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This is a chronologically-ordered Bible site with commentary on each passage.
The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of SouthPointe Bible Fellowship in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the January 21 reading. Select here for a new reading date:

BibleTrack Summary: January 21
<< Matt 4
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<< Luke 4
<< John 4

For New King James text and comment, click here.

Matthew 4:12-25; Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:14-39   Listen Podcast
Luke 4:14-5:11; John 4:43-54


In this passage, we see the following events in Jesus' ministry:

All of these events take place between the first and second Passover Feasts of Jesus' ministry.

Jesus heads for Northern Israel to preach (Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 4:14-15; John 4:43-45)

Matthew 4
Mark 1
Luke 4
John 4
12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into 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 ye, and believe the gospel.

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
43 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.
44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.
45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.

On the occasion of the imprisonment of John the Baptist, Jesus and his disciples (by way of Samaria) go to northern Israel, back to Galilee where he was raised. We follow John's chronology here. In the verses leading up to this passage, Jesus had left Judea and headed through Samaria where he spent some time with the Samaritans in John 5:1-42 (see notes).

Matthew's mention of John the Baptist's imprisonment seems to suggest that Jerusalem was a little too hostile at that point in time toward the Messianic message. John makes a curious statement in verse 44 in light of what is called a successful mission in verse 45. Notice verse 44 where John quotes Jesus as saying, "...a prophet hath no honour in his own country." That comment seems out of place in this passage in view of the fact that the people of Galilee are very responsive here (verse 45). Remember, John wrote his account of Jesus' ministry after the crucifixion. He is obviously giving us a little insight here regarding Galilee - insight provided also by Matthew and Mark later on after a less successful trip into Galilee (Matthew 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6, see notes). Apparently John just wanted his readers to have a complete perspective regarding the people of Galilee at the outset. This comment takes on more meaning in the context of Jesus appearing in the synagogue in Nazareth when he reads the prophecy of Isaiah and applies it to himself. As we'll see below, Luke adds the context to this statement by Jesus as he is rejected by the Jews in the synagogue at Nazareth in Luke 4:24 (see below).

Jesus performs a second miracle (John 4:46-54)

John 4
46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.
49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.
52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.
53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.
54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

Map of Northern IsraelJesus is now back in Cana (a city of Galilee in northern Israel) where he had performed his first miracle (at the wedding, John 2). He is approached by a nobleman (a high government official - either Roman or Jewish) to come heal his son. Notice the statement Jesus makes in John 4:48, "Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." Again, consider what Paul said in I Corinthians 1:22 (see notes), "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom.". It was just the Jewish way. It is important to understand that Jesus came to perform miracles, not because they needed to be done, but to establish his identity as the Messiah. That statement becomes significant in light of the healing and miracle mission to which some Believers today feel they are called. There were many people in Jesus' day who were not healed and many situations that could have been remedied by a miracle, but were not. The purpose for Jesus' supernatural displays was not to remedy all physical sufferings around him and solve all problems, but rather the much greater mission of establishing his authority over the elements as God in the flesh. Now that's a mission!

You will notice that Jesus does not actually go to Capernaum (approximately 16 miles northeast of Cana) to personally oversee the healing of the official's son. We see in verse 50, "Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way." As it turns out, this is the exact hour when the son is healed, leading to the conversion of the nobleman's household.

The Jews fly into a rage at Jesus (Luke 4:16-30)

Luke 4
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?
23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

Still in the region of Galilee, Jesus goes into the synagogue back in his hometown of Nazareth (7 miles south of Cana). When given the opportunity to read, he chooses Isaiah 61 (see notes). After reading, Jesus closes the book and makes this statement in verse 21, "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." He then proclaims to them that they are not of a mind set to accept him, but neither were the people in the days of Elijah - especially in his own hometown (verse 24). Sure enough, they make an unsuccessful attempt to put him to death. It is worth making note here that this is the first rejection of Jesus as the Messiah by the Jews. You will recall the statement Jesus made in John 4:44, "...a prophet hath no honour in his own country." Well here it is! And Jesus points out in verse 24 to the people in the synagogue, "No prophet is accepted in his own country."

Jesus himself comments on his healing and miracle ministry on this occasion beginning in verse 23, "And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country." In other words, he perceives that they would have him prove his Messiahship by healing everyone in the region. However, he calls upon the life and ministry of two prophets, Elijah in I Kings 17:8-24 (see notes) and Elisha in II Kings 5:1-18 (see notes). With regard to Elijah, he only raised the son of one widow woman, and Elisha only healed Naaman of leprosy. Neither of these well-respected Hebrew prophets extended their healing abilities to entire regions. As stated above (see notes), Jesus did not come with the intention of healing all of the sick, but to establish himself as the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting.

What is this message Jesus is preaching? (Matthew 4:13-17)

Matthew 4
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 shadow of death light is sprung up.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17 perhaps needs some explanation here. What is this message Christ is preaching? Is it salvation by grace like we experience today? Essentially, but not exactly. Keep in mind that at this point in time the Jews have an opportunity to receive Jesus as the Christ (Messiah). The message Christ is preaching is one of repentance leading to the establishment of the earthly Davidic kingdom. That's the message of the Kingdom of Heaven. That's the message the Jews rejected. Notice the exact words of Jesus in verse 17, "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The Greek verb for "repent" is "metanoeo," which means to "think differently" or "change one's mind." The emphasis here with the use of the word "repent" is to encourage them to change their minds about the presence of the Messiah in their midst. Back in Nazareth he had recently proclaimed himself to be that promised Messiah; now the people must process that information and change their minds and attitudes to accept it.

