For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds

Matthew 4:12-17; Jesus Begins to Preach (Theological Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

The phrase, “kingdom of heaven” appears only in Matthew’s gospel, but it is used synonymously with “kingdom of God” found elsewhere in Matthew and in the other gospels. One theologian defines this term as meaning, “the spiritual rule of God in the hearts of believers.” While technically accurate, this definition falls short of the immediacy and efficacy with which Jesus used the phrase.

Christ’s teaching on the kingdom added the imperative that it was physically near (or literally, “has drawn near”) because he, God’s Son, had come. It seemed to symbolize both a present, intangible reality (i.e., “rule of God in the hearts of believers”) and also the promise of a future, corporeal actuality (God’s rule on earth) that was beginning to show itself through Christ’s presence.

“The kingdom is the sum of all gifts,” one 20th century scholar said in commentary on this passage, and that rings true. He added, “Though it will come in its complete glory only in the future, it is already beginning to manifest itself in the events connected with Jesus’ ministry…the dawning of the kingdom, the appearance of its first fruits, the combination of thanksgiving for present bliss with the most poignant expectation of glory in the near future—these features run through the whole New Testament.”

 Sunrise - The Kingdom of Heaven Draws Near

Works Cited:

[TTW, 205-6; IB7, 275]

 

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Matthew 4:12-17; Jesus Begins to Preach (Archaeological Insights)

posted by Mike Nappa

Capernaum (pronounced “kuh PUHR nay uhm”) in Galilee was the headquarters of Jesus’ ministry and the home of his disciple, Simon Peter. In that time, it was a bustling city of about 6,000 people (both Jews and Gentiles) and was situated on a major trade route that connected Damascus and Alexandria. Located beside the Sea of Galilee, fishing was a prominent trade there.

Historians tell us that Jesus most likely lived with Peter when in Capernaum. In fact, Archaeologists think they’ve found remains of both Peter’s ancient home and the synagogue where Jesus taught in Capernaum. The house lies about 80-plus feet away from the synagogue, and was discovered under the ruins of a fourth-century church. Today, the location is marked by a modern Franciscan church in what’s known as Capernaum National Park.

Ruins_of_Capernaium

Ruins of Capernaum

Works Cited:

[TEF, 49; JHT, 228, 229, 232; ANT, 162, 164; FOD, 393]

 

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About: For Bible Study Nerds™

About: Mike Nappa

Copyright © 2014 to present by Nappaland Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Matthew 4:1-11; The Temptation of Jesus (Inductive Studies)

posted by Mike Nappa

Did you notice that only Satan worked miracles during the temptation of Christ?

The devil first appeared out of nowhere (Matthew 4:3). Then he miraculously transported Jesus to the highest point of the Jerusalem temple (4:5). Lastly, he transported Jesus to a high mountain and gave him a supernatural vision of “all the kingdoms of the world.”

It’s also interesting to note that God’s miracle-working Messiah, Jesus Christ himself, didn’t perform a single miracle in his defense during this time of temptation. Despite the devil’s repeated insistence, Jesus refused to overrule the laws of nature on his own behalf—even though history has shown he had that power. As one theologian remarked:

“Jesus called upon no power that is not available to any man as he faces temptation. His only weapon was the Scripture, the Sword of the Spirit, and He wielded it within the center of the will of God.”

 Temptation of Christ by By Félix Joseph Barrias

Works Cited:

[ILJ, 57]

 

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About: For Bible Study Nerds™

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Matthew 4:1-11; The Temptation of Jesus (Factual info)

posted by Mike Nappa

In relating the events of Jesus’ temptation, Matthew presents Satan (“the devil”) without any introduction or explanation except to say he is a “tempter.” The assumption appears to be that Matthew’s Jewish readers a) already knew who Satan was, and b) accepted that Satan was a literal, living being.

Satan’s name in Hebrew (śᾱtᾱn) and Greek (satanas) mean the same thing: “adversary.” In the New Testament he’s commonly called “the devil” (diabolos) which means “one who slanders or accuses.”

Other descriptive names for Satan that are recorded in the New Testament include:

“accuser of our brothers” (Revelation 12:10)

“that ancient serpent” (Revelation 12:9)

“your enemy” (1 Peter 5:8)

“the evil one” (Matthew 13:19)

“father of lies” (John 8:44)

“the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

“a murderer” (John 8:44)

“prince of this world” (John 12:31)

Matthew 4:1-11; The Temptation of Jesus

Works Cited:

[EDB, 543; RBD, 896]

 

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About: For Bible Study Nerds™

About: Mike Nappa

Copyright © 2014 to present by Nappaland Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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