18: And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19: And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20: And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21: And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22: And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. 23: And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 24: And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 25: And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
The next major thing in the ministry of Christ is to call disciples to follow him. He finds two brothers, Andrew and Simon Peter casting a net into waters of Galilee. He simply says, follow me and l will teach you to catch men. Notice he takes the initiative and he promises to teach them. And he tells them clearly what his objective will be. Then going on further he finds James and John. They leave their father to follow him. Jesus takes them with him a goes through all the synagogues of Galilee teaching, preaching and healing. He teaches the true meaning of the Law, he preaches the good news that the kingdom is coming and he reverses the physical effects of unfaithfulness to the Mosaic covenant. The fame of Christ spreads like wild fire through out all Syria and the people came searching for him. None were disappointed. The fame of Christ extended from north to south and east to west.
1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4: Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7: Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Christ at the height of his popularity teaches the people in an open air meeting on a hillside. In this passage Matthew records the most sublime things that Christ ever taught. He is not giving Christian ethics or church truth, but he is describing the blessing of God that comes to those who are touched by the Holy Spirit in the ministry of Christ. It is the complete opposite of what the world and the scribes would say. Gods blessing is on the poor in spirit because they will possess the kingdom of heaven. Then Christ says the blessing of God is on those who will mourn (in spiritual bereavement) because one day they will re-united with the LORD. The blessing of God rests on those who are meek. (that is they are gentle and restrained in their dealings with hurting people) because they will become heirs of the very earth upon which the messianic kingdom will be built. Christ says the blessing of God rests on those who long for righteous living according to the law of God which will be written on their hearts. They will be filled with the Holy Spirit to enable them to live righteously according to the New Covenant. Christ says the blessing of God will rest on those who show mercy and through this act of righteousness will find mercy. The blessing of God will rest on those whose minds are pure, because they will see the King of kings seated in glory. (Who shall ascend unto the hill of the Lord and who shall stand in his holy place, he that hath clean hands and a pure heart etc, etc.) The blessing of God will rest on those who make peace between brethren because they will be called ‘the children of God’. Lastly Christ says the blessing of God will rest on those who persecuted because they are righteous before God. They will possess the Kingdom of heaven. Christ says the blessing of God will rest on all those of you who are reviled, persecuted and slandered because of Christ. In that day, they are to rejoice and be exceedingly glad because their reward will be very great. And they are in great company, they are in the company of all those who prophets who were persecuted before them.