If you are the Son of God - Matthew 4:3

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 4:3-22

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If you are the Son of God - Matthew 4:3

If you are the Son of God. The devil was not questioning or wondering whether Jesus is truly the Son of God (Mark 1:24). This has just been declared in Matt. 3:17. The devil was using that truth to tempt Jesus to use his divine rights as the Son outside of God's will and to take matters into his own hands rather than trust God fully as an obedient son.

Showed him all the kingdoms of the world - Matthew 4:8

Showed him all the kingdoms of the world. The devil tempted Jesus with glory and sovereignty over all the world without having to first go through suffering and death for the sins of God's people (Matt. 16:21). After Jesus successfully resisted this temptation he began offering to the world the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 4:17) and finally was given all glory and authority (Matt. 28:18-20; Phil. 2:5-11).

The devil left him - Matthew 4:11

The devil left him. Throughout this story Jesus' adversary is called by several names: the devil (Matt. 4:1,5,8,11), the tempter (Matt. 4:3), and Satan (Matt. 4:10). Matthew does not tell us anything more specific, but the devil is traditionally associated with the one who tempted Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:1-7), was always God's enemy (Job 1:6-12), and who continues to oppose God's people in the world (1 Pet. 5:8-9). He is a created being, not equal to God, on the same level as angels, as the contrast between the devil and the angels shows in Matthew 4:11.

Jesus' ministry begins - Matthew 4:12-22

After submitting to John's baptism (3:13-17) and the Spirit leading him into the devil's temptations (Matt. 4:1-11) Jesus then began the ministry that God the Father sent him to do. This ministry can be generally described as the call to repentance because God's kingdom is near (Matt. 4:17). When God's kingdom comes he will honor and welcome those who are aligned with him, therefore people are invited now to repent and reorient their lives toward Jesus. Jesus changed locations from Nazareth to Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee as the home base of his ministry (Matt. 4:12-13). There he called fishermen as his first disciples to join in his ministry (Matt. 4:18-22). These verses serve as a bridge between the introduction and preparation of Jesus (Matt. 1:1–4:11) to his kingdom ministry of teaching and healing (Matt. 4:23–25:46).

This happened to fulfill - Matthew 4:14-16

This happened to fulfill. Once again Matthew connects Jesus' story to the Old Testament with the idea of fulfillment (see note on Matt. 1:22). The connection here is that Jesus' ministry in Galilee highlights the fact that his message is not just for the Jewish people but is also shining light and giving life to those outside, the Gentiles.

Repent - Matthew 4:17

Repent. Jesus' message starts with a call to re-orient one's life based on the reality of God's coming kingdom from heaven (see note on Matt. 3:2). The rest of Jesus' teachings in Matthew should be understood as explaining what this kingdom-conscious repentance looks like.

I will make you fishers of men – Matthew 4:19

I will make you fishers of men. Jesus used a clever play on words to call these fishermen to give up their livelihood of catching fish to rescuing people. This shows that Jesus' ministry is not just about knowledge or only about the disciples' own lives. Rather, Jesus' calling always includes an outward focus of bringing life and flourishing to others.

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