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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Matthew 4

Verses 1-11

Justification: The Kingdom is Inaugurated through the Presentation and Justification of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11 ) The narrative material recorded in Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11 shows us how Jesus’ was ordained, or inaugurated, into His ministry in fulfillment of God’s standard of righteousness through three testimonies. Matthew uses the testimonies of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12), of God the Father (Matthew 3:13-17), and of Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 4:1-11) to verify the fact that mankind is sinful (Matthew 3:1-12), that Jesus Christ is well-pleasing unto God (Matthew 3:13-17), and that Jesus is without sin in fulfillment of the Mosaic Law (Matthew 4:1-11). (The Gospel of Matthew will include the testimony of Jesus’ miracles in later narratives, but He has yet to begin His public ministry.) Within this passage we have material to support the fulfillment of one Old Testament Scripture found in Isaiah 40:3, which testifies of the ministry of John the Baptist, who was sent ahead of the Messiah in order to prepare the way for the presentation of the King to the Jewish people through a water baptism signifying their repentance from sins (Matthew 3:1-12) and through the audible testiomony of God the Father at the baptism of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:13-17). Immediately after His water baptism Jesus is driven into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil in order to testify of His sinless character (Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, this passage of Scripture testifies of man’s sinful nature and God’s impending judgment through the testimony of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12), of God the Father’s testimony justifying His Son Jesus Christ as the appointed Messiah (Matthew 3:13-17), and of Jesus testifying of His sinless character as His justification to fulfill the office of the Messiah (Matthew 4:1-11). Thus, we understand that the three stories recorded in Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11 support the testimony of the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3 in which John the Baptist was sent ahead to show the Messiah to the Jewish people, and to reveal to them that repentance from the heart is God’s standard of true righteousness, as seen in the sinless character of Jesus Christ. The baptism of Jesus is the ceremony that God used to present Him to the people of Israel. Jesus demonstrated true righteousness before the people by receiving baptism Himself and having God the Father’s audible voice justify His Son. Jesus was then led into the wilderness to demonstrate true love and devotion to His Father as the purest expression of righteousness before God.

The Old Testament prophecy that was fulfilled within these events is Isaiah 40:3, and is quoted in Matthew 3:3.

Isaiah 40:3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Matthew 3:3, “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. John’s Testimony of Jesus’ Righteousness Matthew 3:1-12

2. God the Father’s Testimony of Jesus’ Righteousness Matthew 3:13-17

3. Jesus’ Testimony of His Righteousness Matthew 4:1-11

The Motif of Righteousness in the Narrative Material Preceding the Sermon on the Mount - In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew uses the Greek word δικαιοσυ ́ νη five times (Matthew 5:6; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 6:1; Matthew 6:33). Matthew uses this Greek word only on two other occasions in the rest of his Gospel (Matthew 3:15; Matthew 21:32). The first use is found in the narrative material preceding the first discourse (Matthew 3:15) in which Jesus demonstrates true righteousness prior to teaching on the topic in the Sermon on the Mount. Thus, the motif of righteousness is embedded within the first discourse, in which Jesus teaches on God’s true standard of righteousness for mankind. This is what Jesus meant by saying, “For thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.”

Exodus 1-15 versus the Baptism of Jesus the King The second part of our spiritual journey is our justification through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. We call this our salvation experience in which God delivers us from our sins and from the bondages of this world. We see a type and figure of this part of our journey in the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt as these people were “baptized unto Moses” (1 Corinthians 10:2 ).

1 Corinthians 10:2, “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”

We see in the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in this section of Matthew’s Gospel a symbol of our death, burial and resurrection in the act of salvation. This passage establishes the way a person becomes a member of the Kingdom of Heaven, through repentance as man’s way of fulfilling God’s standard of righteousness.

