Matthew | Chapter 4

Matthew 4:1-4

“Led By The Spirit, Tempted By The Devil”

I.) Intro.

II.) Vs. 1-2 The Circumstances of the Temptation 

III.) Vs. 3-4 The Lust of the Flesh


Last week we saw the coronation of the King, this week we see the testing of Him. Jesus identified with sinful man, He was empowered for the work & set forth for the task by the Father, but how can we be sure He is up to the task? Before any new car is released on the market it must be put to the test to see how it will handle the job it was designed for. Usually the test is for more abusive then the normal driving conditions, but the manufacture must be sure that the car can handle any thing you & I will put it trough, such is the case here. Heb. 4:15 in the ASV. says this, “For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” It such a comfort to know that Jesus understands all that we week humans go through, but more than that he has shown us the way through our weakness, trust in His word. As we look at these temptations you will notice that they are the same ones faced by us & that the answer is always found in our surrender to His Word. There is something equally fascinating to me that as you consider the first Adam & the second Adam (1 Cor. 15:15) they were both tempted by Satan yet the surroundings were vastly different, as was the outcome.

         Adam was tempted in a beautiful garden.

         Jesus was tempted in a barren forsaken desert.

         Adam ate freely of all things in the garden except one tree.

         Jesus ate nothing for 40 days.

         Adam was in perfect health, (no effects of sin)

         Jesus was on the verge of death.    

Vs. 1-2 The Circumstances of the Temptation

Vs.1 Again we have the word “then” which tells us the timing of the testing. It was right after His coronation that the testing took place. There are several things to consider:

         1.) The timing of the test right after Jesus baptism &  blessing. Testing seem to happen that way in my life as well. It is often right after some great blessing or victory that spiritual battles come. Your on a high than “wham” your hit with something. 

         2.) The circumstances of the test:

                   A. “led by the Spirit….tempted by the devil..” Here then is what every believer in Christ faces daily in our experience, whether we are going to be led by the Spirit or led astray by the temptation of the flesh. Here then we see perfect Man dealing with what we face on every day life. Humanly speaking He was “led by the Spirit” in other words this was not something He went on His own. In 6:13 as the Lord was teaching His disciples to pray He said; “And do not lead us into temptation”. How many times do we go head long into temptation? Not so with the Lord, this was not where He wanted to go, yet He did so in obedience.

                   B. The place of the temptation, the “wilderness”, this was the barren Judean desert. A place of solitude & sever conditions. Folks again, we ought to remember this as we are being tempted to go after some thing in the flesh, that though it may appeal to our flesh it is in fact a barren waste land void of any value.

                   C. The person of the temptation, the devil. Satan is the author of sin & the father of lies, Jesus therefore in winning here would show forever His ability to overcome evil. 

                            Note: This ought to settle the issue for us to which James 1:13 addresses, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” The Hold Spirit did not tempt Jesus, but He lead Him to a place where He would be tempted, not so He could grow, or to prove anything to the Father but rather to reveal Who He is & how we can through Him overcome temptations. The word “tempted” here “pi-rad’-zo” means to test, scrutinize, entice, discipline:–assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt, or try. It appears 41 times in the N.T. & is the same word here as in James 1:13. It carries two ideas:

         A.) To seduce or entice to do evil or sin. For this to be true it would require the person being seduced to have a something in their nature that could be lured into yielding to the bate. Jesus said in John 14:30 that the devil had, “..nothing in Me.” So the temptation of Jesus was different then what you & I face.

         B.) The second idea of the word is to test, or assay, to prove. Again we can be proved, not for Gods knowledge, but for our own. So the testing of Jesus was not for either of their benefits, but rather for ours.  

                   D. Vs.2 The condition of the person being tested. The 40 days & 40 nights is a familiar period of time for testing in the Bible. In the days of Noah, & Israel yet in both cases mankind failed the test. After 5 days of a fast most people lose the sense of hunger & they do not experience it again until they begin to starve to death. The fact that after the 40 days & nights Jesus was hungry tells us that His body was dying, He was starving to death. Now if you are like me if I miss a meal I begin to say something to the effect that I’m starving to death, because I feel hungry. 

