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The Gospel of Matthew: Chapter Four

A verse-by-verse commentary by Max Klein

Matthew 4:1-11:


Before Jesus Christ could begin his public ministry, he had to formally (ritually) declare his dedication to the Father’s plan via water-baptism which we saw in chapter 3, and he had to be tested (cross examined) by Satan, the defense attorney for the fallen angels. Since the humanity of Christ had now reached spiritual maturity, the Father would use him as a witness in the appeal trial granted to Satan in prehistoric times, and the testimony of Jesus would be used  as evidence against Satan and the fallen angels (Matthew 4:1-10). The tests (cross examinations) in the form of temptations were designed to attack his relationships. The humanity of Christ through doctrine in his soul would need to defeat these temptations.  In the temptations, Satan attacked Christ’s relationship with the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the Plan of God.


a. Relationship with the Holy Spirit, Mt 4:1-4.

b. Relationship with the Word of God, Mt 4:5-7.

c. Relationship with the plan of God, Mt 4:8-10.


Perhaps the most surprising thing about our Lord's testing (See the doctrine of Evidence Testing by R. B. Thieme Jr.) was that instead of performing miracles (turning stones into bread etc.) by means of His own divine power, Jesus Christ used the greatest power ever known in the history of the human race. He used Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness of His humanity to defeat the temptations of Satan. (You might want to contrast this with the majority of Christians today who are constantly trying to solve their problems through praying for miracles.)


4:1. Then [after his baptism] Jesus [humanity] was led into the desert [of Judea] by the Spirit [under the authority of the Filling of the Spirit] to be tested by the devil.  


Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνήχθη εἰς τὴν ἔρηµον ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύµατος, πειρασθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου.


The word ‘Jesus’ comes from the Greek which in turn comes from the Hebrew.  Both the Greek and the Hebrew word for Jesus mean savior (the one having provided salvation).  Since the work of salvation took place in one location on the cross, the name Jesus emphasizes his humanity, “and he himself bore our sins on his body on the cross,” (1 Peter 2:24a).  


Jesus must be tested alone. The desert can be a very beautiful and wonderful place and at the same time a very hostile one.  If isolated from friends, it can be a place of great loneliness. In all of these temptations, Jesus Christ was isolated from any human encouragement. Doctrine in his soul was his only encouragement.  (Encouragement from friends once in a while is a wonderful thing, but if you depend upon that, you will not advance in the spiritual life.)  To avoid any compromise, he must be alone. He must handle these temptations from his own thoughts, motivations and decisions, not from someone else’s.  


There will be three temptations each in a different location. The first will be related to his relationship to the Holy Spirit: Will he continue to apply doctrine under the authority of the Holy Spirit or will he solve the problem of hunger by producing a miracle by the use of his deity?  Using his divine power would have been a violation of Kenosis (He was not to use his divine power to solve his personal problems (Philippians 2:7)!  The second is his relationship to the Word: Will he understand and reject Satan’s distortion of Scripture?  The last temptation is related to the plan of God the Father: Will he wait for the Father to bless him with the rulership of the world at the 2nd Advent or will he accept Satan’s offer to rule the world (a bona fide offer since Satan is the ruler of the world)?  The temptations will take place in three different locations: The first in the desert, the second on the highest point of Herod’s temple, and the third on a high vantage point in space.


Satan understood well the Hypostatic Union and the doctrine of Kenosis. The definition of the Hypostatic Union is as follows: In the person of the incarnate Christ there are two natures, divine and human, inseparably united without mixture or loss of separate identity, without loss or transfer of properties or attributes, the union being personal (two natures united forming one person) and eternal. The definition of Kenosis is as follows: During the dispensation of the hypostatic union, our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily restricted the use of His divine attributes in compliance with the Father's plan for the Incarnate Christ during the First Advent. This means that Jesus Christ did not use the attributes of His divine nature to benefit Himself, to provide for Himself, or to glorify His human nature; rather he relied on the Problem Solving Devices to solve his personal problems.  


