January 27, 2008am     First Light I      Matthew 4
By Ronald E. George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

God said “Let there be light.”  And there was light.  Have you seen the light?  Do we need some light?  Even in almost heaven WV, we have seen the darkness.  Do we have a golden phone and a direct line to heaven?  Do we need a person to person?

Matthew 4:12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”a
17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
                21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.  23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Who are the people living in darkness?  Do we need the light?  Has the light dawned on Fayette County?  Darkness is an absence of light. 

What is the darkness of the world?  A world without hope is a world of darkness.  A world without a future in which the inhabitants thereof have no good news.  It is a world in which the people live with disease and disaster as common as the air they breath.  It is a world in which the people have no reason to live. 

We have heard about the light.  But have you seen it for yourself? 



4.  Are you walking in the Light?  Put your trust in the light of the world.  Give your life to him.  As the fishermen followed the Lord, will we follow him in this world of darkness.  Have we heard the call to leave our earthly pursuits for the heavenly calling?  Have we followed the Lord? 
John 12: 35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36 Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.”

John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”h

5.  Are you shining the light? 
Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Have you seen the light?  Have you followed the light?  Are you shining the light?

a Isaiah 9:1,2

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Mt 4:12-24.

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Jn 8:12.

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Jn 12:35-36.

h Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 15.

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Jn 3:19-21.

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Mt 5:14-16.