"And Jesus went about all Galilee -- preaching the gospel of the kingdom." (Matthew 4:23)
At the very moment when wicked Herod imprisoned faithful John, Jesus stepped forward and raised the torch of truth even higher. Herod should have left well enough alone!
Once Jesus settled in at Capernaum, establishing a base of operations, He then launched a campaign of conquest that can never be rivaled. For He did not seek lands or titles; His was not an egotistical desire for fame or wealth, or for power and honor. No; rather He came to conquer the heart of mankind; conquer and convert it back to its original passion -- a full, free, and fantastic friendship with God Almighty!
Centuries earlier the prophet Isaiah had looked forward by faith and spoke concerning the Lord Jesus, who was yet to come, saying, "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end....from henceforth even forever." (Isaiah 9:7).
This great prophecy emboldens our belief that good will most certainly triumph over evil, despite the many things which seem to suggest the exact opposite in these violent days. Tune into any news channel and see how inundated we are with unbridled passion, unimaginable decadence, and unbelievable cruelty. Nevertheless, when evil sits upon the throne and the streets of nations are filled with foolhardy acts of immorality and injustice -- we take heart in knowing there is a Kingdom which is greater than these fleeting empires. It is the Kingdom of our God, and of His Christ.
And -- for any heart that has received this King into its multiple compartments -- a promise is made that of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end. Government is what Christ brings to our discarded souls, and Peace is what results when He reigns in our lives. Would you know this peace of which I speak? Then yield your heart to the government of Christ over your affections, appetites, ambitions, aspirations, and aggravations.
Yes, Old King Herod should have left John alone! For, as it stood, he was merely a voice in the desert preaching to those who came out to see him. But this Jesus fellow was now going all over the place -- bringing the Gospel into the very heart of the Nation. Matthew tells us that Jesus "went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Kingdom of God, and healing all manner of diseases among the people" (Matthew 4:23). And get this -- what Christ did in those days, He is still doing in these days -- in an ever increasing circle of conquest. Furthermore, He has never stopped, and He never will!
This, then, is our heritage, as well as our mission. We are not merely subjects in this Kingdom; we are royal ambassadors, empowered by our King with the credentials that give us the clout necessary to cast down devils and call out the redeemed of the Lord.
This King, to whom we have sworn allegiance, told us to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). John was in the desert; Jesus went round about Galilee; and now we have been thrust forth into all the world -- the unstoppable Life has now been unleashed, and the world will never be as it was before!