Philippians 2:5-6, “Keep on thinking this [correct thinking and correct values] within you which also was in Christ Jesus. Who, though He existed in the essence of God, did not think equality with God a gain to be seized and held [to remain as God only], but deprived himself [The Greek verb “kenoo.” He laid aside his privileges: He did not use his deity in violation of the Father’s plan: He did not use miracles to solve his personal problems] taking on the form of a servant, having come to be in the likeness of men [but without a sin nature and without Adam’s Original Sin], and being found in outward appearance as a man [inwardly he was different]. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of [substitutionary spiritual] death [He was punished for the consequences of our spiritual death] that is the death of the cross.”


4:2. And having fasted forty days and nights afterwards he was very hungry [suffered hunger].


καὶ νηστεύσας ἡµέρας τεσσαράκοντα καὶ νύκτας τεσσαράκοντα ὕστερον ἐπείνασεν.  


The purpose of fasting is to give a person more time for prayer and for learning God’s word.  Each one of us spends a certain number of hours eating. If this time were not spent on eating, it could be used for these other purposes. Also, fasting enhances ones concentration level. So, Jesus Christ after 40 days and nights of fasting for the purposes stated above was prepared to meet Satan.


When a person stops eating food, he will have great hunger for two or three days until his stomach shrinks. Then, he will not usually experience hunger again until 30 days has elapsed.  Somewhere between day 30 and 40, the body will provide warning signals that the body is facing a critical situation. At that point the person will become extremely hungry.  


When a typical person is under extreme hunger, he thinks only about food, not about the opposite sex or anything else. Even his conversation will be about food. Christ was not typical and so, even though His body was beginning to suffer starvation, he concentrated on making correct application of God’s word. While applying the Word, His temptation to use his deity to solve his extreme hunger must have been phenomenal; a temptation he resisted. The average person would have been concentrating on himself and on food, and many would have been praying for a miracle.  


All the attacks were against his human nature.  In the first temptation, Satan tried to put so much pressure on his human nature that he would use his divine nature to solve the problem of hunger. In Eternity past, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit agreed to provide sufficient assets for the humanity of Christ so that he would not have to rely on his divine nature to solve His problems and pressures.  


4:3. And after the Tempter [Satan] had come, he said to Him, ‘If you are the Son of God and you are [1st class Greek conditional clause], speak [imperative of entreaty] so that these stones might become bread.


Καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ πειράζων εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰπὲ ἵνα οἱ λίθοι οὗτοι ἄρτοι γένωνται.


Just as Jesus Christ was to use the eight problem solving devices (He didn’t need Recovery Procedure nor did he use Occupation with Christ since he was Christ.) to solve his person problems. So, we are to use the ten problem solving devices to solve our problems, pressures and adversities. If Jesus had manufactured a miracle to solve this problem of hunger, he would have been disqualified from going to the cross. Yet many Christian prays to God that He might solve their problems with a miracle.


The Ten Problem Solving Devices explained briefly.


  1. The Recovery Procedure (Rebound) solves the problem of recovery;


  1. The Filling of the Spirit solves the problem of power;


  1. Faith-rest drill is applied to some promise, principle or doctrine by faith to solve an array of problems.


  1. Grace Orientation brings about humility, an appreciation in the soul, and prevents arrogance; should be applied to everything i.e. salvation, the recovery procedure, and the spiritual life.


  1. Regarding Doctrinal Orientation, the believer can always apply some doctrine to a problem which needs to be addressed.


  1. Spiritual Self-esteem / a personal sense of destiny prevents the arrogance related to human self-esteem or the lack of it; gives the believer direction etc.


  1. Personal love for the Father provides the motivation for obeying Him and for  applying unconditional love toward people;


  1. Impersonal love solves numerous problem with people;


  1. Sharing the Happiness of God provides the believer the greatest happiness that life offers; it is the basis for spiritual autonomy and breaks the power of the sin nature;


  1.   Occupation with Christ is the highest possible motivation and capacity for life;


When the Tempter came, he came with great confidence since he knew that Jesus was made lower than the angels in body and mentality. “You [God the Father] have made Him for a little while (1st Advent) lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:7).  However, Satan underestimated the power of Bible doctrine in His soul. Jesus with God’s thinking circulating in his soul had great wisdom, humility and integrity whereas Satan lacked all three of these virtues. This gave Jesus the edge to defeat Satan in these tests.


