Matthew 4:13
Leaving Nazareth, He went and lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
Light in DarknessW.F. Adeney Matthew 4:12-17
Light in DarknessJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 4:12-17
Call of the FishermenMarcus Dods Matthew 4:12-22

The end of John's work was the signal for the commencement of Christ's. Thus our Lord would appear to some as the successor of the Baptist. To a nearer view it seems that the completion of the preparation makes it fitting that the full advent of the kingdom should be manifested.

I. CHRIST COMES TO PEOPLE SITTING IN DARKNESS. Here is the prophet's image - a land of gloom, its inhabitants seated disconsolately and helplessly, not having enough light to arise and do their work, or any heart to bestir themselves and seek for such a light, till it suddenly.bursts upon their surprised and startled gaze.

1. What is the darkness? Primarily, ignorance. Without Christ we do not know God or ourselves, our duty or our destiny. From this ignorance comes a sense of dull bewilderment, and that sinks down to the deadness of despair. Or if there is external cheerfulness, the benighted soul shrinks into torpor and death. In this state the greater darkness of sin invades the conscience, and sits like a brooding raven hatching baleful birds of the night.

2. Who are the people? The immediate reference is to the inhabitants of Northern Palestine - those unfortunate Israelites who were the first to forsake the God of their fathers, and the first to fall under the rod of the heathen oppressor. Now we see two great classes of dark souls.

(1) The pagan nations. Here there opens before us the vast field of foreign missions - dark in spiritual ignorance, error, and superstition; dark too in sin, for "the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty" (Psalm 74:20).

(2) The heathen of Christendom. Many of these do not know the bare elements of the gospel; many more have no spiritual perception of its power and life; and multitudes live in benighted regions of moral corruption.

3. What are these people doing! They sit - that is all. They seem to be content with their condition. A strange lethargy has taken possession of them. This is partly inevitable; for they cannot illuminate their own dark souls.


1. The light does not arise out of the darkness. The idea of the prophet is that the people of the dark north see the light that is rising in happy Judaea - so splendid and far-reaching is its radiance. Christ appeared as a Jew. Even to the Jews he came not as they expected, and his work drew none of its splendour from their goodness or their theology. The sun is not dependent on the candle-factory for its illuminating properties.

2. The light penetrates to the most remote regions. There is no limit to the penetrating power of light when this is not counteracted by the intervention of some opaque body. Every star radiates light through the whole universe. The light of Christ is for the darkest places of the earth. In our own day it has reached the heart of "darkest Africa;" it is penetrating the dense populations of China; it is spreading like a grey dawn over the vast empire of India; it shines in diamond points on many a remote island of the southern seas; and still, in spite of shameful darkness, it is brighter in England to-day than ever it was.

3. The light calls to repentance and heralds the kingdom of heaven. Christ took up the Baptist's message - beginning just where his forerunner had left off. The light of Christ reveals the sin of man. When we see Christ we see the door into the kingdom of heaven. Christ sheds light to bring men to repentance, and to guide them into the kingdom. - W.F.A.

The devil leaveth him.
I. Satan's departure ON THE SIDE OF CHRIST. Christ had repelled Satan in the third temptation in quite a different way from that in the previous contests (Luke 4:8). A coercive and indignant dismissal.

II. Satan also WITHDREW WILLINGLY. He had exhausted his temptations. All the varied forms of temptation are reduceable to three — pride, avarice, and sensuality. Three root-passions (1 John 2:16). So Christ tempted in all points as we are. Had Satan remained he had no more weapons to try. At the fitting moment Christ revealed His hatred of sin. This overthrow was a new experience.

III. How far this WITHDRAWAL WAS TEMPORARY. Satan returned in the Passion, but indirectly through others. He entered into Judas.

(W. H. Hutchings, M. A.)

They are like languages which, though many, are divided into groups or families, and are traceable to a few primitive sources.

(W. H. Hutchings, M. A.)

Thus it may prove with us as with the oyster, which stops with a precious pearl the hole in its shell which was originally a disease; as with the broken limb, which having been set, may be stronger than if it never had been broken. It may fare with us as islanders of the Southern Ocean fancy that it fares with them; counting, as they do, that the strength and valour of the warrior whom they have slain in battle passes into themselves as their rightful inheritance. The strength which lay in the temptation has shifted its seat, and passed over into the man who has overcome the temptation.

