Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching
the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness
among the people. Matthew 4:23
Bat Masterson (1853-1921) experienced many changes during his life in
the west. He was a buffalo hunter, army scout, saloon-keeper, gambler,
gunfighter, and lawman in Dodge City. Bat narrowly escaped death and
imprisonment more than once.
Born in Quebec, Bat moved with his family to Wichita, Kansas.
He left the farm as a teenager and became a railroad worker. One day,
he used a gun to demand $300 in back wages from his boss.
Masterson was elected sheriff of Ford County, Kansas, then
left for Tombstone to deal faro with Wyatt Earp. He returned to Dodge
City to settle a dispute, but was driven out of town. For two decades,
Bat roamed the west, until he finally moved to New York in the biggest
career change of his life. The gunfighter became a sportswriter! For
the last 20 years of his life, he wrote for the New York Morning
Telegraph and Human Life Magazine.
Bat Masterson died at his desk on October 25, 1921, and he is
buried in the Bronx.
Jesus experienced many changes of scenery during His time on earth. He
stayed in Judea for one year, reaching out to the religious people.
When John was arrested for condemning the adultery of King Herod (he
would be beheaded), Jesus returned to Galilee in northern Israel.
Home to 3 million people (mostly Gentiles) within a 70-mile x 40-mile
corridor, Galilee included many Jewish towns and fertile farms.
People listened to Jesus in “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Isaiah 9:1-2)—
except in Nazareth, where His hometown folks tried to kill Him (Luke
4)! So, He found a place to live in Capernaum, a Roman headquarters on
the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.
A large lake approximately 9 miles wide and 12 miles long, the Sea of
Galilee abounded in fish—and sudden, violent storms! The people—Jews
and Gentiles—lived in moral darkness. In fact, they were content to be
“sitting” in the darkness of sin when the “Light of the World” shined
Quote: Jesus seeks us before we seek Him!
God calls busy people, and Jesus recruited busy, uneducated fishermen
to share the light of the gospel. He called men He had met previously
to “follow Me.” Four men immediately left the fishing business to
Following Jesus means leaving some things behind! Sometimes, it means
Jesus preached (“repent”), taught (“explained God’s Kingdom”), and
healed (every form of disease). News traveled like wildfire! He
presented Himself as Messiah and His words and deeds served as
The King was revealed to sinners living in darkness. He healed
hundreds, maybe thousands of needy people. Multitudes followed and
Outwardly, the Kingdom of God was growing.
The King and His Kingdom
Why do you think religious folks find repentance most difficult?
What are you doing about Jesus’ call to “follow?”
What dreams are you afraid to leave to follow Jesus?