Matthew 4

What does it say?
Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit. After forty days and forty nights, Jesus became hungry. The devil tempted Jesus three times: First to turn stones into bread. Second, to jump from the pinnacle of the temple to show himself to be the son of God. Third, the devil vowed to give him all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would fall down and worship him. On the first two occasions the Devil twisted Scripture but Jesus answered the Devil with Scripture all three occasions. Jesus began his ministry in Capernaum by the sea in Galilee fulfilling Isaiah 9:1-2. The message that Jesus preached: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus was walking by the sea and called two sets of brothers to follow him: First, Peter and Andrew who were fishermen. He told them that he would make them fishers of men. Second, he called James and John away from the family business. Jesus was teaching throughout Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of heaven and healing every kind of disease. This resulted in large crowds of people following him.

What does it mean?
The largest part of the story in the Pentateuch was the Israelites wondering in the wilderness for forty years and they were tempted on many occasions and failed. Jesus was lead into the desert, though he was tempted, he did not disobey the will of God. The Devil tempted Jesus to conform to the expectations that the people had for the Messiah but Jesus determined to be conformed to God’s Messiah. Though Jesus grew up in Nazareth, he moved to the seaside city of Capernaum to begin his preaching and teaching ministry. He preached (like John the Baptist), “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” “First-century Jewish hearers would have heard, in this proclamation, a warning of the imminent day of judgment.” (IVP BBC NT) People normally choose who their teachers but Jesus chose his students. This is an indication that Jesus ministry would be different than other rabbis. The people depended on fish for protein; therefore, fishing was a lucrative business. These men left good paying jobs and their family to follow Jesus. 

What shall I do?
I believe that I have been, I am being and I will be saved from sin. These three salvations are called by the theological terms justification, sanctification and glorification. Justification is in the past. The moment that I repented and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ I was justified by God. However, sanctification began when I repented and will not end until glorification. It is a type of wondering in the wilderness, led by the Holy Spirit. I shall be led by the Holy Spirit and trust the word of God until he takes me from this world. Paul called the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. (Eph 6:17) When I am tempted, I shall remember the word of God and not twist it like the Devil but use the word of God as it should be used to defeat the temptations of the Devil, the world and my flesh. It is these three that tempt us in this world. I shall trust that God will never leave me nor forsake me while walking through this life. The kingdom of heaven was at hand during Jesus ministry and is yet to come in consummation. A day and an hour is coming in which God will judge the world in righteousness, through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. (Acts 17:31) Therefore I shall preach repentance and teach the good news of the kingdom. I shall let go of anything that keeps me from following Jesus.

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