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Daily Reading: 18th July 2016

Matthew 4.17

17 From then on Jesus began to proclaim and to say: “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.”

Very soon there is to be a referendum in the U K about remaining in the European Union. People on both sides of the debate are proclaiming their message with passion. They are preaching the virtues of their firmly held views, a lot of which is reported in the media as scare mongering.

Their preaching is very different from the preaching of Jesus. He preached certainties. What He proclaimed was definite. Whereas those who are proclaiming the virtues of remaining in the E U and those who want us to leave the E U are proclaimers of uncertainties. A word that is used frequently is the word ‘could’.

Like all the worlds social and political preachers there is always uncertainties. This is because ultimately their authority and power to do anything is limited.

Whereas when Jesus preached He also displayed His absolute power and authority.

It was after He had arrived at Capernaum that Jesus began to preach (proclaim) the fundamental message that He came to bring.

His timing was perfect. He did not begin to preach His message until He had been baptized by John, filled with the Holy Spirit; fasted in the wilderness for forty days and nights; been tempted by the devil; and moved home to Capernaum.

The preaching of the gospel needs to be with certainty. There is no room for doubts, or vague possibilities.

Jesus told people what they needed to do; He told people what their present situation was and how to escape from it.

Everyone whom Jesus calls to preach must proclaim the same certainties, and it is that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that the only way to the Father is through Him.

We are not told where Jesus stayed, although He invited the first disciples to where He was staying:

38 Now turning round Jesus saw them following and said to them: “What are you looking for?” Then they said to Him: “Rabbi”, (which being translated is: teacher) Where are you staying?”

39 He said to them: “Come and see”. Then they went and saw where He stays, and they remained with Him that day. It was about the tenth hour – John 1.38-39.

All we know is that later Jesus said that He had nowhere to lay His head.

 

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