Briefing: Police work can be a dark place. I was a cop for fifteen years before I boldly confessed Christ to my fellow officers. I was amazed at how many of them admitted to being Christians also. Why didn’t we know this about each other until now?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 4:12-17. How bright, or dull, is the light in your agency?
On the Street: I learned to be a police officer in the mean streets of South East Dallas. You could categorize it as “the land of the shadow of death”. You had to be tough or you would get your rear end handed to you by the people who lived there. I learned real fast, contrary to what I had been taught growing up, most people only responded to you if you spoke their language. I had to learn the language.
The officers I worked with were just as hardened and tough as the people who lived in my district. I couldn’t talk about Jesus with these guys; they would think I was weak. Unfortunately, this became a theme in my life at work. I changed jobs, moving to another police department where I realized that the environment changed but officer’s attitudes didn’t. At that time, I did not care, I had a reputation to uphold. After all, I was a tough cop from South Dallas. I hope this story does not mirror your own career.
In these verses, we see that Jesus fulfills a prophecy out of Isaiah 9:1, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Do you work in darkness, the land of the shadow of death? There is good news for us that do. Jesus is the great Light and the light has dawned.
Highlights from this Read: Jesus set up His base of operation in Capernaum. He traveled in and out of this city. Keep this in mind because we will revisit Capernaum and the law enforcement officers who live there. Capernaum was a city that sat on a major trade route. This was important because of the volume of people that would encounter Jesus then return to their home, spreading the news of Him and His gospel.
Another recurrent theme is proof. Here Matthew proves again that Jesus is the Messiah.
Investigational Resources: Isaiah 9:1-7 is a great prophecy of Jesus’ life. I highly suggest that you read the entire book of Isaiah specifically looking for Jesus in every verse.
I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but Matthew 5:13-16 is an awesome section that speaks directly to our call to be salt and light in this dark world. Also see John 1:9.
Officer Safety Principle: Don’t miss the opportunity to be the light that your fellow employees need. Be the salt and light that God has called you to be.
from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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