I’m not sure about you, but winter isn’t my favorite season. It’s cold, it’s gloomy, and it makes me long for all the signs of summer or at least a beach vacation. In the midst of that gloom, it’s amazing how just one sunny day in the dark of winter can so powerfully remind us that spring is on the way. There’s just something about even the possibility of sunshine that can lift our spirits and offer some hope—which is what we find Jesus doing in Matthew 4.
In our reading, we find Jesus by the sea but not on vacation. We find Jesus bringing light into the darkness but not for just a few days or even for a season. We hear Jesus proclaiming the kingdom of heaven and calling for repentance, and then we see Him calling Simon, Andrew, James and John to follow Him. We see Jesus proclaiming good news and healing every disease until He is known throughout the entire region. As Jesus calls His first disciples, He shows us the way out of the spiritual darkness within us and around us once and for all.
So, when the gloom seems too great, remember that Jesus is still calling and healing. Remember that the kingdom of heaven is still good news for you. Remember how the light of Jesus has shone in your darkness. And then remember that there are still people around us every day who desperately need the light of Jesus to shine into their darkness. Will they see that light in us?