Matthew 4: First Steps (4)
Pray Psalm 110.5-7.
The Lord is at Your right hand;
He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.
He shall judge among the nations,
He shall fill the places with dead bodies,
He shall execute the heads of many countries.
He shall drink of the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He shall lift up the head.
Sing contemplatively Psalm 110.5-7.
(Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
The Lord at Your right hand, Lord, in wrath shall shatter kings,
when judgment by His strong Word He to the nations brings.
Then, all His foes defeated, He takes His hard-won rest,
in glorious triumph seated with us, redeemed and blessed!
Read Matthew 4.1-22; meditate on verses 21, 22.
1. Who were the next disciples to be called?
2. How did they respond to Jesus?
Jesus was not some Pied Piper, using His wiles to draw the people to follow Him. He wasn’t calling people for a romp; He was calling them to die (Bonhoeffer). He knew those He had come to save. He knew that they had been chosen in Him from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1.4). In calling these first disciples, Jesus was manifesting both the power and the certainty of His Word. When Jesus calls His chosen ones, they drop whatever they’re doing and follow Him. James and John could no more resist that powerful call than could Andrew and Peter.
What about us? Paul says God has called us to His Kingdom and glory (1 Thess. 2.12). This is the call that greets us every morning as we rise, and from which we rest at the end of the day. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, Who generates in us power to be witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 14.17, 18; 1 Cor. 4.20; Acts 1.8). Is this the defining motif of our lives? Are we, first and foremost, seekers of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6.33)? Do we see our individual callings – whatever they may be – as arenas in which, and ourselves as conduits through which, the rule of King Jesus is coming on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6.10; 1 Cor. 10.31)?
The first disciples left home, family, and work to follow Jesus. In a certain sense, we must all be prepared to do the same. God has spoken His Word over us; our duty is to hear and obey. James and John, like Andrew and Peter, may have known Jesus, or heard Him preaching the Kingdom (v. 17). When He called them, He and His message were irresistible. They wanted to be with Him. They wanted to enter that Kingdom. They gave up everything for that which they barely understood, and Him Whom they scarcely knew. But it is clear that in Jesus they glimpsed something eternal, beautiful, good, and true, and they devoted themselves to obtaining it, whatever the cost.
Their example is the model of discipleship to which we must aspire. When what we see in these disciples is true of us, we’ll follow Jesus no matter how He leads us, in whatever calling He has appointed for us.
1. What does it mean for you to be called to the Kingdom and glory of God?
2. How do you seek the Kingdom and righteousness of God in your present calling?
3. How can Christians help one another to become more consistent and fruitful in seeking the Kingdom of God?
But note both their faith and their obedience. For though they were in the midst of their work (and you know how time-consuming a chore fishing is), when they heard his command they did not delay or procrastinate. They did not say, “Let us return home, and talk things over with our family.” Instead, “they left everything behind and followed,” even as Elisha did when he followed Elijah. For Christ seeks this kind of obedience from us, such that we delay not even for a moment, though something absolutely most necessary should vehemently press in on us. John Chrysostom (344-407), The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 14.2
Help me in seeking Your Kingdom and righteousness today, Lord Jesus, especially as I…
Pray Psalm 110.1-4.
Jesus rules as King at the Father’s right hand, and we are those He sends out each day like the refreshing morning dew. Whom will the Lord refresh through you today? How will you serve the progress of His Kingdom in your calling?
Sing Psalm 110.1-4.
Psalm 110.1-4 (Aurelia: The Church’s One Foundation)
“Sit by Me at My right hand,” the Lord says to my Lord,
“Until I make Your foot stand on all who hate Your Word.”
From in His Church the Savior rules all His enemies;
while those who know His favor go forth the Lord to please.
Filled with the Spirit’s power, in holy robes of love,
from early morning’s hour they serve their Lord above.
Christ reigns a priest forever, the King of Righteousness
and King of Peace who ever His chosen ones will bless.
T. M. Moore
What really happened in the wilderness? What did Jesus accomplish? Our book Satan Bound: A Theology of Evil, can help you to understand more completely the magnitude and importance of Matthew 4.1-11. Order your copy by clicking here.
If you value Scriptorium as a free resource for your walk with the Lord, please consider supporting our work with your gifts and offerings. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).