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Sunday, October 1st, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Matthew 4

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


V. 1-11

1) "Then was Jesus led up," (tote ho lesous anechthe) "At that time Jesus was led up," of His own will and obedient accord. For He came to do His Father’s will, John 4:34; John 5:30; Mr 1:12; Luke 4:1. The place from which He was led was from that of His baptism, in the Jordan River east of Jerusalem and Jericho, a desolate, uninhabited desert or wilderness area.

2) "Of the spirit into the wilderness," (eis ten erem’

hupo tou pneumatos) "By the spirit into the wilderness or desolate place," by the Holy Spirit that descended upon Him in the body-appearance of a dove at His baptism by John the Baptist. It was by the same Holy Spirit by which He was begotten that He was now led, Matthew 1:18, the third person of the Godhead, by which He had been anointed, Isaiah 11:2; Luke 4:18.

3) "To be tempted of the devil." (peirasthenai hupo to diabolou) "To be tested by the Devil, the old slanderer," or accuser, Revelation 12:9-10. As an accuser and slanderer his history begins Genesis 3:1-4, and has and will continue until he is cast into the bottomless pit, Revelation 20:10. All false accusations and defamatory slander against men still emanate from him and his cohorts, as- he "walketh, about," actively, progressively, "seeking whom he may devour," 1 Peter 5:8.

Note: Jesus did not seek temptation or carelessly run into temptation, but "was led" to it, for a Divine purpose, Matthew 6:13. He, led by the Holy Spirit, resisted and overcame the -temptation or testing, by the Word of Truth and power of the Holy Spirit, thereby becoming an example for every believer, 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Verse 2

1) "And when he had fasted," (kai nesteusas) "And after he had fasted," not partially, but completely fasted. Luke 4:2 describes it, "Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those (40) days, he did eat nothing."

2) "Forty days and forty nights," (hemeras husteron eplinasen) "For a period of forty days," (kai tesserakonta nuktas) "And forty nights," in succession, without breaking fast by eating anything.

This is the same period of time that Moses engaged in a total fast with the Lord in the Sinai desert when he received the law of the Lord to guide Israel, Exodus 34:27-28. And Elijah was sustained as a prophet of God through a similar fast, 1 Kings 19:8.

3) "He was afterward an hungered." (husteron eplinasen) "Afterward (after that time had past) he hungered," as a man hungers for food and drink, Luke 4:22. After being miraculously or supernaturally sustained for forty days and nights He existed in a state of hunger, when the fasting period was ended. It appears that He was sustained without hunger pains during the time of the fast.

He was tempted or tested in lonely solitude, alone, with no friends around, without food or water, with wild beasts around, (Mr 1:13) in "all points" as we are tempted or tested, yet without sin, Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15.

Verse 3

1) "And when the tempter came to him, he said," (kai proselthon ho peirazon eipen auto) "And the old tempter approaching him (Jesus) tempting with ulterior motive, said to him;" No indication is given whether the Devil came in visible or invisible form to Jesus at this moment. He assumed that Jesus was abandoned of men and God also He would not be as hungered, alone in the wilderness.

2) "If thou be the Son of God," (ei huios ei tou theou) "if you are or exist as the Son of God," the one born in the stable of an unclean beast, hurried off to Egypt for fear of Herod, reared under a poor carpenter’s roof in the despised town of Nazareth in Galilee of the Gentiles, heathen to your people, baptized by an unlettered prophet of the desert whose food was locusts and wild honey, because the Holy Spirit in dove form came to you - you who have been alone, deserted, starving among the wild beasts of the wilderness, Luke 4:3.

3) "Command that these stones be made bread." (eipe hina hoi lithoi houtoi aetoi genontai) "Just say (the word) in order that (to cause) these stones, at your word, to become loaves of bread;" The "if thou be or (exist as) the Son of God," is a direct challenge to the Divinity of Jesus Christ. In essence the Devil said, "obey me, or do what I tell you, thereby become my servant, to prove to me that you are the Son of God," that you may have bread to eat.

