JESUS PREPARED FOR THE MINISTRY OF GOD’S LOVE WHICH IS
TEACHING, PREACHING, AND HEALING
(Mat 3:1,2) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye [Gk: to think differently] [i.e., to think like God thinks]: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
(Mat 4:1,2) Then [immediately after His baptism in the river Jordan] was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted [Gk: tested] of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights [a type of testing], he was afterward an hungered.
1. (1 Cor 10:13) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer [Gk: permit] you to be tempted above that ye are able [to bear]; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
2. (James 1:13) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
3. (1 John 2:16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
JESUS OVERCAME THE LUST OF THE FLESH
(Mat 4:3,4) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
1. Commentary: The Living Bible = Jesus was hungry and weak after fasting for forty days, but He chose not to use His divine power to satisfy His natural desire for food. Food, hunger, and eating are good but the timing was wrong. He had given up the unlimited, independent use of His divine power in order to fully experience humanity. We also may be tempted to satisfy a perfectly normal desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. If we indulge in sex before marriage or if we steal to get food, we are trying to satisfy God-given desires in ways God disapproves.
2. Commentary: God empowered Jesus Christ with the full powers of the Holy Spirit for the purpose that He could minister outwardly to meet the needs of fallen humanity, not inwardly, to selfishly meet His own needs. God’s love is sacrificial – for the benefit of others.
3. (Deu 8:1-3) All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove [Heb: test] thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
JESUS OVERCAME THE PRIDE OF LIFE
(Mat 4:5-7) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city [in His mind’s eye], and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
1. Commentary: Satan tempted Jesus to gain public attention through spectacle rather than through His righteous life and righteous message. The Temple was the religious center of the entire nation and the place where the Jews expected the Messiah to arrive. By this completed action, Jesus could have immediately and easily entered into the Messiahship, i.e., from the top rather than from the bottom.
2. (Psa 91:11,12) For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways [the ways of Jesus are the ways of God]. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
3. (Deu 6:16) Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
JESUS OVERCAME THE LUST OF THE EYES
(Mat 4:8-10) Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain [in His mind’s eye], and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them [the world’s glory is pride]; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
1. Commentary: The Pulpit Commentary = Pride in the command and use of worldly forces, state, class-privilege, equipage, soldiers, etc. To Christ the temptation came in this form: “You are superior; you know you are superior; assert your superiority, and men will bow down to you.”
2. Commentary: The Nelson Study Bible = Christ rebuked the devil for asking for worship, a temptation to do exactly the opposite of what every Israelite was called upon to do. Specifically in reference to Jesus, Satan was offering a crown without the Cross.
3. (Deu 6:13) Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
(Mat 4:11) Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
1. (Luke 4:13) And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
a. (Eph 4:27) Neither give place to the devil.
2. (John 14:30) Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me [i.e., no thing in me, no place for residence in me].
THEN JESUS BEGAN TO PREACH…
(Mat 4:12-15) Now when Jesus had heard that John [the Baptist] was cast into prison [i.e., had effectively concluded his ministry], he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea [the path of the main trade route between Egypt and Syria], beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
(Mat 4:16,17) 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. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [John the Baptist’s words and ministry (Mat 3:1,2)].
1. (John 8:12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
2. (John 9:5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
3. (Mat 5:14-16) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
CALLING FISHERS OF MEN: CASTING AND MENDING THEIR NETS (their doctrines: Isa 28:9-13)
(Mat 4:18-22) And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 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. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
THE WORKS OF GOD’S LOVE IS TEACHING, PREACHING, AND HEALING GOD’S PEOPLE
(Mat 4:23-25) And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 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 lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.