Matthew Chapter 4 Part B
Matt. 4:24 And the news about Him went out into all of Syria, and they brought to Him all the ones ill with various sicknesses and torments, and the demon possessed ones, and epileptics, and the paralyzed, and He healed them.
Note on variant readings: A few manuscripts do not have the word and before the demon-possessed one. One Syriac manuscripts does not have the demon possessed ones, and epileptics, and the paralyzed.
And the news about Him went out into all of Syria, This is probably in the Old Testament sense of the regions bordering Israel on the north and northeast.
and they brought to Him all the ones ill with various sicknesses All who were sick were brought to Him.
and torments, This is a general description of diseases.
and the demon possessed ones, Demon-possession is a reality as evidenced by many New Testament examples.
and epileptics, Literally “moonstruck”.
and the paralyzed, Those who could not move certain parts of their body.
and He healed them. A comprehensive list of sicknesses Jesus healed.
Matt. 4:25 And great multitudes followed after Him from the Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
And great multitudes followed after Him His ministry will always attract great crowds.
from the Galilee This was His homeland.
and Decapolis These are a league of ten cities which were predominately Gentile.
and Jerusalem They came all the way from Jerusalem.
and Judea Includes the area of Jerusalem and Benjamin.
and from beyond the Jordan. It is a symbolic picture of all that region of the world (i.e. the whole of Israel).
The Holy Spirit which descended upon Him at His baptism was never to leave Him. After Jesus was baptized by John He was immediately led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
The purpose of this Spirit leading was to be tempted by the Devil. Adam was tested and he failed, now Christ must also be tempted in order that He may undo the results of Adam’s failure.
Matthew records three temptations that took place at the end of a forty day fast. Satan began each temptation by saying something to the effect that, “If You really are the Son of God, and let’s say for sake of argument that You are, then…”
The first temptation consisted of turning stones into bread. Later in His ministry Jesus would feed the multitude with the miraculous creation of bread. Yet this was not the time. The fast was Spirit-led and there was no reason for Jesus to cease fasting. Jesus would not take matters into His own hands and make the bread from the stones. He was here to do the will of the Father and His Father’s will called for a fast. Jesus answered Satan with a quotation of Deuteronomy 8:3 which emphasizes that it is not merely bread by which a man lives. God the Father will provide for the needs of His Son.
Satan then tempts Jesus to throw Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple. He encourages Jesus to do this rash act by quoting Scripture out of context. Jesus responds by properly quoting Scripture that you do not put the Lord God to the test (Deuteronomy 6:16).
The last temptation consisted of Satan offering to give up his dominion over the world kingdoms and hand them over to Jesus if Jesus would worship him. Jesus would then bypass the suffering and humiliation of the cross. The answer of Jesus was swift, It is only the Lord God that is to be worshipped.
Satan then left Jesus for a time and the angels came to minister to Him. The temptations of the devil were by no means over.
The next section (verses 12-17) describe the beginning of Jesus' Galilean ministry. This took place perhaps a year after the baptism and temptation. Jesus said farewell to Nazareth, which had been His home, and settled in Capernaum, located on the Sea of Galilee's northwestern shore. This was done in fulfillment of Isaiah 9:1-2.
John the Baptist had been jailed. Jesus then moved to the Galilee area to avoid a premature crisis with the religious leaders from Jerusalem. His time to die had not yet come.
Working from Capernaum, Jesus ministered to the entire northern territory, teaching, preaching, and healing. The area that was once in the despair of darkness had now seen a great light.
In the next section (verses 18-22) Jesus calls Peter and Andrew to follow Him as disciples. Later He calls James and John to follow Him. All of them immediately obey. The four of them had known Jesus for about a year and had spent some time in His company (we know this from the Gospel of John). Now they are to start training for full-time service.
In verses 23-25 we have the report of Jesus teaching, preaching, and healing, spreading to a wider basis. He goes north to Syria, Decapolis and Perea to the east and as far south as Judea. Huge crowds followed Him wherever He went. He healed all types of affliction. His healing was complete—there was no need for later treatment of these whom Jesus touched.