President's Desk

The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and  shadow of death light is sprung up.

 Matthew 4:16 (12-17)

To Those Who Need Him Most

-David M. Dennis

 

In the world we live in — Control and organization of people comes in three basic forms. Muscle power, money power, and information power. If one, or a combination of these three forms of power are used people can be both willingly, or unwilling controlled.

Jesus would have been well aware of the forms of power which have been used to control people. John the Baptist was taken into custody. This happened because John had tried to use the power of information (i.e. information he had on Herod of his extra-marital affair). And Jesus Himself would be a victim of the power of money. Jesus saw how 40 pieces of silver could be used to control one of His own disciples.

But as Jesus begins His public ministry we do not find Him leaving the wilderness of temptation to go up to Judea or Jerusalem where He could find all the powerful people to aid Him in the establishment of His Kingdom. Instead Matthew tells us that Jesus settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea of Galilee, in the ancient regions of Zebulun and Naphtali.

Jesus did not go to where all the beautiful people lived. Instead He took up residence in a small fishing community. Jesus could not have put Himself further away from the vestiges of conventional power. Jesus went to a place where poor Hebrews, and Gentiles lived. In the Hebrew mind of the day, Jesus could not have chosen a worse place to live. In settling in Capernaum in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali Matthew tells us that Jesus fulfilled the spoken word of the prophet Isaiah, when he said, in Matthew 4:14-16 —

Now we can understand why Jesus as the Messiah, at the beginning of His ministry goes to the region of Naphtali and Zebulun. It had been foretold. By going to the northern region of Israel and taking up residence in that region Jesus was making a statement as to the purpose and the nature of His ministry.  Jesus did not set up His government by going to Jerusalem where all the powerful and beautiful people lived. Instead Jesus goes to a land which is associated with the poor, the abused, the suffering, and the hopeless people could be found.

By first going to the land of Zebulun and Naphtali Jesus is telling us that His mission as the Messiah was to give hopeless people hope; to give abused people care; to give poor people the gift of eternal value; to give hurting, troubled, and unwanted people love.

How can you show God's love today to those who need it most?