|Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali-- 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: |
15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, along the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles--
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Matthew4:13-16)
Where Jesus started His public ministry.
Where the disciples were called.
Where the 5000 and 4000 were fed.
Where the Sermon on the Mount was preached.
Where He went to the "other side" to reach a demon possessed man
Where Jesus walked on water and calmed the storm.
Where the disciples discovered abundance in big catches of fish.
Where Jesus walked on the beach with Peter and restored Him.
But why is Matthew so excited about this?
The history is significant here. The names Zebulon and Naphtali haven't been heard for a long time... These were two of the northern most tribes of Israel and were the first to be invaded and colonised by the Assyrians around 721BC.
In Isaiah 9 the prophet Isaiah, who'd been witness of the destruction at the hand of the Assyrians spoke longingly about restoration for this part of Israel. Now Matthew is now able to quote these verses because of the fulfilment that Jesus brought:
the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
So too today Jesus restores and renews, even when pain has been there for a long time.
Lent Challenge: Are there old brokenesses you need to hand over to the Lord and ask Him to teach, feed, heal, walk on the water or calm the storm? Maybe today is the day for that healing to begin.