         I remember when I was in Bible school we did a 7 day hike in death valley in May. We had on these 25 pound packs & were hiking through Marble canyon. When we got on the other side around day 5 we had a time alone for two days with nothing but water. No one around for a 1/2 mile or so. Man could you here things. In one since I was week & vulnerable, but in another way I was closer to the Lord than at any other time. Our eyes alone are sending pictures to our brains at 18 frames a second. Our minds are busy interpreting, smell, hearing taste, & feeling. We are going through sensory overload. What would happen if you were in a place completely void of these experiences? Why I believe you would be much more open to the voice of the Lord there would be no detractions. This is where Jesus was at alone with the Lord. You would be weekend physically, but strong spiritually, this is when Satan came.    

Vs. 3-4 The Lust of the Flesh

Vs.3 Notice the word “when” the tempter came, it is not an “if” but a “when. He will come. Every year people go dear hunting, trying to find spots where people don’t go, why? Because those dear they have some way of telling each other that it’s dear season & the hunters are coming. The dears that get killed are the ones that didn’t listen. 

         Note: It is important not to think that Jesus was only tested 3 times during these 40 days, he was being tested the whole time but we have only 3 of them recorded.

         1.) “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” The word “if” is actually better translated “since” here. There was no doubt in Satan’s mind as to who Jesus was. In Luke 4:34 the demon said; “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are; the Holy One of God!” What the devil is saying here is why don’t You use your divine powers to satisfy your own fleshly appetite. I am told that in this region the ground is covered with loaf shaped rocks, so Satan comes & uses this to tempt Jesus. We often think that the temptation is something that is far from us & we will see it coming, but more than likely it is something right under your nose. 

         A.) In 1 John 2:16 we are told that; “..all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world.” You will notice these three baits in the temptation of Jesus & ultimately in or own experiences as well. Every temptation we face will be in one of these three categories. 

         The first of which we see here “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”  is  the lust of the flesh.  This test was  on the physical level, &  tested the ideals for the kingdom. This test was a test of loyalty & was aimed at getting Jesus to question the Fathers PROVISION. It is Satan saying; “Since you are the Son of God, why is the Father allowing you to starve.” “Go on use your divine powers to satisfy your own needs, you’ve got the power do it, & He is not doing anything about your need!” 

         We face this one all the time. “Look, at all of those bills piling up! If God loves you so why are you so broke?” You better go out there & take another three jobs, because He is not going to help you!” Or perhaps your single & you really want to married, but you just haven’t meet any one. So Satan comes in & says, “Hey, look God is not concerned with this, so why not just go out with that none believer he won’t care, just do it in your own power.” So what’s the answer?

         B.) Vs. 4 This is found in Deut. 8:3 in fact all of the scriptures Jesus quotes from are found in Deuteronomy. It was the summary of the law & was written by Moses to a new generation so that they might obey. So what is Jesus saying? He is saying greater than any need I have in the physical realm I have an even greater one in the spiritual realm & that is fellowship with God. And fellowship with God can not happen if I am disobedient. 

         Note: Jesus says “every word” not just the ones that we agree with but every word is inspired. I believe not only in the inspiration of scripture, but I believe in the sufficiency of scripture. So many today turning to al sorts of things to try to find the answers, but they are not turning to the word of God. Even some churches & pastors are putting adds out in the news paper trying to sell people in coming to church say, “Contemporary messages, or relevant Bible teaching.” Why they are appealing to is the thought that some have the Bible is out dated, that it does not have any thing to say to my real needs. Folks, the problem is not that it doesn’t not have anything to say, but rather what it has to say makes us uncomfortable sometimes. 

         So Jesus, here says no the best of my existence is found in relationship with the Father & I trust Him for everything. As we conclude this morning may I give you this as part of how to deal with temptation Ps. 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!” It does you know good just to know the word you must apply it in your life. In other words, if all we do is say “Man, does not live by bread alone…” it does us no good. We need instead to say “I’m not going to live in the material realm having the physical appetites rule over the spiritual ones, No I’m going to live the way God has made me dependent & trusting in Him alone to meet my needs! 

Matthew 4:5-11

“Away With You, Satan!”

I.) Intro.

