He is Here
He is here, He is near us
He is here, He is near us
In our hearts, in our lives, in our midst He is here,
He is near us
Calling us to trust in Him
Cast your every care on the One Who gave you life
Lay your burdens down at His feet
Open up your heart to the living Word of God He is love,
He is love
Brian Doerksen & Paul Baloche
Scripture Reflections Matthew 4:12-17
12When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.
There was reason to avoid Herod Antipas. He was a despot and an evil man. He was the son of an evil man. I wonder if he has heard the story of the King of the Jews being born in Bethlehem from his father, and the deaths that his father caused in his fear. The palace intrigue and the back stabbing that went on to maintain power in this puppet kingdom cause much pain.
Lord Jesus the way in which you dealt with the political is something that I need to learn. Your ministry was not centered on maintaining the status quo or in a conservative or progressive agenda. It was about impacting peoples lives in way that the political can never touch even at its best. You were concerned about changing hearts and then lives by calling people to a hope beyond the political and beyond this world's power.
I don't think that you were concerned about a tax deduction when you were teaching about giving. You were concerned about unmet need and about seeing the poor reached for the kingdom. You were thinking about the reality of the oppression of the poor by those with more knowledge, power and money. You were interested in a more just and equatable distribution of what came from the Father's hand in the first place.
13Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15"Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." 17From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
Not only did you preach giving to the poor, but you demonstrated giving to those who do not have by your preaching to those who had so little light. You did not restrict knowledge of the kingdom to the few or even those with the right family heritage. You allowed access to all who would listen, not just the rich, not just the powerful, but the oppressed, those with little knowledge, and even those who were outcasts.
Light was your gift to all who would open their eyes and see.
Lord Jesus, Keep my eyes open even when it is so easy just to fall off to sleep. Keep my eyes open to the work of your grace in my life and in the lives of those that you bring into my life.