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Jesus Tempted by the Devil

Afterward, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the lonely wilderness in order to reveal his strength against the accuser[a] by going through the ordeal of testing.[b] And after fasting for forty days,[c] Jesus was extremely weak and famished. Then the tempter came to entice him to provide food by doing a miracle. So he said to Jesus, “How can you possibly be the Son of God and go hungry? Just order these stones to be turned into loaves of bread.”

He answered, “The Scriptures say:

Bread alone will not satisfy,[d]
    but true life is found in every word,
    which constantly goes forth from God’s mouth.”[e]

Then the accuser transported Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem and perched him at the highest point[f] of the temple and 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.”[g]

Once again Jesus said to him, “The Scriptures say:

You must never put the Lord your God to a test.”[h]

And the third time the accuser lifted Jesus up into a very high mountain range and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and all the splendor that goes with it.

“All of these kingdoms I will give to you,” the accuser said, “if only you will kneel down before me and worship me.”

10 But Jesus said, “Go away, enemy![i] For the Scriptures say:

Kneel before the Lord your God
    and worship only him.”[j]

11 At once the accuser left him, and angels suddenly gathered around Jesus to minister to his needs.

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

12 When Jesus heard that John the Baptizer had been thrown into prison, he went back into Galilee. 13 Jesus moved from Nazareth to make his home in Capernaum,[k] which is by Lake Galilee in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 He did this to make the prophecy of Isaiah come true:

15 Listen, 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 non-Jewish peoples!
16 You who spend your days shrouded in darkness
    can now say, “We have seen a brilliant Light.”[l]
    And those who live in the dark shadow land of death
    can now say, “The Dawning Light arises on us.”

17 From 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.”[m]

Jesus Calls His Disciples

18 As he was walking by the shore of Lake Galilee, Jesus noticed two fishermen who were brothers. One was nicknamed Keefa[n] (later called Peter), and the other was Andrew, his brother. Watching as they were casting their nets into the water, 19 Jesus called out to them and said, “Come and follow me, and I will transform you into men who catch people for God.”[o] 20 Immediately they dropped their nets and left everything behind to follow Jesus.

21 Leaving there, Jesus found three other men sitting in a boat, mending their nets. Two were brothers, Jacob[p] and John, and they were with their father, Zebedee.[q] Jesus called Jacob and John to his side and said to them, “Come and follow Me.” 22 And at once they left their boat and their father, and began to follow Jesus.

Jesus’ Ministry of Healing

23 Jesus ministered from place to place throughout all of the province of Galilee. He taught[r] in the synagogues, preaching the hope of the kingdom realm[s] and healing every kind of sickness and disease among the people. 24 His fame spread everywhere![t] Many people who were in pain and suffering with every kind of illness were brought to Jesus for their healing—epileptics,[u] paralytics, and those tormented by demonic powers were all set free. Everyone who was brought to Jesus was healed!

25 This 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.[v]


  1. Matthew 4:1 Or “devil.” The Aramaic word for “devil” means “accuser.” The Greek word is “slanderer.”
  2. Matthew 4:1 Or “tribulation.” God also tested Israel for forty years in the wilderness. See Deut. 8:2.
  3. Matthew 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).
  4. Matthew 4:4 Or “Man will not live by bread alone.” The Aramaic is Bar-nasha and can be translated “The Son of Man will not live by bread alone.”
  5. Matthew 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.
  6. Matthew 4:5 Or “wing.” See Ps. 91:4.
  7. Matthew 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.
  8. Matthew 4:7 See Deut. 6:16.
  9. Matthew 4:10 Or “Satan.”
  10. Matthew 4:10 See Deut. 6:13-14.
  11. Matthew 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.”
  12. Matthew 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.”
  13. Matthew 4:17 Or “heaven’s kingdom realm is close enough to touch!”
  14. Matthew 4:18 Or “Simon.” The Aramaic is Keefa, which means “the rock” or “pebble.” Peter (Petros) is his Greek name.
  15. Matthew 4:19 Or “fishers of men.” The Aramaic word can mean either “fishers” or “hunters.” See Ezek. 47:1-10.
  16. Matthew 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.
  17. Matthew 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.
  18. Matthew 4:23 The Greek word didasko is a word often used for providing skilled training.
  19. Matthew 4:23 As translated from the Aramaic. The Hebrew Matthew is “the good gift of the kingdom of the heavens.” The Greek is “the good news of heaven’s reign.”
  20. Matthew 4:24 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew. The Greek is “into Syria.”
  21. Matthew 4:24 Or “the mentally ill.”
  22. Matthew 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.