Satan tempted the human nature of Christ: The temptation to use his divine nature to solve the problem of his hunger instead on relying on the authority of the Holy Spirit [apply Deuteronomy 8:3] and the provision provided in the Father’s plan [angels will bring food after the test]. Satan knew that it was not possible to tempt the deity of Christ directly. So, he tempted the humanity of Christ, the weakest link of the Hypostatic Union.  


Satan approaches Christ with pseudo humility. In his pseudo concern, he entreats (the imperative of entreaty) Jesus to turn the stones into bread. “If you are the Son of God and you are.”  Satan understands very well the doctrine of the hypostatic union and the Doctrine of Kenosis.  Based on his knowledge of the hypostatic union, Satan knows that Jesus could use his deity to solve this problem of hunger. Based on Satan’s knowledge of Kenosis, he knows that if Jesus does use his deity to solve the problem of hunger, Jesus would have violated the Father’s plan and thus be disqualified to go to the cross.  (Philippians 2:5-8)


4:4. But He answered and said, it has been written, “This Man shall not live by means of bread alone, but on the basis of every word which proceeds through the mouth of God [the Father].” [Jesus applies Deuteronomy 8:3]


ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν, Γέγραπται, Οὐκ ἐπ’ ἄρτῳ µόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήµατι ἐκπορευοµένῳ διὰ στόµατος θεοῦ.


Remember that in this test, He is being tested in his relationship with the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit does not want Him to solve a personal problem via a miracle which would be a violation of the doctrine of Kenosis, but wants Him to apply Deuteronomy 8:3.


Jesus makes clear his values: The soul is more important than the body; the Word of God is more important than anything related to this life. Applying the Word of God is far more important than solving a hunger problem.


Jesus always magnified God the Father’s word and plan above his own human desires as in this verse. Hebrews 10:5, “Therefore, when he comes into the world [his birth], he says, ‘Sacrifice and offerings you [God the Father] have not desired, but a body you have prepared for Me.’” (Jesus understood that animal sacrifices and food offering were teaching aids only to foreshadow the cross. Jesus was to sacrifice himself on the cross. That was to be the reality. He was saying in effect that he understood his destiny and was willing to execute it by bearing the sins of the world on his body. Then as he faced the cross, He said in Matthew 26:39b, “and fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible and it is [Jesus had to agree to bare the sins of the world: 1st Class conditional clause], let this cup [holding the sins of the world] pass from Me, yet not as I will, but as You will.’” All of these verses illustrate the opening line.


4:5. Then, the devil took [historical present] him into the holy city [Jerusalem (Nehemiah 11:1)] and caused him to stand [Satan selected the location] on the highest point of the temple.


Τότε παραλαµβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν, καὶ ἵστησιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ,


Satan took Jesus to the highest point of Herod’s temple [a wing of the temple: Herod’s porch] overlooking the Valley of Kedron. From that point it is a 450 foot drop to the rocky floor of the valley.


4:6. And Satan said, “Since [if . . . and you are] you are the son of God, throw yourself down [The Greek idiom means to jump] for it has been written, ‘He will give command to his angels concerning you [omitted: to guard you in all your ways] and they [guardian angels] will lift you up on their hands [angels have hands] so that you should not strike your foot against a rock.’”


καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν κάτω· γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε, µήποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου.


Jesus had just said that he would live by the word of God.  Then, Satan having replied in effect, if you desire to live by the Word, then apply Psalm 91:11, 12 by jumping into the Kedron Valley. Satan is an expert in distorting Scripture, and leaping into the Kedron Valley would have been a distortion of a promise made to the Jews in their desert wanderings. In that passage, likely written by Moses, God promises protection for the Jews as they moved through the Sinai Peninsula. In order to provide protection, God assigned guardian angels to these Jews to safeguard them from the wild animals of the area and from falling to their death accidently as they passed over some high, rocky and treacherous terrain. Regarding the application of Scripture, God does not condone senseless or unreasonable action which can come from distorting Scripture. Satan was actually quoting Scripture which did not apply to Jesus and giving it a false application in order to get Christ to act in violation of Scripture by what would be tantamount to suicide. God created the laws of gravity.  Having created these laws, he will not violate them.  If some Christian moron were to pray, “Father, I am about to jump off the Empire State Building.  So, please send one of your angels to gather me into their arms.” He then jumps to his death!  


