Who is Jesus?: According to Matthew 4
Jesus is the Son of God! Yet Jesus fully knew what it meant to be human. After being baptized, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. Satan tempted him by appealing to physical hunger, doubt, and worldly desire (greed). Jesus responded by pointing to Scripture and noting that through God we are nourished. Jesus warned that we are not to put God to the test. He also recognized that only God is worthy of our worship and service.
After John's imprisonment, Jesus found a home for himself in Capernaum and then took up the torch where John had left off, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
As he began his ministry he recruited fisherman to become his disciples and fish for people. As he preached about the kingdom of God, he also brought about the kingdom of God, by curing the sick and teaching in the synagogues. As a result large crowds began to follow this fascinating man.
Big Idea: After a time of testing, which further revealed his identity as Son of God, Jesus began to spread the good news of the kingdom of God through both preaching and healing.
- Jesus followed the lead of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 4:1).
- The devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1).
- Jesus fasted for 40 days & nights. As a result of fasting he was hungry (Matthew 4:2).
- The tempter believed that Jesus was the Son of God (Matthew 4:3, 6).
- The tempter recognized that Jesus could transform stones into bread (Matthew 4:3).
- Jesus quoted scripture in a defensive/offensive response to temptation (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).
- Jesus believed the words of Scripture (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).
- Jesus understood that one not only needs physical food, but also spiritual nourishment (Matthew 4:4).
- Words spoken by God mattered to Jesus (Matthew 4:4).
- Jesus was in the holy city and it was recognized as holy prior to his arrival (Matthew 4:5).
- The tempter recognized that the angels of God would physically protect Jesus (Matthew 4:6).
- Jesus believed that one should not put the Lord God to the test (Matthew 4:7).
- The tempter unsuccessfully wanted Jesus to worship him (Matthew 4:9-10).
- Jesus knew his limits and commanded the devil to depart (Matthew 4:10).
- Jesus understood and agreed with the Old Testament Scripture that said we should only worship and serve the Lord God (Matthew 4:10).
- The devil obeyed Jesus command (Matthew 4:10-11).
- Angels waited on Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:11).
- Jesus was in Galilee (Matthew 4:12).
- Jesus went from Nazareth to Capernaum (Matthew 4:12).
- Jesus made his home in "Capernaum, by the sea, in the territory of Zebulan and Naphtali" (Matthew 4:13).
- Jesus fulfilled prophecy of Isaiah by choosing to live near the sea in Capernaum (Matthew 4:14-15).
- Jesus is the prophesied great light (Matthew 4:15-16).
- After John had been arrested, Jesus moved to Capernaum and picked up where John had left off, preaching, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near" (Matthew 4:17).
- Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18).
- Jesus called Simon Peter and his brother Andrew from fishing in the Sea of Galilee to fishing for people (Matthew 4:18-19).
- Jesus invited Simon Peter and Andrew to follow him (Matthew 4:18-19).
- Simon Peter and Andrew immediately followed and obeyed Jesus request to "follow me" (Matthew 4:20).
- Jesus continued to walk along the Sea of Galilee and he extended the same invitation to James and John, sons of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21).
- James and John immediately left their father and their boats to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:22).
- "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people" (Matthew 4:23).
- Jesus taught in synagogues in Galilee (Matthew 4:23).
- Jesus proclaimed the good news of the kingdom (Matthew 4:23).
- Jesus cured every disease and sickness (Matthew 4:23).
- Jesus was famous throughout Syria as a result of this teachings and miraculous deeds of healing (Matthew 4:24).
- The sick, including the demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics from all of Syria were brought to Jesus to be healed (Matthew 4:24).
- People from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him around (Matthew 4:25).
In times of temptation help me to remember your holy word and what is right and true. May I stay on your right path so that I may follow Jesus' example and boldly preach and bear testimony to the nearness of the kingdom of God. Amen.
This blog entry is one of a series of entries in my quest to go chapter-by-chapter through the New Testament answering the question "Who is Jesus?"