Verses 1-11

Justification: The Kingdom is Inaugurated through the Presentation and Justification of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11 ) The narrative material recorded in Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11 shows us how Jesus’ was ordained, or inaugurated, into His ministry in fulfillment of God’s standard of righteousness through three testimonies. Matthew uses the testimonies of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12), of God the Father (Matthew 3:13-17), and of Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 4:1-11) to verify the fact that mankind is sinful (Matthew 3:1-12), that Jesus Christ is well-pleasing unto God (Matthew 3:13-17), and that Jesus is without sin in fulfillment of the Mosaic Law (Matthew 4:1-11). (The Gospel of Matthew will include the testimony of Jesus’ miracles in later narratives, but He has yet to begin His public ministry.) Within this passage we have material to support the fulfillment of one Old Testament Scripture found in Isaiah 40:3, which testifies of the ministry of John the Baptist, who was sent ahead of the Messiah in order to prepare the way for the presentation of the King to the Jewish people through a water baptism signifying their repentance from sins (Matthew 3:1-12) and through the audible testiomony of God the Father at the baptism of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:13-17). Immediately after His water baptism Jesus is driven into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil in order to testify of His sinless character (Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, this passage of Scripture testifies of man’s sinful nature and God’s impending judgment through the testimony of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12), of God the Father’s testimony justifying His Son Jesus Christ as the appointed Messiah (Matthew 3:13-17), and of Jesus testifying of His sinless character as His justification to fulfill the office of the Messiah (Matthew 4:1-11). Thus, we understand that the three stories recorded in Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11 support the testimony of the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3 in which John the Baptist was sent ahead to show the Messiah to the Jewish people, and to reveal to them that repentance from the heart is God’s standard of true righteousness, as seen in the sinless character of Jesus Christ. The baptism of Jesus is the ceremony that God used to present Him to the people of Israel. Jesus demonstrated true righteousness before the people by receiving baptism Himself and having God the Father’s audible voice justify His Son. Jesus was then led into the wilderness to demonstrate true love and devotion to His Father as the purest expression of righteousness before God.

The Old Testament prophecy that was fulfilled within these events is Isaiah 40:3, and is quoted in Matthew 3:3.

Isaiah 40:3, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Matthew 3:3, “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. John’s Testimony of Jesus’ Righteousness Matthew 3:1-12

2. God the Father’s Testimony of Jesus’ Righteousness Matthew 3:13-17

3. Jesus’ Testimony of His Righteousness Matthew 4:1-11

The Motif of Righteousness in the Narrative Material Preceding the Sermon on the Mount - In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew uses the Greek word δικαιοσυ ́ νη five times (Matthew 5:6; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 6:1; Matthew 6:33). Matthew uses this Greek word only on two other occasions in the rest of his Gospel (Matthew 3:15; Matthew 21:32). The first use is found in the narrative material preceding the first discourse (Matthew 3:15) in which Jesus demonstrates true righteousness prior to teaching on the topic in the Sermon on the Mount. Thus, the motif of righteousness is embedded within the first discourse, in which Jesus teaches on God’s true standard of righteousness for mankind. This is what Jesus meant by saying, “For thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.”

Exodus 1-15 versus the Baptism of Jesus the King The second part of our spiritual journey is our justification through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. We call this our salvation experience in which God delivers us from our sins and from the bondages of this world. We see a type and figure of this part of our journey in the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt as these people were “baptized unto Moses” (1 Corinthians 10:2 ).

1 Corinthians 10:2, “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”

We see in the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in this section of Matthew’s Gospel a symbol of our death, burial and resurrection in the act of salvation. This passage establishes the way a person becomes a member of the Kingdom of Heaven, through repentance as man’s way of fulfilling God’s standard of righteousness.

Verses 12-17

Jesus Moves to Galilee (Mark 1:14-15 , Luke 4:14-15 ) Matthew 4:12-17 records the event of Jesus moving from the city of Nazareth, His home town, to the city of Capernaum in Galilee, perhaps because His own city did not receive His message. Note:

1. John the Baptist is “cast in prison” (Matthew 4:12) - Rejection by the Jews.

2. Christ “leaving Nazareth” and “dwelt in Capernaum” (Matthew 4:13) - Rejection by the Jews.

3. “beyond Jordan” into “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Matthew 4:15) - Acceptance by the Gentiles.

Arthur Pink says this passage foreshadows Jesus’ rejection by the Jews and acceptance by the Gentiles, as does the story of the magi (chapter two) foreshadow the same. [352]

[352] Arthur W. Pink, An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (Carlisle, PA: Evangelical Press, 1977) [on-line]; accessed 23 February 2010; available from http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_intro.htm; Internet, “Introduction, 5 th paragraph.”

Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

Matthew 4:12 Comments (1) The Location of John’s Imprisonment - Josephus tells us that John the Baptist was imprisoned in the fortified castle located at Macherus, saying, “Accordingly he [John the Baptist] was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death.” ( Antiquities 18.5.2) A description of the fortification of Macherus is given by Josephus in Wars 7.6.1 and is believed to be located east of the Dead Sea approximately in line with Bethlehem.

