Matthew, a Jew, was writing to the Jews. The Jews knew the scriptures, the Old Testament prophecies. Matthew, in his Gospel is showing the Jews how Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies. So, you’ll see them quoted a lot.
The Holy Spirit plays a key roll here. Jesus received the Holy Spirit when He was baptized. Now, the Holy Spirit leads Him to the wilderness where He is tempted by the devil — Satan, the tempter, accuser, and deceiver of this world. However, He can resist temptation through the power of the Holy Spirit. Later, He begins His ministry. Let’s dig in…
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
3 During that time the devil (the tempter) came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”[Deuteronomy 8:3]
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” [Psalm 91:11-12]
7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”[Deuteronomy 6:16]
8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.”
10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’”[Deuteronomy 6:13]
11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
First, let’s note that the devil, tempted Jesus with the 3 main temptations that caused Adam and Eve to fall:
- The lust of the flesh – this includes cravings and addictions which could be as innocent as a chocolate chip cookie or an adulterous affair and sexual immorality.
- Lust of the eyes – the easy way out, coveting, jealousy.
- The pride of life – success, riches, prosperity, triumph.
Notice how Jesus counters each temptation with a scripture verse. The Word of God is like a sword. It’s the only offensive weapon in the Armor of God. Furthermore, the only way you can know how to use it when tempted is to read and study the Bible every day and have the Holy Spirit in your heart. Let’s see what else Matthew tells us…
The Ministry of Jesus Begins
12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee. 13 He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah:
15 “In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali,
beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River,
in Galilee where so many Gentiles live,
16 the people who sat in darkness
have seen a great light.
And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow,
a light has shined.” [Isaiah 9:1-2]
17 From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
The First Disciples
18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.
21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
Crowds Follow Jesus
23 Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 24 News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed—he healed them all. 25 Large crowds followed him wherever he went—people from Galilee, the Ten Towns (the Decapolis in Greek), Jerusalem, from all over Judea, and from east of the Jordan River.
Points to Ponder
- Jesus starts preaching immediately: Repent of your sins and turn to God for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. The Good News is salvation. It’s through Jesus that you enter the Kingdom of God. However, you must repent of your sins first!
- As John described Jesus in John 1, He is the light of the world and where there is light, there can be no darkness. If you have darkness in your life, you need to shine the Light of Christ so it will disappear. How do you do that? Invite Jesus into your heart & surrender your life to Him.
- Jesus needs to recruit disciples whom He can teach so that once He goes back to the Father, they can keep teaching in His place. Who does He choose? Fishermen — not scholars, priests, upper class, rich successful people or educated teachers. No, He chooses plain, everyday, fishermen. People like you and me. You don’t need to go to seminary to become a disciple of Christ. Just learn and know the Word. Be able to tell the Good News to everybody.
You can have the same Holy Spirit who helped Jesus say no to Satan when you….
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…