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Matthew 4:17-22

Matthew 4:17-22


I This passage is not about discipleship, but is about the beginning of New Exodus

II. The writer of the first Gospel presents Jesus as the Better Moses (New Moses) [typology]

1. Just as Moses escaped the murder attempt of Pharaoh, Jesus escaped from Herod
2. Moses did not eat and drink for forty days (Exodus 34:28), Jesus fasted for forty days
3. Just as Moses went up the mountain to give the Law to the people of Israel, Jesus went upon the mountain (Matthew 5:1) to teach
4. Just as Moses presented five books, Jesus teaching is divided in five different sections of the Gospel of Matthew (ch. 5-7, 10, 13, 18. 22-25) (“When Jesus had finished saying these things” 7:28, 11:1, 13:53, 19:1, 26:1)
5. Jesus contrasts His teaching with the Law (You have heard that it was said … but I tell you … 6:21, 27)
6. Covenant: Moses splashes blood of lamb on people (Exodus 24:8) but Jesus shed His own blood for His people

III. This passage is descriptive, but it has application

1. Just as Moses called people of Israel to Canaan, Jesus calls people of all nationality, race, and language to the Kingdom of God

2. In this passage, Jesus recruits four men from Galilee (eventually eight more) to be on this New (Better) Exodus—journey towards the Kingdom of God (it is a journey; it is not a destination)

(a) They probably never thought beyond themselves (like many of us. In this Lent period, we need to see if we maintain such mindset)
(b) Their world probably was within a radius of 30 kms (like many of us)
(c) Jesus saw in them something that they never had even dreamed

3. The Better Exodus begins with Jesus’ call—you did not choose me, but I chose you (cf. John 15:16)

(a) Come after me (here, after me)
(b) Leave the present for a better tomorrow
(c) In this journey, Jesus is the leader and they are His followers
(d) Along the way, Jesus would make them fish men from the word for the Kingdom (refer Acts 4:13)

4. These four men accepted Jesus’ invitation immediately

(a) Immediately, no delay
(b) Free of encumbrances: nets and families (cf. Matthew 4:20, 22)
(c) They abandoned (symbolic) their nets and went after Jesus

IV. Take Away

1. Be on the Better Exodus with Jesus, the Better Moses

(a) Are you still in the same place unwilling to accept the invitation?
(b) What are the encumbrances that prevent from taking a position behind Jesus?
(c) Jesus is able to transform you to do something you have never dreamed of
(d) We are the stumbling block for our progress
(e) What is it that we need to leave behind?

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at