Matthew 4:12-23 (2)


Jesus and his prophets
Reading: Matthew 4:12-23
Additional reading: Joel 2: 28, Acts 2:14 – 21
Blanks: Come along with me

There are many prophets in the Bible.
Do you remember their names?

Now what does prophet do?
Right, prophets speak for God.

So in order to speak for God, what do they need to do?
Right, they need to listen to God first.
Then they can speak for God.
Then they know what God wants to say.

Now let’s think about the prophet Samuel.
Have you heard about the prophet Samuel?
He lived about 1000 years before Jesus was born.

What else do you know about him?
Right, when he was about 12 years old, God spoke to him.
God told him what God was about to do.

From that time on, Samuel let people know God’s will and God’s plans for them.
And what he said always came true.

Then some people learned the importance of listening to God.
So they wanted to hear God as well.
So Samuel guided them to listen to God; worship God; and experience the Holy Spirit.
They also learn to discern what they are hearing as well.
Then through Samuel, God raised many prophets who spoke for God.

Some of these prophets lived together in their prophetic communities.
They served God together and learned together and worshiped God together as the Holy Spirit empowered them.

It was about a thousand years before the time of Christ.
In this time of Samuel, the people of Israel they didn’t have a king.
But the people of Israel wanted to have a king instead of having a prophet who protected them by the power of God.
So they asked Samuel that they wanted a first king.
Then Samuel told them that a king would take away a lot of freedom they experienced at that time.
But for their worldly pride, they wanted to have a king like other nations.
They wanted to have a military power that they could see.

God asked Samuel to yielded to their request.
God said to Samuel:
“They didn’t reject you.
They rejected me.”

Then Samuel learned that God chose Saul for their king.
Then Samuel guided Saul to meet his prophetic community first.
Samuel told Saul who was yet to become a king: 1 Samuel 10:5-8
“You will meet a procession of prophets.
They will come down from the high place, playing their musical instruments and prophesying.
When you meet them, the Spirit of the Lord will overpower you.
You will prophesy with them.
You will be changed into a different person.
Then, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”

This prophecy came true.
Saul met prophets.
Saul was suddenly prophesying with them.
The Holy Spirit overpowered Saul and gave him a gift to serve as a king.
Then for a while it went well.

But even though Saul had God’s gift, his heart has not changed yet completely.
Saul didn’t learn how important it was to obey God.
That is, Saul thought he could be a king without obeying God completely.
Saul didn't trust in God enough to wait for God.
Instead, Saul feared people more than God.
So Saul failed God.

Then God looked for another king.
Then God asked Samuel to anoint David to be a future king.
David was different.
He had a different heart.
David loved God and loved to spend time with God.
David constantly sought for God's guidance and God's help.
David could learn to wait on God and obey God.
God helped David to hear God and God’s intention.
Then David became a prophet: Matthew 22:43-45

But still before Samuel died, Samuel sent some prophets to help David.
One of them was Nathan.
When Nathan heard from God, he spoke to King David: 2 Samuel 12

Since then in the Bible, we read about many prophets appeared to kings and leaders of nations and spoke to them.
They asked them to obey God.

Samuel’s prophetic communities continued for about 300 years.
Then we meet Elijah and Elisha.
Elijah and Elisha also helped their prophetic communities in their days.
So many people were able to hear God.

This ministry of prophets continued for another 300 years.
Then we meet Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel as God spoke through them.

God was speaking through his prophets:
These prophets appeared and spoke to kings and leaders.
But sometimes kings and leaders of nations ignore them, persecuted them or killed them even though they were speaking for God.
They disobeyed God continually and failed God like King Saul.

But God knew this would happen even before he tried.
So, from the beginning, God had another plan.
So God talked about the necessity of the Messiah, the Promised One who would come and restore everything.
Because of this Messiah, God said over and over to his people:
"Nothing to worry about. Do not be afraid. I can help you. Do not be afraid. God is with you. Trust me. I will do it."

Then Jesus came.
Even when Jesus was young, he listened to God as God’s prophet.
He was listening, praying and paying attention to God.
Jesus was discerning God’s voice and obeyed God’s will for all his life.

Then about 800 years before Jesus was even born, the prophet Isaiah prophesied: Isaiah 9:1-2
“Land of Zebulun and Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, Galilee of the Gentiles, 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.”

The prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would come to serve at Zebulun and Naphtali, Galilee of the Gentiles.
That is what happened:
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
From Galilee Jesus preached:
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
From Galilee, Jesus brought heavenly Salvation to the world.

