Jesus had been in the desert for 40 days and nights. During that time, he fasted and was tempted by the devil.
After his time in the desert, Jesus learned that John the Baptist had been arrested. He then withdrew to Galilee and went to live in Capernaum by the sea.
Jesus’ actions fulfilled a prophesy about the Messiah that can be found in the Old Testament book of Isaiah:
“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.”
From the time he withdrew to Galilee, Jesus began to preach.
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” he told the people.
One day, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee. That’s when he saw two men, who were brothers. The brothers’ names were Simon — who was called Peter — and Andrew.
Peter and Andrew were fishermen. Jesus watched as they cast their net into the sea.
Jesus walked up to the men and talked to them.
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men,” he told the brothers.
Peter and Andrew immediately put down their nets and went with Jesus. As Jesus walked along with his two new friends, the trio saw another set of brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They, too, were fishermen. The brothers were in a boat with their father mending nets.
Jesus called James and John, who immediately left their boat and their father so they could follow Jesus.
Jesus and his four new friends traveled all around Galilee. Jesus taught in the synagogues and proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom of God, and he also cured the people of diseases and illnesses.
Jesus’ fame spread to all of Syria, and people who were sick, in pain, paralyzed or possessed came to be healed by him.
And he cured them all.
Soon, great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and beyond began to follow Jesus.
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. Where did Jesus go after his time in the desert?
2. How many sets of brothers did Jesus ask to follow him?
TRIVIA: Who ministered to Jesus after he was tempted by the devil? (Hint: Matthew 4:11)
In the Bible, we read that many people who heard Jesus preach or who were healed by him began to follow him. We also read that some of his followers were called “disciples” and others were called “apostles.”
What is the difference between Jesus’ followers?
As Jesus’ reputation as a preacher and healer became known, random people would follow him from town to town to hear him talk or in hopes of being cured by him.
Disciples, however, were not random followers. As Jesus traveled around Galilee, he called specific people to follow and learn from him. The first people he called were Peter, Andrew, James and John.
As Jesus’ ministry continued, he chose 12 men from among his disciples to be his closest assistants. In Matthew 10, we read that these men — called apostles — were sent on missions to preach God’s word, and they were given “authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.”
The apostles are listed in Matthew 10:2-4. They were Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean and Judas Iscariot.
St. Vedast was born in western France. After hearing of Vedast’s goodness, the bishop of Toul ordained him a priest.
In 496, the bishop asked Vedast to travel to Reims with King Clovis I, the king of the Franks, who was being prepared for baptism. Along the way, Vedast restored the sight of a blind beggar, which confirmed the king’s decision to become a Christian.
Vedast helped Bishop Remigius of Reims evangelize the Franks. In 499, Vedast become bishop of Arras and built up the church there over the next 40 years.
Vedast died in 539, and he remember him on Feb. 6.
Using the hints provided, fill in the blanks in Jesus’ quotations about following him.
1. “Follow me, and let the dead _______ their dead.” (Mt 8:22)
2. “And whoever does not take up his _______ and follow after me is not worthy of me.” (Mt 10:38)
3. “Whoever follows me will not walk in _______, but will have the light of life.” (Jn 8:12)
4. “My _______ hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (Jn 10:27)
Answers: 1. bury; 2. cross; 3. darkness; 4. sheep