Bible IndexContentsHome...Saved?..Pray...Free...Bible...Shop...Learn...Worship...U.S.B.S...Contact UsProverbs 29Proverbs 30Proverbs 31

Dave Burnette's Commentary

Matthew Chapter 4

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Matthew (Levi)
Date Penned: (60-65 AD)
Overview: Jesus Christ the King (c 1-28)
Theme: Message and Ministry of Jesus, The King (c 4-25)
Message: Satan Tempts Jesus in the Wilderness (v 1-11) Jesus Begins His Ministry (v 12-22) Jesus Preached Throughout Galilee (v 23-25)

Matthew 4 Commentary
(4:1) This temptation by Satan shows us that Jesus was human, and it gave Jesus the opportunity to reaffirm God's plan for his Ministry. It also gives us an example to follow when we are tempted. Jesus' temptation was an important demonstration of his sinlessness. He would face temptation and not five in. This time of testing showed that Jesus really was the Son of God, able to overcome Satan and his temptations. A person has not shown true obedience if he or she has never had an opportunity to disobey. We read in Deuteronomy 8 that God led Israel into the wilderness to humble and prove them. He wanted to find out whether or not they would really obey him. We, too, will be tested. Because we know that testing will come we should be alert and ready for it. Remember, your convictions are only strong if they hold up under pressure! Satan, the devil, tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, and here he tempts Jesus in the wilderness. Satan is a fallen angel, He is real, not symbolic and is constantly fighting against those who follow and obey God. Satan's temptations are real, and he is always trying to get us to live his way or our way rather than God's way. Jesus will one day reign over all creation, but Satan tried to force his hand and get him to declare his kingship prematurely. If Jesus had given in, his mission on earth - to die for our sins and give us the opportunity to have eternal life - would have been lost. When temptations seem especially strong, or when you think you can rationalize giving in, consider whether Satan may be trying to block God's purposes for your life or for someone else's life. Jesus was tempted by Satan, but he never sinned! Although we may feel dirty after being tempted, we should remember that temptation itself is not sin. We sin when we give in and disobey God. Remembering this will help us turn away from the temptation. Jesus wasn't tempted in the Temple orat his baptism but in the wilderness where he was tired, alone, and hungry, and thus most vulnerable. Satan often tempts us when we are vulnerable - when we are physically or emotionally stressed (for example, loney, tired, weighing big decisions, or faced with uncertainty) But Satan also likes to tempt us through our strengths, where we are most susceptible to pride. Luke 4) We must guard at all times against his attacks. 

(4-2) Satan's temptations focused on three crucial areas of needs/desires, possessions/power, and pride (1 John 2) But Jesus did not give in. Hebrews 4 says that Jesus ``was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin" He knows firsthand what we are experiencing, and he is willing and able to help us in our struggles. When you are tempted, turn to him for our strength.

(4:3) Jesus was hungry and weak after fasting for 40 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, because Jesus had given up the unlimited, independent use of His divine power in order to experience humanity fully. We may also be tempted to satisfy a perfectly normal desire in the wrong way or at the wrong time. If we indulge in premarital relations before marriage or if we steal food. We are trying to satisfy our God given desires apart from God's plan for our lives. God has a plan to meet every need that is in your life in His timing.

(4:4) Jesus was able to resist all of Satan's temptations because he not only know Scripture, but he also obeyed it. Ephesians 6 says that God's Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat. Knowing Bible Verses is an important step in helping us resist Satan's attacks, but we must also obey the Bible. Note that Satan had memorized Scripture, but he failed to obey it. Knowing the obeying the Bible helps us follow God's desires rather than Satan's

(4:5) The Temple was the religious center of the Jewish nation and the place where the people expected the Messiah to arrive (Malachi 3) Herod the Great had Renovated the Temple in hopes of gaining uth Jews confidence. The Temple was the tallest building in the area, and this pinnacle was probably the corner that jutted out of the hillside, overlooking the valley below. From this spot, Jesus could see all ofJerusalem behind him and the country for miles in front of him.

(4:6) God is not our magician in the sky, I response to Satan's temptations, Jusus said not to tempt God or put Him to a foolish test (Deuteronomy 6) You may want to ask God to do something to prove his existence or his love for you. Jesus  taught through a parable that people who don't believe through what is written in the Bible won't believe even if someone were to come back from the dead to warn them (Luke 16) God wants us to live by faith, not by magic. Don't try to manipulate God by asking for signs. Satan uses Scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin. Sometimes friends or associates will present attractive and convincing reasons why you should try something you know is wrong. They may even find Bible verses that seem to support their viewpoint. Study the Bible carefully, especially the broader context of specific verses, so that you understand God's principles for living and what he wants for your life. Only if you really understand what the whole Bible says, can you recognize errors of interpretation when people take verses out of context and twist them to say what they want them to say.