The Time of John’s Imprisonment - We know from a study of the Gospel of John that the imprisonment of John the Baptist took place between the First (John 2:13) and Second Passover (John 6:4), where Jesus fed the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-15). Therefore, there was up to a year difference between Matthew 4:11 and Matthew 4:12 in this chapter of Matthew, between the time when Jesus was baptized and when He began His public ministry. The Synoptic Gospels tell us that Jesus began His public ministry at John's death, although the Gospel of John gives us testimony of earlier miracles in Jesus’ ministry. Why would Jesus wait up to a year to go public? Perhaps an answer lies in the suggestion that Jesus respected the ministry of John the Baptist so that He did not make a public display until John’s ministry had come to an end. It is interesting to see how God never seems to be in a hurry.

Regarding Jesus’ respect for John the Baptist’s public ministry, I suggest the reason for Jesus waiting until John’s death to go public because of a careful study of the lives and ministries of some of the apostles both within and outside of the Scriptures. This study reveals such an attitude between the apostles themselves. There was a tremendous respect and reverence for one another’s ministry and hesitancy to overlay the other’s work, lest one gain undue credit above the other. The apostles may have learned this respect for one another as a result of observing Jesus’ behavior towards John the Baptist.

Comments (2) - Jesus withdrew from a hostile, negative environment on numerous occasions. He first withdrew from Judea into Galilee when John the Baptist was cast into prison (Matthew 4:12). The people in His hometown of Nazareth tried to kill Him, and He supernaturally passed through the crowd, and moved His residence to Capernaum (Luke 4:30-31). He passed through hostile crowds miraculously on a number of other occasions (John 8:59; John 10:39). The people of the country of the Gergesenes asked Him to depart, and He did so (Matthew 8:34 to Matthew 9:1). He was persecuted while in Galilee and withdrew Himself (Matthew 12:14-15). He hid himself several times from those who were hostile (John 5:13; John 12:36). He stopped His public ministry in Judea because the Jewish leaders sought to kill Him (John 7:1). Jesus once escaped across the Jordan River because of persecution (John 10:39-40). At one point Jesus stopped His public ministry and withdrew Himself into the wilderness (John 11:53-54). Jesus taught His disciples to do the same (Matthew 10:23).

Matthew 4:12, “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;”

Luke 4:30-31, “But he passing through the midst of them went his way, And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.”

John 8:59, “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

John 10:39, “Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,”

Matthew 8:34 to Matthew 9:1, “And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts. And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.”

Matthew 12:14-15, “Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;”

John 5:13, “And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.”

John 12:36, “While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”

John 7:1, “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.”

John 10:39-40, “Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.”

John 11:53-54, “Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.”

Matthew 10:23, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”

Each time Jesus saved His own life, He knew that His time was not yet, and so He deliberately avoided being killed (John 7:30; John 8:20); for this power was in His hand and no man could take His life. However, when His time had come, He willingly gave Himself over into the hands of man (John 10:17-18).

John 7:30, “Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.”

John 8:20, “These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.”

John 10:17-18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

Matthew 4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

Matthew 4:13 Comments The city of Capernaum literally means, “the village of Nahum.” Its name is derived from the Hebrew words ( כָפָר ) (village) and ( נחוּם ) (nahum).

Matthew 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

Matthew 4:14 Comments - Comments - The phrase ἵνα πληρωθῇ (that it might be fulfilled) is unique to the Gospel of Matthew, being used nine times (Matthew 1:22; Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:17; Matthew 2:23; Matthew 4:14; Matthew 8:17; Matthew 12:17; Matthew 13:35; Matthew 21:4), with similar phrases being used loosely three times in other places in Matthew (Matthew 13:14; Matthew 26:56; Matthew 27:9). [353] The reason this phrase is unique to the Gospel of Matthew is because the primary theme of this Gospel is the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, which states that Jesus Christ is the coming Messiah, who will reign as King of the Jews. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew continually declares that Jesus Christ fulfills Old Testament Messianic passages.

[353] A tenth Matthean ἵνα πληρωθῇ formula can be found in Matthew 27:35 in the KJV. However, the rules of modern textual criticism require the omission this phrase from the UBS 4 because it is not found in the earliest Greek manuscripts. Thus, only nine ἵνα πληρωθῇ formulae will be considered in this commentary.

Matthew 4:15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

Matthew 4:16 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.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17 “From that time” Comments Jesus first began to preach the Gospel when He moved from Nazareth to Capernaum.

Matthew 4:17 Comments Jesus Moves to Public and Private Ministry Matthew 4:17; Matthew 6:21 share the common Greek phrase ᾿Απο ̀ το ́ τε ἤρξατο ο ̔ ᾿Ιησου ͂ ς (from that time forth Jesus began…). While some scholars have inferred that the Gospel of Matthew has a three-fold structure based upon these two verses, they actually introduce a major narrative movement in which Jesus enters His public ministry (Matthew 4:17) and later narrows His focus to private ministry to the Twelve (Matthew 16:21). [354]

[354] Christopher R. Smith, “Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew,” in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 550.

Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 16:21, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”

The Synoptics Begin Jesus’ Public Ministry after the Death of John the Baptist - The Synoptic Gospels begin recording Jesus' ministry after the death of John the Baptist, while John’s Gospel begins with the first days of His earthly ministry.

Matthew 4:12, “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;”

Mark 1:14, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,”

Luke 3:19-21, “But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,”

Matthew 4:17 tells us that this particular event marks the beginning of Jesus' preaching ministry. Thus, the reason the Synoptic Gospels begin at John's death is because this is also when Jesus began to preach and to teach publicly.

Verses 12-25

The Kingdom of God Has Come After the King is inaugurated as the Messiah by water baptism and the coming of the Holy Spirit with the voice of the Father declaring Him as the beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ begins to declare that the Kingdom of God has arrived upon earth Matthew 4:12-25, and He then inaugurates the Kingdom of God by delivering His “Inaugural Address,” called the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). The fact that this Sermon makes clear references to the Ten Commandments reminds us of how Moses must have delivered them to the children of Israel in the book of Exodus. In His Sermon, Jesus interprets the Mosaic Law correctly for the Jews. Thus, we establish a parallel with the giving of the Law in Exodus and the first discourse in that they both serve to indoctrinate the children of God. [350]

[350] The theme of indoctrination for the Sermon on the Mount is widely recognized by scholars. For example, Benjamin Bacon says, “The first of Mt's five Discourses is framed to meet the needs of the neophyte, who must be instructed in what is designated by Paul ‘the law of Christ,’ by Jas. ‘the perfect law of liberty,’ and by Jn ‘the new commandment’ that we ‘have from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.’ It is clear that the so-called Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5-7 aims to give more specific application to the comprehensive principle expressed in these general terms by bringing Christian practice into comparison with the Law of Moses.” See Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 339.

The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew’s Gospel is Matthew 4:14-16, which quotes Isaiah 91-2. The fulfillment of this prophecy reinforces the theme of this section of Matthew’s Gospel, which states that He brought light, or understanding of God’s Word, into the region of Galilee by teaching doctrine.

Matthew 4:14-16, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 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.”

The section of Matthew emphasizing sanctification through indoctrination (Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 7:29) closes with a transitional sentence that concludes each of the five discourses, telling us that Jesus had ended His teaching (Matthew 7:28-29).

Matthew 7:28-29, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Literary Evidence of a Common Theme between the First Narrative Section and the Discourse that Follows There is literary evidence that the first narrative section shares a common theme with the discourse that follows, which is the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew uses the Greek word δικαιοσυ ́ νη five times (Matthew 5:6; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 6:1; Matthew 6:33) in the Sermon on the Mount, a word used on two other occasions only throughout the rest of his Gospel (Matthew 3:15; Matthew 21:32). The first use is found in the narrative material preceding the first discourse (Matthew 3:15) in which Jesus demonstrates true righteousness prior to teaching on the topic in the Sermon on the Mount. Thus, the motif of righteousness is embedded within the first discourse, in which Jesus teaches on God’s true standard of righteousness for mankind. [351] Thus, Jesus demonstrates true righteousness; then He teaches on this topic. This literary evidence reflects the common theme between the first narrative section and discourse of demonstrating and teaching God’s standard of righteousness, which is indoctrination.

[351] Christopher R. Smith, “Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew,” in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 545.

Sanctification: Indoctrination - Exodus 16-40 Versus The First Discourse which Establishes the Laws of the Kingdom Just as the book of Exodus establishes the doctrine of the nation of Israel by the giving of the Ten Commandments and statutes, so the Sermon on the Mount establishes the doctrine of the children of the Kingdom of Heaven. After the King is inaugurated as the Messiah by water baptism, He then delivers His “Inaugural Address,” called the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). The fact that this Sermon makes clear references to the Ten Commandments reminds us of how Moses must have delivered them to the children of Israel in the book of Exodus. In His Sermon, Jesus interprets the Mosaic Law correctly for the Jews. Thus, we establish a parallel with the giving of the Law in Exodus and the first discourse in that they both serve to indoctrinate the children of God. The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew’s Gospel is Matthew 4:14-16, which quotes Isaiah 91-2. The fulfillment of this prophecy reinforces the theme of this section of Matthew’s Gospel, which states that He brought light, or understanding of God’s Word, into the region of Galilee by teaching doctrine.

Matthew 4:14-16, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 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.”

