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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Matthew 4

Introduction

  1. Introduction: Read: Matthew 4:1-11
    1. After His baptism, it is time for Him to start a new phase – a new mission…it’s time for God the Father to use Him for the Ministry that He came for…but first: His temptation!
    2. Today begins, in our minds, a newness and we must ask ourselves…do we want to be used by the Father for the ministry that He has for us?
    3. If so, there are some truths for our lives that we must face and embrace, and not run from.
      1. 1st: If we desire to be used by God we will face a great spiritual battle against the enemy of our souls – are we ready?
      2. 2nd: If we desire to be used by God we must follow some basic truths that God lays out for us and do it without compromise.
    4. Let’s get into the text…

Verses 1-10

  1. The Temptation
    1. Trials
      Matthew 4:1-2 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
      1. When it comes to tempting us, Satan has 3 plays, the lust of our flesh, eyes and the pride of life. Look at the Garden of Eden…
        1. Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food (flesh), and that it was pleasant to the eyes (eyes), and a tree to be desired to make one wise (pride of life), she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
      2. The Apostle John explicitly warns us regarding Satan’s play book:
        1. 1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
    2. Lust of the Flesh
      Matthew 4:3-4 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 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.
      1. Verse 2 says Jesus was hungry – He had just fasted 40 days. He was at the point of death and Satan was playing on His bodies physical drive for survival.
    3. Pride of Life
      Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 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. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
      1. “If thou be the Son of God” – if you’re really God, then prove it! Throw yourself off and show how the angels will catch you!
      2. “If” incites the “Pride of Life”, doesn’t it?
      3. “If” you’re a Christian you’ll pay my bills, give me money, etc. OR You’re a Christian and you don’t know the Bible? OR “You’re just a Bible thumping hypocrite, man!!”
      4. Discouragement is one of Satan’s greatest tools!
        1. Poor – Jesus said we will always have them with us…we do what we can but we must stay OUT of God’s way, as well or we become enablers.
        2. The Bible is the Living Word – we can only know what we’ve learned but we certainly should study to show ourselves approved unto God (and not unto men)!
    4. Lust of the Eyes
      Matthew 4:8-10 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; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 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.
      1. Lust of the Eyes is Covetousness – which is idolatry!

Verse 11

  1. Our Lifestyle
    1. Angels:
      Matthew 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
      1. They will Minister to you, too.
      2. Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
    2. God’s Holy Word
      Matthew 4:3-4 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 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.
      1. “IF” we want to be used by God…we must be following after every Word of God!
      2. We can’t pick and choose, it is ALL God breathed – Holy Spirit inspired and is the direction for our lives and the discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts!
      3. 1 Samuel 12:14-15 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: 15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.
      4. Psalms 107:11-12 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: 12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
      5. Sacrifice is not better than obedience: 1 Samuel 15:22-23 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
    3. The Love of Christ
      Matthew 4:5-7 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 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. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
      1. Satan was trying to get Jesus to test God, rather than walk by Faith. The motive of the heart is the issue here…
      2. 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
      3. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
    4. Put Away Dumb Idols
      Matthew 4:8-10 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; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 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.
      1. The Idolatry of “Stuff”: Habakkuk 2:18-20 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? 19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. 20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
      2. The Idolatry of misplaced “Good Works” : 1 Samuel 15:22-23 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
  2. Conclusion:
    Resolution…being used by God!

Verses 12-17

  1. Introduction: Read: Matthew 4:12-25
    1. After His baptism, it is time for Him to start a new phase – a new mission…it’s time for God the Father to use Him for the Ministry that He came for…
    2. Last Week: We looked at His temptation!
      1. Lust of our flesh – Live by EVERY Word of God
      2. Lust of our eyes – Covetousness is Idolatry and we are to worship God alone
      3. Pride of Life – Look to God, trust His Word and not walk in our own wisdom or selfishness
  2. Beginning the Ministry
    Matthew 4:12-17 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; 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. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
    1. The Setting:
      1. When: After John had been thrown in prison (he was the forerunner – his job was done)
        1. There is a time lapse between v11 & v12…John 1:19-3:36.
      2. Where: Capernaum…
        1. Jesus went to Capernaum from Jerusalem, a mixed bag of Jew, Gentile and Samaritan (mixed breed) peoples to allow the gospel to be for ALL PEOPLE.
      3. Why: Prophetical fulfillment
        1. Isaiah 9:1-2 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
    2. The Message
      1. Repent
        1. ​​​​​​​Turn away from a lifestyle of living for yourself and fulfilling the lust of our flesh & eyes and the pride of life and BEGIN LIVING FOR GOD
      2. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand
        1. ​​​​​​​“Kingdom of Heaven” (meaning the rule or authority of God) has come and that we must repent and receive Jesus as our King, our Lord, as the SUPREME AUTHORITY over our lives!

Verses 18-22

  1. Calling Disciples
    Matthew 4:18-22 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. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 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.
    1. What Was His Call?
      1. Follow Me (and they did immediately)
        1. Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
        2. Luke 9:59-62 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
        3. Revelation 3:14-22 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
        4. The Warning: Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
      2. He will make us “Fishers of men”
        1. Luke 9:60 …go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
        2. Luke 8:39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
        3. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    2. Who did He Call?
      1. Cast-ers
        1. ​​​​​​​The outgoing, the well speaking, the exuberant and the flamboyant. Those with an aggressive personality.
        2. Ephesians 4:11-12 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
      2. Menders
        1. ​​​​​​​The less visible & less aggressive personality types. Often they have the gift of “helps”, “mercy”, “administration” and “giving”.
        2. Often they are the preeminent “Prayer Warriors”!

Verses 23-25

  1. Teaching, Preaching & Healing
    Matthew 4:23-25 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. 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. 25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
    1. Teaching
      1. Jesus taught the Gospel
        1. Gospel: Good News! …the good news that the “Kingdom of Heaven” (meaning the rule or authority of God) has come and that we must repent and receive Jesus as our King, our Lord, as the SUPREME AUTHORITY over our lives!
        2. Romans 1:16-23 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
      2. Jesus taught doctrine…
        1. Doctrine is: instruction (in this context it’s about how to live, love and serve Jesus)
        2. Matthew 7:28-29 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
        3. Luke 4:31-36 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
    2. Preaching
      1. Preach: to proclaim or herald; to publish a divine truth
      2. Proclamation that our Salvation comes through Jesus
      3. Heralding that the way to eternal life is based upon God’s sovereign character and unfailing faithfulness to His children.
      4. Publishing that the Law has been fulfilled and we are to walk and live in grace and truth. “To whom the Lord sets free, is free indeed!”
    3. Healing
      1. Who did Jesus heal? …ALL who came to Him.
      2. Luke 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
      3. Jesus can heal you today…if you’ll let Him. Physical ailments & infirmities are opportunities to Glorify God…
      4. Emotional infirmities – hurt, anger, bitterness, abuse, addiction…He wants you to bring them to Him.
      5. 1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
      6. Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
      7. 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
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Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Matthew 4". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/matthew-4.html. 2017.