The 5 Bold Moves of Jesus // #1 Change of Geography

We have identified several bold moves, of which we’ll be examining 5, that Jesus made to build His disciple-making movement.

Bold Move #1– Change of Geography 

Matthew 4:13-16

There are two times that Jesus had to make big moves. First, was when he added humanity to his deity, leaving the glory of heaven to come to the earth. The second is found in Matthew 4:13.

“He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.”

Matthew 4:13

After 30 years of growing up in Nazareth with family, friends, and establishing deep roots within his community, Jesus makes his home in Capernaum. Do you think the move from Nazareth to Capernaum was hard for Jesus? Was it hard for his family and friends? Moves are often costly, costly for us and those closest to us. As Jesus followed the Father in obedience to Capernaum, he left behind his mother, his family, and a community of friends he had known since childhood. 

Yet, Jesus knew what his bold move needed to be. He had sought the Father, and only did and said what the Father told him (John 5:19-20). So, why Capernaum? In the first century, Capernaum was the crossroads of the world. It was a fishing village along the Via Maris (translated to “Way of the Sea”, a name given by the Romans, a major trade route at the time. The accessibility of Capernaum helped facilitate the spread of Jesus’ message and his fame in the region. Jesus’ move to Capernaum was very strategic for the movement, for a multiplied Kingdom impact.

The move was also to fulfill prophecy from Isaiah:

“​​Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, 
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has

Matthew 4:15-16

At the start of this move, Jesus begins to preach in the region. He picks up John the Baptist’s message of “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” After hearing of John’s imprisonment, Jesus began to carry the same message, becoming the leader of the movement. He is calling people out of the dominion of darkness and into a great light, the light of the Kingdom of God. 

Jesus then calls his disciples to a deeper level of commitment…

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’  At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Matthew 4:18-20

Capernaum was also the hometown of Peter and several of Jesus’ disciples as many made their living as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was able to invest at a greater level in his disciples by moving to their hometown. He invited them to a new level of commitment, erupting in greater ministry throughout the Galilee and beyond.  

“Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.”

Matthew 4:23-25

Multiplied impact for the Kingdom began with a move on Jesus’ part- a change in geography. The Great Commission will not happen without us making bold moves. Jesus’ move was costly but his commitment to serve in obedience was worth every hardship.

What is the bold move you need to make strategically to reach others with the gospel and disciple them in the ways of following Jesus?

Take your “Bold Moves” to the next step with this resource: Talk: Learn to Talk

(adapted from Dann Spader’s message at Nazareth Precipice on the 2015 Concentric Summit in Israel)