Read Matt 4:12–25
Mat 4:12-17 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. (13) And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, (14) so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: (15) “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles– (16) the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” (17) From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Throughout the Gospels you will see how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah such as this one. Now a main reason for doing this is so we can see that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, the promised seed of the Woman, the promised seed of Abraham and the promised seed of David. When taken all together these prophesies point to one man only, Jesus the son of Mary.
Today we see that Jesus begins his ministry in the North. Now north is already a place of darkness as the sun does not shine as bright there as it does the south. But north is darkness for another reason here as well. It is the place of the Gentiles who worship false gods. Now in the midst of this darkness the One who spoke light into darkness, the Uncreated Light, appears bringing light and life to men, his Light and his Life.
They were under the shadow of death. The Gentiles false worship of false gods and the false worship of the Jews cast a shadow upon the people. Jesus comes to reveal the true light and have people move beyond the elementary principles of this world. Now Jesus begins his ministry where John left off. His message, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Repent, to feel contrition, terror and horror at our sins. Our sins namely being not fearing, loving or trusting in God above all things nor have we loved our neighbor as ourselves. Now we are called to faith that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Where the kingdom of heaven is there is freedom from a guilty conscience. This kingdom brings life to men and frees us from the slavery of the fear of death. This kingdom frees us from bondage of sin and Satan.
The Scriptures point us to Jesus to enter this kingdom. It promises us that if we put our trust in Jesus and his work that the kingdom of heaven is ours and we possess it now by faith. Sin, death and the devil no longer have a hold on us and will not be counted to us at the resurrection. Here we have the righteousness, light and life of Jesus. Now is the second use of using the prophecies of the Old Testament. If God fulfilled his promises in Jesus from the past, we can be certain he will fulfill those which pertain to our future.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant us a greater faith that we may more properly repent and believe the good news of your kingdom so at your return we may receive in sight those things promised us through faith. Amen.