Jesus Tempted by the Devil
1Afterward, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to experience the ordeal of testing # 4:1 Or “tribulation.” God also tested Israel for forty years in the wilderness. See Deut. 8:2. by the accuser. # 4:1 Or “devil.” The Aramaic word for “devil” means “accuser.” The Greek word is “slanderer.” 2And after fasting for forty days, # 4:2 Moses and Elijah both fasted forty days. See Ex. 34:28; 1 Kings 19:8. The number forty usually signifies passing a test or enduring a time of trial. It rained for forty days in the time of Noah, and Jonah warned Nineveh for forty days. God told Ezekiel to lay on his right side for forty days (Ezek. 4:6). Jesus was extremely hungry. 3Then the tempter came to him and said, “How can you possibly be the Son of God and go hungry? Just command these stones to be turned into loaves of bread.”
4He answered, “The Scriptures say:
Bread alone will not satisfy, # 4:4 Or “Man will not live by bread alone.” Nothing can satisfy the Son’s appetite but the words of God.
but true life is found in every word
that constantly goes forth from God’s mouth.” # 4:4 See Deut. 8:3. God had not given Jesus permission to turn stones into bread, and Jesus would not be pushed into prematurely demonstrating his power. He was content with the timing of his Father. He refused to turn stones into bread to feed himself, but he multiplied bread for his hungry followers. Today he is still turning hearts of stone into living bread that will feed the nations with truth.
5Then the accuser transported Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem and perched him at the highest point # 4:5 Or “wing.” See Ps. 91:4. of the temple 6and said to him, “If you’re really God’s Son, jump, and the angels will catch you. For it is written in the Scriptures:
He will command his angels to protect you
and they will lift you up
so that you won’t even bruise your foot on a rock.” # 4:6 See Ps. 91:11–12; Matt. 26:53. This was a temptation to capitalize on being the Son of God and to force God to protect him as he jumped. Jesus was being tested over restraining his power as the Anointed One and waiting until the timing of his Father in publicly releasing him to work miracles and display his power. He was not sent to throw himself down from the temple, but to throw down the temple and establish a new order of worship—as a true relationship with God is internal with every believer now becoming the temple of God. See 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19.
7Once again Jesus said to him, “The Scriptures say:
You must never put the Lord your God to a test.” # 4:7 See Deut. 6:16.
8And the third time the accuser lifted Jesus up onto a very high mountain range and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and all the splendor that goes with it.
9“All of these kingdoms I will give to you,” the accuser said, “if only you will kneel down before me and worship me.”
10But Jesus said, “Go away, Satan! # 4:10 Or “Satan.” For the Scriptures say:
Kneel before the Lord your God
and worship only him.” # 4:10 See Deut. 6:13–14.
11At once the accuser left him, and angels suddenly gathered around Jesus to minister to his needs.
Jesus Preaches in Galilee
12When Jesus heard that John the Baptizer had been thrown into prison, he went back into Galilee. 13Jesus moved from Nazareth to make his home in Capernaum, # 4:13 Capernaum means “the village of Nahum.” It was a fishing village on the northwestern shore of Lake Galilee. Nahum means “comforted.” Jesus did many miracles and based his Galilean ministry in the “village of the comforted.” which is by Lake Galilee in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14He did this to make the prophecy of Isaiah come true:
15Listen, you who live in the land of Zebulun
and the land of Naphtali,
along the road to the sea
and on the other side of the Jordan,
and Galilee—the land of the Gentiles!
16You who spend your days shrouded in darkness
can now say, “We have seen a brilliant Light.” # 4:16 Light is a common name for the Messiah in rabbinical literature. It speaks of both Christ and the revelatory teaching he brings. See Isa. 9:1–2. The Aramaic word for Galilee (Galeela) means “revelation of God.” Jesus was raised and ministered in the land of the “revelation of God.”
And those who live in the dark shadow land of death
can now say, “The Dawning Light arises on us.”
17From that time on Jesus began to proclaim his message with these words: “Keep turning away from your sins and come back to God, for heaven’s kingdom realm is now accessible.” # 4:17 Or “close enough to touch!”
Jesus Calls His Disciples
18As he was walking by the shore of Lake Galilee, Jesus noticed two fishermen who were brothers. One was nicknamed Keefa # 4:18 Or “Simon.” The Aramaic is Keefa, which means “the rock” or “pebble.” Peter (Petros) is his Greek name. (later called Peter), and the other was Andrew, his brother. Watching as they were casting their nets into the water, 19Jesus called out to them and said, “Come and follow me, and I will transform you into men who catch people for God.” # 4:19 Or “fishers of men.” The Aramaic word can mean either “fishers” or “hunters.” See Ezek. 47:1–10. 20Immediately they dropped their nets and left everything behind to follow Jesus.
21Leaving there, Jesus found three other men sitting in a boat, mending their nets. Two were brothers, Jacob # 4:21 Or “James.” Most translations of the Bible have substituted Jacob with James. Both Greek and Aramaic leave the Hebrew name as it is, Jacob. This translation will use the correct name, Jacob, throughout. and John, and they were with their father, Zebedee. # 4:21 Zebedee’s name means “my gift.” The gift he gave to Jesus was his two sons. All parents have the privilege of giving their children back to God. Jesus called Jacob and John to his side and said to them, “Come and follow me.” 22And at once they left their boat and their father, and began to follow Jesus.
Jesus’ Ministry of Healing
23Jesus ministered from place to place throughout all of the province of Galilee. He taught # 4:23 The Greek word didasko is a word often used for providing skilled training. in the synagogues, preaching the wonderful news of the kingdom and healing every kind of sickness and disease among the people. 24His fame spread throughout all Syria! Many people who were in pain and suffering with every kind of illness were brought to Jesus for their healing—epileptics, # 4:24 Or “the mentally ill.” paralytics, and those tormented by demonic powers were all set free. Everyone who was brought to Jesus was healed!
25This resulted in massive crowds of people following him, including people from Galilee, Jerusalem, the land of Judah, the region of the Ten Cities known as the Decapolis, and beyond the Jordan River. # 4:25 This was the first encounter the non-Jewish peoples of the Middle East had with Jesus. He was proclaiming his universal kingdom and inviting all to enter into it.