1. Matthew 4:1-11 – Satan Tempts Jesus
Satan Tempts Jesus
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
As soon as Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God, and the Savior of the world, he was tempted. Notice that great privileges and special tokens of Divine favor, will not exempt you or anyone from being tempted. But if the Holy Spirit witnesses to our inner souls, that we are adopted as children of God, that will enable us to resist the devil. Christ was directed to the combat. If we rely on our own strength and tempt the devil to tempt us, we provoke God to leave us to ourselves. Others are tempted because of their own lust and are enticed.
James 1:14 says “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” Our Lord Jesus did not have a corrupt nature, therefore he was tempted only by the devil. In the temptation of Christ it appears that our enemy is subtle, spiteful and very daring. It is important to know that he can be resisted. Christ suffered, being tempted but he overcame by the Word of God. So we can see that these temptations are not sins, but afflictions. Satan’s aim in all of his temptations was to bring Christ to sin against God.
a. Satan tempted Him to bring about distrust
Satan tempted Jesus to bring into question His Father’s goodness, and to distrust His Father’s care concerning Him. Satan is very good at taking advantage of our outward condition, and it is important that in our most vulnerable times we need to double our guard against him.
Notice, that Christ answered all the temptations of Satan with “It is written”. This is an example for us, to know and use the scriptures as Gods true word. This is the same method we must use whenever we are tempted to sin. Let us learn not to look to anything else for our supply, and when we are in need.
b. Satan tempted Him to question the power of His Father
Satan tempted Christ in order that He might question His Father’s power and protection upon Him. Satan brings about his assaults on us, even in the Holy places. We must be on our watch all the time, never letting down our guard. It is at the holy city where takes advantage to tempt people in their pride. All high places are slippery places; advancements in the world makes someone a mark for Satan to shoot his fiery darts at.
Let us also remember that Satan is well versed in Scriptures and he is able to quote it readily. In a similar fashion we can also have a head full of Scripture notions, and our mouths full of Scripture expressions, while our hearts are full of bitter enmity towards God and all His goodness. Satan misquoted the words. We sometimes can go out of our way, out of the way of our duty, and forfeit the promise and put ourselves out of God’s protection. We need to be very careful of this.
Deuteronomy 8:3 says “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, the He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”
This is the verse that Jesus used against the tempter, and overcame him by the power of the Word of God.
c. Satan tempted Christ to idolatry
Satan tempted Christ to idolatry with the offer of the kingdoms of the world., and the glory of them. The glory of the world is a charming temptation to the unthinking and the unwary. This is something we give in to very easily when the opportunity arises and are willing to do what it takes.
Christ was tempted to worship Satan, but he responded with quickness, power and authority, saying in verse 10 “…“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”.
Some temptations are openly wicked, and they are not just to be opposed, but rejected by the power and the authority of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. We must be quick and firm in resisting temptation. As it says in James 4:7 “Therefore submit to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” If we resist the devil, he will flee from us. But when we give too much space and thought for the temptation, most often we are overcome by it. Be quick in rejecting temptation.
As it says in the Mark 8:36 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”. Let us by the help of the help of the Holy Spirit walk along the straight path, pleasing to God.
We can see that Christ was assisted after the temptation, to be encouraged in His mission and also for our encouragement to trust in Him. Christ knew by experience what it is to suffer, being tempted, so also He knew what it was to be assisted in the time of need. By this we know that, not only does Christ know how we feel in our time of temptation, but He will come to our assistance to give us relief.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
2. Matthew 4:12-17 – Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry
Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry
12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:
16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
God takes the gospel and the means of grace from the places that reject it. Christ will not stay long where He is not welcome. Those who are without Christ are in the dark. . They were sitting in this condition and were happy to stay as they were. They chose the dark rather than the light and were willingly ignorant.
When the gospel comes, light comes to any place no matter where. When that light comes to any soul, it makes day there. Light discovers and directs and so does the gospel. The gospel is repentance and is the right gospel that must be preached. Not only did the uncompromising John the Baptist preach repentance, but also the gracious Jesus Christ, preached repentance. So we too must preach the same repentance to those around us.
The kingdom of God was not fully come until the pouring out of the Holy Spirit after Christ’s ascension.
3. Matthew 4:18-22 – Four Fishermen Called as Disciples
Four Fishermen Called as Disciples
18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
When Christ began to preach He began to gather disciples. They would be hearers and learners of the gospel, and afterwards preachers of His doctrine. They would witness His miracles and later testify of them. Christ did not go into Herod’s court or to Jerusalem among the chief priests and the elders, but he went to the sea of Galilee, among the fishermen.
That same power that called Peter and Andrew, could have very easily fallen upon Annas and Caiaphas, as there is nothing impossible for God. But instead Christ chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.
Diligence in your calling is pleasing to Christ, and is not an hindrance to a holy life. When you are idle, is the time that you are most open to the temptations of Satan than to the calls of God. Let us occupy ourselves with the things of the Lord, and not give any time where Satan finds room to tempt us.
It is important to ask ourselves, Are we in Christ?, and immediately after that, Am I in my calling? Those that follow Christ must at a command leave all things and be ready to walk with Him. This power of the Lord Jesus Christ encourages us to totally depend on His grace. He speaks, and it is done.
4. Matthew 4:23-25 – Jesus Heals a Great Multitude
Jesus Heals a Great Multitude
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
Christ, wherever He went, he confirmed His Divine mission by miracles, which were emblems of His healing power of His doctrine and the influence of the Holy Spirit which accompanied it. We see that there are 3 general words used here. He healed every sickness or disease; none was too bad or too hard for Christ to heal with a word. The three diseases name are:
The palsy, which is the weakness of the body
Lunacy, which is the ailment of the mind and
Demon possession, which is the ailment of both the body and mind.
Yet Christ healed all. By healing the bodily diseases, it showed His mission into the world was to cure the spiritual diseases and torments of our soul. Christ came to take away the sin, and to heal the soul. He is still healing us physically and spiritually. He is more than able to do this and nothing is impossible for Him.
Let us put our trust and our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, to be our teacher and healer. Our God, our King and our heavenly Father.
If you have never given your life to Christ, and you feel the call of God in your heart. Now is the time to respond and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
You can receive remission of your sins, not by your own works, but through faith in Jesus Christ who already paid the price for us. All you have to do is to accept his sacrifice in your place as a free gift. Take this moment to declare you have accepted the free gift by saying the following prayer:
“God I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me. Amen.”
If you would like to know more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ, please contact us and we would love to talk to you about living a life with Jesus as the center of your life.
Bible reading: New King James Version (NKJV)
Resources: Various Bible Commentaries