1. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Thus God Himself desired this temptation, perhaps to prove the Lord’s superiority to Adam in resisting the Evil One’s temptations.

2. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.

We can see the incredible strength Jesus had, not having a body plagued by sin.

3. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”Temptation of Jesus
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 concerning you,’

and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”

The devil here misquotes Scripture in an attempt to deceive Christ, similar to the way he misquoted Scripture to Eve and successfully convinced her that God was wrong. First he leaves out the important phrase after “charge concerning you,” “To keep you in all your ways.” This was a very important omission. Christ’s ways were to be the ways that God had marked out for him, and not the ways that the devil was suggesting. By leaving this phrase out, the devil made it seem like God would keep Christ no matter what he did! Then, the devil adds to the phrase “lest you dash your foot against a stone,” making it, “Lest AT ANY TIME you dash your foot against a stone.” Again this was to make it seem like God would keep Christ in anything Christ selfishly decided to do, not in the ways that God had marked out for him.

Now these misquotations were crucial to the devil’s argument, yet our translators ignorantly attempt to correct him! Notice that in the New King James Version I am using, they have added the word “and” after his omission, as if he were honestly quoting the passage and admitted his leaving words out! Then, they leave out the added phrase, “at any time.” By doing this, they change Satan’s argument by “fixing” his misquotations! By doing so, they disguise the truth of the devil’s false argument, and do the exact same thing he did…they misquote Scripture!

The King James here has a more honest translation, and gives the verses as he misquoted them.

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.

Many Bible scholars get all upset here because they see the differences between this passage and the one in Luke that also records Jesus’ being tempted by the devil. The biggest point of contention is that the two are out of order with each other, the second and third temptations being reversed in relationship to each other. This, of course, assumes that these two passages record the same events. But Luke 4:2 says He was tempted by the devil for forty days! It cannot possibly be that the devil only tempted him three times in forty days. Nor is it very likely that the devil only used each temptation once. No doubt the devil has learned over thousands of years of tempting people that repeating a temptation increases its potency. Indeed, it would seem to me that these two passages do not, in fact, record the same events, but two separate sets of three temptations to which the devil subjected Jesus! This not only explains the reversed order of the last two temptations, but also why the wording of the statements is different between the two. A careful examination reveals that, in Luke, the devil is only said to have departed for a time, whereas in Matthew, it is stated that he left for good. At this point in Matthew, apparently the temptations were over. The Lord Jesus had dismissed Satan in no uncertain terms, and angels came and ministered to Him. There is no such terse dismissal in Luke after the third temptation, and there is also no ministering of angels mentioned. Let us not create a difficulty here by assuming that these two sets of three temptations are the same, and then be troubled by them when we find that they differ. Let us instead acknowledge that Christ was tempted at least six times (perhaps many more,) and not only three.

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,
The way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:
16. The people who sat in darkness saw a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”

Jesus’ move to Capernaum fulfilled a prophecy, but it was also somewhat necessitated by the fact that His Own city rejected Him! (Luke 4:16-30)

This quotation is from Isaiah 9:1-2. This passage is clearly referring to the Messiah, as can be seen by going on and reading verses 6-7. Some of Jewish persuation might argue that the Old Testament quotations in the New are out of context, but they only demonstrate that they don’t know what they are talking about. Surely the Holy Spirit knew how to properly quote Himself, and knew what He had been talking about!

17. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Now Jesus begins proclaiming the same message that John had been proclaiming.

18. Now 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. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20. Then they immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Note that Simon was called Peter because the Lord named him that, as we read elsewhere. Note also that Peter had a brother, Andrew, who was a fellow disciple. Often this fact gets lost against the more well-known brother combination of James and John. It seems that Andrew, although he was Peter’s brother, did not earn a place in the most exalted threesome of Peter, James, and John.

21. And 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. And He called them,
22. and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

The calling of God is an awesome thing. These men felt the power of it, and they dropped everything to follow Him! I’m afraid we somewhat belittle the term “called of God” today when we use it to say, “I feel that God has called me to do this or that.” To be called of God is a staggering and life-changing experience, and we should not reduce it to the level of some mere “feeling” that we may have.

23. Now 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.

The gospel of the kingdom is basically the good message about the (God’s) Government. God’s government was demonstrated by giving the people a sample of the “health care” which will be available in that day. This makes me glad I’m not going to medical school. The kingdom of God would make me obsolete! Of course, I am speaking facetiously. The Lord can find many things for former medical personnel to do in His Kingdom

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.

The demon-possessed people mentioned here are somewhat of an enigma. A fact that we need to take note of here is that the Bible is a big book, and we know of many prophets who were given the power to heal people. Why then is it that there is never a mention of anyone being demon-possessed outside of the Gospels and Acts? Could it be that this was a specific attack of Satan aimed against hindering Christ’s earthly ministry, and that it did not extend back into the past or forward into the present? Something to think about anyway!

25. And great multitudes followed Him–from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

There is no rejection of Christ here. On the contrary, He is very popular, and the crowds are flocking to him. Let us keep careful track of who exactly rejected Christ and who accepted Him from the record given in Matthew.

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