.
Isaiah 9:2, The people who walk in darkness will see a great Light; those who live in a dark land, The Light will shine on them.
- In Luke chapter 15 Jesus gives three parables, one displays a shepherd with 100 sheep who loses one and leaves the 99 in order to bring back the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7).
- Another is a woman with 10 coins who loses one of them and searches her entire house until she finds the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10).
- The third is a son who takes his father’s inheritance, lives, spends it all and is welcomed back. In each case, there is rejoicing over that which was lost (Luke 15:11-31).
- In each case there is rejoicing over what was once lost being found. There is great rejoicing when one turns to God.
- Jesus told these parables because the Pharisees and teacher of the law could not believe that Jesus was spending time with those who were lost so that they may be found.
Illus. Your account has been flagged!
- Jesus brings the opportunity for all who would receive to have the gift of life. The life He gives is a gift given, it is not earned, rather it is because of His grace and mercy, provided through faith in Him.
Ephesians 2:8, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
- Jesus calls you out of darkness into His light (1 Peter 2:9) from right where you are.
A.He sees what you will be
- In verse 18, Jesus is walking by the sea of Galilee and He sees Simon, who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea.
- Simon Peter and Andrew were fishermen, and Jesus meets them in the midst of fishing and calls them to follow Him, as He will make them fishers of men.
- Simon Peter and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed Jesus.
- Continuing along the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, James and John on a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
- Jesus called James and John; immediately they left their nets and their father and followed Him.
- Jesus found His first four followers on the sea of Galilee in the midst of their fishing business.
- In the midst of their work He called them to follow Him. Why? Because He was going to make them fishers of men!
Illus. Fisher of men?
- Jesus had previous encounters with at least three of these four men (John 1:35-42). They all knew who Jesus was and they understood Him to be the Messiah.
- As Jesus comes and meets these four in the midst of their fishing, He first calls them to follow and points them to what they will be.
Illus. In Judges 6, the nation of Israel had turned away from God despite all He had done. As they turned their hearts away from God, the Midianites come and prevail against Israel in every way. There was no hope, their crops and livestock were taken. They had no way to defend themselves. They finally prayed to God for a prophet, who was found in an unlikely place….The Lord had called out to Gideon and said, "The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior."
- Jesus gave Simon the name Peter, which means “rock,” which he was still a fisherman. Later, He would tell Peter that He would build His church upon that rock.
- Jesus saw what Peter would be, and He is calling it out. He also knew what the disciples would become and He was letting them know.
Illus. My dad used to wake me up to his hopes of who I might become.
- Gideon had responded, “My family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house.”
- God's answer is indicative of who Gideon will be, "Surely I will be with you, and you will defeat Midian as one man.”
- God knows who you will be, and he addresses you according to who you will become. Choose His narrative.
- He is looking for those who will rise up to their calling. Inadequate but willing to step out in faith.
2 Chronicles 16:9, The eyes of the Lord search to and fro throughout the whole earth in order to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
- Jesus knew what the disciples would become by following Him and addressed them accordingly.
- God knows who we will be and will be with us when we rise up. It is not about who we are, but who we are through Him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
- We should be encouraged when we see so many examples in the scriptures that God delights to use those who are weak to demonstrate the greatness of
Illus. – David was the youngest of eight brothers and was considered too insignificant to be considered as the anointed King, or to make a difference in Israel's war with the Philistines.
- Don’t allow the place God met you in determine where He wants you to go.
A.Follow Him forward
- What Jesus said to the disciples, was “follow me.”
- Jesus was essentially saying, “If you follow me, if you spend time with me, if you hang out with me, I am going to be changing you, and you will become like me – a fisher of men.”
- Peter and Andrew responded to the call of Jesus by leaving their nets.
- James and John responded to the call of Jesus by leaving their boat and their father.
Illus. Options in following.
- The lives they were leaving were all they knew occupationally and Jesus was asking them to step out of the fishing industry.
- These men, with just an elementary education, were called by Jesus to follow Him and become His closest companions.
- Jesus, true to His word, would show them how to become fishers of men as they followed Him.
- They were known to be uneducated and untrained (Acts 4:13), yet, Jesus chose these very men to train.
- He didn’t head to Jerusalem or Judea, He didn’t look for the religious elite, He didn’t seek out those who had ministry training, He chose fishermen.
- These fishermen would leave everything in order to follow Jesus.
- Despite your background, Jesus would call you to come and follow as well. It is not a matter of what has been, or what was, but rather, your willingness to head in the way He would lead you.
- That’s the process of discipleship, the journey from where you are today, to where the Lord wants you.
- Jesus said to the disciples, “come and follow,” come and see.
- We can do the same in our lives when we encourage another by saying, “follow me as I follow Jesus.”
- This is how His light will continue to shine on this earth.
- The first disciples were an incredible example for all who would follow, they were willing to respond to the call of Jesus, no matter the cost.
Illus. The point of no return.