DAY 4 OF 365 IN 2021
Matthew 4:12, 17 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Whenever a leading individual is arrested for being a part of, or engaging in a particular course of action that speaks against an establishment, the primary intention of such action is to act as deterrent to followers. This strategy has been a go-to for ages much like the words of scripture ‘strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered’ (Zech 13:7). John’s message of repentance was thus gathering momentum hence, his arrest would place a wedge in the path of that cart.
In Matthew’s Gospel account, the ministry of Jesus kicks off into full gear following this arrest of John and he enters the frame with the very same message: “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand”. Jesus steps into the jurisdiction of Galilee and there was no stopping. He went all out and his fame spread abroad.
Between John the Baptist and Jesus, we know there is a story of a herald and the one who is heralded. Jesus was thus pursuing the mission for which he had come. John’s arrest may or may not have been driving factor for His momentum and the reason I highlight this is because sometimes, we need a situation like that to get us moving.
There are moments like that which are designed to wake us up! They are intended to pour water over our closing eyes and fan the fires in our hearts into flames. We read, in the twelfth chapter of Acts of the Apostles, about a time when the church stood by and watch James killed only to later take arms in prayer when they realised a similar thing might happen to Peter. This initiated an angel-led prison break.
Beloved, sometimes, a trial or persecution is required to give us a nudge forward. Every now and then, a situation arises that pushes us back unto our knees and causes us to engage matters head on. Let us be ready to step up and push forward in those circumstances because they are a call to arms. The other option of
keeping a low profile and our arms crossed in those circumstances are a dangerous alternative to taking action.