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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 4

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

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Jesus Began To Preach

Matthew Four

Matthew chapter four gives us a look at the faithfulness and work of the Savior. In this chapter Matthew shows us, (1) a tempted Savior ( Mat_4:1-11 ), (2) a preaching Savior ( Mat_4:12-17 ), (3) a calling Savior ( Mat_4:18-22 ), and (4) a healing Savior. ( Mat_4:23-25 ) The New Testament gives us many different looks at the wonderful man of Galilee. Through the gospel, you can believe and be sure that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

The Devil put Christ under severe temptation immediately after God declared Him to be the Son of God following His baptism. The goal of the wicked one was to cause the Savior to doubt God. Temptation is the plight of all mankind. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." ( Jam_1:14 ) Jesus was able to resist temptation and with the help of God so are we! Satan tempts at those moments when we are the weakest. But with enough of God's word within us we are able to resist. In dealing with each temptation Jesus answered "It is written." Satan will attack everywhere and under every circumstance, so be ready.

The wonderful Savior preached the same message that John had preached before Him. "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." ( Mat_4:17 ) The same need for preaching repentance is present in our day as it was in John and Jesus' day. However, we are now blessed that the kingdom of heaven has fully come with the sending of the Holy Ghost on the Pentecost day of Acts Two.

When Jesus began His preaching He called men to be His disciples. Later He named these special men "apostles." Among those that were called were Peter, Andrew, James and John. Jesus chose those that would have been rejected by the world. They were called to leave everything and follow Him.

As Jesus went about preaching He proved Himself to be the Son of God by the great miracles that He did. "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." ( Mat_4:23 ) Many became followers of Jesus the Savior.

Verses 1-11

Jesus was a tempted Savior Mat_4:1-11 : At this point Jesus began His preaching ministry as described in Isa_61:1 . "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Before this, however, Jesus had to deal with the Devil. The Devil is the tempter. "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." ( Mat_4:1 ) The tempter came when Jesus was weak with forty days of fasting. ( Mat_4:2 ) The tempter used doubt and deception to tempt Jesus and Jesus used scripture to resist him. ( Mat_4:3-11 )

Three times Satan tempted and three times Jesus answered with Scripture. His reply was "It is written." How Christians handle temptation shows both the reality and depth of their faith. Satan learned that as long as one stands on the word of God he can resist temptation. Satan even used scripture or in this case misused scripture to try to cast doubt in Jesus' mind. ( Psa_91:11-12 )

Verses 12-17

Jesus was a preaching Savior Mat_4:12-17 : Gospel preaching brings people out of darkness into God's marvelous light. Without the gospel people sit "in the region and shadow of death." The good news for the poor soul in darkness is hope through Christ. Jesus, like John the Baptist, preached repentance (a change of mind that results in a change of life) and the kingdom of heaven (the church). "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." ( Mat_4:17 )

It is impossible to preach the gospel without preaching "the kingdom of heaven." Christ has only one church and all the saved are added to it. ( Act_2:47 ) Eph_4:4 says there is "one body" or one church. There is really only one true church on earth, and there ought to be unity. The so-called church in our day is sadly divided into many denominations.

Verses 18-22

Jesus was a calling Savior Mat_4:18-22 : Jesus called four fishermen to follow Him. They were Peter, Andrew, James and John. His call was simple -- “follow me.” The purpose of the call to the apostles was to make them "fishers of men." "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." ( Mat_4:19 ) They were still to be fishermen but in a much higher sense. They were to be involved in the noble employment, and purpose of rescuing men from sin. Jesus still calls "follow me and I will make you fishers of men!"

These men were called to follow Jesus as (1) teacher ( Mat_7:28-29 ), (2) friend ( Joh_15:14 ), (3) example ( 1Pe_2:21 ), and (4) Lord. ( Rom_10:9-10 ) Following Jesus involved a determined choice. Following Jesus also involved fishing for men. Christians must "think souls." Select someone to work with. Love that person. Teach them the gospel. Pray for them. Persuade them to follow Jesus. Be an example for them. "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." ( 2Ti_2:2 )

Verses 23-25

Jesus was a healing Savior Mat_4:23-25 : Christ healed "all kinds of sickness" and "all kinds of diseases." He did not heal for money or fame but as proof that He is the Son of God. "And many other sings truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:30-3l)

Jesus healed the bodies of men but he was far more interested in their souls. "All sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments" were brought to Jesus and were healed. He healed both the worst physical and mental afflictions. He also healed those that were under the total power of demons. Jesus healed without any means. He did so just be speaking the word. This showed Him truly to be the Son of God.

Great multitudes of people followed Jesus. Some followed for the healing of their bodies and others for their spiritual needs. Do you follow Jesus with a heart filled with love and obedience?

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 4". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/matthew-4.html. 2014.
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