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Matthew 4 Living Bible (TLB)

Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, to be tempted there by Satan. For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry. Then Satan tempted him to get food by changing stones into loaves of bread.

“It will prove you are the Son of God,” he said.

But Jesus told him, “No! For the Scriptures tell us that bread won’t feed men’s souls: obedience to every word of God is what we need.”

Then Satan took him to Jerusalem to the roof of the Temple. “Jump off,” he said, “and prove you are the Son of God; for the Scriptures declare, ‘God will send his angels to keep you from harm,’ . . . they will prevent you from smashing on the rocks below.”

Jesus retorted, “It also says not to put the Lord your God to a foolish test!”

Next Satan took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the nations of the world and all their glory. “I’ll give it all to you,” he said, “if you will only kneel and worship me.”

10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “The Scriptures say, ‘Worship only the Lord God. Obey only him.’”

11 Then Satan went away, and angels came and cared for Jesus.

12-13 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned home[a] to Nazareth in Galilee; but soon he moved to Capernaum, beside the Lake of Galilee, close to Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy:

15-16 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, beside the lake, and the countryside beyond the Jordan River, and Upper Galilee where so many foreigners live—there the people who sat in darkness have seen a great Light; they sat in the land of death, and the Light broke through upon them.”[b]

17 From then on, Jesus began to preach, “Turn from sin and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”[c]

18 One day as he was walking along the beach beside the Lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—out in a boat[d] fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen.

19 Jesus called out, “Come along with me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of men!” 20 And they left their nets at once and went with him.

21 A little farther up the beach he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets; and he called to them to come too. 22 At once they stopped their work and, leaving their father behind, went with him.

23 Jesus traveled all through Galilee teaching in the Jewish synagogues, everywhere preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of Heaven. And he healed every kind of sickness and disease. 24 The report of his miracles spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that sick folk were soon coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness and pain, or if they were possessed by demons, or were insane, or paralyzed—he healed them all. 25 Enormous crowds followed him wherever he went—people from Galilee, and the Ten Cities, and Jerusalem, and from all over Judea, and even from across the Jordan River.


  1. Matthew 4:12 returned home, implied.
  2. Matthew 4:15 broke through upon them, see Isaiah 9:1-2.
  3. Matthew 4:17 is near, or “is at hand,” or “has arrived.”
  4. Matthew 4:18 out in a boat, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Matthew 4 The Voice (VOICE)

The Spirit then led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. After this fast, He was, as you can imagine, hungry. But He was also curiously stronger, when the tempter came to Jesus.

Devil: If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.

Jesus (quoting Deuteronomy): It is written, “Man does not live by bread alone. Rather, he lives on every word that comes from the mouth of the Eternal One.”[a]

The point, of course, is not that Jesus couldn’t have turned these stones to bread. A little later in the story He can make food appear when He needs to. But Jesus doesn’t work miracles out of the blue, for no reason, for show or proof or spectacle. He works them in intimate, close places; He works them to meet people’s needs and to show them the way to the Kingdom.

Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city, Jerusalem, and he had Jesus stand at the very highest point in the holy temple.

Devil: If You are the Son of God, jump! And then we will see if You fulfill the Scripture that says,

    He will command His heavenly messengers concerning You,
        and the messengers will buoy You in their hands
    So that You will not crash, or fall, or even graze Your foot on a stone.[b]

Jesus: That is not the only thing Scripture says. It also says, “Do not put the Eternal One, your God, to the test.”[c]

And still the devil subjected Jesus to a third test. He took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain, and he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in all their splendor and glory, their power and pomp.

Devil: If You bow down and worship me, I will give You all these kingdoms.

Jesus: 10 Get away from Me, Satan. I will not serve you. I will instead follow Scripture, which tells us to “worship the Eternal One, your God, and serve only Him.”[d]

11 Then the devil left Jesus. And heavenly messengers came and ministered to Him.

12 It was not long until powerful people put John in prison. When Jesus learned this, He went back to Galilee. 13 He moved from Nazareth to Capernaum, a town by the sea in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 He did this to fulfill one of the prophecies of Isaiah:

15 In the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    the road to the sea along the Jordan in Galilee, the land of the outsiders—
16 In these places, the people who had been living in darkness
    saw a great light.
The light of life will overtake those who dwelt in the shadowy darkness of death.[e]

17 From that time on, preaching was part of Jesus’ work.

Jesus: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

By now Jesus desires a community around Him, friends and followers who help Him carry this urgent, precious message to people. His message is not dissimilar to John’s: Turn away from sin; turn toward God. And so He calls a community to join Him. These first beloved followers are called “disciples,” which means “apprentices.” The first disciples are two brothers, Simon and Andrew. They are fishermen.

18 One day Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee when He saw Simon (also called Peter) and Andrew throwing their nets into the water. They were, of course, fishermen.

Jesus: 19 Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20 Immediately Peter and Andrew left their fishnets and followed Jesus.

21 Going on from there, Jesus saw two more brothers, James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They, too, were fishermen. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee getting their nets ready to fish. Jesus summoned them, just as He had called to Peter and Andrew, 22 and immediately they left their boat and their father to follow Jesus.

23 And so Jesus went throughout Galilee. He taught in the synagogues. He preached the good news of the Kingdom, and He healed people, ridding their bodies of sickness and disease. 24 Word spread all over Syria, as more and more sick people came to Him. The innumerable ill who came before Him had all sorts of diseases, they were in crippling pain; they were possessed by demons; they had seizures; they were paralyzed. But Jesus healed them all. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, from Jerusalem, from the ten cities called the Decapolis, from Judea, and from the region across the Jordan followed him.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Matthew 4 The Passion Translation (TPT)

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.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

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