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Matthew 4

Men’s Bible Study –1st Wednesday each month -10:00am
Matthew chapter 4

(Source: MacArthurs, H.A.Ironside, Life Application, M. Henry, W. Wiersby Commentaries & more…)

Matthew 4:1-11: 3rd temptation  Satan Offers the World

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. (4:1-11)

1st Temptation – Jesus had fasted for 40days and the test was to use his power to satisfy his own hunger.  It reads as if it is one time – but could it have occurred over the 40 days?

2nd Temptation, requires a strong determination as the Devil shows him all the kingdoms of the world…

 “Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple…” 
If we take it literal then it would have to be a vision produced by the Devil in order for the world to be seen at one time and from that place. 

Jesus must have permitted Satan to do it his own way – that his victory over him might be the more illustrious.  Jesus quickly saw through the “cheat”  the “illusions”

Observations – Do we agree, why?

First, They often come in at the eye, which is blinded to the things it should see, and dazzled with the vanities it should be turned from. We have therefore need to make a covenant with our eyes, and to pray that God would turn them away from beholding vanity.   Genesis 3:6 6 … and that it was pleasant to the eyes, …

Secondly, That temptations commonly take rise from the world  – The lust of the flesh, and of the eye, with the pride of life.  These are the topics from which the devil fetches most of his arguments. 

Thirdly, That it is a great cheat which the devil puts upon poor souls, in his temptations.    He deceives, and so destroys; He imposes upon men with shadows and fast colors; He shows the world and the glory of it, and He hides from men’s eyes the sin and sorrow and death which stain the pride of all this glory, the cares and calamities which attend great possessions,

Fourthly, That the glory of the world is the most charming temptation to the unthinking and unwary, and that by which men are most imposed upon. An example, Laban’s sons feeling of resentment toward Jacob  –  the pride of life is the most dangerous snare. 
Multitudes lose the sight of that which is, by setting their eyes on that which is not.  The devil’s method is to bait them with unattainable results to loose sight of what God has promised.

How vile the condition was; “If thou will fall down, and worship me

The best of saints may be tempted to the worst of sins, especially when they are under the power of melancholy (depressed, downhearted, glum ), to skepticism, irreverence, murder, self-murder, and what not.

Bottom line: Christ was tempted to worship Satan.   Get thee hence, Satan

How might we have responded if a friend suggested that we ‘Go, serve other gods’ –  How much patience might we process?   

Deuteronomy 13:6, 6“If your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom neither you nor your fathers have known,   Deuteronomy 13:88you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. 

Some temptations have their wickedness written in their forehead,

they are open before-hand; they are not to be disputed with… 

Question:  What ‘just indignation’ or ‘righteous anger’ that is very subtle.

Duet 6:13  13“You shall £fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.  Deut. 10:20 – You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. 

ISSUE:  It is an honor due to God only.  Religious worship is due to God only, and must not be given to any creature.

Christ quotes this law concerning religious worship, and quotes it with application to himself:  First, To show that in his estate of humiliation he was himself made under this law: though, as God, he was worshipped, yet, as Man, he did worship God, both publicly and privately.  Secondly, To show that the law of religious worship is of eternal obligation: it is a fundamental law of nature—That God only is to be worshipped, he came to ratify, and confirm, and enforce upon us.

The holy angels came and attended upon our victorious Redeemer;   “Behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

Matthew 4:12-17: –  The Light Dawns

Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The Land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentile—The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned.”

Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (4:12-17)

LIGHT – can be used as a metaphor to describe Jesus’ nature and character.   John 1v7:  –  1v8:   1v9:    Light:  
John 3:19-21 
After the Fall, mankind had two “candles,” as it were, that continued to give light about God and His will  –  they are:  Leprosy  – what & how do people behave with?  Today called:  “Hansen’s Disease”

A Year Has Elapsed from the “wilderness temptations” and these events starting with v.12. 

  • Probably because it does not relate directly to Jesus’ kingship, that period is not mentioned by Matthew

John the Baptist was a bridge between the Old Testament and the New, and that bridge had now almost completed its service.   John 3:30

During the 1st year: 

The Right Time  and place – Matthew 4:12-16
Now when He heard that John had been taken into custody, (4:12a)  In Matthew’s presentation, Jesus’ official ministry began when the herald of the King went to jail.

He then withdrew (anachōreō), used often to convey the thought of escaping danger) into Galilee because that was the next place where the divine plan scheduled Him to minister.  Jesus hometown rejected Him and he went to Capernaum…. 

The Right Proclamation-Matthew 4:17  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 
Jesus began to preachKērussō (to preach) means “to proclaim” or “to publish,” that is, to publicly make a message known.
Jesus preached only what He was commissioned by His Father to preach. 
John 3:34 – John 8:38 –  John 12:49

The darkness in which the people lived was the darkness of sin and evil.

Jesus was saying,

  • “The great darkness has been upon you because of the great darkness that is within you. You must be willing to turn from that darkness before the light can shine in you.”
  • To turn from sin is to repent, to change one’s orientation, to turn around and seek a new way. Metanoeō literally means a change of perception, a change in the way we see something.
  • To repent, therefore, is to change the way a person looks at sin and the way he looks at righteousness.
  • It involves a change of opinion, of direction, of life itself. To repent is to have a radical change of heart and will—and, consequently, of behavior (cf. Matt. 3:8).

That was, and has always continued to be, the first demand of the gospel, the first requirement of salvation, and the first element of the saving work of the Spirit in the soul.

  • The conclusion of Peter’s Pentecost sermon was a call to repentance: “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Many years later Paul reminded Timothy that repentance leads “to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25).

Fishing for Men (Matt. 4:18-22) in that day, three methods of fishing were used:  1. hook and line  2. throw net cast from the shallow water along the shore  3. a large dragnet strung between two or more boats. 