All who question the Deity or Divinity of Jesus Christ do so in the spirit of the Devil. In two places the Satanic "if" was prominent:

1. At the temptation: a) To turn stones to bread. b) To leap from the temple. Matthew 4:6.

2. At the cross: a) The cry of the rabble, Matthew 27:40 b) The cry of the soldiers, Luke 23:27. c) The cry of the thief, Luke 23:39.

Verse 4

1) "But he answered and said," (ho de apokrithes elpen) "Then he (Jesus) in reply said," to the Devil, that old tempter or slanderer. When tempted, children of God should reply to the tempter’s temptation with an, "It is written." And they can, if they prepare themselves as admonished, 1 Peter 3:15.

2) "It is written, man shall not live by broad alone," (gegraptai ouk ep’ arto mono zesetai ho anthropos) "It has been written (and is, true) that man shall not live on bread only;" The best weapon against Satan is the "Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God," which Jesus took up against Satan, Deuteronomy 8:3; Ephesians 6:17. It is alive and powerful and sharper than a two edged sword, Hebrews 4:12.

3) "But by every word," (all’ epi panti hremati) "But (in contrast) he shall live upon the basis or basic support of every word," every clearly given statement. By respect for and obedience to every word, direction, or direction from God, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

4) "That proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (ekoporeuomeno dia stomatos theou) "That continually proceeds or goes forth through the mouth, (mouth piece or witness) of God," Psalms 119:160.

The Word of God is itself food, Psalms 119:103; 1 Peter 2:2, and man who trusts the Word of God shall not be in want of food, Psalms 37:3; Matthew 6:33.

What the Son of God can do is one thing and what is man’s duty when tempted of Satan is another thing. God led and fed Israel’s multitude, not for forty days, but for forty years in the wilderness, so that they did not hunger, to lead them to trust His Word to supply their need. Man is to obey and follow the Word of God knowing that the God of the Word will supply all his needs, Philippians 4:19.

Verse 5

1) "Then the devil taketh him," (tote paralambanei auton ho diabolos) "At that point of time the devil took him, conducted him (Jesus)," of His own permissive will and choice. Luke lists this as the third temptation as recounted in actual order, Luke 1:1-3; Luke 4:3; Luke 4:5; Luke 4:9.

2) "Up into the holy city," (eis ten hagian polin) "Into the holy city," the city of Jerusalem, where the Holy Jewish Temple was, Nehemiah 11:1. As the Lord permitted Satan to lead Him to Calvary for the redemption of the world, so He permitted Satan to lead Him to this pinnacle, to demonstrate that Satan’s temptations may be endured through the "Word of His Power," 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:12.

3) "And setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple," (kai estesen auton epi to pterugion tou hierou) "And stood him, or caused him to stand upon the wing (pinnacle) projection of the temple," near the southeast of the city, overlooking the Kedron ravine and valley of Hinnom, where the city refuse was dumped and burned. It was a scenic view from a worldly standpoint.

Verse 6

1) "And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God," (kai legei auto ei huios ei tou theou) "And he (the devil) said directly to him (to Jesus, tempting him) If you are or exist as the Son of God," the redemptive heir of God. Once again Satan by questioning the Divinity of Jesus, sought His obedience or servitude as a proof of His Deity. All who question the Divinity and Deity of Jesus are agents of Satan, Matthew 27:40; John 8:44.

2) "Cast thyself down:" (Bale seauton kato) "Just try to cast yourself down," from this pinnacle wing of the temple, and see what will happen, is the idea. And Luke 4:9 adds, "from thence," from this particular high point. Our Lord would not be disputed out of His Sonship.

3) "For it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee:" (gegraptai gar hoti angelois autou enteleitai peri sou) "Because it has been written that he will give to his angels a charge or command concerning you," if you are the Son of God, and if you will do it, Hebrews 1:4; Hebrews 1:14.

