Matthew 3:13-4:25, November 24, 2019
Jesus Baptized, 40 Days, Temptation, Ministry Begins
Review – Want to tell you a story about a priest named Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. Their son John the Baptist who called for fruit as evidence of repentance (3:8) while preaching Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near (3:2). During his revival he said after me comes another more powerful than I whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. (3:11) His baptism will be by the Holy Spirit and by fire separating the wheat from the chaff.
3:13-14 John the Baptist tried to prevent Jesus from being baptized recognizing who Jesus is and that He had no need of baptism for repentance. Side note: The theologian Francis Schaffer was asked “Could Jesus have sinned?” His answer, “Yes, but He did not.”
3:15 Jesus insisted. Why? Jesus chose to identify Himself with those He came to redeem, thus beginning His public ministry as the Messiah. He had no sin to repent of, but with the change in His life He would produce great fruit.
3:16-17 As the Spirit came upon Old Testament prophets for special guidance, now the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus without measure fulfilling Isaiah 11:2:
This was also the beginning of the time when the triune God would act to bring about the salvation of humankind.
4:1-2 Immediately Jesus was to be tested or tempted by Satan, but first He had to fast for 40 days and nights. Why? Moses also fasted for 40 days, however he did this in the presence of God (Exodus 34:28). Ask yourself, how long is forty days and nights.
Jesus fasting in the wilderness showed that when temptation came He did not rely upon His humanity but relied upon God and God’s Word showing His mastery over His human nature.
4:3-11 The temptations. Jesus demonstrates the greatest tool we can use against the devil is God’s word. After fasting for 40 days and nights Jesus only used God’s word to defeat the temptations from Satan.
In verse 10, Jesus asserts His lordship over Satan, the serpent whose head He would soon crush.
4:12-16 Matthew, along with Mark and Luke, omits some of Jesus’ early Judean ministry and begins with Jesus in Galilee at Capernaum where he first met Jesus. Note in the book of John, 1:1 through 3:24 took place before John the Baptist was arrested.
Jesus left when John was arrested and it appears widespread persecution of the followers of John and Jesus was taking place at this time.
Jesus is the great light mentioned in v16 from Isaiah 9:1-2
4:17 Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near. The message of John the Baptist (3:2) is now being proclaimed by Jesus Christ. However, there is a major difference. Jesus as the Messiah is not calling on His listeners to prepare for the coming of the kingdom as John did, but instead is announcing the kingdom is here! We will see clear evidence of this in the last verses of this chapter where the blessings of Isaiah 35:5-6 are fulfilled.
The kingdom is at hand because the King is clearly on the scene.
4:18-20 In the book of John 1 we discover Andrew overheard John the Baptist say about Jesus Look the Lamb of God (1:36) and told his brother Simon Peter what John had said (1:40). Now however they would not follow Jesus on a part time basis, instead they would serve and follow Jesus full time.
They would receive special training on bringing people into the kingdom of God.
4:21-22 James and John were brothers and fishing partners with Andrew and Simon. How they immediately responded to Jesus’ call is a great of true obedience to the lordship of Jesus the Christ. To obey is to respond immediately as an act of faith. How do we respond?
4:23-25 Jesus, throughout Galilee, proclaimed the good news of the kingdom. The reference to ‘Good News’ likely has a number of references to Isaiah in mind. Three are provided for us to consider:
Then there is the map
where we can see where Jesus taught and that He was the center of gravity pulling people – Jew and Gentile alike – from Syria, Decapolis, Judea, and Jerusalem to Galilee to hear Him or be healed by Him.
Question (back to v22) – how would or how do we respond to Jesus’ call on our lives?