Summary: Matthew writes his commentary from a historical Jewish viewpoint, but God is the "ghost-writer" through the Holy Spirit. Jesus reveals the light of God's Kingdom and of His grace. In This study we see the Light of the Gospel in the beginning of Jesus' M
The Dawning of the Kingdom of Heaven
If you have spent one hour watching TV or a movie in the last week, please take 15 minutes to read this! The question MOST people ask themselves when they are studying the BIBLE or “going to Church” is: What is this saying to me? How will it benefit my life? How is this going to make me happier, healthier or wealthier? Though God’s salvation in grace in Jesus Christ certainly brings TO US and does FOR US everything that we cannot do on our own, it DOES NOT bring us everything we WANT or THINK we deserve.
Perhaps a better question to ask as we begin this section of Matthew in the ministry of Jesus would be: What is God revealing to me concerning His Character and His HEAVENLY KINGDOM? In this section of Matthew, Jesus gives us some Characteristics of the BEGINNING of the Kingdom of Heaven.
God Changes Ministers
Listen to Matthew 4:12-17 with a deeper and expanded understanding of the words: “Now when Jesus (means, God is salvation, SAVIOR) heard that John (God is a gracious giver) had been taken into custody… He withdrew into Galilee.”
(Taken into custody is “Paradidomi” in the Greek: It means “TO GIVE INTO THE HANDS OF ANOTHER”. It’s used 117 times in the NT. 27 times it is translated, “betrayed”. John’s demise of being “put into the hands of another, would also be Jesus’ demise, but for a far superior purpose.
(The word Sounds like “paradise”; “Paradise” is Paradeisos (GR.) - among the Persians a grand enclosure or preserve, hunting ground, park, shady and well watered, in which wild animals, were kept for the hunt; it was enclosed by walls and furnished with towers for the hunters, a garden, pleasure ground grove, park, the part of Hades which was thought by the later Jews to be the abode of the souls of pious until the resurrection: but some understand this to be a heavenly paradise.)
I. Why does God tell us that John was “taken into custody”? In a sense, it is the end of one era and the beginning of another, but not different dispensations as some might call it. The fact is this: John’s ministry was completed, and Jesus’ ministry begins. John was called to prepare the way of the Lord and now the Lord himself is going to minister in the Flesh. The arm of the Lord is being revealed. It is something far greater: John announced the appearance of Jesus, but Jesus announces HIMSELF and His Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. God is taking the ministry of John and putting it into the hands of Jesus because Jesus is the fulfillment of all that John preached!
“Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew (returned) into Galilee; (Galilee means "circuit, district", a territory in Naphtali largely occupied by heathen; There was a circuit of towns around Kedesh-Naphtali which Solomon had given to Hiram, king of Tyre, as payment for his work in conveying timber from Lebanon to Jerusalem- Galilee is entioned 7 times in the OT and 60 times in the NT.)