4) "And in their hands they shall bear thee up,"(kai epi cheiron arousin se) "And upon (their) hands they will bear you up or sustain you," as your serving angels, Psalms 91:11-12. Angels of Gabriel’s informing retinue did minister to Him, help Him understand Satan’s perversion of this very Scripture.

5) "Lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." (mepote proskopses pros lithon ton poda sou) "Lest you should strike your foot against a stone." This is Satan’s effort to secure Christ’s submission and servitude to him; He came to Jesus as a false apostle, as an angel of light, as Satan came to Eve in Eden, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.

Verse 7

1) "Jesus said unto him," (ephe auto ho lesous) "Then Jesus replied or responded to his ulterior motive address," in a ready manner, from the Scriptures, 1 Peter 3:15.

2) "It is written again," (palin gegraptai) "Again (may I advise you, in context setting) it has been (also) written," a quotation taken from the Scriptures which "can not be broken" John 10:35; Deuteronomy 6:16.

3) "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." (ouk ekpeitaseis kuriou ton theon sou) "You shall not over-tempt or presume to tempt the Lord your God," as you are trying to tempt me to be subject to you, Satan, rather than my Father who sent me, John 10:29-38; John 20:21. When one passage of Scripture is isolated from it’s contextual setting for a premise to establish a point of belief it is a distortion or perversion of the passage, out of harmony with the testimony and intent of the Word of Truth. Such is called wresting the Scriptures to ones own destruction, 2 Peter 3:16. Tempt not God, Exodus 17:2; Exodus 17:7; Numbers 14:22-23; Malachi 3:15.

These arrayed themselves against the Divinity of Jesus:

1) The Scribes and Pharisees and Elders, Luke 5:21; Luke 20:1-2.

2) The Jewish people, John 5:18; John 8:53; John 10:33.

3) This parade scoffed at His Deity while He hung on the cross:

a) The rabble, Matthew 27:39-40. b) The rulers, Luke 23:35.

c) The soldiers, Luke 23:36-37.

d) One of the thieves, Luke 23:39.

e) The chief or administrative priests, Mr 15:31,32.

Verse 8

1) "Again, the devil taketh him," (palin paralambanei auton ho diabolos) "Again (a third time) the Devil (the old slanderer) took Him," or conducted Him, accompanied Him in a nigh-supernatural manner.

2) "Up into an exceeding high mountain," (eis horos hupselon lian) "Into an extremely high mountain," or up to the peak of an extremely high mountain. It is a trait of Satan to show the glitter of sin, not the gutter of sin’s consequence - in 1) Strong drink, 2) adultery, 3) nicotine and narcotics, etc., Galatians 6:7-8.

3) "And sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world," (kai deiknusin auto pasas tas Basileias tou kosmou) "And pointed out to him all the kingdoms of the world order," in every direction, in the four parts of the earth, for a panoramic view of natural glory of all the organized kingdoms of the universe in orderly, organized array or arrangement, which is conveyed by the Gk. word "kosmos", meaning families, tribes, and nations, orderly organized.

4) "And the glory of them;" (kai ten doksain auton) "And the glory or splendor of them," as if the Lord were ignorant regarding them, Luke 4:5 adds to the clause "in a moment of time." It appears that Satan was permitted to accompany Jesus up into an exceeding high mountain and show him for a fleeting moment the transcendent splendor of all earthly glory, a humanly breath-taking view. Yet, all this shall pass away, 1 John 2:15-17; Romans 12:2.

Verse 9

1) "And saith unto him," (kai eipen auto) "And (then) asserted to him (to Jesus)," a false assertion, in harmony with his lying nature, John 8:44. Satan promises what he can not deliver and knows he can not deliver because of his deceiving, lying, covetous nature; Many serve the devil for so much less than he promised the Lord.

2) "All these things will I give thee," (tauta soi panta doso) "I will give to you all these things," kingdoms and their glory, as if they belonged to him. Satan owns nothing worthwhile to give to any person. His promises are untrustworthy, deceptive, lying in nature, with motives of ulterior nature, to harm and destroy all who will believe his word or obey his voice. For "The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein," Psalms 24:1.

