Matthew – Fulfilled
We are quite the teaching team where I work at a science academy when we can tag team. Each one of us recognize our strengths and weaknesses. We have presentations that we do well. We know which one of us can take certain lessons farther. We recognize our individual abilities and play to our strengths. We tag team teach. It makes the lessons go well, it gives prep time for the one not teaching at the moment, and gives a fresh perspective to the students. Sometimes a different “voice” helps them to stay focused, bringing a different look at the topic to aid in their learning.
Tag teaming is exactly how God works in His Story. Since the beginning of mankind, God called many tag teams throughout history. Matthew tells us about the greatest tag team of all. God planned for this tag team to pass on the Way to the most important relationship we can have, our relationship with God. After years of darkness with God’s silence, John the Baptist, a new prophet and evangelist comes to deliver the news that the long awaited Messiah is here, that the Kingdom of God has come and that it is time for repentance and changed lives. At the peak of John’s ministry, Jesus enters the scene. John decreases in his ministry because of the political and religious opposition as Jesus picks up speed. The baton is passed. Jesus now “picks up where John left off: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”
Matthew 4, The Message
Teaching and Healing
12-17 When Jesus got word that John had been arrested, he returned to Galilee. He moved from his hometown, Nazareth, to the lakeside village Capernaum, nestled at the base of the Zebulun and Naphtali hills. This move completed Isaiah’s sermon:
Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
road to the sea, over Jordan,
Galilee, crossroads for the nations.
People sitting out their lives in the dark
saw a huge light;
Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,
they watched the sun come up.
This Isaiah-prophesied sermon came to life in Galilee the moment Jesus started preaching. He picked up where John left off: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”
18-20 Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
21-22 A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fishnets. Jesus made the same offer to them, and they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat and father.
23-25 From there he went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was his theme—that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan.
Questions to ask ourselves…
Are we ready to pick up where our ancestors left off with God’s Story to us? Is the story of salvation ending with your generation?Are we passing the baton of the Good News?
Are we allowing God to use someone else? He doesn’t need us, you know, yet he chooses us to tell His Story through us. Do we feel unqualified so we just ask people to church instead of telling them about Jesus? Read and see how Jesus begins to select unlikely men to pick up where He will leave off on earth. It matters more WHO you know instead of what you know.
God knows us well. He knows our strengths and weakness, yet He chooses to love us, be with us, have an intimate relationship with us and help us to pass on His love and His Story. God has a way of giving us the right words at the right time. He also has another person who will tag team with you to fill in and provide more information at another time. So don’t worry. We cannot be all things to all people. God knows that. God is the greatest at tag teaming. Let Him. Follow Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for teaching and healing then and now. Thank you for showing us that it is not just up to us to help others. There are many people who will go before us, stand beside us and come after us in the ministries you involve us. Thank you for your great example, Jesus. Thank you for Paul and Timothy who came later as an example of tag teaming. (2 Tim 2:2)
In Jesus Name, Amen