Held in Suspense

12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—16 “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.”17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:12-17

For a tax collector, Matthew really knew his Bible. But if you knew Jesus was the Messiah, and you were aware of what was prophesied about him, and you lived with him day in and day out, a thinking person could put two and two together.

Matthew’s gospel was his project of matching what was foretold about the Messiah with what he knew about Jesus from first-hand experience. It might have grown tiring, in fact, to be Matthew’s buddy–since they did disciple things two by two–to keep hearing him matching up what was written with what he was seeing. The response was probably, “When this is all over, you need to write a book about it.” And he did.

In this case, Zebulun and Naphtali–not exactly in the Bible Belt–were treated to the Light of the World. Matthew says, “I could have told you that.”

So, a thinking person should read ahead in the book and see what happens. It’s not like it’s a mystery. In tale-telling, they call it a suspense, and they normally have a thrilling conclusion.

Well, if you’ve read ahead, you know all that.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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