3) "If thou wilt fall down and worship me." lean peso proskuneses moi) "if falling prone before me you will just worship me," do homage to me, acknowledge me as your master. To whom one "yields himself servant to obey, his servant he is whom he obeys," Romans 6:16. Our Lord would not, therefore, resisted with the Word, doing any act of worship, homage, or obedience to the Devil.

Of the three temptations this is the most devious, to which the ambitious and self-seeking succumb, to which men compromise for power, popularity, position or prestige. Jesus came to the prejudices of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and elders of the majority of the Jewish people, John 1:11-12; John 8:24.

Verse 10

1) "Then saith Jesus unto him," (tote lege auto ho lesous) "Jesus then (at that moment) said directly to him (to the devil)," in face to face resistance or confrontation, in resistance, as an example for us, James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9.

2) "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written," (hupage satana gegraptai gar) "Be gone at once and stay gone, Satan, (slanderer), because it has been written," regarding such a claim, such a slanderous, lying claim as you have made. The Lord will not countenance or look favorably upon sin; neither should His servants; Sin openly committed should be openly rebuked, 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:13; Proverbs 27:5.

3) "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God," (kurion ton theon sou proskuneseis) "You shall worship your true Lord-God," Deuteronomy 6:13-14; John 4:24; Deuteronomy 10:20.

4) "And him only shalt thou serve." (kai auto mono latereuseis) "And you shall do religious or spiritual service to him only," to Him alone, solely, restrictedly, exclusively, Exodus 20:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:4-6. Joshua resolved an high resolve for himself and his household; It was to serve the one living and true God, Joshua 24:14-15.

Verse 11

1) "Then the devil leaveth him," (tote aphiesin auton ho diabolos) "At that moment the devil left him, departed or went away from him," for a season, because of the Lord’s resistance to him, for a season, Luke 4:13; James 4:7. The "for a season", alludes to an eventual return to Him, as recounted, John 14:30; Luke 22:52-53.

2) "And, behold, angels came," (kai idou angeloi proselthon) "And behold angels approached," or came to Him of their own accord, good angels of heaven’s host, to supply His hunger, His need for food and water. Jesus here experienced His charge and pledge to the disciples, Matthew 6:33; Hebrews 1:14.

3) "And ministered unto him." (kai diekonoun auto) "And provided his physical needs," did services for Him to meet His human needs, as they did to Elijah, 1 Kings 19:5-8. Was it manna? None knows, but at least it was "angels’ food," such as sustained Elijah for forty days to his destination at Mt. Horeb; and Daniel, Daniel 10:18-21; and as they ministered to Jesus in Gethsemane, Luke 22:43.


V. 12-17

Verse 12

1) "Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison," (akousantes de hoti loannes paredothe) "Then Jesus upon hearing that John was delivered up," to imprisonment. After an interval of indeterminate time, as recounted by John only; Note "when", not "because" He heard. Where John was cast into prison is not certain, Matthew 14:1-12. Josephus reports that it was in the fortress of Machaerus in Perea. John must decrease, Jesus increase in earthly labor, in public attention. The charge was a joy to John, John 3:30.

2) "He departed into Galilee;" (anechoresen eis ten Galilaian) "He went away of his own choice into Galilee," from Jordan where He had been tempted of Satan, the old Devil, to begin His Holy Spirit anointed public ministry, not in Jerusalem, the Holy City or in Judea, but in Galilee, a territory so overrun by wars it was referred to as "the region and shadow of death," yet the region where the new light of Christ should arise, Matthew 4:16; Luke 4:16-21. This is an example of the Lord’s axiom, "The last shall be first, and the first last," Matthew 19:30; Mr 9:35; 10:31; Luke 13:30.

