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Jesus Begins His Ministry

Matthew 4

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 15, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Matthew 4.1–11 | The Temptation of Jesus1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “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.’”

    7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

    1. Remember that just before Jesus went into the wilderness,
      1. that John baptized Jesus and
      2. the Father gave His testimony of the Divine Sonship of Jesus.
        1. Satan would quickly challenge this declaration.
        2. This is part of what he does, calls God’s word into question.
    2. What do you think of the Spirit leading Jesus to be tempted?
      1. Why did He have to be tempted?
      2. See Heb 2.10–18; 4.14–16
    3. What would a forty day and forty night fast be like?
      1. Who else fasted for the same amount of time?
        1. Moses – Exo 34.28
        2. Elijah – 1Ki 19.8
      2. What is the purpose of fasting?
      3. Why do it for such a long time?
      4. Do you get the idea from verse 2 that Jesus hungered after the 40 day period, in other words that hunger had not overwhelmed Him earlier?
        1. We know that He would have gotten hungry just as we do, but
        2. it must be that it became overwhelming at the end of the period.
    4. The tempter hit Jesus at His weakest.
      1. How weak Jesus must have been and
      2. with a challenge like Satan offered,
        1. it would have been easy to turn the stones to bread.
        2. Yet, Jesus did not do it.
      3. How did He withstand this and the other temptations?
        1. He quoted Scripture, but
          1. He believed what He quoted and
          2. He lived it also.
        2. Why did Jesus quote the passage that He did on the first temptation?
          1. He wanted the devil to know that there is more to life than bread and the body, but
          2. He was spirit and we also live by what God says.
      4. What passage did Jesus quote and what is the historical context?
        1. He quoted Deu 8.3
        2. God had explained to Israel why He allowed them to hunger.
      5. Wayne Jackson has said,

        “It has been said that Christ began his ministry hungry and concluded it thirsty (Jn. 19:28)” (A New Testament Commentary, Christian Courier Publications: Stockton, California, 2012, Second Edition, p. 6).
    5. Since Satan failed with the first challenge to the divine sonship of Jesus,
      1. the tempter tried another avenue, but
      2. this time he quoted Scripture.
        1. Why was the devil questioning the identity of Jesus?
        2. The devil knew Jesus in heaven, but here Jesus appeared as a man.
          1. However, for some reason Satan wondered whether this was the One he knew in heaven.
          2. Did Satan know that there was a plan for the Word to come down and die for man, and that being true, the angels would prevent Him from dying any other way?
      3. Did the passages that Satan quoted mean that Jesus could just do crazy things and the Father would send the angels to protect Jesus until the time of the crucifixion?
        1. In a sense, yes, because He could not die at any other time or way.
        2. He had to go to the cross.
      4. However, to live carelessly would be tempting or challenging the Lord our God and Jesus would never do such a thing.
      5. What passage did the tempter quote with the second temptation?
        1. He quoted Psalm 91.11–12,
        2. skipping the second line in verse 11.
          1. Interestingly, angels did minister to Jesus after the temptations.
    6. Why was showing Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their glory a temptation for Jesus?
      1. The prophecies stated that Jesus would sit on the throne after His suffering.
        1. Psa 2
        2. Dan 7.9–14
      2. Therefore, if He could have the kingdoms without suffering, that would be a temptation.
      3. Who owns the kingdoms of the world?
        1. In one sense, the Lord does.
        2. In another sense, Satan does.
      4. Is anything worth falling down and worshiping Satan?
      5. I love the way Jesus dispensed with Satan! Away with you, Satan!
        1. What Old Testament passage did Jesus quote?
        2. Why is it that we must worship the Lord our God and only serve Him?
          1. He is the only true God.
          2. Worshiping and serving anything or anyone else,
            1. gives credit to that which did not create us.
            2. It is an insult to our true Creator.
    7. Then the angels helped Jesus.
      1. The devil left Him, but only for a while.
      2. In what way would the angels have ministered to Jesus?
    8. How did Jesus introduce each quotation?
      1. “It is written…”
      2. What exactly does that mean?
        1. It is the perfect tense.
        2. The action took place in the past with the results still present.
  2. Matthew 4.12–16 | A Great Light12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

    15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles:
    16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
    And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
    Light has dawned.”

    1. Why had John been put into prison?
      1. See Matt 14.1–4
      2. Why did Jesus go to Galilee upon hearing of John’s imprisonment?
        1. People knew that He was from Nazareth.
        2. Therefore, knowing that they were putting servants of God into prison,
          1. Jesus went to Galilee where they could not find Him easily.
          2. He did not fear death, but He had to die at a certain time.
    2. This fulfilled prophecy.
      1. What did Isaiah prophesy?
      2. That a light would enter the land of darkness, Galilee of the Gentiles.
        1. What is the context of the prophecy?
        2. See Isaiah 8.19–9.2
  3. Matthew 4.17 | Jesus Announces the Kingdom17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
    1. Jesus preached the same message as John.
      1. The Lord establishes every word by two or three witnesses.
    2. Repent is how you prepare for entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
    3. What does “at hand” mean?
  4. Matthew 4.18–22 | Jesus Begins to Call Disciples18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
    1. Was this the first time that Peter and Andrew had seen or heard Jesus?
      1. First, remember that John had prepared people.
      2. Second, verse 17 says that Jesus had been preaching in that area.
  5. Matthew 4.23–24 | His Word and His Work23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.
    1. What did Jesus do in Galilee?
      1. Taught in their synagogues.
      2. Preached the Gospel of the Kingdom.
      3. Healed all kinds of sickness.
      4. Healed all kinds of disease.
    2. What happened when His fame reached Syria?
      1. They brought people who needed healing to Jesus.
  6. Matthew 4.25 | Many People Follow Jesus25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan (Matt 4.1–25)
    1. Find these locations on a map.