From there Jesus gathered his new prophets.
First, he saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew.
They were fishermen.
Jesus said:
“Come, follow me and I will send you out to fish for people.”
They left their nets and followed him.

He saw two other fishermen, James and John.
They were preparing their nets.
Jesus called them, and they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Then as Jesus follows God, they follow Jesus.
Jesus prepared them as God’s people, God’s prophets, God’s servants, God’s wise people, God’s teachers, God’s apostles.
Since Jesus could hear God, he speaks what God says.
Then Jesus taught them the importance of obeying God.
Then his prophets listen to God and understand God’s will.
They experience God and understand how much God loves them.
They understand that God sent his Son Jesus to save them.
In this way, they become God’s prophets.

Jesus helped them to live together as God’s community.
Then, after training them for three years, Jesus was ready to ask them to take care of his people until he comes back.

Then Jesus died for them on the cross to forgive their sins and purify them.
Then Jesus rose back up and taught them for 40 days.

About three hundred years before Jesus rose back up, the prophet Joel prophesied something like this: Joel 2:28, 29, 32
“God is about to pour out God’s Spirit on all people so that they may prophesy and speak for God.
God will pour out God’s Spirit on them.
Young people will see God’s visions.
The elderly will dream God’s dreams.
God will pour out his Spirit on God’s servants, both men and women.
And everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved.”

So right before going up to heaven, Jesus asked his prophets to wait for the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem, because Jesus was about to pour out God’s Spirit on them.

Jesus asked them to wait for the Holy Spirit.
So, they waited.
They were waiting, singing to God and worshiping God for about 10 days.
Then Jesus poured out God’s Spirit on them.
They received the Holy Spirit.
Then they prophesied and spoke for God.
They were even prophesying in languages that they didn’t know.
But people from other nations, understood it.

The Holy Spirit used these prophets to change many people’s lives.
On that day, many people were saved.

The students of Jesus continually speak God’s words because they are God’s prophets.
They share the message that Jesus share with them.
Then God works miracles through them in the name of Jesus.

But then Jewish leaders ordered them to stop.
These Jewish leaders had the authority to kill them if they didn’t listen to them.
But these new prophets were different.
They boldly spoke to them like this: Acts 5:29-32
“We need to listen to God instead of you.
We must obey God rather than human beings!
We are God’s prophets.
We are to speak for God.
And remember you killed Jesus the Son of God.
But the God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead, whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.
God lifted him up to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.
We are witnesses of these things.
So is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Jesus.”

Then the students of Jesus rejoiced because they overcame the fear of men.
Now they could stand and speak for God and for their Jesus.

They obeyed Jesus.
Jesus already spoke to these prophets: Matthew 10:18-20
“On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.
When they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.
At that time I will give what to say.
It is not you speaking.
But the Spirit of your Father speaks through you.”

“Do not be afraid of people. Matthew 10:26-27
Because everything will be known.
Nobody can hide anything.
What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight.
What I whisper in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”

Today Jesus is still doing this ministry.
Jesus is still training his people to listen to God.
Jesus is still training his people to serve God.
Jesus is still training his people to get to know God’s way.
Jesus continually make his prophets for God.

Today Jesus appeared in people’s vision and dreams.
Then Jesus even chooses Muslim, Jews, and unreached people, and helps them believe in Jesus and become God’s servants, God’s prophets.
Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit on them.
Jesus helps them to worship God and pray to God.
The Holy Spirit guides them and teaches them.
The Holy Spirit trains them to walk with God and to follow the way of Jesus; so that they may guide other people to worship and serve God in the power of the Holy Spirit; so that they may help other people to know God and his thoughts.
So more people learn to live according to God's will.

God’s prophetic community continues today.
God may call us to be part of it.
Jesus helps us listen to God.
Jesus helps us to understand God’s ways of life.
The Holy Spirit may empower us to pray and spend enough time with God.
As we understand God, we may be able to serve God.
When we hear from God, we may speak for God.

Jesus may speak through us.
Then we may speak to leaders of nations to obey God.
Or as God’s prophets, we may say to God’s people:
“Nothing to worry. God will do it. Do not be afraid. Trust God. God can help you. Do not be afraid. God is with you."

May the Holy Spirit empower you to follow Jesus like prophets.
May we learn to be with God and work with God and understand that Jesus is God.
May we continually learn to listen to God and obey God.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, speak to us so that we may obey you today.
May we listen to you, get to know you and get to know you as you speak to us.
May we obey what you’ve obeyed in your life.
May we live your life on earth.
May we be your prophets who serve you and follow you.
In Jesus name, we pray.