Matthew chapter 4 verses 12 to 17.
Still following Mark’s general pattern, Matthew now comes to the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. He is fond of introducing ‘Old Testament’ quotations by way of making his point. Here he gives us a passage from Isaiah:
‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.’
I am reminded of a little liturgical piece. (I can’t trace its origin – can anyone help?) The question is asked
How will I know when the dawn breaks?
And each time there’s a different answer:
You will see through to the innocence of others….
You will move in the world more freely…..
You will notice yourself more clearly…..
You will exist in the world more generously…..
You will suffer in the world more lightly…..
When you accept the night as a friend, the dawn has already broken…..
In verse 17 Matthew follows Mark with Jesus’ proclamation:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.
I dealt in detail with this crucial summary of Jesus’ teaching in one of my earliest blog posts. See The Heart of the Matter on Mark’s Gospel, chapter 1 verses 14 & 15