Sovereign Over Geography: Matthew 4:1-16
“12) Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13) and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14) This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: 15) “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16) The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.” Matthew‬ ‭4:12-16
True to form, Mathew records another geographical move that Jesus made from Nazareth to Capernaum. He was still in the region of Galilee, but He was now about 25 miles northeast, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Though minor, this move fulfilled a prophecy made in Isaiah 9:1-2 about the regions originally given to the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. The full chapter of Isaiah 9 is very significant related to the Messiah. From this region would come a child, the government would be on His shoulder, “and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Wow!
This move literally fulfilled the greatest prophecy in the Old Testament about the Deity of the Messiah. As Jesus launched His public ministry from this location, indeed a great light began to shine in a former region of spiritual and moral darkness.
Let’s take a moment and review the geographical prophecies that Matthew points out that Jesus fulfilled. He was born in Bethlehem, called out of Egypt, raised in Nazareth and from each of the two regions originally given to both Zebulun and Naphtali. Luke 2:21-38 adds the detail that as an infant He was dedicated to the Lord in the temple at Jerusalem when eight days old. His dedication in the temple fulfilled a Word of the Knowledge given to both Simon and Anna.
This string of geography was Divinely orchestrated. It was prophecies hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Had one address been missed it would have negated any claim Jesus had of being Deity.
These details may seem trite, but they absolutely fascinate me. We can conclude that God is Sovereign over the small details in our lives like traveling and geography. He knows your coming and goings. It is impossible to hide from Him.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global.