Verse 13

1) "And leaving Nazareth," (kai katalipon ten Nazara) "And leaving Nazareth (moving his residence from Nazareth)," After He had returned to Galilee from Jordan, Nazareth is the place where He was brought up, regularly attended the synagogue, from which He announced His anointing to the ministry, and set out from His home town to begin the choosing or calling of His church, Mr 1:14; Luke 4:16-21; Isaiah 1:1-2.

2) "He came and dwelt in Capernaum," (elthon katokesen eis kapharnaoum) "He came and resided in Capernaum," upon the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee. This move of residence He made of His own choice, to be in the traffic flow center of the land, John 15:16; John 15:26-27.

3) "Which is upon the sea coast," (ten parathalassian) "Alongside or by the side of the sea," the Sea of Galilee, to the northwest side. It became the center from which our Lord worked throughout the area of Galilee for the two or more years thereafter. This city was a population crossroads, often referred to as maritime Capernaum, an exalted city, Matthew 11:23.

4) "In the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:" (en horiois Zaboulon kai Nephthalim) "in the districts or territory areas (borders) of Zabulon and Nephthali". Zebulon was an area west of Capernaum and Nepthali, was the area to the north of Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee. This geographical description of the area was perhaps for the prophetic fulfillment that follows.

Verse 14

1) "That it might be fulfilled," (hina plerothe) "in order that (the thing) might be fulfilled;" This beginning ministry of our Lord, both His anointing of the Holy Spirit and the definitive location, are in harmony with and fulfillment of the Holy Scriptures, that men might believe in Him and receive eternal life, John 1:32-34; Matthew 3:17; Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:16-21; Isaiah 61:1-2; John 20:30-31.

2) "Which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying," (to hrethen dia Esaiou tou prophetou legontos) "The thing that was specially spoken and written through Isaiah the prophet saying," disclosing conditions of identity regarding the person and place of our Lord’s coming and labors, Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:1-2; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 53:1-2.

Verse 15

1) "The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim," (ge Zaboulon kai ge Nephthalim) "Land of Zebulon and land of Nephthalim" northern lands of Israel above, north and west of the Sea of Galilee, reaching to the Mediterranean Sea on the west and the Tyre and Sidon areas to the northwest. Zebulon was the sixth son of Jacob by Leah and was given a land grant territory in this area of northwest Israel, while Napthali was a son of Jacob by Bilhah who was also given this adjoining area as an inheritance.

2) "By the way of the sea," (hodon thalasses) "A roadway of the sea," as traffic flowed from the maritime way across from Mt. Carmel to Capernaum and on toward Damascus to the northeast. It was an area where races mixed, a border population where trouble has flared in recent years between the Arabs, Lebanese, Syrians, and Jews.

3) "Beyond Jordan," (peran tou lordanou) "Beyond the Jordan (river)," In this instance meaning west of the river and the valley of Jordan.

4) "Galilee of the Gentiles;" (Galilais ton ethnon) "Galilee of the nations;" of the mixed racial lands and people, Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 12:17-21. The people of the area were known by their uncouth speech "that betrayed them," to the people of Jerusalem, even in the days of Christ, Matthew 26:73. Their people were generally known as independent antagonists who were often incited against both the Roman rulers and elite Jewish ritualists, Isaiah 8:22; Isaiah 9:1.

Verse 16

1) "The people which sat in darkness," (ho laos ho kathemenos en skotia) "The people continually sitting or residing in darkness;" Darkness is a figure of sin, sorrow, ignorance, and blindness, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Ephesians 3:18.

2) "Saw great light;" (phos eipen mega) "Perceived or recognized a great light;" Light is a figure of life, gladness, knowledge, and holiness. Jesus was that "Light of the world" whom they beheld, John 8:12; Isaiah 9:18-20; Isaiah 42:6-7; 2 Timothy 1:10.

3) "And to them which sat," (kai tois kathemenois) "And to those continually sitting or residing," to the mixed races of Nephthalim, Zebulun, and Galilee, Jew and Gentile, Syrian and Samaritans, Greeks and Phoenicians, etc.