II.) Vs. 5-7 The Pride of Life

III.) Vs. 8-11 The Lust of the Eyes


The story is told of a man who received a free ticket to the Superbowl last year from his company. Unfortunately, when he arrived at the stadium & got up to his seat he realized that he was closer to the blimp than the football field. Well about halfway through the first quarter he noticed an empty seat 5 rows off the field right at the 50 yard line. So he decided to take his chances & made his way through the crowded stadium around all the security to the empty seat. As he was about to sit down he asked the gentle next to the empty seat; “Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?” “No!” replied the man. “Wow, this is great,” exclaimed the man. “But who in their right mind would give up a seat like this at the Superbowl?” The man next to him replied, “Well, actually the seat belongs to me. I have been coming to these Superbowl games since I got married in 1967 with my wife, but she passed away & this is the first time I have ever gone without her.” The man then said, “That’s awful, I’m so sorry for your loss, but couldn’t you still find someone else to go with you & take this wonderful seat?” To this the widower replied, “No, I tried but they’re all at her funeral!” 

         This story has absolutely nothing to do with our text on temptation, or maybe it does? This week we shall look at the last two temptations. As a key to understanding these temptations let me again refer you to 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world.” As I said last week these are the three baits in the temptation of Jesus & ultimately every temptation we face will be in one of these three categories. 

         The first of we saw was, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” & is concerned with  the lust of the flesh.  The test was on the physical level, &  tested the ideals for the kingdom. It was a test of loyalty & was aimed at getting Jesus to question the Fathers PROVISION. Satan is saying; “Since you are the Son of God, why is the Father allowing you to starve.” “Go on use your divine powers to satisfy your own needs, you’ve got the power do it, & He is not doing anything about your need!” 

Vs. 5-7 The Pride of Life

Vs.5 Now we look at the second temptation which falls into the category of, the pride of life. This is a spiritual temptation & is concerned with the laws of the kingdom. It is to get Jesus to doubt the Father’s PROTECTION. Lets look at the location of this temptation, as it will reveal how Jesus was being tempted.

         A.) First, we have those curious words, “The devil took Him..set Him..” The word “took”  literally means to accompany or to lead. The word “set” is rendered “had him stand” in the N.I.V. version & I think it carries the thought better. It does not mean that in some super natural way Satan bore Jesus up in the air & set Him on a spire, nor does it mean that Satan compelled Jesus to go against His will. There is no evidence in scripture that Satan has the power to do either of these two things. Simply put, Satan accompanied or took Jesus to Jerusalem to the temple with himself.

         B.) Second, we have location or the setting of the temptation:

                   1.) The Holy City, called thus because of the temple was there. Jerusalem was the center of all cultural life for the Jewish people & it all revolved around the temple. Now remember for a moment that Jesus is the King, that is how Matthew is showing Him, the King is there in His capital city. 

                   2.) He was standing on the “pinnacle” of the temple. When we read this our minds think that He was on the top of some very tall tower, but it is here that the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus helps. The word “pinnacle” literally means a little wing. There is nothing in the word that says that Christ was placed on the top of a spire. The Herod’s temple was on the top of Mount Moriah & it had two wings the northern & the southern. The southern was the most grand of the two both with it’s decor “Solomon’s Porch”, as well as scenic beauty, it over looked the valley of Kedron some 700 feet below. Josephus says that one could not looked down with out becoming dizzy. It is most likely to this spot that Jesus was taken, but why & what does it have to do with the temptation?

         A.) To understand the why, we only need go back to the first temptation. There Jesus declared the superiority of the spiritual over the physical. Jesus said, “In My kingdom the greatest need of man is fellowship with the Father, it is greater than any other need, even greater than My hunger.” So here Satan takes Jesus to the center of spiritual life for His kingdom the temple in Jerusalem. 

         B.) Vs.6 tells us what it has to do with the temptation. Right upon the heals of that victory over the temptation to place the physical above the spiritual, Satan comes with these words. “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.” This is partial quote or a misquote from Psalm 91:11-12. Again the word “if” is better rendered “since”. So Satan has with this temptation countered by saying, “OK, since the spiritual is over the physical & you trust Gods provision for you prove it!” “You say You believe Gods word, then why not prove that You trust one of His promises, say the one in Psalm 91:11-12?” 

         Note: Can you imagine this seen for a moment Jesus 700 feet above the canyon, people looking up. The King, the Messiah, & Satan asking Jesus to do something “spectacular” in front of the crowd proving both Gods love for Him & proving that he really is the Messiah. That is the temptation. “You don’t need the cross & suffering just trust God & by doing this you will demonstrate that your the Messiah in front of all these folks.”  