(R. C. Trench.)

In the old Roman times, there was a great Roman general to whom one of his soldiers said: "Oh! the enemy are so many. We are not half so many as the enemy! The enemy is twice as many as we are." The general said to him, "How many do you count me for?" Do you understand? There are "more with us than there are against us." Jesus is with us. How many do you count Him for?

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

1. It was complete.

2. It was not final.

3. It was the precursor of ether victories, even that of the cross.

4. He has not endured one temptation more than was necessary.

5. The propriety of the prayer, "Lead us not into temptation."

6. It was obtained through self-sacrifice.

7. It supplies an antidote to doubt and despair.

8. It was watched in heaven.

(L. H. Wiseman.)

Angels came.
1. Thoughts.

2. Friends.

3. Children.

4. Books.

5. Flowers.

1. To congratulate Christ after His victory.

2. From a disinterested love of us.

3. Because of their love for Christ.

4. To honour God.

5. To teach us the dignity of human nature when faithful in temptation.

6. Christ by this victory had formed a fresh link with the angels — they had passed through trial.

7. Human nature stands between heavenly and Satanic influences.

(W. H. Hatchings, M. A.)

Andrew, Isaiah, James, Jesus, John, Naphtali, Nephthalim, Peter, Simon, Zabdi, Zabulon, Zebedee, Zebulun
Capernaum, Decapolis, Galilee, High Mountain, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Judea, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Syria, Wilderness of Judea
Area, Borders, Capernaum, Caper'na-um, Coast, Dwelt, Frontiers, Lake, Leaving, Living-place, Naphtali, Naph'tali, Naphtalim, Nazareth, Nephthalim, Nepthalim, Region, Sea-side, Settled, Territory, Town, Zabulon, Zebulun, Zeb'ulun
1. Jesus, fasting forty days,
3. is tempted by the devil and ministered unto by angels.
12. He dwells in Capernaum;
17. begins to preach;
18. calls Peter and Andrew,
21. James and John;
23. teaches and heals all the diseased.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 4:12-16

     7266   tribes of Israel

Matthew 4:13-16

     2366   Christ, prophecies concerning

Eversley, 1872. Chester Cathedral, 1872. St Matt. iv. 3. "And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Let me say a few words to-day about a solemn subject, namely, Temptation. I do not mean the temptations of the flesh--the temptations which all men have to yield to the low animal nature in them, and behave like brutes. I mean those deeper and more terrible temptations, which our Lord conquered in that great struggle with
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

The victory of the King
'Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. 3. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5. Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Springing of the Great Light
'Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, He departed into Galilee; 13. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15. The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16. The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Early Welcome and the First Ministers of the King
'From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him. 21. And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Interpretation of Holy Scripture. --Inspired Interpretation. --The Bible is not to be Interpreted Like any Other Book. --God, (Not Man,) the Real Author of the Bible.
It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. IT is impossible to preserve exact method in Sermons like these, uncertain in number, and delivered at irregular intervals. It shall only be stated that, having already spoken at considerable length, of the Inspiration of Holy Scripture;--not, one part more, one part less, but every part equally inspired throughout; not general, (whatever the exact notion may be of a book generally inspired,)
John William Burgon—Inspiration and Interpretation

July the Thirteenth Plain Glass
"They were fishers." --MATTHEW iv. 12-22. And so our Lord went first to the fishing-boats and not to the schools. Learning is apt to be proud and aggressive, and hostile to the simplicities of the Spirit. There is nothing like plain glass for letting in the light! And our Lord wanted transparent media, and so He went to the simple fishermen on the beach. "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world." And by choosing labouring men our Master glorified labour. He Himself had worn the workman's
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Light for those who Sit in Darkness
From the text it appears that some are in greater darkness than others; and that, secondly, for such there is a hope of light; but that, thirdly, the light which will come to them lies all in Christ; and, fourthly (joyful news!) that light is already sprung up all around them: they have but to open their eyes to delight in it. I. SOME SOULS ARE IN GREATER DARKNESS THAN OTHERS. It appears from the text that it was so in Christ's days, and certainly it is so now. Divine sovereignty runs through all
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

