Third Sunday of Epiphany 26.1.14 Matthew 4.12-23

19 01 2014

Capacity Building

Tension rises. John is arrested. Jesus moves house, preaches repentance, gathers a team: this is getting interesting.


To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

1. Matthew explains why Jesus moves to Galilee.  Can you add to his explanation?

2. If you had to re-translate the word ‘repent’, how would you do it?

3. What do you learn by contrasting the call for the first disciples in this passage with John’s account which was last week’s gospel (John 1.29-42)?

Heart Questions

1. What was in Jesus’ heart when he heard that John was arrested?

2. In what tone of voice, and with what sort of non-verbal behaviour, does Jesus say ‘repent’?

3. How do you feel about being called to be a fisher of people?

Hand Questions

1. Prison is often mentioned in the New Testament.  Should it feature more in your thoughts, concerns, actions, conversation?

2. What might a very small act of repentance on your part look like?

3. How do you understand Jesus’ calling here?  Was he founding a school or building a team?  What are the practical implications of your answer?


These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you. That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands. Take your time.




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