4) "In the region and shadow of death," (en chora kai sjia thanatou) "In a community territory (an inhabited region) and shadow of death," alluded to by Isaiah 9:1-2. To those who all their life time were subjects, slaves, or vassals of sin and death, He came to liberate them, Luke 4:18-21; John 8:32; John 8:36; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 2:15.

5) "Light is sprung up." (phos aneteilen autois) "A light sprung up (suddenly arose) to them," to offer them hope of light and eternal life; It was He to whom John the Baptist pointed as the Son of light and righteousness and Star of hope who came out of Israel, John 1:4-5; John 8:12; Isaiah 49:6; Numbers 24:17. This light and hope that began in Galilee of the Gentiles, Acts 10:37, coming out of the King of Israel with a wonderful, Golden-era of reign over the earth, Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:30-34.

Verse 17

1) "From that time Jesus began to preach," (apo tote erksato ho lesous kerusoein) "Then from that time Jesus began to proclaim, preach, or herald publicly and forcefully;" Romans 10:14. From the time that He established His residence in Capernaum, to fulfill in a definitive, historical and geographical way the prophecy of old, Isa 8:26; 9:1,2; 48:6; Isaiah 42:1-4.

2) "And to say, Repent:" (kai legein metanoeite) "And to say repeatedly, you all repent," all of you must repent,’ change directions in your natural moral and ethical desires, acknowledge your sins and seek for pardon from the guilty consequences of them, the same message that John the Baptist had preached, Mr 1:14,15; Matthew 3:1-7; Matthew 3:11; Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5.

3) "For the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (engiken gar he Basileia ton ouranon) "Because the kingdom of the heavens has (now) drawn near," is confronting you. The phrase "kingdom of heaven" has been corrupted by protestantism, and prostituted to mean, first, the sum total of the saved, and second, to refer to a far distant Davidic kingdom which Jesus offered (as they purport) to the Jews who rejected it, leaving Him no alternative but to defer its beginning until His return to earth.

The phrase "kingdom of heaven" as used exclusively, restrictedly, and definitively by Matthew refers, not to the sum total of the saved, which is the family of God, but to the ’ Now Covenant fellowship of baptized -believers that John the Baptist prepared, whom Jesus chose and taught, to whom He committed the execution of His work, till He comes again. The term, used by Matthew, more than thirty times, always refers to the same chosen followers whom He called His flock, the church, the house of God, which Jesus built. From this baptized, called, chosen, commissioned, and empowered institution He promised that the twelve apostles would, in His Davidic throne age, sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31-32; Luke 12:32; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2-3; Matthew 16:18; Mr 13:34; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 3:5-6; Luke 21:28-31.



V. 18-20

Verse 18

1) "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee," (peripaton de para ten thallasan tes Galilaias) "Then walking along the seashore of Galilee," near Capernaum where He had taken residence and begun His preaching ministry, Matthew 4:13-17; Mr 1:14,15. The Sea was also called the Lake or Sea of Gennesaret or of Tiberias, Matthew 14:34; John 6:1.

2) "Saw two brethren," (eipen duo adelphous) "He saw a duo (two) brothers," whom He had seen and with whom He had conversed before, John 1:35-42; Luke 5:1-11.

3) "Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother," (Simona ton legon enon Petron kai Andrean ton adelphon autou) "Simon who was named Peter and his brother Andrew;" Simon or Simeon was his Hebrew name and Peter from Greek "Petros", meaning "a stone", his Greek name. Cephas was also given to him as an Hebrew name, John 1:42. He and Andrew were fishermen with their father by trade.

4) "Casting a net into the sea:" (Ballontas amphiblestron eis ten thalassan) "Busily casting a net into the sea," engaged actively in their occupation when Jesus sought them out and called them. He calls busy men, as Moses was herding Jethro’s flock and David was tending his father’s when the two were called as lawgiver and king.

