“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, 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.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
Greatest Comeback Ever. Avid sports fans might remember the 1993 NFL Playoffs where the Buffalo Bills overcome a 35-3 third quarter deficit to defeat the Houston Oilers by a field goal in overtime. There have been plenty of comebacks in NFL history, but this is the one that Wikipedia refers to as “The Comeback.”
One might say that the Old Testament tribal lands of Zebulun and Naphtali were in need of a comeback. These two lands were ransacked and their inhabitants deported by foreign invaders.
But God orchestrates the greatest comebacks. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 9, Zebulun and Naphtali are singled out for future honor by God. And in our Bible reading today, we see the comeback perfectly executed, the promise perfectly kept. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali became known as Galilee in the New Testament, and that was the very place where Jesus began his preaching. Could there be a greater honor than getting to hear sermons preached by the mouth of God himself? Could there be a greater comeback than going from the shadow of spiritual death to the light of the kingdom of heaven?
Could you, too, be a witness of such a comeback? Not only a witness but also a beneficiary and a participant by grace, through faith! For the One who was dead, Jesus, is now alive. And the ones held captive by their fear of death, now have been set free. The ones once bound for hell, are now heirs of eternal life. Believe it and rejoice in the…Greatest Comeback Ever!
Gracious Savior, how great and how merciful you are, in calling miserable sinners from darkness to light. Lead me to repent and to look to you in faith, that I may live with you eternally. Amen.