         Might I suggest to you that the moment we begin to test God as to His love for us we show that we do not trust Him. Perfect trust just waits, the moment we need some sign or some proof we show we don’t trust. 

         Suppose now I just stepped out in front of a speeding car to push you out of the way saving your life, but the car hit me pretty good. In fact it hit me so hard that I’m near death lying in Mercy Hospital. Finally I come too & you come to visit me. And you say to me, “Dale I sure appreciate you saving my life & all, but I want some proof of your love for me, is there not something you could do to show me you love me? I mean perhaps you could pay my bills for a few months, or maybe you could hook me up with some single person because I have no one.” Now I will be honest, I most likely would ask you to get out of my room. But we do this all the time to the Lord, show me your love, do this for me do that for me. Don’t you know that He showed His love for you on the cross dying for you what more proof do you need? 

Vs.7 So here we see how Jesus answered this temptation again with the word of God out of Deut. 6:16. If we were to go back to Psalm 91:11-12 you will see that Satan leaves something out of his quote. “For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Satan deliberately left out that little phrase, ,”To keep you in all your ways”. 

         To many people today here some person quote scripture & they think it must be OK because they quoted from the Bible. But they didn’t check out the context. Any text apart from the context is a pretext. Jesus new that Satan left out the fact that God was promising to keep His promise as we keep His ways. Be careful claiming promises to support foolish actions when we have either taken the promise out of context or have not met the conditions of the promise. You here of people all the time taken up rattle snakes in Kentucky misquoting Mark 16:18 where it says that, “They shall take up serpents…..& shall recover.” But they ought to compare scripture with scripture, clearly this verse here that Jesus quotes is the answer. To do something without the Bible’s authority is to sin, to tempt God to dare Him to intervene & rescue us when we have been deliberately disobedient is a good way to find yourself in a bunch of trouble. Jesus is saying, “Yes the Father will protect Me, but I don’t need to put that to the test to satisfy the truth of it to you or anyone else, for scripture says that you are not to put God to the test.” Folks. don’t test Gods love for you by seeing how close to the world you can live & still be called a Christian. That’s just stupid! But if people are around you outside of your control living for the world you don’t need to move to a monastery, ask God to shine through you to them, don’t compromise & become like them impact them with Christ’s love.

Vs. 8-11 The Lust of the Eyes

We come to the third of the temptations which deals with The Lust of the Eyes. Here Satan attempts to get Jesus to question the Father’s PROMISE. This is concerned with the plans of the kingdom. 

         You will see that the common element in all of these temptations is compromise! And all of them deal with doubting God in some way, whether that is His, PROVISION, PROTECTION, or PROMISES. Also in every instance Jesus always goes back to the Word of God. Satan’s attempt is to get Jesus, (as well as us), to use the circumstances & situations of our lives to interpret who God is, & Jesus’ answer is always the opposite always using who God is to interpret the circumstance or situation. 

Vs.8 Here again we have the setting of the temptation, however we are not told upon what mountain Jesus was taken. There are several mountains in the vicinity of Jerusalem which when atop of them you could survey a great amount of Israel. In Deut. 34:1-3 we read of one of them that, “Moses  went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.” 

         A.) Vs.9 Jesus came to win these kingdoms back, by going to the cross. Jesus had just won the victory on the spiritual realm by declaring that there was no need to put God to the test. So Satan here says; “OK, no need to put the Father to the test, here is what you have come for here are those kingdoms they are yours, & I will make it easy for you, why you don’t even need to die just acknowledge that gift I’m giving You & show your gratitude towards me.” 

                   1.) Several things here to understand the temptation: 

                            A.) First, of which is who owned the right to the kingdoms? This is best understood by the text, Jesus does not refute Satan’s claim as to who had ownership of them just the means to obtain them. 

                            B.) Second, this being so when did Satan gain control of the kingdoms of the world? The answer is way back in Gen. 1:28 where God gave dominion over all that He created to mankind through Adam. When they fell in the garden, the title deed went over to Satan. In John 14:30 Satan is called the prince of the world, so Satan has been given a certain amount control over the kingdoms, 2 Cor 4:4 tells us that his main deal is to blind the minds of the people to the truth concerning the gospel. Now Psalm 2: tells us that these kingdoms have been promised to Jesus, but they are only won by way of the cross verse 6.    