In his distortion of Scripture, Satan deliberately skipped the line, “to guard you on all your journeys [the second line of verse 11].” This line is the basis for the correct interpretation.  Since Jesus is not journeying across treacherous terrain, it would have no application to him.  Furthermore, by interpretation it was a promise given to the Jews in their desert wanderings; it was not given to the humanity of Christ. Even if one of those Jews on their wondering through the desert had deliberately jumped off a cliff, his guarding angel would probably say, “I’ll see you in heaven, moron.”   


In his reply, Jesus didn’t deal with Satan’s omission and his suggestion of nonsensical action (to leap from a high structure), but Jesus did make an issue out of Satan’s distortion of Scripture.  Distortion of Scripture is tantamount to blaspheming God. Thus, any creature who distorts Scripture is testing as it were the patience of God. In effect Satan made a mistake when he admitted that Jesus was deity.  


4:7: Jesus replied to him once more [the situation demands the right application], “It has been written. You shall not put to the test the Lord your God [the one who created Satan].”


ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Πάλιν γέγραπται, Οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου.


Satan has a right to test the humanity of Christ, but not his deity.  The mishandling and distortion of Scripture is an attack on the deity of Christ.  So, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16 in his command to Satan.  In this way, the Lord turned the first conditional sentences of verses 3 and 6 against Satan. (In those two verses Satan admitted that Jesus was God).  


“For the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the Lord your will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth. You shall not put the Lord your God to the test as you tested Him at Massah [to test, to prove as in Exodus 17:1-7: complaining about no water].” (Deuteronomy 6:15, 16)  


4:8, 9: Again, the devil took him to a very high vantage point [possibly a high point in space] and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glamour; and he said to him, “All these [reference to the kingdoms of the world] I will give to you if you will fall down and worship me [3rd class conditional sentence: maybe you will or maybe you won’t; the aorist tense: just once will be enough].”  


Πάλιν παραλαµβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν λίαν, καὶ δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τοῦ κόσµου καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν,  καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Ταῦτά σοι πάντα δώσω ἐὰν πεσὼν προσκυνήσῃς µοι.


Since the devil is the ruler of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11), it was a genuine offer.  The Greek word ‘horos’ means mountain or high vantage point.  Obviously, it can’t mean mountain in this passage since the kingdoms of the world cannot be seen from the top of any mountain in Palestine nor any other mountain including K2 or Mount Everest.  On the best day from Mount Everest, the most one can see is more mountains in China, Tibet or India, beautiful, but not the glamour of the world.   


Satan goes to a 3rd class conditional sentence, the only option left to him.  He has already been defeated in his use of the 1st class conditional sentences and the 2nd and 4th would be admitting defeat.  In his desperation, he reverses the order of the conditional sentence – putting the conclusion first.  Before he requested that the Jesus jump 450 feet into the Kedron Valley; now just drop to the ground and worship me for a second or two; it is easy and not dangerous.  


Satan is telling Christ to put on the crown and to take his Kingdom now.  Do not follow the Father’s plan and go to the cross.  This is rather appealing for the Lord can have the crown without the suffering of the cross and he doesn’t have to wait for it.  


Satan is always trying to bring about improved environment without truth and without the cross.  This is impossible for only when a people in a nation accept truth can great environment come about.  Thus, the United States’ little experiment in nation-building in the Middle East was doomed before it even started.  The Muslim religion not only rejects the cross and other forms of truth, but is also anti-Semitic.  These rejections of divine truth can only be punished by the justice of our Lord.  If a nation desires to help the Arabs in the Middle East, it needs to send qualified missionaries.  


4:10: Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan for it stands written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:13)


τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ὕπαγε, Σατανᾶ· γέγραπται γάρ, Κύριον τὸν θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις καὶ αὐτῷ µόνῳ λατρεύσεις.


Jesus is pointing out that all creature loyalty is to God.  No creature is to worship another creature rather all creatures are to worship God.  