How to Become Fishers of Men
Note, next, that we are not made all that we shall be, nor all that we ought to desire to be, when we are ourselves fished for and caught. This is what the grace of God does for us at first; but it is not all. We are like the fishes, making sin to be our element; and the good Lord comes, and with the gospel net he takes us, and he delivers us from the life and love of sin. But he has not wrought for us all that he can do, nor all that we should wish him to do, when he has done this; for it is another
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

Christ's First and Last Subject
IT SEEMS from these two texts that repentance was the first subject upon which the Redeemer dwelt, and that it was the last, which, with his departing breath, he commended to the earnestness of his disciples. He begins his mission crying, "Repent," he ends it by saying to his successors the apostles, "Preach repentance and remission of sins among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." This seems to me to be a very interesting fact, and not simply interesting, but instructive. Jesus Christ opens his
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 6: 1860

Twenty-Fourth Day. Firmness in Temptation.
"Jesus saith unto him, Get thee hence, Satan."--Matt. iv. 10. There is an awful intensity of meaning in the words, as applied to Jesus, "He suffered, being tempted!" Though incapable of sin, there was, in the refined sensibilities of His holy nature, that which made temptation unspeakably fearful. What must it have been to confront the Arch-traitor?--to stand face to face with the foe of His throne, and His universe? But the "prince of this world" came, and found "nothing in Him." Billow after
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

Eighth Day. Submission to God's Word.
"Jesus said unto him, It is written."--Matt. iv. 7. We can not fail to be struck, in the course of the Saviour's public teaching, with His constant appeal to the word of God. While, at times, He utters, in His own name, the authoritative behest, "Verily, verily, I say unto you," He as often thus introduces some mighty work, or gives intimation of some impending event in His own momentous life, "These things must come to pass, that the Scriptures be fulfilled, which saith." He commands His people
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

Knox -- the First Temptation of Christ
John Knox, the great Scottish reformer, was born at Giffordgate, four miles from Haddington, Scotland, in 1505. He first made his appearance as a preacher in Edinburgh, where he thundered against popery, but was imprisoned and sent to the galleys in 1546. In 1547 Edward VI secured his release and made him a royal chaplain, when he acquired the friendship of Cranmer and other reformers. On the accession of Mary (1553) he took refuge on the Continent. In 1556 he accepted the charge of a church in Geneva,
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume I

The Temptation in the Wilderness.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

Thoughts Upon the Appearance of Christ the Sun of Righteousness, or the Beatifick vision.
SO long as we are in the Body, we are apt to be governed wholly by its senses, seldom or never minding any thing but what comes to us through one or other of them. Though we are all able to abstract our Thoughts when we please from matter, and fix them upon things that are purely spiritual; there are but few that ever do it. But few, even among those also that have such things revealed to them by God himself, and so have infinitely more and firmer ground to believe them, than any one, or all their
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life

Christ, the Great Teacher
Scripture references: Matthew 4:23; 5:1,2; 7:29; 13:54; 26:55; 28:19,20; Mark 1:21,22; 4:1,2; 6:6; Luke 5:3; 11:1; 19:47; John 6:59; 7:14; 8:28. THE FOUNDER OF CHRISTIANITY The heart of the Christian religion is found in Jesus Christ. If we desire to know what Christianity is and of what elements it is composed we must look to Him and His teachings. He is the great source of our knowledge of what God, man, sin, righteousness, duty and salvation are. Our interest in the books of the Old Testament
Henry T. Sell—Studies in the Life of the Christian

Jesus Sets Out from Judæa for Galilee.
Subdivision A. Reasons for Retiring to Galilee. ^A Matt. IV. 12; ^B Mark I. 14; ^C Luke III. 19, 20; ^D John IV. 1-4. ^c 19 but Herod the tetrarch [son of Herod the Great, and tetrarch, or governor, of Galilee], being reproved by him [that is, by John the Baptist] for Herodias his brother's wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done [A full account of the sin of Herod and persecution of John will be found at Matt. xiv. 1-12 and Mark vi. 14-29. John had spoken the truth to Herod as fearlessly
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