Matthew points out that Christ fulfills another Old Testament prophecy on this road trip found in Isaiah 9:1-2 (see notes) - the preaching of the gospel to the inhabitants of Galilee. He quotes Isaiah in Matthew 4:14-16. Matthew explains from Isaiah's prophecy that the same territory of Israel that first fell to Assyrian captivity would be the first to see the Messiah. After all, Jesus came from Galilee (that same northern territory) about which Isaiah gives his Messianic prophecy in that passage. In my opinion, Isaiah 9:1-7 (see notes) is perhaps the most significant prophecy concerning the identity of the Messiah to be found in the Old Testament.

Simon Peter gets a lesson on fishing (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11)

Matthew 4
Mark 1
Luke 5
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 ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Everybody loves a good fish story. How about this one: Peter and his crew fish all night and catch nothing. When Jesus shows up the next morning and tells him to simply cast the net to the other side of the ship, they catch more than they could handle. This story becomes extremely significant because of Peter's response in verse 8 when he acknowledges his sin of doubt and declares Jesus as Lord. Something else happened as a result of that incident; they all (Peter, Andrew, James and John) left their lifelong trade - fishing. We see the calling of four of the disciples in John 1:35-51 (see notes). A complete list of the twelve apostles may be found in that summary also.

Incidentally. we see Luke using a more specific name for the Sea of Galilee, "the lake of Gennesaret." This lake is 12.5 miles long, and from 4 to 7.5 miles across. Its surface is 682 feet below the Mediterranean with a depth from 80 to 160 feet. This body of water gets a lot of mention in the Gospel accounts, being in Northern Israel where Jesus and his disciples spent a great deal of time during Jesus' ministry.

The demons knew who Jesus was (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37)

Mark 1
Luke 4
21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.
26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee
31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.
33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,
34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.
35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.
36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
37 And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.

Jesus moves into Capernaum. There is no question in the minds of the demons who Jesus is - the Messiah! Notice the clear reference the demon makes to Jesus when he proclaims you are "the Holy One of God," a clear reference to Jesus as the Messiah by an ambassador of Satan himself. The people observing this miracle of Jesus casting out this demon were impressed at the authority over demons demonstrated by Jesus. Notice Mark's comment regarding the teaching of Jesus in verse 22, "And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes." Ouch! If you're a scribe, a professional teacher and writer by trade, that comment's gotta hurt! We then see that Jesus becomes famous in the region of Galilee, but he's not making any friends with the Jewish leadership.

Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39)

Matthew 8
Mark 1
Luke 4
14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.
31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.
39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

By the way, Peter was married - or at least had been married. Otherwise how could you have a mother-in-law? Peter's mother-in-law lived in Capernaum (in Galilee). And we also see that his mother-in-law was grateful for the healing.

And there were more healings also. (Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40-41)

Matthew 8
Mark 1
Luke 4
16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.

It is interesting to note here that the reputation of Jesus had spread here in Capernaum to the point that many people came to him with demon possession and sickness. Jesus cast the demons out and healed all of the sick.

Matthew correlates this power over sickness demonstrated by Jesus to a prophecy by Isaiah...the one in Isaiah 53:4 (see notes), "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." In actuality, the Hebrew word for "griefs" is "choli" which is almost always translated "sickness" in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word for "sorrows" is "mak-obe," a word expressing the result of that sickness being "pain" or "sorrow." So, this verse tells us that Jesus suffered the physical ailment and resulting pain of the cross on our behalf. However, he was counted as rejected by God as he was enduring that pain. Matthew captures the essence of this verse when he quotes it in verse 17, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." One might get the impression from the English translation of Isaiah 53:4 (see notes) that this verse refers to spiritual grief and sorrow, but Matthew makes it plain that it is "infirmities" and "sicknesses" i.e. physical suffering. I might add that, while the Hebrew in this verse clearly depicts physical suffering and not spiritual, the Septuagint (Old Testament in Greek) actually gets it wrong by translating the Hebrew "choli" as "hamartia," the word for "sin." Perhaps this faulty Greek translation has led to the common misunderstanding of this verse to be regarded as spiritual grief and sorrow rather than physical. Nonetheless, Matthew renders it correctly in verse 17. Here's that reality: Jesus has power over sickness, a reality he demonstrated in Matthew 8:16.

Jesus was an early riser (Mark 1:35)

Mark 1
35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

This verse became the basis for many to have a "quiet time" in the morning for devotions.

Jesus has a fruitful ministry in Galilee (Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:36-39; Luke 4:42-44)

Matthew 4
Mark 1
Luke 4
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.
37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.
39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.
42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.
43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

So there in Northern Israel, in the vicinity of his hometown, Jesus acquires a significant following of folks as he performs miracles and healings. As a matter of fact, Matthew 4:25 says, "And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan." And verse 24 indicates the popularity of Jesus North of Israel into Syria.

For commentary on another passage, click here.

Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner