Something truly miraculous happened when Jesus Christ was born. God came and walked among us. So, when John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!”, he was introducing a whole new relationship, a whole new access to God because in the past, in Hebrews 9:8 “The Holy Spirit was making this clear, that the way into the holy place was not yet revealed, while the first tent was still in existence”. But now, God was demonstrating His Holy Spirit and His character and nature in a man to “the devil” and to everyone that believed. As Jesus said in John 5:36 “But I have a testimony greater than John’s, for the works which the Father has given to me that I should complete them—the very works which I am doing—these testify about me, that the Father has sent me” so that later it was testified of him in Acts 10:38 Jesus of Nazareth—how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him.
Repent, The Kingdom of Heaven Has Come Near!
This Is My Beloved Son
If You Are The Son of God
It isn’t surprising that “the devil” would be first to try to tempt Jesus after he is baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit. But it is the Holy Spirit that leads Jesus to a place where “the devil” has access to tempt him in
Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil
The word used here, “to be tempted” is πειρασθῆναι from the root πειράζω (peirazō) and its primary meaning is “examine, submit another to a test, to learn the true nature or character of (2Co 13:5)”1 and both the Holy Spirit and “the devil” were interested in proving “the true nature or character” of Jesus.
The difference though is that the Holy Spirit was demonstrating the goodness of God, the strength of God, the perfect will of God through Jesus Christ while “the devil”, is described as “the tempter” using πειράζων, the same root word indicating a slightly different meaning here which is “try to trap, attempt to catch in a mistake (Mt 16:1; Jn 8:6 v.r.; Heb 11:37 v.r.) … tempt, test for purposes of making one sin (Mk 1:13; Ac 5:3 v.r.) … attempt, try to do something, implying not succeeding at the endeavor (Ac 9:26)”.1
As “the devil” talks to Jesus he always begins his statements by casting doubt with “If you are the Son of God …”, but Jesus knew who he was and was able to resist by speaking the truth with authority.
The People Who Sit In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light
Jesus began to call men to follow him. It seems that he was just walking by and happened across Peter and Andrew in Matthew 4:18 but Jesus was already known by them because of the words of John the Baptist to his followers in
Mark 1:7–8 And he was preaching, saying, “One who is more powerful than I is coming after me, of whom I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his sandals. 8 I baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
and they had met Jesus in John 1:35-42. So, when Jesus came to them, they knew something bigger than John’s ministry was about to happen and they wanted to be a part of it in
Matthew 4:19 And he said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of people.”
they did just that in
Matthew 4:20 And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
as did James and John in Matthew 4:21-22.
Teaching and Proclaiming and Healing
Something bigger did happen with Jesus. John had said in
Matthew 3:2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!”
but Jesus said in
John 5:36 “But I have a testimony greater than John’s, for the works which the Father has given to me that I should complete them—the very works which I am doing—these testify about me, that the Father has sent me.
and Jesus did this as in
Matthew 4:23 And he went around through all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.
Jesus not only said repent, but he also demonstrated his authority to forgive sin and set people free from their effects in
Matthew 9:5–6 For which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and go to your home.”
Blessed Are …
- Matthew 4:1–11 If You Are The Son of God
- Matthew 4:18–22 Follow Me
- Matthew 4:23–25 Teaching and Proclaiming and Healing
- Matthew 3:1-17
- Matthew 4:1-25
- Matthew 5:1-12
- 1. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.