The following are my study notes and teaching points on the book of Matthew / Chapter 4
See that chapter below in blue with ***** by my study comments on each verse
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
******In this chapter we see Jesus (fully man / fully God) being led by the spirit. Jesus came in the flesh/spirit to show us the way and be a example to us. In Romans 8 tell us we all are to be led or we are condemned. As our example, even Jesus (who is God made flesh) was led by the spirit in His life/ministry. Here we see him led into the wilderness by the spirit. Genesis 3:17 says Jesus would engage the devil and its his very ministry work right here. Also, I often think of the wilderness as perhaps times of trials, loneliness or even it could be rest and we all go through them don't we? Wilderness in the Greek "eremos" meaning desolate or alone.. can be both good and bad depending on our situation. Jesus often went there to rest but this event is not for that as we will see. We can see how our Lord handles His wilderness time of trial. We see the word tempted. "pierazo" in Greek. Also see James 1:13 that God cannot be tempted by evil. The better word here is tested as Jesus was indeed tested by satan. We also see it is satan that is behind this testing of Jesus. Need I remind you that satan is again practicing his sin of pride. (God hates it as a abomination Prov 6) The first sin recorded in history is the devil falling as he wanted to be like God (Isaiah 14) and here he is again trying to be as a god by testing Christ. Devil means false accuser and slanderer and we know him as a murder and father of lies per Jesus in John 8:44
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
******* So Jesus was led into a wilderness and it seems to be ready for this testing, he fasted. Moses and Elijah too fasted 40 days as a archetype of Christ. Fasting in scripture is a denying of ones self of food to bring your focus/flesh to God and the spiritual aspect of our life. You might say wouldn't He be so physically weak after a long fast and that is true. But it is NOT flesh / blood we wrestle with but Apostle Paul says we wrestle against powers and principalities (Eph 6;12) While weak in the flesh Jesus was made strong in the spirit to withstand this testing. We also see this testing came as Jesus afterwards hungered again, He being our example of great strength relying on the Father, and self denial.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
***** satan the devil is a master tempter/tester. Remember how he tempted/tested Job? Also notice he wants to discredit Jesus, a clear sign of a anti-christ spirit/way. He also comes just like he did with Eve probing / seeking where he can influence and affect us in his evil motives. As Peter said (1 Peter 5:8) he is a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. Note: Lions when hunting often look for the weak or a certain place they can attack for their best advantage. (make sure you are strong in the word/spirit to not fall prey) The devil comes with a instant test / challenging the very authority of Christ. He demands "proof" but remember we cannot please God without faith (Heb 11:6) Hold to that saints when others say "do a miracle for me" as they are mockers just like satan was here to Christ.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
****A key here is notice Jesus uses the Word of God (bible) on the enemy. We need to do the same when we go through testing or face enemies. Also he used the term "it is written". This is powerful as we have the written Word of God meaning it has authority and it cannot be changed or moved! (that is used about 95 times in the bible so do a word search on "it is written") Jesus is quoting Deut 8:3 here about living by not just bread but the Word. This is a good example of also living in the spirit (Word) and not the flesh. (bread) Also notice Jesus being God, is in the form of a man (Phil 2:7) and takes on that form by saying man does not live by bread alone. What an amazing thing that God became a man to reach us lost sinful humans!
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
******* Here we see the devil being "allowed" to try to have his way influencing Christ. This reminds me of Job and how satan had his way there too for a season. See God allowed it all just to test His servant and for His glory. While God is over it all, He allows it to happen for His glory, in the end. Remember that as you go though trials of your own saints. The pinnacle is the TOP of the temple God's high holy place in Jerusalem. The enemy goes right to that "Holy place" to mock and tempt Christ just like he goes before God to accuse. (Rev 12:10)
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
******* Once again satan goes after "who Christ is" and tempts Him to prove with a miracle who Christ is even saying it is written as a mocking. Christ chooses to NOT do a miracle as to NOT play into the enemies hand but to totally undermine satan. Please see this: satan uses a direct quote from Psalm 91:11 but he also twists it. This shows you how well the enemy knows the Word of God and He will corrupt it yet quote it for his own wicked cause. Keep in mind his workers and false teachers do the very same thing in their pulpits and sinful ministries deceiving the masses so we must test and not be swept away.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
******But in similar manner Christ uses the Word again to refute the old dragon. Jesus quotes Deut 6:16 about "not tempting God". Do you see how we (imitating Christ 1 Cor 11.1) can use the written Word to refute either the devil or others who come against us? We do not need to react but to stand on the truth of scripture to over come! We are to live in a manner that is within the Word and not to tempt God in anyway. (doctrine, desires, conduct or actions)
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
******* Refuted with scripture; satan now uses a different tactic. He could not get Christ to serve him by showing His power so he now uses physical things to tempt our Lord. Notice the devil shows him all the worlds kingdoms either in that region or globally. This proves several things. 1) the kingdoms of this earth are rooted in evil and not of God. Jesus said His kingdom was NOT of this world (John 18:36)
2) satan indeed has control of the world kingdoms as he can give them away as he the god of this world (2 Cor 4;4) This is why we saints are not to dabble in those places but live separate for our Lords Kingdom that for now is IN us. (Luke 17:21)
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
******* in this verse we see satan (who controls all the kingdoms of the earth) offers them to Christ in a trade off. Notice how the devils original sin is exposed so clear, his pride! He wants to be worshiped and to be as God himself. Look at the systems/entertainment of this culture and how satan designs them all to steal peoples time, focus and desire and in so doing they clearly worship him in that way. The word worship is proskuneo in Greek and it means literally to lay face down in reverence. This is how people worship God and satan makes that specific request showing how arrogant, detailed, rebellious and crafty he really is. The enemy has to use all of the world to tempt God Himself but; he often just uses a career, nice car, fleshly titillation, false doctrines or a person to tempt us in every day life. Let us be on guard lest we fall for it and in a way we then worship him, not the One Truth Living God.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
*********Jesus in saying "get thee hence" is making the order of things well known. In over coming the devils temptation; this declaration says God is in control not you devil. Jesus again uses the Fathers Word to rebuke him and He is essentially quoting Exodus 20; the first of the 10 commands to not worship others. Also see Deut 6:13 / Recapping the above verses; we saw the devil trying to get Jesus to:
distrust God, tempt God, seek worldly pursuits and to commit idolatry. Is that not the very same things satan is doing in the world today all through the cultures globally? We over come with the sword of the spirit, the Word. Eph 6;17
Lets also note that no man is ever above temptation and it is not sin to be in temptation but; in yielding to it, then it is sin.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
******After this confrontation, satan leaves Christ and it reminds me of the words of James 4:7 "resist the devil and he will flee from you". The angels ministered (diakoneo in Greek to serve or attend to) to Him as he was no doubt weak in the flesh. A nice thought that after we overcome our trials perhaps God would send ministering angels to us as well. And just maybe at times that happens, we do not see them?