         Note: This is the reason the world is in the shape that it is in. People are always blaming God for the pain & suffering in the world. The fact is that the world is under the rule of Satan & is in rebellion against God because of mans sin. So all the pain & suffering in the world today are a result of rebellion against God. When Jesus comes back there will be no more suffering, hunger, pain. or disease.  

         Note: It is quite revealing that Satan would rather have worship & recognition than all the kingdoms of the world & their glory. He is still the same as he was in Isa. 14:13-14 where we read “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” 

Vs.10 Now we move to Jesus’ answer again from Deut. 6:13. In essence Jesus says that He will never compromise with evil. “I will get these kingdoms from the Father, His way.” 

         Note: The words “Away with you Satan..” You offer Me the kingdoms of the world if I acknowledge you by paying you homage; I will take these kingdoms by kicking you out. Folks what ever god we serve we are worshipping! You can not serve to masters! If you are serving the systems of world, pleasure, power, & popularity then you are worshipping the wrong god. Only One that is worthy of worship the Savior of your souls. Don’t be fooled by the lure of shinny things, there is nothing brighter than the “old rugged cross”.  

Vs.11 We are told else where that Satan left Him for an opportune time. He was probably back the next day. Folks the keys are here we do battle with the enemy by staying in constant fellowship with God. we do this by meditating upon His word, & ordering our lives by it. communion        

Matthew 4:12-25

“He Came To Galilee”

I.) Intro.

II.) Vs. 12-17 The place & reason of service

III.) Vs. 18-22 The call of His cabinet

IV.) Vs. 23-25 The order of His service 


It is important to realize that Matthew does not follow a chronological order in this report. First of all Matthew leaves out about one year between verses 11-12 that is included by the other gospel writers. Remember that each writer presents Jesus to a different segment of people, Matthew has written to Jewish people steeped in their own culture which centered around religious life. So he clearly writes to those that would be entrusted in Who Jesus was & how that fit into their religious life. 

         So what happened during that year? It appears that after His temptation He stayed some days near where John was baptizing for John testifies as to what he saw at Jesus’ baptism, (John 1:29-34). A day latter Andrew, Peter’s brother, is with John when he hears him say of Jesus that He is the Lamb of God. Andrew goes & gets his brother Peter saying that he has found the Messiah. The third day Jesus finds Phillip, who in turn finds Nathanael, (John 1:35-51). From there they leave Cana which is in the area of Galilee where He changes the water to wine. Then He goes back to Jerusalem & cleanses the temple. While there He caught the attention of a very important teacher named Nicodemus where they met at night. From there He went back out to Judea with His disciples & they baptized there while John was at Salim. After John the Baptists imprisonment Jesus leaves to go to Galilee, this is where Matthew picks up the story. Now, on the way there He goes through Samaria, where He speaks to the woman at the well. He teaches a while in Galilee, goes back to Cana where he heals the noble men’s son, then to Nazareth, where He is rejected, chosen rather to go to Capernaum. All of this is found in John’s gospel from 1:19-4:42 & fit right here after 11.    

Vs. 12-17 The place & reason of service

Vs.12 It is safe to assume from a practical basis that Jesus left for Galilee because it was better for Him to do so, as far as success & less danger were concerned. Yet with that said Matthew tells us from heavens perspective it was all in accordance to the word of God. 

         A.) Galilee is a region which covered an area about 60 miles by 30 miles. Josephus tells us that it was populated by some 204 villages with none having less than 15,000 people. All totaled that would give this area a population of around 3 million. It was known as the “region of death” by the Jews because it was the portion of country that was most attacked by warring nations. Consequently, there was a strong gentile population there. 

         B.) Vs.13 Here we are told simply that He left Nazareth & came to live in Capernaum. Now you will remember that Nazareth was His home town, yet He leaves it & Matthew does not tell us why. Luke tells us why He left in 4:16-31, it was there in the synagogue that He opened up the scriptures & taught out of Isa. 61. which they could not receive because He had grown up their; they were going to throw Him off the cliff out side of town yet He just slipped through them. So He left their because of unbelief.            

