The Berean Expositor Volume 52 - Page 78 of 207 Index | Zoom |
Its threefold aim was to gain: (1) a temporal, not a spiritual dominion; (2) to gain it
at once; and (3) this would have made the Messiah a vice-regent of Satan and not of
"Begone" Christ says to the deceiver and Satan is forced to leave Him temporarily.
Luke 4: 13 adds that this was only until a good opportunity occurred again. The order
of the three temptations vary in the first three Gospels, but this does not cause any
difficulty. We can praise the Lord that the victory was won in spite of the physical
weakness after a forty days fast and the repeated attacks of the devil. We are told that
angels came and ministered to the Lord, evidently strengthening Him and what rejoicing
must have filled their hearts as they contemplated the mighty Conqueror, empowered by
His heavenly Father.
Before we pass on, let us remember that the Lord Jesus did not triumph because He
used the power of His Godhead against Satan. As an example, He used effectively the
holy Scriptures which we can all use. This is the mightiest weapon against the evil one.
It is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6: 17) and is the only
weapon which can defeat Satan and all his wiles.
There has to be constant practice in the use of weapons if they are to be effective. To
many the Bible is a closed book because it is never used or studied. To such it is not a
weapon at all for it rests on the shelf unused. May we all, while we have the opportunity,
so read and receive the Word of God that we may have the Word of Christ dwelling in us
richly in all wisdom (Col. 3: 16) and so be ready to meet the deceiver with the sword of
4: 12 - 25.
pp. 88 - 93
Verse 12 of Matthew chapter 4: begins a new paragraph which gives the
commencement of the Galilean ministry. A year had elapsed which is not mentioned by
the Evangelist. The reason for Christ's return to Galilee is given here, namely that John
had been arrested and imprisoned. This is confirmed by Mark, although Matthew alone
records that, leaving Nazareth (where He had been rejected [Luke 4: 16-31]), the Lord
came and dwelt in Capernaum in the north-west shore of the Sea Galilee in the district
once known as Zebulun and Napthalim, but now incorporated in the larger circular area
known as Galilee (Galilee means circle or circuit). This was where the Jewish population
was largely mixed with Gentiles, hence "Galilee of the Gentiles". Capernaum became at
this point as Matt. 9: 1 says, "His own city".
The Evangelist finds in this the fulfillment of Isa. 9: 1-7, which describes a time
when that same region, the northern part of the land of Israel ravaged by the Assyrian
invader, would one day experience "a great light" (Matt. 4: 13-16). He Who was the