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Summary: Jesus makes himself known thorugh his followers.

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Title: A Man with a Plan

Text: Matthew 4:12-23

Thesis: Jesus makes himself known through his followers.

Epiphany Series: Encountering Christ in Epiphany

• The First Sunday after Epiphany: Christ’s Identity. The First Sunday after Epiphany we encountered Christ at his baptism where God reveals to Jesus and to us who He (Jesus) is. “This is my Son, whom I love, and with whom I am very pleased.” Matthew 3:17

• The Second Sunday after Epiphany: Christ’s Power. The Second Sunday after Epiphany we encounter Christ at a wedding where he performed the first of many miracles that would follow. “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” John 2:13

• The Third Sunday after Epiphany: Christ’s Leadership. On the Third Sunday after Epiphany we encounter Christ walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee where he saw fishermen going about their business of fishing. So, he called out to them. Jesus said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:12-23

Introduction:

Denver Post Columnist Mark Kiszla is a man with a plan. On January 14, 2011 he posted his: 7-Point Plan to Broncos’ [new Head Coach] John Fox Includes Benching Tim Tebow.

1. Tell Tebow it’s not his time.

2. Get in Champ Bailey’s corner and get him a contract extension.

3. Trade down in the NFL Draft for defensive linemen.

4. Go back to the 4-3 defense.

5. Show General Manager Brian Xander who’s the boss.

6. Restore Mile Highs magic.

7. Never, ever wear a hoodie.

I don’t know how Kiszla’s plan is going to pan out. But we have something of an idea of how God’s plan is going to pan out and we are grateful that did not bench his favored Son.

When Jesus came onto the scene it was the result of a first-round draft pick eons ago, when according to Philippians 2, the Godhead decided that Jesus would empty himself of his right to be God and humble himself taking on the likeness of a man. It was the plan of God that when Christ died for sins he died for sins once for all… all the sin of all the people of all time, that he might bring us all to God. I Peter 3:18

Jesus is the key figure in God’s unfolding prophetic plan to restore our relationship with God.

I. Jesus was the prophetic match for God’s unfolding plan.

Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali – to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah. From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Matthew 4: 13 - 17

A. Matthew’s understanding of prophecy

Matthew understood Jesus’ actions in light of a specific prophecy. In verses 13-16 Matthew quotes from Isaiah 9:1-3 were he cites the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali and the area around Galilee saying that it is there that “the people living in darkness have seen a great light… in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Matthew understood that prophetic light to be Jesus Christ.

B. Matthew’s understanding of prophecy as the unfolding of God’s plan

Matthew understood that what Jesus did was not just a random decision but a deliberate and necessary one to demonstrate that Jesus was in fact fitting into God’s plan and fulfilling God’s plan.

Jesus was did not move from Nazareth to Capernaum to get work. Jesus did not move to Capernaum to be closer to his family….

We live in a very mobile culture and people move for many reasons. If you are looking for a great place to find an entry level job you might move to New York, LA, Chicago, San Francisco or Dallas… all among the top ten cities in our country for entry level jobs. If you are looking to live where the taxes are low you could move to Alaska where there is no income tax or sales tax and they still give tax refunds. Among the least taxing states are New Hampshire, Tennessee, Alabama or South Dakota. If you are looking to move to the best retirement cities you might want to move to Tucson, AZ or Loveland, CO. If you’ve a yen to live among the wealthiest people in our country you might begin with Westlake, TX… a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth where the median income is $250 K per year or the Cape Cod community of Popponesset Island. If you are looking to live where you are least likely to find employment you would want to move to Detroit, MI. If you wish to live among the poorest in our country, nine of the ten poorest states are in the south. If you wish to live among the most prosperous people of our country, nine of the ten wealthiest states are in the north.

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