I spotted something this morning looking at the start of this chapter. Matthew tells his readers something 5 times in his gospel:
“When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.” (Matthew 19 v 1-2)
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, Matthew 7:28
After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. Matthew 11:1
When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Matthew 13:53
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” Matthew 26:1-2
There are 5 sections in his gospel and in between each section we see the landscape change, the moment is over and Jesus moves on but though there is change Jesus remains true to His calling.
So in the 2 verses we have read: Galilee is over, the majority of his ministry Jesus has spent with the Gentiles but now he and his disciples are heading to Jerusalem. Matthew reveals the direction, ‘the other side of the Jordan’ and we are reminded of the Baptist who first saw the revelation of Jesus the Messiah. Still, even though there are changes, people are still there and Jesus reaches them and heals them.
So how would this help Matthew’s readers in their ever-changing 1st century world? More to the point how does this help you in 2021? Perhaps things are changing for you and if they are then you must remain true to who you are.
Don’t stop just because things have changed, you don’t change.
Don’t stop being the person God has made you and called you to be.
Don’t stop reaching out to people.
Don’t stop fulfilling the promises and plans that God has set out for you or is revealing to you.
Don’t stop just because what is ahead is uncertain, move forward with certainty in Him who never leaves you.