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Narrative The Kingdom of God Arrives Matthew 4:12-25

Verses 12-25

The Kingdom of God Has Come After the King is inaugurated as the Messiah by water baptism and the coming of the Holy Spirit with the voice of the Father declaring Him as the beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ begins to declare that the Kingdom of God has arrived upon earth Matthew 4:12-25, and He then inaugurates the Kingdom of God by delivering His “Inaugural Address,” called the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). The fact that this Sermon makes clear references to the Ten Commandments reminds us of how Moses must have delivered them to the children of Israel in the book of Exodus. In His Sermon, Jesus interprets the Mosaic Law correctly for the Jews. Thus, we establish a parallel with the giving of the Law in Exodus and the first discourse in that they both serve to indoctrinate the children of God. [350]

[350] The theme of indoctrination for the Sermon on the Mount is widely recognized by scholars. For example, Benjamin Bacon says, “The first of Mt's five Discourses is framed to meet the needs of the neophyte, who must be instructed in what is designated by Paul ‘the law of Christ,’ by Jas. ‘the perfect law of liberty,’ and by Jn ‘the new commandment’ that we ‘have from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.’ It is clear that the so-called Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5-7 aims to give more specific application to the comprehensive principle expressed in these general terms by bringing Christian practice into comparison with the Law of Moses.” See Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 339.

The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew’s Gospel is Matthew 4:14-16, which quotes Isaiah 91-2. The fulfillment of this prophecy reinforces the theme of this section of Matthew’s Gospel, which states that He brought light, or understanding of God’s Word, into the region of Galilee by teaching doctrine.

Matthew 4:14-16, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 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.”

The section of Matthew emphasizing sanctification through indoctrination (Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 7:29) closes with a transitional sentence that concludes each of the five discourses, telling us that Jesus had ended His teaching (Matthew 7:28-29).

Matthew 7:28-29, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Literary Evidence of a Common Theme between the First Narrative Section and the Discourse that Follows There is literary evidence that the first narrative section shares a common theme with the discourse that follows, which is the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew uses the Greek word δικαιοσυ ́ νη five times (Matthew 5:6; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 6:1; Matthew 6:33) in the Sermon on the Mount, a word used on two other occasions only throughout the rest of his Gospel (Matthew 3:15; Matthew 21:32). The first use is found in the narrative material preceding the first discourse (Matthew 3:15) in which Jesus demonstrates true righteousness prior to teaching on the topic in the Sermon on the Mount. Thus, the motif of righteousness is embedded within the first discourse, in which Jesus teaches on God’s true standard of righteousness for mankind. [351] Thus, Jesus demonstrates true righteousness; then He teaches on this topic. This literary evidence reflects the common theme between the first narrative section and discourse of demonstrating and teaching God’s standard of righteousness, which is indoctrination.

[351] Christopher R. Smith, “Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew,” in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 545.

Sanctification: Indoctrination - Exodus 16-40 Versus The First Discourse which Establishes the Laws of the Kingdom Just as the book of Exodus establishes the doctrine of the nation of Israel by the giving of the Ten Commandments and statutes, so the Sermon on the Mount establishes the doctrine of the children of the Kingdom of Heaven. After the King is inaugurated as the Messiah by water baptism, He then delivers His “Inaugural Address,” called the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). The fact that this Sermon makes clear references to the Ten Commandments reminds us of how Moses must have delivered them to the children of Israel in the book of Exodus. In His Sermon, Jesus interprets the Mosaic Law correctly for the Jews. Thus, we establish a parallel with the giving of the Law in Exodus and the first discourse in that they both serve to indoctrinate the children of God. The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew’s Gospel is Matthew 4:14-16, which quotes Isaiah 91-2. The fulfillment of this prophecy reinforces the theme of this section of Matthew’s Gospel, which states that He brought light, or understanding of God’s Word, into the region of Galilee by teaching doctrine.

Matthew 4:14-16, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 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.”

Outline: Here is a proposed outline:

1. Narrative The Kingdom of God Arrives Matthew 4:12-25

Verses 18-22

Jesus Calls His Disciples Compare This Passage with the Disciples Following Jesus in John 1:35-51 (Mark 1:16-20 , Luke 5:1-11 ) We read in Matthew 4:18-22 about how Jesus Christ called four of His disciples while walking along the Sea of Galilee. This calling of disciples took place during His Galilean ministry. Note also the fact that John’s Gospel tells us that these disciples had previously encountered the Messiah earlier during Jesus’ Judean ministry (John 1:35-51) and these disciples had even followed Jesus prior to the imprisonment of John the Baptist (John 3:22-24). This Judean ministry took place during the first year of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The calling of His disciples along the shores of the Sea of Galilee occurs much later, perhaps several years later, after John was imprisoned. Therefore, the quick response of these disciples can partially be explained by the fact that they already knew Him to be the Christ from His earlier Judean ministry. But the difference of the calling in Matthew’s Gospel is that these disciples were now asked to immediately forsake all and follow Him permanently. In summary, John’s Gospel emphasizes the fact that the disciples recognized Jesus Christ as the Son of God while Matthew’s Gospel places emphasis upon Jesus selecting and training His disciples.

