**Please be sure to read all around this passage so that you are getting it in context; and as always, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the understanding that He would have you see.
Passage: Matthew 4:12-16
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He left Judea and returned to Galilee.
Pretty short passage, but again we are seeing here the fulfillment of a prophecy…one given by Isaiah.
Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. Isaiah 9:1 NLT
The question that pops into my mind here is why did Jesus wait to start his ministry until John had been arrested? Was this some kind of signal to go? I know that Jesus was totally led by the Father and by the Spirit, so how did he know to wait to start his ministry until John was arrested. I think maybe it was because John had to fully complete his “preparing the way” before Jesus could/should start his ministry. Again, this shows that Jesus was not moving by his own will but fully by the will of the Father.
Even where he went to start his ministry was foretold in the scriptures (Galilee) and the reason can be seen in a basic understanding the of the geography of the area.
Nazareth was a small agricultural village and suburb of the old Galilean capital, Sepphoris; Capernaum was a larger fishing town on the northwest edge of the Sea of Galilee. The trade routes brought *Gentiles through those parts. Capernaum lay in the borders of Naphtali but not Zebulon; Matthew mentions the latter because they occur together in Isa_9:1, which he cites in Mat_4:15. IVP Bible Background Commentary
So we can be sure that not only was Jesus following the will of the Father, as revealed in scripture, but the where, when, and why were all significant for practical real reasons. It made good sense for Jesus to start his ministry in a place where many different gentile cultures converged in one place.
How can we apply this to our own lives?
We can know that when we follow the Word of God and His promptings (brought through the study of His Word and being open to the Spirit) that he is with us in a real and practical way. He will not ask us to do something that goes against His own Word, and He will always require of us only what we can truly do through Him.
May we all do whatever we can to follow the Will of God, by following in the footsteps of Jesus.
Thank you for Mothers as today is the day set aside especially for loving them. Thank you for all that you supply, you are truly great and truly loving. Thank you for the recent answered prayer regarding my job promotion…I now ask that you help me to do a good job. Help me to make good decisions that will bless my workplace.
Lord, forgive me of my sins. Help me to be less selfish and to always put others first. Help me to grow in your Love.
I love you Lord. Amen.