         C.) Vs.14-16 From the perspective of the King in His kingdom, Matthew quotes as to the reason why Jesus came to this region. He shares from two spots in Isaiah, 9:1-2 & 42:6-7. Matthew had already quoted from Isaiah 7:14 speaking of the virgin birth, now this is out of the same prophecy where we see that the child born shall have the government upon shoulders. The prophet Isaiah was standing on a mountain peak looking out at the darkness of the condition which he lived & saw the coming of the Messiah. He saw the lands most afflicted by the Assyrians the place most ravaged by the affects of sin in the nation & he proclaimed to them a great light was coming their first. 

         Note: When Jesus comes into hearts He comes only to those who have need of Him, now all have need of Him, but those who see their need welcome Him! This was a place of half breeds, outcasts. They had funny accents & people looked down upon them, this is where Jesus starts His public ministry. These people sat in darkness that was their home, it was what they had been accustomed to living with, & here He is the light, He came to dispel the darkness that is what light always does. Jesus made His home where the people were the darkest. Don’t miss this! He came for the unworthy, outcast, darkest people in all of Israel. Jesus loves sinners, the person who is the worst of all is the one He which to make His home with! I just came back from S.F. I don’t know if there is a darker place in all of the US then S.F. & I believe that if Jesus were to come to a place that is where He would come to live. 

         Note: With that said, when the “Light of the World” comes to dwell among you it is great responsibility for those whom He dwells. It was here as we shall see in verses 23-25 that many of His miracles were done, but there was little response. In chapter 11:”20-21 He pronounces this upon them, “He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin!” So many darkened hearts say, “If He would just show Himself then I would believe.” Would you? Where there is greater light there comes greater responsibility. If you stumble in the dark you need light, if you stumble in the light your blind!

         D.) Vs.17 Here we are given the message of Jesus. Jesus’ gospel began right where John the Baptist’s had left off. Might I just say that good news always starts with a changed heart! Remember, Jesus came to the darkest area of Israel but He did not come to tell them how they could obtain a better social standing, He came to bring them to the Father. The only way He could bring them to God was with this word, “REPENT”. “Change your mind as to what you believe & how you live, which will result in a change of direction.” That is what Christ said to this darkened land. Why should they want to have this change, “..for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” These words are used 32 times in Matthew. The Jews were looking for a physical kingdom based in Israel that is why Jesus used these words instead of the words, “Kingdom of God” which occurs only 5 times. The “Kingdom of heaven” is larger than just Israel it is not concerned with physical location but the location of a repentant heart. Jesus is saying to this devastated people living in darkness, “Make room for a new way of life is hear now”. “You are wrong in your surroundings because you are wrong in your heart. The darkness is not around you it is in you. Admit that by agreeing with me & you will come to a new lighted world.” That was His message. Today so many teachers want to apologize for that message they say if we tell people that today that won’t want to come to church they will be offended by the message so we want just to make people feel better about themselves. Can you imagine Jesus coming to Capernaum & saying, “Nice darkness you have here, you all must have terrible self-esteem that is why I have come to make you just feel better about your darkness so that you can appreciate the emptiness of your lives.” Folks that could never be the message of the King, but if it sounds familiar to you it is the message of Satan!  

Vs. 18-22 The call of His cabinet

Vs. 18 This is the second of three calls to these men. SEEK John 1:35-42, FOLLOW Matt. 4:19, GO! Matt. 28:19

         1.) The first took place in John 1:35-42 where they came to Jesus seeking Him as the Messiah. The word rendered “followed” in John means that they accompanied Him. It is then that He asks them, “Whom do you seek.” They then say, “Teacher, where are you staying?” “Come see”, Jesus says to them. They have seen Him as who He is, but they have not yet continued with Him. They had their encounter with Jesus, but they go back to their old lively hood, changed, yes, but there is still more work. I can relate to this in my life when I met Christ, I was changed but I was not committed to Him. I went to church read my Bible & prayed, but there was a deeper call yet. That is where some people leave it, there is no further goings in their lives. That is not for me, but it was about a year after that I knew that there was something else.

         2.) That brings us to the second call here in Matthew 4:18-20. Several months have gone by & they are back doing there old work. They knew Jesus , but now they are being asked to become a “disciple” that’s just a fancy word that means student. How does a person become a student of Jesus? Simple, “Follow Me”. “Come after Jesus, learn of Him. He did not send them to some school in Jerusalem, nor did He tell them to read some book, instead He told them to “Hang out with Me!” 

