Isaiah 9: 1-4 

Psalm 27: 1, 4-9 

1 Corinthians 1: 10-18 

St. Matthew 4: 12-23 


Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen. 

Isaiah is filled with prophecies. This is something many of  you already know. And today we read once again another  prophecy from Isaiah, “In the former time he brought into  contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the  latter time He has made glorious the way of the sea, the land  beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who  walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a  land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” 

Zebulun and Naphtali – those dark wicked lands of which  God has already held in contempt, filled with evil such to an  extent I know not – they like all of Israel and Judea has received  the ire of God on account of their sins. Because of this the first  prophecies of Isaiah was fulfilled and all of God’s people were  once again punished via the Babylonian Captivity. But even after  this event and the Jews were released and rebuilt Jerusalem,  darkness still hung over all of Israel, to include the lands of  Zebulun and Naphtali. 

Yet, despite this darkness, in this land there was still a  glimmer of hope. For to these people a prophecy of light was  given. Yes Zebulun and Naphtali was under God’s contempt, but 

in the future God has promised to make their ways glorious and to  shine a great light upon them. And does God break His promises?  Far from it, for He always keeps them, though when they will be  fulfilled is the question. That is the problem with prophecies; they  almost never explain when they will unfold. So all we can do is  wait patiently with hope. 

Zebulun and Naphtali waited, and with time they changed.  But this is not news to us, of course they changed. Just look at  America 300 years ago. Though the land was there, the country  was not. People change. Buildings rise up, get torn down, and  new buildings rise again. The same is true for other lands; for  example before Iran there was Persia, but before Persia there  was Babylon. So what happened to the lands of Zebulun and  Naphtali? What did they change into? Why, the land turned into  what we call in the New Testament, Capernaum. Capernaum is  the land of Zebulun and Naphtali. 

Now Capernaum was still a land of darkness, but so were all  of Israel and the whole world at that. They still had their struggles  with sin, but unlike other lands they had a promise from God that  gave them hope; a promise that a light was to come, a great light,  which will overcome the darkness and make the way of the sea  glorious. Now, whereas the problem of prophecies include the  lack of when, they also may lack a description of how they will be  fulfilled. This is why we must approach the prophecies in  Revelations with caution. Many assumed that this great light will  be a mighty king. True, but not in the way they think. Many  assumed that this king was going to be a warrior who had a great  army. True, but not in the way they think. Many assumed that this 

great warrior was to establish a new kingdom that will last forever.  True, but not in the way they think. 

This single light, this great light will come in the form of a  man, but this man will not be some mere priest or prophet or king,  but will be the Lord God, our God in the flesh, who personally has  come to us as one of our own. Not like in scripture such as when  He wrestled Jacob, but incarnately did God come to us, born from  a virgin. He came down from heaven, lessened Himself to be like  us, and to walk among us. Those with ears and eyes, who truly  listened and look upon the light in Capernaum, though they knew  not that this was God Himself, saw that this was indeed the great  light for light has shone on them. 

People were healed: the lame walk, the blind see, the mute  speak. Hope was rekindled as fear and anxiety was washed away  through faith and love. Proclamations of the Truth were heard as  people’s minds were opened. Jesus of Nazareth has come to  Capernaum and He has overcome the darkness that has  suppressed the people for far too long. A light has shone on  Capernaum, and Jesus is the light, the light prophesied in Isaiah. 

But with Him comes more than just mere healings and mere  comfort, for if He was like any prophet, then as soon as He leaves  the Darkness will once again come back to suppress the hearts of  men. The prophecies of Isaiah speak not of a light that comes and  then goes away. This prophecy is an eternal one. It is not  incidental, but speaks of a promise that will forever be fulfilled.  Therefore Zebulun and Naphtali are to be made glorious not for a 

moment but forever. This light promised will not shine and go out.  No, this light will overcome the darkness forever. 

Prophets bring miracles of healing and words of comfort.  They with the help of God, guide the people, but only for a  moment. This light that has come to Capernaum is not like those  prophets. This light will provide everlasting healing that can never  be overcome by the Devil; as well everlasting comfort and  everlasting forgiveness. You will never grow hungry nor will you  ever thirst in this light. There will be no need for want, for you will  be satisfied. In this light, fear does not exist… 

Such promises fulfilled can only come from God Himself,  and that is most certainly true. 

Jesus Christ came to Capernaum with all this for He is their,  and our, light and salvation, in whom we receive eternal comfort  away from fear’s alarm. But He comes with much more than  miracles of healing, for through the cross He saved Capernaum  and all of us. All who place their faith in Him are forever saved  from the darkness and now walk with the light of God as their  stronghold which shelters them from the days of trouble. He is our  mighty fortress. 

To all of us, Christ has cast out our inner darkness and tells all, “Follow Me.” In Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven has already  arrived, therefore, short of following Him, He asks nothing from us  for through the cross He has already done everything. His gift of  freedom from sin and guilt and shame, His gift of salvation is  completely free. He paid the price so we don’t have to. He took on 

the darkness so we no longer have to. He suffered the  consequences of sin so we won’t. 

The gift of the eternal heavenly kingdom is in His hand and  all asks us, the same way he asked Simon Peter and Andrew and  James and John, “Follow me.” And continue to follow me for I will  protect you, shine light on you, take on your sins, and make your  ways glorious. 

Let us pray, 


Dear Heavenly Father, you are our light and salvation; in you  whom shall we fear? Overcome any shadows within us and  continue to call us. In your most holy name we pray: Father, Son,  and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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