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Matthew 4

4
Jesus Is Tempted in the Desert
1Then the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, and there the devil tempted him. 2Jesus didn’t eat for 40 days and 40 nights, and he got very hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘People must not live only on bread, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
5Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. After all, it is written,
“ ‘The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you.
They will lift you up in their hands
so that you don’t trip over a stone.’ ”
7Jesus answered, “It is also written, ‘Don’t test the Lord your God.’ ”
8Then the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9“If you bow down and worship me,” he said, “I’ll give you all this.”
10Jesus said to him, “Get away from me, Satan! It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ”
11Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came and took care of him.
Jesus Begins to Preach
12John the Baptist was put in prison, and when Jesus heard about that, he went back to Galilee. 13Though he had grown up in Nazareth, he went to live in the city of Capernaum. That was by the lake, in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14In that way, the words of the prophet Isaiah came true. He had said,
15“Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Galilee, where Gentiles live!
Land along the Mediterranean Sea! Territory east of the Jordan River!
16The people living in darkness
have seen a great light.
A light has shined on
those living in a very dark land.”
17From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Turn away from your sins, because the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Jesus Chooses His First Disciples
18One day Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee. There he saw two brothers, Simon, who was later called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the lake, because they were fishermen. 19“Come and follow me,” Jesus told them, “and I’ll send you out to fish for people.” 20Right away they left their nets and followed him.
21Going on from there, he saw two more brothers. They were James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, working on the nets. Jesus called out to them too, 22and they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.
Jesus Heals Sick People
23Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every illness and sickness that the people had. 24News about him spread all over Syria, and they brought him everyone who was ill with any kind of sicknesses. Some were suffering great pain, while others were controlled by demons. Some were shaking wildly, and others couldn’t move at all. Jesus healed every one of them. 25Large crowds followed him from Galilee, from the area known as the Ten Cities, from Jerusalem and Judea, and from the area across the Jordan River.
4
The Test
1-3Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”
4Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
5-6For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.”
7Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: “Don’t you dare test the Lord your God.”
8-9For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”
10Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”
11The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.
Teaching and Healing
12-17When Jesus got word that John had been arrested, he returned to Galilee. He moved from his hometown, Nazareth, to the lakeside village Capernaum, nestled at the base of the Zebulun and Naphtali hills. This move completed Isaiah’s sermon:
Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali,
road to the sea, over Jordan,
Galilee, crossroads for the nations.
People sitting out their lives in the dark
saw a huge light;
Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,
they watched the sun come up.
This Isaiah-prophesied sermon came to life in Galilee the moment Jesus started preaching. He picked up where John left off: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”
18-20Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
21-22A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fishnets. Jesus made the same offer to them, and they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat and father.
23-25From there he went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was his theme—that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan.