Verse 1 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
This gives a good indication that the minute we give our hearts to Christ, the devil will start tempting us in all areas of our life. But Jesus overcame him, and so can we through Jesus Christ. A person has not shown true obedience until they have had an opportunity to disobey. God led Israel into the desert to humble and test them (Deuteronomy 8:2). We too will be tested in this life. Being tempted is not sin, but don’t intentionally place yourself where you know you will be tempted.
Verse 2 – And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
The devil often tempts us when we are most vulnerable – when we are under physical or emotional stress, decisions, or faced with uncertainty. Don’t let your emotions affect how you treat others when your circumstances are stressing you out.
Verse 3 – Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
The first temptation – taking care of His physical needs. Watch out when you are in need of something, how you obtain it.
Verse 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.’ ”
We don’t combat temptations with “feelings.” Win over temptations with “The Word of God.”
The Second Temptation
Verse 5 – Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
Verse 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 concerning You,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear You up, lest You dash Your foot against a stone.’ ”
Would you look at that! Satan now says, “It is written.” Oh, Satan knows the scripture, he just never obeyed it! It makes no difference in one’s life how much knowledge of God’s Word they know, do they do it? Be aware when you’ve reached high success, positions with power, and favor in everything, because a temptation of pride will come at some point.
Verse 7 – Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ”
This is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:16. Meaning – don’t throw yourself into voluntary and un-commanded dangers and then tell God to protect you. Don’t play with rattle snakes, and you won’t get bit! Satan likes to pervert scripture.
Verse 8 – Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
Verse 9 – And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
You can’t give what’s not yours to give. Satan was talking about the political power that comes with ruler-ship. However, he didn’t own that either, God sets up kingdoms, so therefore, they belong to Him also.
Verse 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.’ ”
Today the devil offers us the world by offering us materialism and power, they can become idols. Keep your focus on Jesus and His righteousness and He will guide you into all truths. Notice every time Jesus answered the devil, He did so with the Word of God that had already been written. We should do the same.
Verse 11 – Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
I’m sure that there were many more temptations that may have been presented to Jesus, but He countered with “what is written.” so when you find yourself being tempted by the evil one, don’t think its something new. Our precious Jesus was tempted in every way know to man and He is right there with us to bring us out victorious!
Satan’s temptation will adapt to times and circumstances. Satan doesn’t come with a clear and plain sin for us to commit, it would put people on guard. He usually starts little by little until he sees a person fall to that temptation at least once.
James 4:7 – Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The key here is to, “Submit to God,” first!
Jesus Begins His Ministry
Verse 12 – Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed Galilee.
John was put in prison because he dared to say that Herod Antipas’s marriage to his brother’s wife was immoral (Matthew 141-13).
Verse 13 – And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,
Verse 14 – that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying:
Verse 15 – “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
Zebulun and Naphtali were two of the original 12 tribes of Israel. Capernaum was a large populated fishing center on the shores of Lake Galilee. It was mostly populated with Gentiles and heathen. By Jesus choosing this area, He was able to reach Jews and Gentiles in His ministry.
Verse 17 – From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus started where John the Baptist left off – “The Messiah has come!”
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
Verse 18 – Now 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.
The Sea of Galilee is really a large lake. About 30 fishing towns surrounded it during Jesus day and Capernaum was the largest.
Verse 19 – And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Verse 20 – Then they immediately left their nets and followed Him.
From reading this, you would think, “What does this strange man want? What does He mean, fisher of men?” But, according to John 1:35-42, Jesus had already been preaching in this area, and they knew what He wanted of them. They were thoroughly convinced that following Him would change their lives forever.
Verse 21 – And 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. And He called them,
Verse 22 – and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
Did you notice that when Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John, that they didn’t make an excuse as to why they couldn’t go with Him? Are you making an excuse as to why you can’t follow Jesus today?
Verse 23 – Now 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.
With preaching and teaching the gospel, there should be evidence to what is being said by the one delivering the message, and there was. There was the miracles of healing and making the person’s whole, body, soul, and spirit. In other words: At some point there has to be a manifestation of what is being preached or they are just words.
Verse 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, epileptic, and paralytic; and He healed them.
Jesus preached the “Good News!” God is with us and that He cares for us is the message. Jesus words were good news because they offered freedom, hope, and peace of heart, and eternal life with God.
Verse 25 – And great multitudes followed Him – from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond Jordan.
The news of Jesus was out and people came long distances to hear Him. Unlike these, we have God’s Word to hear Jesus. How close He is, but so far away from some.