Matthew cHAPTER 04
Memory verses for
this week: Prov 17:24 Wisdom is before
him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of
last week’s lesson, we saw John the Baptist come upon the scene and
begin preparing a people for Christ. We saw that he came not to the
large cities or the synagogues, but came preaching in the wilderness
of Judea. At the end of the chapter, we saw Christ being baptized by
John in the Jordan River to set an example for us to follow, and to
fulfill all righteousness.
I. The Temptation of
Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to
be tempted of the devil.
Much is recorded in the Word of God about the wilderness. We
studied last week about John the Baptist coming and preaching in the
wilderness of Judea. The nation of Israel wandered in the wilderness
for 40 years because of their unbelief. And we see Christ being led
by the Spirit to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Temptation is
something Satan uses on everyone. It was temptation in the garden of
Eden that led Eve to sin. The three things that cause us to sin are
the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
Satan used all three on Eve there when he tempted her.
Gen 3:1 Now the
serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God
had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not
eat of every tree of the garden?
Gen 3:2 And the
woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of
Gen 3:3 But of the
fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said,
Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Gen 3:4 And the
serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth
know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened,
and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen 3:6 And when the
woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to
the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the
fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her;
and he did eat.
Gen 3:7 And the eyes
of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they
sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Verse 6 of Gen. 3 say that the fruit was good for food. (Lust
of the flesh). It was pleasant to the eye which was the lust of the
eye. And it was a fruit to make one wise, being the sin of the pride
of life. All of these things are of the world, and God is not of this
1 John 2:15 Love not
the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love
the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
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.
1 John 2:17 And the
world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will
of God abideth for ever.
Christ was tempted just like us… the difference is he never
Heb 4:15 For we have
not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without
Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was
afterward an hungered.
Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the
Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Christ was tempted by Satan himself. Years ago when I was a
child, there used to be a TV show on called the Flip Wilson Show. He
used to have a routine where he would say “The Devil made me do it.”
It got a lot of laughs, and was cute in the show, but the reality is
that Satan can’t MAKE US sin, but he can sure give us many temptations
to lead us astray. Christ didn’t face one of Satan’s workers, but
Satan himself. The Devil is real, and not just some imaginary
influence in life. He was created an angel, the most beautiful of
all angels. But he sinned and decided to exalt his throne above God
and was cast down and became the Devil. Always remember that Satan is
your enemy, even after you are saved and have accepted Christ as
Isa 14:12 How art
thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou
cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Isa 14:13 For thou
hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my
throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the
congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will
ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Isa 14:15 Yet thou
shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
The first temptation was when Satan used Christ’s hunger to
work against him. Christ was a human man with normal flesh, and
after 40 days, the hunger must have been devastating. He starts out
questioning God as he did in the garden of Eden as he says “IF thou be
the Son of God.” He uses this and says if he is, then make these
stones be bread. Could Christ have done this? In a second he could
have. He created the whole earth and all the stones in the earth, so
making the stones into bread would have been easy.
Matthew Henry points out that when we are alone, Satan really
works on us.
Note, Though solitude is a friend to a good heart, yet Satan knows how
to improve it against us. Woe to him that is alone. Those who, under
pretence of sanctity and devotion, retire into dens and deserts, find
that they are not out of reach of their spiritual enemies, and that
there they want the benefit of the communion with saints. Christ
retired, (1.) To make his victory the more illustrious, he gave the
enemy sun and wind on his side, and yet baffled him. He might give the
Devil advantage, for the prince of this world had nothing in him; but
he has in us, and therefore we must pray not to be led into
temptation, and must keep out of harm’s way. (2.) That he might have
an opportunity to do his best himself, that he might be exalted in his
own strength; for so it was written, I have trod the wine-press alone,
and of the people there was none with me .[i]
Mat 4:4 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.
Christ knows how to respond to Satan. He responds back with
the Word of God. Jesus tells Satan that man is not live by bread
alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. God’s
Word is spiritual food to the soul of the child of God. We are
commanded in I Peter to desire the sincere milk of the Word that we
may grow thereby.
1 Pet 2:1 Wherefore
laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies,
and all evil speakings,
1 Pet 2:2 As newborn
babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and
setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 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.
The second temptation was to put God to the test. Note that
Satan starts quoting scripture now. We need to realize that not
everyone who uses the Word of God is a true man of the Lord.
2 Cor 11:14 And no
marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2 Cor 11:15
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as
the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not
tempt the Lord thy God.
Note that Jesus knows more about the Word than Satan. He
responds back with the exact and pure Word of God. He doesn’t take
verses out of context, but uses all of the Word as God intended.
Mat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high
mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if
thou wilt fall down and worship me.
The third temptation Satan uses on Christ is to take him to a
high mountain and offer Christ all the kingdoms of the world. If
Christ received the kingdoms, the one thing he desired the most, would
come to pass. He wanted the Jews to follow Him, and if he had the
kingdoms they would. The Jews were looking for a man to come and
overthrow the Roman government and to take the Throne of David. All
Christ had to do to receive these kingdoms was to fall down and
worship Satan. I’m afraid many a man has fallen for power like this
and lost their souls to Satan. But not Christ… see what he says in
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it
is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt
Jesus says “Thou shalt worship the Lord they God, and him
only shalt thou serve.” Only God deserves our worship.
Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and
ministered unto him.
Finally Satan leaves Christ alone and the angels come and
ministered unto Christ. If we will turn from Satan, he will flee
from us. Be sure he will be back, but when we turn him away he
doesn’t keep sitting right on our door step.
