Summary: A study of the Gospel of Matthew 4: 12 – 17

Matthew 4: 12 – 17

They Should Have Known

12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: 16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Let me ask you a question, have you ever been a witness to a crime or an accident? If so, then you are familiar with giving an account to the police on what you saw. If there were four of you who witnessed the occasion, do you think that all of you would give the same descriptions? Most of you probably never thought of this possibility, but the answer is that all the witnesses would give different descriptions. It is all based on your make up and what is important to you. One of you might focus on the general conditions. Others would get into the specifics in more detail. With all this information finally collected, then the police are in a better position to understand what exactly happened.

In our study today, I am going to let you know up front that there were two other listings of the events that we are going to study today. One of the listings comes from a possible eyewitness and that is Matthew who we are studying. In case you did not know this, Mark received all his information from the apostle Peter, who was also an eyewitness. Luke was a disciple of Paul who later interviewed eyewitnesses and gives us his report in his Gospel.

Now, this is not bad, where some may say that Luke’s information is not trustworthy. This is not true. Luke was a great investigator. He interviewed, like a policeman, a lot of people who were eyewitnesses to these events and he is able to shed some more light which I for one am very appreciative.

So, let me just list for you the record accounts that Mark and Luke gave regarding these specific incidents.

Luke 4, “14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Mark 1: 14 – 15, “14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

I will give you some of the differences. All in all in my opinion they are not that big a deal. I will explain.

In The Gospel of Matthew our Lord Jesus had already left Nazareth in order to dwell in Capernaum. Both Matthew and Mark tell us that the disciples were with our Lord Jesus in Nazareth at this time. Luke does not mention this fact.

Our Lord Jesus gained quick recognition as a teacher. They responded with amazement at His teaching. You see teachers would share the Word of God and in their presentation would quote other Rabbi positions. Our Lord Jesus personalized the Scripture. He drove home the truth.

Now, you will see from verse 14 to 16 of Luke it was His custom to ‘teach’ – “14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Now, remember that He was gifted at doing this since the age of 12. He was now in His thirties. So, you always wondered about His hidden years, well now you know a little of what He did. His custom was to teach in the various Synagogues. Most likely He taught often for many years in this very Synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth.

Have you ever heard anyone ask the question like this, ‘Why doesn’t God just say it like it is? I mean you at the book of Revelation and you got all these symbols. You have Ezekiel 38 and 39 where all teachers talk about the war with Gog and Maygog, etc. If the United States is part of the world’s end times, then why isn’t the US listed in the bible? Why doesn’t God just give us the plain facts?’

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