Authenticity Matters

Matthew 4:12-17

When Jesus heard about John’s arrest, he set off for Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he set up a home in Capernaum. It was a sea-side home on the border of Zebulun and Naphtali. Long ago, Isaiah had said,

In Zebulun and Naphtali, regions by the sea
Across the River Jordan, and in Galilee
People who lived in darkness have now seen the light,
and light has come to those dying in the shadows.

And this was Jesus’ message: Choose life! Your greatest hope is within reach.

We often think of Jesus as homeless. But at least in this passage, Jesus sets up his home by the sea.

The quotation from Isaiah is about how Jesus aligns his life and his message with his calling. It’s about congruence, and authenticity and how Jesus sets his life in alignment with his self understanding and mission. It’s nothing to do with Isaiah’s magical predictive powers. Isaiah’s life and message were about bringing light, life and hope to people who lived in darkness, death and apathy. So was Jesus. It’s that simple.

Jesus’ message is about doing for ourselves exactly what he is doing: choosing to live by setting your life in alignment with your self-understanding and mission. It’s about being authentic, having congruence in what you say you are about and what you do. Give your light to the world, your gifts, your art, your life. If you choose to leave your apathy behind, what was once impossible suddenly isn’t.