(4:7) Did Satan have the power to give Jesus the kingdoms of the world? Didn't God, the Creator of the world, have control over them? Satan may have been lying about his implied power, or he may have based his offer on his temporary control and free rein over the earth because of humanity's sinfulness. Jesus' temptation was to take the world as a political ruler right then, without carrying out his plan to save the world from sin. Satan was trying to distort Jesus' perspective by making him focus on worldly power and not on God's plans.

(4:8-10) Satan offered all the world to Jesus if he would only kneel and worship him. Today Satan offers us the world by trying to entice us with materialism and power. We can resist temptations the same way Jesus did. If you find yourself craving something that the worls offers, quote Jesus' words to Satan: "Thou shalt worship the Lord they God, and him only shall thou serve."

(4:11) Angels, like those who ministered to Jesus have a significant role as God's messengers. 

(4:12,13) Jesus moved from Nazareth, his hometown, to Capernaum, about 20 miles farther north. Capernaum became Juesus's home base during his ministry in Galilee. Jesus's move fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 9 which states that the Messiah will be a light to the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, the region of Galilee where Capernaum was located.

(4:14-16) By quoting from the book of Isaiah, Matthew continues to tie Jesus's ministry of the Old Testament. This was helpful for his Jewish listeners, who were familiar with these Scriptures, In addition, it shows the unity of God's purposes as he works with his people throughout all ages.

(4:17) The "kingdom of heaven" has the same meaning as the "kingdom of God" in Mark and Luke, Matthew uses this phrase because the Jews, out of their intense reverence respect, did not pronounce God's name. The kingdom of heaven is still near because it has arrived in our hearts. Jesus started his ministry with the very same word the people had heard John the Baptist say "Repent" The message is the same today as when Jesus and John gave it. Becoming a follower of Christ means turning away from our self-centeredness and "Self" control and turning our lives over to Christ's direction and control.

(4:18) The Sea of Galilee is really a large lake. About 30 fishing towns surrounded it during Jesus' day and Capernaum was the largest. Jesus told Peter and Andrew to leave their fishing business and become "fishers of men" to help others find God. Jesus was calling them away from their productive trade to be productive spiritually. We all need to fish for souls. If we practice Christ's teachings and share the Gospel with others, we will be able to draw those around us to Christ like a fisherman who pulls fish into his boat with nets.

(4:19,20) These men already knew Jesus. He had to talk to Peter and Andrew previously (John1) and had been preaching in the area. When Jesus called them they knew what kind of man he was and were willing to follow him. They were not in a hypnotic trance when they followed but instead were thoroughly convinced that following him would change their lives forever.

(4:21,22) James and his brother, John, along with Peter and Andrew, were the first disciples Jesus called to work with him, Jesus' call motivated them to get up and leave their jobs - immediately. They didn't make excuses about why it wasn't a good time. They left once and followed him. When Jesus asks us to serve him, we must be like the disciples and do it at once.

(4:23) Jesus was teaching, preaching, and healing. These were the three main aspects of his ministry. Teaching shows Jesus' concern for understanding. Preaching shows his concern for commitment and healing shows his concern for wholeness. His miracles of healing authenticated his teaching and preaching, showing that he truly was Diety. Jesus soon developed a powerful preaching ministry and often spoke in the synagogue. Most towns that had 10 or more Jewish families had a synagogue. The building served as a religious gathering place on the Sabbath and as a school during the week. The leader of the synagogue was not a preacher as much as an administrator. His job was to find and invite rabbis to teach and preach. It was customary to invite visiting rabbis like Jesus to speak

(4:24) Jesus preached the Gospel - the Good News - to everyone who wanted to hear it. The Gospel is that - the Kingdom of heaven has come, that God is with us, and that he cares for us, Christ can heal us, not just of physical sickness, but of spiritual sickness as well. There's no sin or problem too great or too small for him to handle. Jesus' words were good news because they offered freedom, hope, a peace of heart, and eternal life with God.

(4:25) Decapolis was a league of 10 Gentile towns east of the Sea of Galilee, joined together for better trade and mutual defense. The word about Jesus was out, and Jews and Gentiles were coming long distances to hear him.  

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Fishers of Men

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Matthew with Chapter 4. In our text today we see Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness before He begins His Ministry preaching repentance seeing sinners come to Salvation. What catches my eye is those who Christ called, turned to Jesus, and followed Him. In making application we see that Jesus is still calling sinners to repentance and those who respond to the call follow Him making them fishers of men. How about you? Have you responded to the call of the Lord being saved to follow Him? Let us learn from our text today and the Ministry of Jesus to see that those who respond to the Gospel of repentance, will turn from their sin and follow Him.


Matthew 4

Matthew 4

 1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

 4But 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.

 5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

 6And 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.

 7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

 8Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

 9And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

 10Then 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.

 11Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

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

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

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

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

 16The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

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

 18And 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.

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

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

 21And 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.

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

 23And 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.

 24And 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.

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