Satan Tests Jesus in the Judean Wilderness
Matthew 4:1-11 (Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13)
(1) After Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit led him into the Judean wilderness (possibly in the region of Jericho) to be tested (tempted) by the devil. (2) Jesus fasted about six weeks—40 days and nights—and became very hungry.
(3) Then the devil—the tempter—approached and said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread.” (4) Jesus said, “It is written in Deuteronomy 8:3, ‘Humans do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
(5) Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. (6) He said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written in Psalm 91:11-12, ‘He will command his angels concerning you. They will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a rock.’ ” (7) Jesus said to him, “It is also written in Deuteronomy 6:16, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
(8) Then the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him the glory of all the kingdoms of this world (possibly referring to the Roman empire). (9) The devil said to him, “I will give you all the kingdoms of this world if you will bow down and worship me.” (10) Jesus said, “Satan, away from me! For it is written in Deuteronomy 6:13, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ”
(11) Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came and ministered to him.
Jesus Begins His Ministry in Galilee
Matthew 4:12-17 (Mark 1:14-15; Luke 4:14-15)
(12) When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he left Judea and traveled to Galilee. (Herod Antipas was a son of Herod the Great and the governor of Galilee and Perea. He arrested John and put him in the prison at the fortress of Machaerus, in the region of Perea, in modern Jordan).
(13) Jesus left Nazareth and went to live in the town of Capernaum, which was located on the northwestern shore of Lake Galilee in the region of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. (Capernaum was a fishing town located on the northwestern shore of Lake Galilee; it had a population of around 1,500).
(14) This fulfilled what is written in Isaiah 9:1-2, (15) “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way to the Sea, east of the Jordan River (the region of Perea, modern Jordan), Galilee of the non-Jews—(16) the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has risen.” (Refers to the trade route that ran through this region to the Mediterranean Sea that was called the “Via Maris,” or “Way of the Sea.” The northern tribes of Israel were surrounded on three sides by non-Jewish populations).
(17) From that time on Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent and turn to God, for the kingdom of heaven has come near (is at hand)!”
Jesus Calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John
Matthew 4:18-22 (Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11)
(18) Jesus was walking along the northwestern shore of Lake Galilee near to Capernaum. (The heart-shaped, freshwater Lake Galilee was around 60 miles north of Jerusalem and around 13 miles/21 km long and 7 miles/11 km wide).
As he was walking, he saw Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. Peter and Andrew were fishermen, and they were throwing a fishing net into the lake. (19) Jesus said to them, “Come and follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” (20) At once they left their fishing nets and followed Jesus.
(21) Walking a little further, Jesus saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee, in a boat with their father mending their fishing nets. Jesus called them to follow him, (22) and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.
(23) Jesus walked throughout Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel (good news) of the kingdom of God, and healing every kind of disease and sickness among the people. (The region of Galilee in northern Israel was around 45 miles/72 km north-south and 25 miles/40 km east-west, with a population of around 300,000 living in about 200 villages and towns. There were only two Greco-Roman cities in Galilee, Sepphoris and Tiberius, both built by Herod Antipas. Sepphoris served as Herod Antipas’ initial Galilean capital and was located about 4 miles/6 km northwest of Nazareth. Tiberius became his new Galilean capital, named after the Roman emperor Tiberius. It was located on the western shore of Lake Galilee around 10 miles/16 km south of Capernaum. The Gospels do not record Jesus ever ministering in the cities of Tiberius or Sepphoris, although we do know that citizens of these cities went out to Jesus).
(24) News about Jesus spread north of Galilee throughout the whole region of Syria. People brought to Jesus all who were sick with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, those tormented by demons (the demonized), those having seizures (epileptics), and those who were paralyzed. Jesus healed them all! (25) Large crowds of people followed Jesus from Galilee, the Decapolis (the southeastern region of Lake Galilee that included a group of ten non-Jewish cities), Jerusalem, Judea, and the region east of the Jordan River (Perea).