         Note: When I first got married we moved to Carmel, because I got a job offer to be a “apprentice” goldsmith under one of the top designers in the world. It was not a formal education as in some school, but in two years of hanging around with the master & watching Him I started to become like Him. When He hired me he said, “Dale, you want to become a great Jeweler, watch me & do exactly what you see me do.” In other words sit down & shut up. I was 21 years old & Ron would call me over to his bench to watch him. He gave responsibilities, like sweeping up the shop & for 6 months that’s all I did. I’ll never forget the first real piece of jewelry I made it was a cameo locket. It had three places for pictures & was spring loaded, every bit of it was hand made. Every step of the way Ron told me what to do. When I finished I looked at that piece of jewelry & I realized that Ron had built it through me, it was my hands but his knowledge & power. I don’t know who was more proud of that piece him or me. That’s what Jesus is calling these men too, become My apprentice.

         Note: Jesus does not say that they were going to be “fisher of men” instantly it was to be a process, they were “to become” this. How is that accomplished? “I will make you..” Is that not great? Under His guidance, imitating Him they will learn to be fishers of men. And what was the work? “To catch men alive!” They had been employed catching live fish & bringing them to death, now they were going to catch dead men & bring them to life

         This then, is a call to a new employment, “follow” is the key word here. But what of their responsibility to this call? 

                  A.) Vs. 20 They “immediately left their nets & followed Him.” They surrendered everything, their equipment & family to full time permanent obedience to the Master. No reservation, nor change of heart the fishers of men were hooked on Jesus. I’m a firm believer that God calls all of us to follow Him this way. Some of you perhaps will have to empty your hands & leave your nets & family to answer this call, others of you will not have too. All I can say is that there came a time in my life when I could do nothing else with my life & He said to me a Jeweler out of 2 Chron. 2:6-7 “..who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him? Therefore send me at once a man skillful to work in gold and silver,..” That is when I knew that all I could do is leave my profession empty my hands & follow.

         Note: Peter was out casting a net to catch fish & three years later on the day of Pentecost he would cast another net the net of the gospel & 3, 000 would get saved in that net.

         Note: Vs.21-22 John & James were in their boat not to far away & they were mending nets, & Jesus called them that same day later on John would be know as the Apostle of Love. He was always trying to mend people like those nets. 

         The point being that God uses the natural ways our personalities work turning the natural into the supernatural by way of the Holy Spirit. People are waiting for some dramatic move taking something completely foreign to us & then placing that gift in us. That is highly unlikely, more often God takes what we are already & retools us fitting us for use for His glory. 

         3.) The last call is found in Matthew Matt. 28:19 with the word GO! That is where they are called to be ambassadors for His kingdom. Again they were out fishing we He came to them. He sends those who have sought Him, then followed Him, to a foreign land to be His ambassadors. That is what we are all called too. So many of us stop at the seeking stage just content to know about Him, others move on the hanging around Him stage, & a very few move all the way to where Paul was when he said in 1 Cor. 11:1  “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.,”     

Vs. 23-25 The order of His service

Vs. 23 Here we have shown us Jesus’ method of reaching the dark world & if we are to follow Him we ought to pay close attention. 

         Note: First before that look at the fact that He “went about all of Galilee..” He was never idle, never standing still people were His mission & they were every where He sought them out.

                   1.) Teaching: The synagogue was the place He did this. This is where He laid down the principals & precepts of the Word of God, explaining them. The primary work of Christ as to His earthly ministry was that of teaching never miss that. He was a teacher who did miracles to illustrate His message. 

                   2.) Preaching: This was the good new of the kingdom. Proclaiming & stimulating the people. I would say that this would be evangelism, reaching people with the goodnews. 

                   3.) Healing all kinds of sickness: This was the manifesting of His power over the physical. Jesus was showing that what He proclaimed was authentic as to have power over the damage done by sin. He had power over the enemy who tormented man. 

Vs.24-25 Here we are given the effects of this ministry:

                   1.) His fame: Went through out 100 mile radius to see Jesus. 

                   2.) He healed them, faith: That is people trusted Him with their lives. 

                   3.) They followed Him: Through out Galilee, from the ten cities area (Decapolis), Jerusalem, Judea, & beyond the Jordan. 

         Jesus impacted every persons life that He came into contact with, the greater question is, How are you responding to His touching your life?