Summary: Moving forward in our faith is a requirement for a healthy spiritual life.
A Messiah On the Move
Text: Matt. 4:12-25
1. Illustration: Living in Ohio during the cold winter months teaches us many things. However, one of the most important is the need to keep moving forward. When we drive on the ice and snow we do well as long as we keep moving forward, but as soon as we stop moving is when we get stuck.
2. This is also true with our physical bodies. When people retire and decide to sit and do nothing, they usually start to deteriorate rapidly. However, they do much better physically if they stay active.
3. This is also true of the Christian life. If we stay active in our faith and our involvement in the church we do well spiritually. However, when we stop looking to move forward in the Lord we are usually in trouble.
4. Jesus teaches us the importance of:
a. Stepping Out Into Ministry
b. Stepping Out Into Partnership
c. Stepping Out Into the World
5. Read Matt. 4:12-25
Proposition: Moving forward in our faith is a requirement for a healthy spiritual life.
Transition: First, we must...
I. Stepping Out Into Ministry (12-17)
A. He Left, Moved, and Preached
1. One striking aspect of this text is Jesus on the move.
2. Notice that "When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee."
a. Once John was imprisoned meant his ministry was over, and it was time for Jesus ministry to begin.
b. Jesus wastes no time or opportunity to get started.
3. After arriving in Galilee, "He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali."
a. Nazareth was a small agricultural village and suburb of the old Galilean capital, Sepphoris;
b. Capernaum was a larger fishing town on the northwest edge of the Sea of Galilee (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament).
c. This meant more people, and more opportunity to minister.
4. All of this took effort on Jesus part, and it was about fulfilling the will of God. Matthew again points out "This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah..."
a. Jesus actively went after the Father’s will.
b. He did not hesitate, or make excuses.
c. He knew what He was supposed to do, and went after it with all of the gusto required to accomplish the job.
B. Working Until Jesus Comes
1. Illustration: Someone has written that there are four kinds of bones in the world. The WISH BONES who spend their time wishing someone else would do the work; The JAW BONES who do all the talking, but very little else; The KNUCKLE BONES who knock everything that anyone else is trying to do; The BACK BONES who shoulder the load and do the work.
2. God has not created us to sit, but to move.
a. If we sit we die; if we move we live.
b. This is true in our physical life, and it is true in our spiritual life.
c. 1 Peter 4:10 (NLT)
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
3. God has not called us to passivity, but ministry.
a. He has gifted us for ministry.
b. Called us to ministry.
c. He is preparing us for ministry.
d. He has chosen to use us in ministry.
Transition: We also see Jesus...
II. Stepping Out Into Partnership (18-22)
A. Come Follow Me
1. One key element to the ministry of the church is that no one person can do it alone; we need partners.
a. The key reason that most Pastor’s leave the ministry is burnout, and most of this occurs because they try to do it all themselves or because others expect them to do it all.
b. However, Jesus shows us the importance of partnership.
2. Matthew tells us that "One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living."
a. Notice that these were just orinary working men.
b. They weren’t Theologians, Scholars, or Clergy.
c. They were simple fishermen.
d. Fishermen were central to the Galilean economy and made a good living by the standards of their culture, far better than the large numbers of peasants who worked the land through much of the Roman Empire (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament).
e. Not only did they make a good living, but for many of them it was a family business.
3. When Jesus sees them, he calls out to them, "Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”