Jesus Calls Those Who Are Busy, Not Lazy - When Jesus called his twelve disciples, He called men who were busy working, doing their jobs. He did not call lazy and idle people. The Lord knew that if these men were busy working at a secular job, then they would also be busy working in His Kingdom. Jesus called Matthew while he was busy at the receipt of customs.

Matthew 9:9, “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.”

Elijah called Elisha while he was plowing in the field.

1 Kings 19:19, “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.”

Matthew 4:18 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.

Matthew 4:18 Comments - Jesus first met Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, Nathaniel and one other disciple at the Jordan River after His baptism. See John chapter one.

Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Matthew 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

Matthew 4:20 Comments - In Matthew 4:20 we read that Peter and Andrew left their fishing nets and followed Jesus. The Gospels record a number of other times when Jesus called disciples to follow Him and they made excuses. The fact that they made excuses means they acknowledged His divine ministry and anointing as the Son of God, but they were not ready to sacrifice themselves for the service of the Lord. This is the way many church members respond to the Christian life. They accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour; they gives tithes and attend church; but they are unwilling to make sacrifices when called to do so.

Matthew 4:21 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.

Matthew 4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Verses 23-25

Jesus Begins His Public Ministry in Galilee (Luke 6:17-19 ) Matthew 4:23-25 tells of the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry in Galilee. He certainly had been in the ministry for a lengthy period of time since His water baptism which took place a year or two prior to the imprisonment of John the Baptist. At this time, the public ministry of Jesus intensifies.

This passage preceding the Sermon on the Mount reveals that Jesus healed the multitudes before teaching them. This healing and deliverance finds its analogy in the deliverance and exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt before coming to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandment.

Comparison of Parallel Passages Recording the Beginning of the Public Ministry of Jesus Christ - When we compare the parallel passages of Jesus beginning His public ministry in the four Gospels, we find the third underlying themes clearly reflected.

The Gospel of Matthew - Matthew’s Gospel emphasizes the testimony of Old Testament Scriptures, which prophesies of the Messiah coming to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. In this Gospel, the Kingdom of Heaven is established by making disciples of all nations. Thus, Matthew explains how Jesus’ public ministry began as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Matthew 4:12-17). Jesus then calls disciples, who will be trained to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations (Matthew 4:18-22). Jesus then begins to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth through His teaching ministry (Matthew 4:23-25). Thus, Matthew’s Gospel places emphasis upon Jesus’ teaching ministry as Matthew states, “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.” (Matthew 4:23)

The Gospel of Mark - Mark’s Gospel emphasizes the office of the evangelist, who preaches the Gospel with signs following. Therefore, he describes Jesus beginning His public ministry with the statement, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15) Mark describes Jesus beginning His public ministry by preaching (Mark 1:14-15), which emphasizes Mark’s theme of the testimony of Jesus’ miracles through the preaching of the Gospel.

The Gospel of Luke - The parallel passage in Luke records the testimony of His ministry as one of great anointing and power (Luke 4:14-15), which emphasizes the testimony of those who were eye-witnesses of the authority of Jesus’ public ministry. Within the context of Luke’s Gospel, which reflects the prophetic ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, the statement, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,” emphasizes the fact that Jesus was walking in the office of the prophet. In the opening chapters of Luke, we have already seen a number of people filled with the Spirit and deliver prophetic utterances. Zechariah, Elisabeth, Mary, Simeon and Anna have all been filled with the spirit and spoke of the Messiah. To show that this motif runs through the Gospel of Luke, in the closing chapter we see Jesus commanding His disciples to “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) Thus, the fact that Jesus was “full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” (Matthew 4:1) then “returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee” (Luke 4:14) to tell the people that “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” (Luke 4:18) tells us that Jesus will deliver prophetic messages throughout the Gospel of Luke.

The Gospel of John - John’s Gospel emphasizes Jesus in the office of the pastor. Thus, John describes Jesus as a Shepherd gathering His flock and gently leading the disciples. In this Gospel Jesus begins His public ministry in the office of a pastor by gathering His first disciples: John, Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathanael (John 1:35-51). He will not move into the offices of Evangelist, Teacher, and Prophet until after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, as recorded in the Synoptic Gospels.