4:11: Then the devil left him [obeyed the command] and behold angels came and began to minister to him.


Τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελοι προσῆλθον καὶ διηκόνουν αὐτῷ.


As soon as the test was complete, God the Father sent angels to attend to the needs of the humanity of Christ.  These needs would include food and possibly some medical attention.


Matthew 4:12-25:


  1. Jesus establishes his headquarters in Capernaum and introduces himself. (Matthew 4:12-17)

  2. Jesus assembles a staff. (Matthew 4:18-22)

  3. Jesus begins his ministry. (Matthew 4:23-25)


4:12: When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison [apparently while he was still in the desert], he returned to Galilee [many areas including Nazareth].


Ἀκούσας δὲ ὅτι Ἰωάννης παρεδόθη ἀνεχώρησεν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν.


John went into prison, and he never came out.  Since John’s ministry was over, the Lord permitted Herod Antipas to remove him.  Principle: When one ministry finishes, another replaces it.  No man is indispensable! In this case, the perfect man, Jesus replaced the ministry of John, the Baptizer. Many messengers, but one message.


4:13: Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum which was by the sea in the area of Zebulum and Naphtali.


καὶ καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρὰ ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺµ τὴν παραθαλασσίαν ἐν ὁρίοις Ζαβουλὼν καὶ Νεφθαλίµ·


“Capernaum was the residence of Jesus and His apostles, and the scene of many
miracles and discourses. At Nazareth He was “brought up,” but Capernaum was
emphatically His “own city”; it was when He returned to it that He is said to have
been “at home” (Mark 2:1). Here He chose the evangelist Matthew, or Levi (Matt.
9:9). The brothers Simon Peter and Andrew belonged to Capernaum (Mark 1:29), and it is perhaps allowable to imagine that it was on the sea beach that they had the quiet call that was to make them forsake all and follow Him (Mark 1:16–17; cf. v. 28). Here Christ worked the miracle on the centurion’s servant (Matt. 8:5; Luke 7:1–2), on Simon’s wife’s mother (Matt. 8:14; Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38), the paralytic (Matt. 9:1–2; Mark 2:1–3; Luke 5:18), and the man afflicted with an unclean demon (Mark 1:32; Luke 4:33). At Capernaum the incident of the child occurred (Mark 9:36–37; Matt. 18:1–6); and in the synagogue there was spoken the wonderful discourse of John 6 (see v. 59).” (Taken from The New Unger Bible Dictionary page 299)


4:14: To fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: (Isaiah 9:1, 2)


ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος,


4:15: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, by way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles –


Γῆ Ζαβουλὼν καὶ γῆ Νεφθαλίµ, ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, Γαλιλαία τῶν ἐθνῶν,


This is a description of Northern Galilee at that time, and a way of locating from where Jesus would operate.


4:16: The people [specifically the northern Israel] living in darkness [living without truth under the 4 cycle of discipline] have seen a great light [Jesus] to them who sat in the land of the shadow of death [approaching the 5th cycle of discipline], a light has dawned [sprung up: the public ministry of Jesus culminating in his going to the cross and providing the so great salvation].”


ὁ λαὸς ὁ καθήµενος ἐν σκότει φῶς εἶδεν µέγα, καὶ τοῖς καθηµένοις ἐν χώρᾳ καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου φῶς ἀνέτειλεν αὐτοῖς.


John 8:12, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me [believe and learn the spiritual life] will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’”


The 4th cycle began in 63 BC when Pompey the Great conquered this area. Under the 4th cycle of discipline the Jews were controlled by a foreign power.  Israel will go under the 5th cycle of discipline in August of 70 AD. These cycles are explained in Leviticus 26:14-33 (1st cycle: verses 14-17, 2nd cycle verses 18-20, 3rd cycle verses 21-22, 4th cycle verses 23-26, and the 5th cycle verses 27-33).


4:17: From that time on [from the imprisonment of John] Jesus began to preach, “Change your thinking [about Christ] for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [near since Christ was on the earth].”


Ἀπὸ τότε ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς κηρύσσειν καὶ λέγειν, Μετανοεῖτε, ἤγγικεν γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.


