Past Issues

Jesus -- the Guru #10

Matthew quotes one of the Old Testament passages we referred to in one of my previous emails. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to bring a “great light” to “people living in darkness.” (v. 16) We are reminded of the great Upanishadic yearning:

“From the unreal lead me to the real. From darkness lead me to light. From death lead me to deathlessness.”

Read Matthew 4:12-25

Jesus Begins to Preach

12When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.13Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—14to 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—

16the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

17From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

The Calling of the First Disciples

18As 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.”20At once they left their nets and followed him.

21Going 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,22and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick

23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.24News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.25Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Jesus calls people to “repent” (v. 17) because the “kingdom of heaven” (= the Presence of God) has come. The word “repent” in Greek means to make a 180 degree turn. It means to recognize that we are headed in the wrong direction, to turn around, and to follow a new path. It means to see the light and go towards it, out of the darkness.


  • Do you feel the need for a new path, a new light, in life?

  • Do you feel you have been wandering in the darkness?

  • Do you want to go from the unreal to the real? Do you long to have God’s sure Presence and direction in your life?

  • What are the ways you feel lost at this point in your life?

  • What do you need to leave and head in a whole new direction?

  • Do you believe that God can love you so much that He would come to lead you out of darkness with a “great light”?

Jesus came to people two thousand years ago. They were ordinary people, mostly fishermen. He said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (v. 19). They “immediately left the boat and their father and followed him.” (v. 22)

All through history, Jesus has continued to come and to call for disciples. You turn to Him in prayer, and he is there. Some people have been called by Jesus in visions. Some have been called when they have studied His teaching. Some have been called by other disciples (as John details for us how Simon was called by his brother Andrew in his gospel: Jn. 1:40-42).

Many people had excuses (see Mt. 8:18-22, Lk. 9:57-62). Making a 180 degree turn is not easy. It causes turmoil in one’s own heart and in one’s family and in the whole society. If you were to accept Jesus as your Master, what turmoil would you have to face?

Jesus had a special compassion for those who “were ill with various diseases.” (v. 24) Sickness and pain and suffering were not part of God’s original creation. He had created a perfect world, as we see in Genesis chs. 1-2. It pains God’s heart to see how His good creation has been spoiled by man’s sin and rebellion. We see God’s love and care in Jesus’ healing ministry.

Even today you can turn to Jesus for healing. He is the Master Who cares about you.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


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