James 4:7 Submit
yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from
II. Jesus Begins His
Mat 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison,
he departed into Galilee;
Mat 4:13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum,
which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
John the Baptist was cast into prison because he preached
against Herod marrying his brother’s wife. (Phillip was the
brother’s name.) When we speak out against those in power, sometimes
there is a price to be paid. Jesus departed into Galilee and it says
he dwelt in Capernaum. Jesus began his public ministry in Zabulon
and Nephthalim. By beginning His ministry here, once again prophecy
Isa 9:1 Nevertheless
the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the
first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of
Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of
the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
Isa 9:2 The people
that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in
the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Isa 9:3 Thou hast
multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee
according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide
Isa 9:4 For thou
hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the
rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
Isa 9:5 For every
battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in
blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
Isa 9:6 For unto us
a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be
upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Mat 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the
Mat 4:15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the
way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
Mat 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.
Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent:
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
We see that the people who sat in darkness saw great light.
The greatest need of man today is to find that true spiritual light
that only Christ can provide. Those that sat in darkness saw the
light and were made alive. Jesus is the true light that lighteth
every man. Jesus’ message was the same as John the Baptist’s message…
repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
John 1:6 There was a
man sent from God, whose name was John.
John 1:7 The same
came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through
him might believe.
John 1:8 He was not
that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
John 1:9 That was
the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
John 1:10 He was in
the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
III. The Call of
Peter and Andrew to Follow Christ
Mat 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.
Mat 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you
fishers of men.
Mat 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Jesus looks and sees two brothers there by the sea of Galilee
who were fishermen casting their net into the sea. They were
experienced fishermen by trade, and Jesus tells them to follow him and
he would make them fishers of men. All mankind has this call going
out that we need to turn to Christ for salvation. It says that
straightway they left their nets and followed him. We will never go
wrong following Jesus.
J. Vernon McGee made this comment about the call of Simon and
the Gospels the Lord makes at least three calls to these men, or
perhaps it would be more accurate to say that three meetings took
place between Christ and these men. The first meeting took place in
Jerusalem, as recorded in John 1:35–42. Their second meeting took
place by the Sea of Galilee, and apparently this is the record of it.
They had seen Him before this, but at that time He had not called them
to be with Him. Now here at the Sea of Galilee when He meets them
again, He calls them to follow Him. And then we will find that they
went back to fishing—Mark and Luke give us that detail. And finally He
called them again, and that was to apostleship.
The wonder of it all is that Jesus called men like this. I
have always felt that since He called imperfect men like the disciples
were, He may be able to use me, and He may be able to use you. It is
encouraging to know that we don’t have to be super-duper saints to be
used by Him. He may not make you a fisher of men, if you are not in
the fishing business. But whatever business you are engaged in, He can
use you. Whatever your talent may be, if you will turn it over to Him,
He can use it. Years ago a lady in my church was absolutely
tongue-tied when it came to witnessing for Christ, but she could bake
the most marvelous cakes! She used to deplore the fact of her
inability to witness, and I said to her one day, “Did it ever occur to
you that the Lord may want you in the church family to bake cakes?”
That may seem ridiculous, but it is not. The important thing for us is
to give ourselves to Him. Under His direction He won’t have us all
doing the same thing because He gives us separate gifts. The body of
Christ has many members in it, and they all have different functions
I was uncertain about whether Christ had ever met Simon and
Peter before this time. However, it is clear that J. Vernon McGee’s
teaching is accurate when you read the account in John.
John 1:35 Again the
next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
John 1:36 And
looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
John 1:37 And the
two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
John 1:38 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?
John 1:39 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.
John 1:40 One of the
two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon
John 1:41 He first
findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the
Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
John 1:42 And he
brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art
Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by
interpretation, A stone.
IV. The Call of
James and John
Mat 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.
Mat 4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and
We see that when Jesus called these men, that they
immediately left the mending of their nets and followed Him. I think
if we have a direct call into the ministry, every man should
immediately arise and follow after Christ. There should be no
delay. These men left their father and followed Jesus then and
Mat 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.
Mat 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 lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
We see Jesus beginning his ministry and going out and
preaching the gospel and healing the people of their sicknesses and
diseases. It says that his fame spread abroad. Just think what it
would be like if someone could heal the sick today. Everyone would
come running to be healed. It was that way in Christ’s day. People
who had physical infirmities sought out Christ hoping to be healed.
The need to have our health is important, but the greatest need is to
have our spiritual need met. Men, women, boys, and girls need to be
Mat 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.
It says that great multitudes followed Christ from the
first. Many came for the right reasons, but many came to only be
healed or to be fed by the bread and fishes. In the end of Chapter 6
of John, when Christ brought some hard messages that the people could
not understand, his numbers dwindled down to 12.
John 6:53 Then Jesus
said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the
flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
John 6:54 Whoso
eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will
raise him up at the last day.
John 6:55 For my
flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
John 6:56 He that
eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
John 6:57 As the
living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that
eateth me, even he shall live by me.
John 6:58 This is
that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat
manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
John 6:59 These
things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
John 6:60 Many
therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an
hard saying; who can hear it?
John 6:61 When Jesus
knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them,
Doth this offend you?
John 6:62 What and
if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
John 6:63 It is the
spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I
speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
John 6:64 But there
are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning
who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
John 6:65 And he
said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except
it were given unto him of my Father.
John 6:66 From that
time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
John 6:67 Then said
Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
John 6:68 Then Simon
Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of
John 6:69 And we
believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
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Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s
Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.
Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible
commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System,
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.