This was His salvation message to the Jews.  Changing one’s mind is one side of the coin of salvation, the other side is to believe in Christ.


4:18: As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the sea for they were [professional] fishermen.


Περιπατῶν δὲ παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας εἶδεν δύο ἀδελφούς, Σίµωνα τὸν λεγόµενον Πέτρον καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, βάλλοντας ἀµφίβληστρον εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν· ἦσαν γὰρ ἁλιεῖς.


If Jesus is going to accomplish his objective of reaching the lost sheep of Israel, and to prepare apostles for the Church age, he will need a staff.


4:19: And He said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”


καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, ∆εῦτε ὀπίσω µου, καὶ ποιήσω ὑµᾶς ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων.


Fishing for men is more important than fishing for fish.  At the same time, Jesus is establishing an analogy for witnessing.


  1. A fisherman must have a desire to fish and be enthusiastic. How about a story! There was a man from Idaho who was very enthusiastic about fishing. He finally caught the best fish he ever had.  So, he wired his wife, “I got one; it weighs 7 pounds; it is a real beauty.”  His wife replied, “So have I; not a beauty; looks like you; Come home.” The believer motivated by his sense of responsibility and his compassion for the unbeliever must be enthusiastic about fishing for men.

  2. He must be equipped to fish. By analogy, the believer must know the gospel well.

  3. A fisherman has to go where the fish are located. There are areas of the world where the people are completely negative toward the gospel and other forms of truth. In such areas, evangelism and the teaching of God’s word will not be successful.

  4. He must know how to bait a hook analogous to the principles of personal evangelism: there are many ways to approach people with the gospel.  

  5. A fisherman has to keep out of site.  The issue must be the gospel, not our personality.

  6. A good fisherman is rewarded.  In the eternal state, the believer will be rewarded for any ministry accomplished through the two power options namely the power of the Filling of the Holy Spirit and the power of metabolized doctrine circulating in the soul.


4:20: At once they left their nets and followed him.


οἱ δὲ εὐθέως ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.


They were authority oriented and possessed the correct values.  


4:21: Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee [thunder: apparently a dynamic personality] and his brother John.  They were in a ship with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.  Jesus called to them,


Καὶ προβὰς ἐκεῖθεν εἶδεν ἄλλους δύο ἀδελφούς, Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ
Ζεβεδαίου καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ µετὰ Ζεβεδαίου τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶν καταρτίζοντας τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν αὐτούς.


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


οἱ δὲ εὐθέως ἀφέντες τὸ πλοῖον καὶ τὸν πατέρα αὐτῶν ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.

Jesus is establishing a staff for no one can go it alone.  He will gather 12 disciples though we don’t have the story of the calling of all them just the four mentioned.  Their briefing will begin in the next chapter (The Sermon on the Mount).


4:23: Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the [eternal] kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people.


Καὶ περιῆγεν ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ, διδάσκων ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας καὶ θεραπεύων πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν µαλακίαν ἐν τῷ λαῷ.


Though Jesus had compassion on their physical infirmities, the two main reasons for healing were first to present his credentials as Messiah and secondly to draw a crowd that he might be able to present the gospel to them (the soul is infinitely more important than the body). If healing the physical infirmities of the people were his objective, then he would have been remiss in this responsibility since he did not heal all in Israel though he could have.


4:24: News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.


καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἡ ἀκοὴ αὐτοῦ εἰς ὅλην τὴν Συρίαν· καὶ προσήνεγκαν
αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις καὶ βασάνοις συνεχοµένους καὶ δαιµονιζοµένους καὶ σεληνιαζοµένους καὶ παραλυτικούς, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς.


4:25: And a great multitude of people followed him from Galilee [primarily gentiles: non educated, but successful in making money], Decopolis [the center for Greek culture and Helenism], Jerusalem, Judea [Jerusalem and Judea, the theological center and the center of legalism] and from beyond the Jordan [Arabic group].


καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ∆εκαπόλεως καὶ Ἱεροσολύµων καὶ Ἰουδαίας καὶ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου.


Some Christians think that only certain types of people will respond to the gospel. This is just not true.  People from every culture, race, social and economic status will respond to the gospel if they are seeking the truth.


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