By Arvin Kaufman
It is the start of a new year and many of us are excited about what it will come with.
Some people plan to start something new, and others plan to change in the way they have been doing things. Do you have new plans for the year?
In Matthew 4:12, we find Jesus at the start of something new. His ministry had just begun.
This was after John the Baptist had been put in prison. The Scripture says that Jesus began to preach with a message of “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
Recognising the time
Sometimes in order to walk into the new, we have to recognise when the old is finished.
When John the Baptist was put in prison, Jesus knew that His time had come.
But how did He know this, you may ask? Through prayer, through hearing the Father’s voice and through obedience. John had baptised Jesus and so all things were in order.
It is not always easy
The Bible says that when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He left the familiar and comfortable surroundings of Nazareth, where He had grown up; where He would have enjoyed the familiar people and places, and went to Galilee, in Capernaum.
Jesus had to make multiple sacrifices throughout His ministry in order to see the plan of God fulfilled.
Matthew 4:16 says He also “moved to a people living in great darkness”. Meaning this new place had its own challenges.
These were people without light. Jesus brought the light to them. Often when we are looking for a new beginning, we are looking for something easy and comfortable.
This may not always be connected to God’s will or may not fulfil what He has planned for us, because it may not always be easy or comfortable.
Obedience is required
To begin anything that will be successful and useful to God and to others, we must be obedient to God.
Scripture says that when Jesus left His home town, this was to fulfil what was said through Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 9:1, 2).
Meaning Jesus was where God the Father wanted Him to be.
In many other instances, Jesus was exactly where He was supposed to be and it fulfilled prophecy from His birth and ministry.
Perhaps to those that lived with and knew Him, leaving Nazareth and moving to Capernaum may have seemed like the wrong thing to do, but not to God.
Jesus was in obedience to the Father, and this would be the beginning of His ministry, according to the book of Matthew.
In whatever you are beginning this year, ask God for wisdom that you will be in the right place and time no matter how it looks to others around you.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus maintained His God-given purpose, the reason He had come to Earth.
Part of that was to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. Jesus had come near. His ministry had started.