Testimonies of Jesus’ Extesive Public Healing Ministry - Jesus Christ ministered healing to the multitudes throughout His earthly ministry, as each narrative section of Matthew’s Gospel testifies. Jesus began His public by healing the sick in the first (Matthew 4:23) and second (Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38) narrative sections, and Matthew records similar accounts during His travels in the third (Matthew 12:15), fourth (Matthew 15:29-30), and fifth (Matthew 19:2) narrative sections.

Matthew 4:23, “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.”

Matthew 12:15, “But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;”

Matthew 15:29-30, “And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:”

Matthew 19:2, “And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.”

The ten miracles recorded in Matthew 8-9 demonstrated the manner in which Jesus healed as a way of training His disciples to go forth in the next chapter to do the same. Each miracle that Jesus performed followed the pattern of healing recorded in Matthew 8-9. In other words, these healing were not strickly a divine work without the involvedment of man’s will to receive. The healing of the multitudes that Jesus performed followed the same distinct principles of healing time and again that Jesus demonstrated to His disciples in Matthew 8-9. Matthew simply chose ten distinct miracles in order to prepare the New Testament church to follow in the same footsteps and training as the Twelve.

Matthew 4:23 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.

Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went about all Galilee” - Comments - Jesus traveled around very much during His earthly ministry.

Matthew 4:23 “and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” - Comments The Greek text reads, “every sickness and every disease among the people.” Jesus healed every kind of sickness and disease among the people. God’s will is to heal any kind of disease.

Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”

Matthew 4:23 Comments (The Office of the Teacher) Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35 are identical in content in that they describe Jesus Christ as He operated in the office and ministry of the Teacher. In fact, the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the office of a Teacher, while Mark reveals Jesus in the office of the Evangelist, Luke reveals Jesus in the office of the Prophet, and John reveals Jesus in the office of the Shepherd (Pastor). Thus, the opening words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel describe Jesus as a Teacher (Matthew 5:1), while Mark describes Him as an Evangelist (Mark 1:14-15), Luke describes Him as a Prophet (Luke 4:17-19), and John as a Pastor leading a flock (John 1:38-39).

Matthew 5:1, “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:”

Mark 1:14-15, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

Luke 4:17-19, “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

John 1:38-39, “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.”

Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35 are not only similar in content, but they also share the common element of being found in transitional passages in which the narrative material comes to a close and discourse immediately follows (Matthew 4:23-25, Matthew 9:35-38). Both of these passages of Scripture precede a lengthly discourse by describing the setting in which Jesus taught.

Matthew 9:35, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

Jesus used this pattern of teaching, preaching, and healing in Galilee because of the receptivity of the people. As He taught, faith rose in the hearts of the people to receive a miracle of healing and deliverance. In contrast, Jesus faced more objections and persecutions during His Judean ministry. As a result, He operated in the gifts of the Holy Spirit as a demonstration of His divinity because the multitudes were not as receptive.

Jesus went about doing three things, teaching and preaching and healing:

1. Teaching - This brings faith (Romans 10:17). We see an example of Jesus teaching in Luke 4:16-30.

2. Preaching - Explaining the Word of God. We see an example of Jesus preaching in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.

3. Healing Once Jesus taught the people and they received who He was, He was able to preach to them the Gospel. Then the people were able to respond in faith and receive their healing.

Teaching explains the meaning of the Scriptures to people, while preaching tells about the Kingdom of God coming to work in the lives of those who hear. This style of ministry produces faith in the heart of the hearers to receive healing from God. Healing refers to the healing of the entire man, in spirit, soul body, finances, relationships, and in whatever aspect of man’s life is out of harmony with God’s will. For this reason, healing followed preaching and teaching. It cannot be done out of order. Healing made a way for many to come and hear Jesus’ teachings.

Jesus followed this pattern of ministry throughout His Galilean ministry, other verses in the Gospels reveal (Matthew 9:35; Matthew 11:1, Mark 6:6).

Matthew 9:35, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

Matthew 11:1, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.”

Mark 6:6, “And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching .”

These three key words (teaching, preaching, and healing) reveal the method that Jesus used when He began to minister to people. He first taught the people God's word; He then proclaimed how God had sent Him to establish the Kingdom of God in their lives; and thirdly, He was able to heal those who received His words. The best example of this three-fold aspect of public ministry is seen in Luke 4:16-30 where Jesus stood up in the synagogue and read out of Isaiah 61:0, how the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him. This was teaching. He then began to proclaim the good news of how God had sent Him to fulfill this prophecy. We also see in the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus explained to the people the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. This was preaching. Unfortunately, because his hometown people rejected him, He was only able to heal a few sick people (Mark 6:5).

