Summary: Our role in sharing the gospel.

Sermon-2/11/07-Matt. 4:12-25-Fishers of Men

Story of a fisherman. Reputation for being the greatest fisherman in the area. On days when most people would come back with 2-3 fish, he’d come back with 2-3 hundred.

-Game warden decides to investigate.

-Shows up at the man’s house, identifies himself, and asks to go fishing with him.

-take off, warden notices that the man seems to have no fishing gear, just a small duffle bag.

-hop in the boat, chat, eventually stops boat in middle of lake, opens the bag and takes out a stick of dynamite, throws it in the water-boom!-takes out his net and starts scooping up the stunned fish.

-This is highly illegal, man laughs moves the boat to another section of the lake and does it again.

Warden had enough- “Mister, you’ve broken so many laws-I don’t know where to start.” Man laughed and pulled out another stick of dynamite. “Illegal possession of dynamite, illegal detonation of dangerous material, disturbing the peace, and about a half dozen other misdemeanors and felonies.” while the warden was talking the man lit the stick of dynamite and tossed it to the warden. As he did he asked the warden the question fishermen always ask “Well, are you going to talk all day or are you going to fish?”

-The key verse in our text today is verse 19- “Fishers of men.”

-That is our problem when it comes to being fishers of men-to much talking, not enough fishing.

This morning talk about what it means to really be fishers of men

First some context from the passage.

Not apparent from the text but there is about a 1 year gap between verse 11 & verse 12. Look at what happened during that year in a moment. So in verse 12 Matthew says “When he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee.”

I. Arrest of John the Baptist (vs. 12)-Arrested by Herod Antipas, Matthew includes no details, assumes the story would have been well known to his readers.

A. Reason-find 2 reasons from different sources

1. Political-Josephus underscores that Herod Antipas imprisoned John for political reasons; that is, he feared that John’s popularity with the people, along with his preaching and baptism, might lead the people to some sort of rebellion

2. Moral-Later, in chapter 14, Matthew gives us a further, moral reason behind John’s arrest: John the Baptist had publicly condemned Herod Antipas for having an affair with, and eventually marrying, Herodias, his half-brother Philip’s wife. The result of the arrest ...

B. Result

We see that Jesus….

Withdrew to Capernaum-Up to this point what we can know of Jesus early ministry had taken place in the southern part of Israel, in Judea. But Christ took the arrest of John as an occasion to relocate his ministry to the northern part of the land, in Galilee. Established his ministry headquarters in Capernaum

Kefer Nahum-in Hebrew, means city of Nahum, this brings bout the...

2. 6th fulfilled prophecy in book from

Isaiah 9:1-2-Ever since the Assyrians conquered the region in 732 BC this area had experienced turmoil and the forced infiltration of Gentile influences. The Jews that lived here were called “the people sitting in darkness”, a description of a people who awaited deliverance while living among the hopelessness of the Gentiles. So here, where things seem the darkest, the place that is so far removed from the center of Jewish religious life in Jerusalem, these Jews are the first to see the great light of God’s deliverance in Jesus. It will bring hope to those who understand most clearly the hopelessness of death.

So lets look at the

II. Ministry of Jesus here

First as I mentioned

A. Matthew skips year one of his ministry in Judea (John 1:29-4:3)

First meeting of disciples (Jn. 1:35-51)

John, Andrew, Peter, (probably James), Philip, Nathaniel. First meeting with all of them.

Other events during that first year of ministry-First miracle, cleanses the temple, Meets with Nicodemus, and on His way back up to Galilee-meets with woman at the well. So what we have recorded here is not the disciples first encounter with Jesus, not even His first call to them to come and follow Him.

2. Second Call here

Brief review of Jewish schooling:

Began schooling in Beth Sefer (5-10 years) (house of the book) Taught by local torah teacher. Learned the Torah, reading and writing, best students had it memorized by the time this level was done. When this level of education Was finished most students (all girls) stayed home to help with the family, learn to be a good wife or for the boys learn a trade.

The best students from Beth Sefer would continue on to Beth Midrash. (10-14) Studied the rest of Scripture, & interpretations of the oral Torah. Had the rest of the Jewish Scriptures memorized by the time they were finished. Also learned the Jewish art of questions.

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