General Account of Jesus' Teaching.
^A Matt. IV. 17; ^B Mark I. 14, 15; ^C Luke IV. 14, 15. ^a 17 From that time Jesus began to preach [The time here indicated is that of John the Baptist's imprisonment and Jesus' return to Galilee. This time marked a new period in the public ministry of Jesus. Hitherto he had taught, but he now began to preach. When the voice of his messenger, John, was silenced, the King became his own herald. Paul quoted the Greeks as saying that preaching was "foolishness," but following the example here set by
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness.
^A Matt. IV. 1-11; ^B Mark I. 12, 13; ^C Luke IV. 1-13. ^c 1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, ^b 12 And straightway the Spirit driveth him forth ^c and ^a 1 Then [Just after his baptism, with the glow of the descended Spirit still upon him, and the commending voice of the Father still ringing in his ears, Jesus is rushed into the suffering of temptation. Thus abrupt and violent are the changes of life. The spiritually exalted may expect these sharp contrasts. After being
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus' Temporary Residence at Capernaum.
^A Matt. IV. 13-16. ^a 13 And leaving Nazareth [This expression means that Jesus now ceased to make Nazareth his home. For description of Nazareth, see page 60], he came and dwelt in Capernaum [See page 119. Capernaum means city of Nahum, or village of consolation. Its modern name, "Tel-Hum," means hill of Nahum. The word "dwelt" means that Jesus made this town his headquarters. He owned no house there (Matt. viii. 20). He may have dwelt with some of his disciples--for instance, Simon Peter--Matt.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Calls Four Fishermen to Follow Him.
(Sea of Galilee, Near Capernaum.) ^A Matt. IV. 18-22; ^B Mark I. 16-20; ^C Luke V. 1-11. ^a 18 And walking ^b 16 And passing along by the sea of Galilee [This lake is a pear-shaped body of water, about twelve and a half miles long and about seven miles across at its widest place. It is 682 feet below sea level; its waters are fresh, clear and abounding in fish, and it is surrounded by hills and mountains, which rise from 600 to 1,000 feet above it. Its greatest depth is about 165 feet], he [Jesus]
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Makes a Preaching Tour through Galilee.
^A Matt. IV. 23-25; ^B Mark I. 35-39; ^C Luke IV. 42-44. ^b 35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose up went out [i. e., from the house of Simon Peter], and departed into a desert place, and there prayed. [Though Palestine was densely populated, its people were all gathered into towns, so that it was usually easy to find solitude outside the city limits. A ravine near Capernaum, called the Vale of Doves, would afford such solitude. Jesus taught (Matt. vi. 6) and practiced solitary
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Second visit to Cana - Cure of the Nobleman's' Son at Capernaum.
THE brief harvest in Samaria was, as Jesus had indicated to His disciples, in another sense also the beginning of sowing-time, or at least that when the green blade first appeared above ground. It formed the introduction to that Galilean ministry, when the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the Feast.' [2013] Nay, in some respects, it was the real beginning of His Work also, which, viewed as separate and distinct, commenced when the Baptist was cast into
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Second Journey through Galilee - the Healing of the Leper.
A DAY and an evening such as of that Sabbath of healing in Capernaum must, with reverence be it written, have been followed by what opens the next section. [2299] To the thoughtful observer there is such unbroken harmony in the Life of Jesus, such accord of the inward and outward, as to carry instinctive conviction of the truth of its record. It was, so to speak, an inward necessity that the God-Man, when brought into contact with disease and misery, whether from physical or supernatural causes,
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Temptation of Jesus
The proclamation and inauguration of the Kingdom of Heaven' at such a time, and under such circumstances, was one of the great antitheses of history. With reverence be it said, it is only God Who would thus begin His Kingdom. A similar, even greater antithesis, was the commencement of the Ministry of Christ. From the Jordan to the wilderness with its wild Beasts; from the devout acknowledgment of the Baptist, the consecration and filial prayer of Jesus, the descent of the Holy Spirit, and the heard
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

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