5) "For they were fishers.” (esan gar halelis) "Because they were fishers," by trade or occupation, in which they were busily engaged at their calling, Luke 5:2.

Verse 19

1) "And he saith unto them,” (kai legei autois), "And. he directly called to, challenged them , " in a personal call, Mr 1:18,19. Mark uses the clause "come ye after me,"

2) "Follow me," (deute apiso mou) "You two come to follow (after) me," to be my disciples, as I now choose you to help institute a new covenant fellowship of worship and Divine service, John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:21-22.

3) "And I will make you fishers of men." (kai poieso humas halelis anthropon) "And I will cause you to become (make you to be) fishers of men," Luke 5:2-10. These fishermen left a lawful calling, which they knew and had been industriously following, to become disciples of Jesus Christ and apostles in His church. This was a call to service. They were already disciples, John 1:35-42.

Verse 20

1) "And they straightway left their nets," (hoi de eutheos aphentes ta diktus) "Then immediately (without delay) they left the nets they were casting;" They left the known, to follow the unknown. Such required absolute trust, complete faith in Jesus Christ, Luke 9:23.

2) "And followed him." (akolouthesan suto) "And they followed him," where He led them, Luke 2:11. Of this break with fishing it is said they "left all" or "forsook all", to follow Jesus. As a soldier must commit first allegiance of all to his country to be a good soldier, so must a child of God put the will and work of God as first allegiance in his life to please the Lord. Such surrender leads to a well done" and rewarding hour from the Lord, Matthew 19:27; Matthew 19:29.


Verse 21

1) "And going on from thence," (kai probas ekeithen) "And as he went on along the seaside from that place," from where He had called Peter and Andrew into His church and Divine service, Mr 4.18-20.

2) "He saw other two brethren," (eiden allous duo adelphous) "He saw another pair (duo) of brothers," in addition to Simon Peter and Andrew whom He had just called.

3) "James the ton of Zebedee," (lakobon ton tou Zebedaiou) (By name of) "James the son of Zebedaiou;" He is one of two James in the New Testament, later also ordained to be an apostle, Matthew 10:1; He was murdered by Herod, Acts 12:2.

4) "And John his brother," (kai loannen ton adelphon autou) "And John his brother," apart from whom he is never mentioned in the New Testament, and was confided in as an inner circle disciple of the Lord, Matthew 17:1; Mr 5:37; 9:2; 14:33. He lived a long life, wrote five New Testament books.

5) "In a ship with Zebedee their father," (en to ploio meta Zebedaiuo tou patros auton) "In the boat, (fishing boat related to their occupation) with Zebedee their father," engaged in a busy family business, similar to that of Peter and Andrew. They were to break family TIES, Mr 10:28,37; 19:29.

6) "Mending their nets;" (katartizontas ta diktua auton) "Mending or repairing their nets," a continual need of commercial fishermen of that day.

7) "And he called them," (kai ekalesen autous) "And he called to them, or called them to follow him." This calling concluded the origin or institution of "The kingdom of heaven," or the church. He chose and called these from among the Disciples of John the Baptist, and from among the Gentiles, as a "people for His name’s sake," John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:21-22; Acts 10:37; Acts 15:13-15.

Verse 22

1) "And they immediately left the ship," (hoi de eutheos aphentes to ploion) "They (two) responded, immediately, leaving the fishing boat," and their net repair work, because "the kings business requireth haste," unhesitating obedience, 1 Samuel 21:8.

2) "And their father," (kai ton patera auton) "And their (own) father as well;" And Mark adds, "with the hired servants" or hired hands, indicating that his family, the Zebedee family had a substantial size fishing business.

3) "And followed him." (ekolouthesan auto) "And they followed to his call," where He led them in His labors, as Simon Peter and Andrew had done, Mr 4:18-20. This is a different call from that recounted, John 1:35-42 regarding these four disciples and seems to involve His choosing them at this time and place to be members of His church, John 15:26-27.

