12 Now when Jesus heard that John [the Baptist] had been arrested and put in prison, He left for Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He went and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the country of Zebulun and Naphtali.14 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee [in the district] of the Gentiles— 16 “The people who were sitting (living) in [spiritual] darkness have seen a great Light, And for those who were sitting (living) in the land and shadow of [spiritual and moral] death, Upon them a Light has dawned.”
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “[a]Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The First Disciples
18 As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, “[b]Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.”20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]. 21 And going on [further] from there He noticed two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, in the boat with their father [c]Zebedee, mending their nets; and He called them [to follow Him as His disciples]. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].
Ministry in Galilee
23 And He went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news (gospel) of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people [demonstrating and revealing that He was indeed the promised Messiah].
24 So the news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were sick, those suffering with various diseases and pains, those under the power of demons, and epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.
Matthew 4:17Jesus’ public ministry began at this time and He was preaching the same message John the Baptist had proclaimed.
Matthew 4:19The concept of “follow” can represent three separate possibilities: in the early stages of His ministry, (1) walking with Him physically (literally), that is, merely being in His presence regardless of personal belief or commitment, (2) accepting and identifying with the salvation He offered; and later on, (3) being identified with Him by being subject to the scorn and rejection of unbelievers because of personal belief and commitment to Him.
Matthew 4:21Zebedee’s wife, Salome, is believed to be the sister of Jesus’ mother Mary.
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