Matthew Chapter 4 – The Deity Of Christ

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Matthew 4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Satan Tempts Jesus

1 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,’
and,

‘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.

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.”

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.

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.

Study notes.

4:1 led up by the Spirit…to be tempted by the devil. God Himself is never the agent of temptation (James 1:13), but here—as in the book of Job—God uses even satanic tempting to serve His sovereign purposes. Christ was tempted in all points (Heb. 4:15; 1 John 2:16); Satan tempted Him with “the lust of the flesh” (vv. 2, 3); “the lust of the eyes” (vv. 8, 9); and “the pride of life” (vv. 5, 6).

4:2 forty days and forty nights. Similarly, Moses was without food or drink on Sinai for “forty days and forty nights” (Deut. 9:9), and Elijah also fasted that long (1 Kin. 19:8). See note on 12:40.

4:3 If You are the Son of God. The conditional “if” carries the meaning of “since” in this context. There was no doubt in Satan’s mind who Jesus was; but Satan’s design was to get Him to violate the plan of God and employ the divine power that He had set aside in His humiliation (cf. Phil. 2:7).

4:4 It is written. All 3 of Jesus’ replies to the Devil were taken from Deuteronomy. This one, from Deut. 8:3, states that God allowed Israel to hunger, so that He might feed them with manna and teach them to trust Him to provide for them. So the verse is directly applicable to Jesus’ circumstances and a fitting reply to Satan’s temptation. every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. A more important source of sustenance than food, it nurtures our spiritual needs in a way that benefits us eternally, rather than merely providing temporal relief from physical hunger.

4:5 pinnacle of the temple. This was probably a roof with a portico at the SE corner of the temple complex, where a massive retaining wall reached from a level well above the temple mount, deep into the Kidron Valley. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, this was a drop of nearly 450 ft.

4:6 For it is written…Lest you dash your foot against a stone. Note that Satan also quoted Scripture (Ps. 91:11, 12)—but utterly twisted its meaning, employing a passage about trusting God to justify testing Him.

4:7 It is written again. Christ replied with another verse from Israel’s wilderness experience (Deut. 6:16)—recalling the experience at Massah, where the grumbling Israelites put the Lord to the test, angrily demanding that Moses produce water where there was none (Ex. 17:2–7).

4:9 I will give You. Satan is the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), and the “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4). The whole world lies in his power (1 John 5:19). This is illustrated in Dan. 10:13 (see note there), where demonic power controlled the kingdom of Persia, so that a demon is called the Prince of Persia.

4:10 For it is written. Here Christ was citing and paraphrasing Deut. 6:13, 14. Again, these relate to the Israelites’ wilderness experiences. Christ, like them, was led into the wilderness to be tested (cf. Deut. 8:2). Unlike them, He withstood every aspect of the test.

4:11 angels came and ministered to Him. Psalm 91:11, 12—the verse Satan tried to twist—was thus fulfilled in God’s way, and in God’s perfect timing.

4:12 John had been put in prison. John was imprisoned for his bold rebuke of Herod Antipas. See 14:3, 4.

4:13 leaving Nazareth. Some time elapsed between vv. 12 and 13. Jesus’ stay in Nazareth ended abruptly when He was violently rejected by the people of Nazareth, who tried to murder Him (see Luke 4:16–30). Capernaum. He settled in this important town on the trade route at the N end of the Sea of Galilee. Capernaum was the home of Peter and Andrew (v. 18), James and John (v. 21), and Matthew (9:9). A comparison of the gospels reveals that Christ had already ministered extensively in Capernaum (see note on Luke 4:23).

4:15 Galilee of the Gentiles. This name was used even in Isaiah’s time because Galilee lay on the route through which all Gentiles passed in and out of Israel. In Jesus’ time, the region of Galilee had become an important center of Roman occupation. The prophecy cited by Matthew is from Is. 9:1, 2. See Is. 42:6, 7.

4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach. This marks the beginning of His public ministry. Note that His message was an exact echo of what John the Baptist preached. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. See note on 3:2. The opening word of this first sermon sets the tone for Jesus’ entire earthly ministry (cf. Luke 5:32). Repentance was a constant motif in all His public preaching. And in His closing charge to the apostles, He commanded them to preach repentance as well (Luke 24:47).

4:18 two brothers. Jesus had encountered Peter and Andrew before, near Bethabara, in the Jordan region, where Andrew (and perhaps Peter as well) had become a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:35–42). They left John to follow Jesus for a time before returning to fishing in Capernaum. Perhaps they had returned to Capernaum during Jesus’ earlier ministry here (see note on Luke 4:23). Here He called them to follow Him in long-term discipleship.

4:21 James the son of Zebedee. This James is easy to distinguish from the other men named James in the NT, because he is never mentioned in Scripture apart from his brother John. His martyrdom by Herod Agrippa I marked the beginning of a time of severe persecution in the early church (Acts 12:2). For information on others named James, see note on 10:2; Introduction to James: Author and Date.

4:23 teaching…preaching…healing. The 3 main aspects of Christ’s public ministry.

4:24 Syria. The area immediately NE of Galilee.

4:25 Decapolis. A confederation of 10 Hellenized cities S of Galilee and mostly E of the Jordan. The league of cities was formed shortly after Pompey’s invasion of Palestine (ca. 64 B.C.) to preserve Gr. culture in the Semitic region. These cities were naturally Gentile strongholds.

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The scripture text was taken from Biblegateway.com

The translation of the text is from The New King James Version.

Scripture notes were taken from The MacArthur Study Bible notes that are contained in Biblegateway.com

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