The call of Jesus to these four early members of His church was a call:

1. To Faith.

2. To Labor.

3. To Suffering and crossbearing.

4. To Bridehood and Glory.

Verse 23

1) "And Jesus went about all Galilee," (kai periegen en hole te Galilala) "And he (Jesus) traveled around in the whole area of Galilee," both upper and lower Galilee. The region had many villages and towns at that time, Mr 1:35-39; Luke 4:42-44. Under Jewish elders early Christians were permitted to worship in these community synagogues of the Jews, Luke 4:33; Luke 7:5; Luke 8:41; Luke 12:11; Acts 6:9; James 2:2.

2) "Teaching in their synagogues," (didaskon en tais sunagogais auton) "Teaching in an orderly manner in their (Jewish) synagogues," Local places of Jewish worship, Matthew 9:35; Mr 1:21,39. (kai kerusson to euangelion tes Basileias) "And proclaiming the gospel (good news) glad tidings of the kingdom," the kingdom of heaven, the church He was then setting up.

3) "And healing all manner of sickness," (kai therapeuon pasin nason) "And he was healing every kind of known sickness," excluding none; referring to physical maladies and infirmities.

4) "And all manner, of disease among the people”, (kai pasan malakien en to lao)’.’And every kind of malady, or contracted, contagious illness or disease known among the people," Mr 4:24.

Verse 24

1) "And his fame went throughout all Syria:" (kai epelthen he akon autou eis ten Surian) "And the report of him (his miraculous works) went into all parts of Syria," reaching from the Great Sea on the north and west, to the Euphrates to the east, to Arabia to the south, Isaiah 52:13; Mr 1:28; Luke 4:14. It reached first into Syrophoenicia and spread from there, Mr 7:26.

2) "And they brought unto him," (kai prosenegkan auto) "And they brought or assisted to him," to reach Him for mercy and help, as also related, Mr 1:32,33; Luke 4:40.

3) "All sick people that were taken with divers diseases," (pantas tous kakos echontas poikilais nosois) "All those who were ill having or possessing various physical diseases."

4) "And torments, and those which were possessed with devils," (kai basanois sunechomenous daimonizomenous) "And those being tortured, mentally and emotionally suffering from being demon possessed," He healed all who were demonized.

5) "And those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy;" (kai selenlazomenous kai paralutikous) "And those who were lunatics and paralyzed."

6) "And he healed them." (kai etheraplusen autous) "And he (Jesus) healed them," without default or failure or turning anyone away, so that honest men could find, "no fault in him at all," Luke 23:4; Luke 23:14; John 18:38; John 19:4; John 19:6.

These healings were expressions of His care for the afflicted and demonstrations of His Divinity, His supernatural power and being, John 3:2; Mr 2:5-11.

Verse 25

1) "And there followed him," (kai akolouthesan auto) "And there were those (many) who followed him," pursued Him as a result of His works and fame.

2) "Great multitudes of people from Galilee," (ochloi polloi apo tes Galilaias) "Many crowds or parties from all areas (of) Galilee," where He had made His first gospel ministry tour, Mr 4:23,24. The crowds are rendered multitudes, almost beyond numbering. Such was the background, labors, and influence of our Lord before delivering His notable sermon on the mount, or Inaugural address to His church that follows, Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29.

3) "And from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea," (kai Dekapoleos kai lerosolumon kai loudaias) "And numerous crowds (large parties) from Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea;" Decapolis means an area of ten cities located east of the Jordan river and east and south of Galilee, chiefly occupied by Greek settlers. And Jerusalem and Judea were to the south of Galilee.

4) "And from beyond Jordan" (kai peran tou lordanou) "And even (as well as) many crowds (parties) from territories beyond the Jordan river," in an area known as Perea, Matthew 5:11; Mr 3:7,8; Matthew 8:1; Matthew 8:18 all indicate the wide area of influence and respect that the preaching and healing of Jesus had gained.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Matthew 4". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/matthew-4.html. 1985.
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