Greek term: amphiblēstron (related to our amphibious, an adjective describing something related to both land and water) the person would stand on or near shore and throw the net into the deeper water where the fish were.

We are given specific details of the callings of only seven of the original twelve.  Jesus said:  “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16.

That calling to bear fruit in evangelism is extended to everyone who belongs to Jesus Christ.  Purpose:  1 Peter 2:9

Calling James and John Matthew 4:21-22  –  they were tough, crusty outdoors men, jewels in the rough.   They had little education, spiritual perception, and possibly little religious training of any sort.

They were often self-centered and inhospitable.

Sometime they showed their selfishness:  Matt. 14:15 – 19:13 – 18:21 – 26:40,45

Jesus did not simply command His disciples to become fishers of men, but promised that He would make them fishermen for men’s souls. (John 15:5).

Qualities that make a good fisherman can also help make a good evangelist.

  • Needs to be patient, because he knows that it often takes time to find a school of fish. Fishermen learn to wait.
  • Must have perseverance. It is not simply a matter of waiting patiently in one place, hoping some fish will eventually show up. It is a matter of going from place to place, and sometimes back again, over and over—until the fish are found.
  • Must have good instinct for going to the right place and dropping the net at the right moment. Poor timing has lost many a catch, both of fish and of men.
  • Needs courage they frequently face considerable danger from storms and various mishaps.
  • Keeps himself out of sight as much as possible.   It is very easy for ourselves to get in the way of our witnessing, causing people to turn away. A good soul-winner keeps himself out of the picture as much as possible.

Both in Jesus’ teaching and in His example, we can see principles that every soul-winner must emulate.

  • First of all, Jesus was available.
  • Jesus showed no favoritism.
  • Jesus was totally sensitive to the needs of those around Him. He always recognized an open heart, a repentant sinner. When we are sensitive to Christ’s Spirit, He will make us sensitive to others, and will lead us to them or them to us.
  • Jesus usually secured a public profession or testimony.
  • Jesus showed love and tenderness to those He sought to win. Again His experience with the woman at Sychar gives a beautiful example. She not only was a religious outcast in the eyes of Jews but was an adulteress. She had had five husbands and was then living with a man to whom she was not married. Yet Jesus firmly but gently led her to the place of faith. Through her, many other Samaritans were led to salvation (John 4:7-42).
  • Jesus always took time. Jesus always had time for others. Some Christian workers are so busy with “the Lord’s work” that they have no time for others—though that was a primary characteristic of Jesus’ own ministry. Even while on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter, Jesus took time to heal the woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years (Mark 5:21-34).

The King’s Divine Credentials (4:23-25)

And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. And great multitudes followed Him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan. (4:23-25)

Matthew focuses both on Jesus’ words and His works as, in 4:23-25, he introduces His ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing.  
Teaching   And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues (4:23a)
Was going about (from periagō) is in the imperfect tense, indicating repeated and continuous action.   Note below that the word “went” is from the Greek work “periago”.   Matt4v23

Louw-Nida – 15.23 περιάγωa; περιέρχομαιa: to move about from place to place, with significant changes in direction—‘to travel about, to wander about.’
Teaching is from didaskō, from which we get didactic and which refers to the passing on of information—often, but not necessarily, in a formal setting. It focused on content, with the purpose of discovering the truth.

Preaching and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom (4:23bMatt4v23b

Proclaiming is from a term (kēryssō) often translated “to preach.” The root idea is to herald, or cry out. Whereas didaskō relates to explaining a message, kērussōrelates simply to announcing it. The message proclaimed needs to be explained, and vice versa.
Gospel means “good news,” Jesus taught that the Kingdom was coming.

Healing  – “and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. And great multitudes followed Him from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan. (4:23c-25)

Matthew mentions three specific types that Jesus healed. Diseases signifies the many maladies, whereas pains refers to the many symptoms.

  1. Demoniacs, Mark 9:14-28
  2. Epileptics.  Matthew 17:15  –  involves disorder of the central nervous system.
  3. Paralytics, a general term representing a wide range of crippling handicaps.  

Jesus’ miracles accomplished four things above and beyond the immediate and obvious benefit to those who were healed.

  • First, they proved that He was divine…  Second, that God is compassionateThird, that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah, because the Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would perform miracles. (Matt. 11:4-5 Fourth, proved that the coming kingdom was a reality, the wonders and signs being a foretaste of the marvelous realm God has in store for those who are His. (Matt. 9:35). (Matt. 10:7-8)

Six features of Jesus’ healing have never been duplicated since New Testament times.

  1. First, Jesus healed directly, with a word or a touch, without prayer and sometimes even without being near the afflicted person.
  2. Second, Jesus healed instantaneously. There was no waiting for restoration to come in stages.
  3. Third, He healed completely, never partially.
  4. Fourth, He healed everyone who came to Him, everyone who was brought to Him, and everyone for whom healing was asked by another. He healed without discrimination as to person or affliction.
  5. Fifth, Jesus healed organic and congenital problems, no matter how severe or longstanding.
  6. Sixth, He brought people back to life. He healed even after disease had run its full course and taken the life of its victim.

The great multitudes who followed Him no doubt came for many reasons besides healing for themselves or others. Many came primarily to hear Him teach and preach, and many no doubt came out of mere curiosity. But they came in great numbers and from great distances. 

Many of that great multitude believed in Jesus and were saved, experiencing the kingdom inwardly, the rule of God through the grace of salvation. The vast majority, however, Jew and Gentile alike, did not believe in Him. They listened to what He said, watched what He did, and received temporary blessings. But they did not accept the One who spoke and who healed, whose words and works not only give blessing but eternal life.