Scripture Reading:  Matthew 4:12-17

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Mathew, the writer of the gospel

Sometimes life throws us a curveball;  an unplanned pregnancy, a senseless death of a loved one, a move you had not planned to make.  You fill in the blank.  For Jesus, it was a senseless imprisonment of a loved one; his cousin was placed in prison by Herod Antipas.   Interestingly  this event was a turning point for the beginning of His true ministry here on earth.  Was this planned?  Did Jesus know ahead of time that this would happen?  No matter what, the political decisions made by Herod Antipas were instrumental in the delivery of God’s plan, even though it was a very negative consequence. 

Something to think about.  Scripture tells us that Jesus then withdrew to Galilee to start his ministry.  The best part of this story is Jesus’s last line in verse 17, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near”.  These were the words of his dear cousin, John; his motto of sorts. I picture it almost as a rally cry for battle against the principalities of this earth. Jesus was ready to go to battle. Maybe not the type of battle that Jesus’s disciples envisioned, but one that focused on eternity and our salvation.  Jesus’s family was being hurt. He felt it, just like you. He withdrew, he got him self together, went to a new town, and began the most life changing ministry ever known to man.

I leave you today with words from the song “Promises”, from Maverick City Music.

“Yes, I’ll still bless You
In the middle of the storm, in the middle of my trial
I’ll still bless You
In the middle of the road, when I don’t know where to go
I’ll still bless You “