For the multitudes, Jesus often taught in parables because they did not have the heart to receive all of the message of the Kingdom of God. He would then take His disciples aside, those individuals who clung to His message, and teach them the meanings of the parables. We also find this description used in Acts 5:42 when the apostles ministered in Jerusalem.

Acts 5:42, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

Oral Roberts tells the story of how the Lord led him to read through the Gospels three times while on his knees. The greatest revelation that was shown to him during this time was the three-fold principle of how to effectively minister God's Word to people by teaching, preaching, and healing. This is because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. [355]

[355] Oral Roberts, The Ultimate Voice (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Pengold Garrett & Assoc., 2008), 88.

Kenneth Hagin tells the story of how a voice from heaven spoke to him the phrase “Hear and be healed” three times during a tent revival. Hagin uses Matthew 9:35 to explain these words that Jesus spoke to him, “You see, those who would not hear Me didn't receive healing. I did not heal the sick the way the average church person thinks I did. For if I did, I certainly failed at Nazareth, because I only managed to get a few people healed.” [356]

[356] Kenneth Hagin, Hear and Be Healed (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c1987, 1991), 1-4, 10.

Psalms 107:20, “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

Psalms 119:130, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Arthur Pink states that these miracles of healing were part of the Messianic credentials (Isaiah 35:4-6; Isaiah 61:1-3). [357]

[357] Arthur W. Pink, An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1982), comments on Matthew 4:23.

Isaiah 35:4-6, “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing : for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”

Isaiah 61:1-3, “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; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Comments (The Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ) - We find a number of verses in the Gospel of Matthew where all of the people were healed.

Matthew 4:23, “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.”

Matthew 8:16, “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick .”

Matthew 9:35, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people .”

Matthew 12:15, “But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all ;”

Matthew 14:14, “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick .”

Matthew 15:30, “And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them :”

Yet, there are many stories of when He only healed individuals as they reached out to Him in faith. This is because Jesus healed either by the individual’s faith or by a “healing anointing.” Note these words from the book Journey Into the Miraculous by Todd Bentley:

“While I was ministering in the Yukon, Canada I had a Holy Spirit visitation. ‘Do you want the healing anointing?’ God asked me. I had just finished doing a healing crusade. I said, ‘God, what do You mean, do I want the healing anointing?’ Then I remembered the story of Jack Coe, one of the most prominent healing ministers of the Voice of Healing revival. He once said to the Lord, ‘I’m not satisfied with the level of healing. How can I get more?’ God said, ‘You need a healing anointing.’ Jack asked, ‘What have I been doing all this time?’ God said that Jack had been healing by his faith and the faith of the people, which is good, but that He had an anointing for him so that it wouldn’t matter whether people believed, are saved or have faith. God told him that there can be such an atmosphere and manifestation of His presence that whoever comes into His glory gets healed. God was now asking me if I wanted that healing anointing so that it wouldn’t be so much about whether people believe the principles of healing (although that’s important). He was offering me an anointing that when I walked into a room people would be healed in an anointing that comes out of His presence and the grace of the Holy Spirit. I said, ‘Oh, gosh, let me think about it.’ NOT! I said, ‘Yes, God I want it now.’ God continued, ‘The anointing is because of My presence; where My presence is, people are healed.’ I said, ‘God, if I can get more of Your presence I know I can get more healings.’” [358]

[358] Todd Bentley, Journey Into the Miraculous (Victoria, BC, Canada: Hemlock Printers, Ltd., 2003), 151-2.

Thus, we understand that there were times that Jesus ministered under this “healing anointing” so that everyone present received healing. This means that when Jesus healed because of someone’s individual faith, then the “healing anointing” was not being manifested at that time.

Matthew 4:24 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.

Matthew 4:24 “And his fame went throughout all Syria” Comments - God’s blessings never have been limited to Israel alone throughout Bible history. His love has always been available to all who loved and served Him. Note Job, Ruth, Namaan, the widow of Zarapath, etc.

Matthew 4:25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.

Matthew 4:25 Comments - By this time in Jesus' ministry, multitudes are now following Jesus. Later, at his trial, in the courtyard where Jesus was spit upon, only John was left. His followers went from a multitude to one man.

Paul, the apostle, knew this experience also:

2 Timothy 1:15, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.”

2 Timothy 4:10-11, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”

After Jesus’ healing crusade, multitudes follow Him. A healing ministry will grow a large church today, also.

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 4". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/matthew-4.html. 2013.