From That Moment
Our good friend George T. Montague alerts us to the key links in the Gospel of Matthew:
Matthew 4:17 and Matthew 16:21 employ the phrase, ‘From that moment Jesus began…’
The initial use ‘is the signpost of the first part of Jesus’ public ministry.’ Jesus begins to preach and heal.
The second engagement of the phrase indicates what is going to happen to Jesus. He will suffer, be killed, be raised from the dead.
Notice the switch from the active to passive voice.
Life is exactly this.
We do many things. Many things happen to us. Our response to this latter reality determines our greatness.
What does Jesus do as he begins his public ministry?
From the earliest hour, Jesus surrounds himself with disciples.
Before Jesus teaches or works a single miracle, he must have witnesses – witnesses not only in the sense of seeing and hearing what he does, but witnesses willing to live the message (Companion God, 51).
Without real witnesses, the preached word is forgotten; the written word buried.
The two sets of brothers ‘immediately’ respond to Jesus.
Is it because Jesus ‘sees’ them?
Jesus sees us.
What will we do ‘from this moment’?