4 – Jesus Begins His Work

Matthew 4:12–17

Jesus starts his work in Galilee

12 Then Jesus heard that Herod had put John the Baptist in prison. So Jesus returned to Galilee.

13 But he did not stay in Nazareth. He went to live in Capernaum, which is a town on the shore of Lake Galilee. It was in the part of Israel called Zebulun and Naphtali.

4:13Zebulun and Naphtali were the names of parts of Galilee. They were also the names of two of Jacob's sons. They lived in this land many years before.

14 This caused God's message to become true. Long ago God had said through his prophet Isaiah:

4:14See Isaiah 9:1-2

15 ‘I am speaking to you people who live in Zebulun and Naphtali.

4:15These people did not know God or his book very well. Isaiah said that they were like people who are walking in the dark. God promised to send his Son Jesus to them. He would be like a light to show them what God was like.

Your part of this country is on the way to Lake Galilee.

It is across the Jordan river in the part of the country called Galilee.

Some people who are not Jews live there.

16 They are like people who are living in the dark.

They live in the shadow which death brings.

God will send a light to shine on them.’

17 Then Jesus began to speak God's message to people. He said, ‘You have done many wrong things. You must turn away from them and change how you live. Do this now, because the kingdom of heaven has come very near.’

Matthew 4:12-17 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Did you Know?

  • Jesus grew up in Nazareth in Galilee.
  • A ‘Gentile’ is anybody who is not Jewish.
  • The ‘kingdom of heaven’ is not a place. We’re in God’s kingdom when King Jesus rules our life.

The Meaning of the Story

Many people are scared of the dark. People are scared to go out at night-time.

There are different kinds of darkness. There is ‘physical darkness’ when night comes. There is ‘spiritual darkness’ when people don’t know God or obey him.

Jesus came to people in spiritual darkness. Jesus brought light into the darkness of people’s lives.

Jesus preached about the ‘kingdom of God’. God is the king of everyone and everything. God made his Son, Jesus, the king in his kingdom. Jesus’ kingdom is not like any other kingdom because Jesus rules over the hearts and lives of men and women. Jesus told people to become a part of God’s kingdom. We enter God’s kingdom by following his Son, Jesus. This means that we have to obey God and stop doing things that are wrong.

Who is Jesus?

God loves us and doesn’t want us to stay in the darkness. God sent Jesus to bring light into a dark world. God wants us to live with him and be part of his family.

Jesus was a teacher. Jesus taught us how to enter God’s kingdom and how to live in God’s kingdom.

Thinking about the Story

  1. What darkness have you seen in the world?
  2. Is there ‘spiritual darkness’ in your own life?
  3. What would it mean for you to ‘turn back to God’?