12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
******* John the Baptist who proclaim the way of Christ was cast in prison over saying that the King could not have his brothers wife. (Matt 14:3)
13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
******** Jesus was not welcome in Nazareth so we can expect the same treatment in our own home towns. This area of Matthew 4 is quoting from Isaiah 9 which is a prophecy about Jesus to come and Christ is that great light. That area spoken of was on the sea coast of Galilee not far from Jesus home town of Nazareth.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
*****Jesus came to complete and verify all of the Old Testament that pointed to Him. It is no surprise that he starts His ministry with the call to repent just as all the Prophets before Him as did. Then add in all the disciples and saints after Him who preached repent (a changing your mind and ways to God) The word appears almost 100 times in the Holy scriptures and it is a key to the path of eternal life. Jesus was making it known that the Kingdom of God was being shown on earth in Him.
18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
**** Here we see Jesus gathering the first of His 12 closest disciples. Notice how Jesus called these men who were not high and lifted up by just lowly hard working fisherman. We are to come to God as lowly men as well (no matter our place is society) and what a model we see here of that very thing playing out.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
******* As Jesus reaches out to these men notice His exact words; FOLLOW me. He does not say just believe on me but FOLLOW. In the Greek it is deute and it means "come now".
This is all over the scriptures as a echo to us. The call to be in or of Christ is to respond now and follow, obey, walk with and serve Him. Those men had a choice to leave old lives now and FOLLOW Jesus. Today we have the same choice as we must leave our old lives and FOLLOW Him. Far too many put it off and never do FOLLOW Him. I love the next line, "I will make you fishers of men". (preachers to win souls) Christ always has a way of turning mans ways, totally upside down. (example: we eat plain old bread to just get by here but Jesus is the bread of eternal life for us) These men were laboring for a physical harvest of mere fish and Jesus promises an eternal harvest of much greater value. While the offer is of untold value/measure; they still had to decide and receive that offer. We all have that choice to make today as these men were about to decide to lose their old lives for Christ.
20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
*******Here we see what they decided to do regarding the Lord. They did not get much time to make up their minds and it says they straightway ( in the Greek it is eutheos and it means immediately!) did what? They "dropped their nets" and followed Him. To be clear; those nets were their livelihood and today it would be the same if Jesus called a plumber or a mechanic and they dropped their tools and went to follow Him. They left their way to make money and eat to GO follow Jesus. What faith and action put on display here? May we strive to model this still today.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
******Here we see Jesus adding to His disciples, again some lowly fisherman. But this time there is a added twist as these men not only leave the nets but; they leave a ship and their father! More faith in action at a great cost. Eternal life may be free; here we see the cost in our lives to seek after it. This is a forerunner to what Jesus would teach on later in Matthew chapter 10 as He tell us there how he came to divide out people; not bring peace. Many people today are NOT willing to leave blood family to their demise but Christ makes it clear it is a MUST to follow Him.
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
******* In this verse, Jesus is now going about doing that which will verify who He is to the masses. Synagogues mean "gathering places" and they were scattered all over the region often by water for their ritual cleansing purposes. Just as God showed the Israelites His control over the elements by parting the Red Sea in Exodus 14, Jesus is showing He is in control of all things including health and sickness. He is preaching the gospel of the kingdom (used 5 times in the gospels) as it is the good news that the kingdom of God was shown in Him. Later after His crucifixion; the gospel good news shifts to be revealed mainly about His death burial and resurrection per the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 15.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
****** Christ began to draw "great crowds" indeed but keep in mind later we learn it was not just for His truth but for the miracles and food. Sadly MOST all the people will have left Him in short order. He had total control over illnesses such as torments ( in Greek basanos meaning acute pains) those with devils, lunatics (in Greek it is seleniazomia and it means epileptic or crazy) and Palsy (in Greek it is paralutikos and it refers to nerve damage/paralytic. Interesting is the fact that Jesus shows His true power here and in the last days per Matthew 24, satan will do false signs and wonders to draw false disciples to himself. Be on guard and thus not deceived all you saints of God.
25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
****** Again we see the reference to many who came from all over to Christ to see and hear Him. Some say this is a direct prophecy from Amos 8:11 where it was noted a "famine was in the land for the word of God". But now the Word (Jesus... God in the flesh / John 1) was there before them speaking life and doing miracles. (Decapolis was an area that was made up of 10 different cities in Syria) Christ the Messiah was doing a mighty work as the stage was being set for His ministry and ultimate sacrifice once for all.