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This is the New King James text of the passages with abbreviated notes.
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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 heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

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.”

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.
43 Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.
44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to 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 has no honor 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 to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.
47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”
50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.
51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”
52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”
53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.
54 This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea 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 Jesus said to him, 'Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.'" Again, consider what Paul said in I Corinthians 1:22 (see notes), "For Jews request a sign, and 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 said to him, 'Go your way; your son lives.' So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to 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 So 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 to read.
17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. 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 has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ”
24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.
25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land;
26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.
30 Then passing through the midst of them, He 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, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." 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 has no honor 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, "He said to them, 'You will surely say this proverb to Me, Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your 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 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.”

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 brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them,
22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.
17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.
20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret,
2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.
3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”
6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, 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 and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;
10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.”
11 So when they had brought their boats 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 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,
24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”
26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
28 And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.
31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths.
32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority.
33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,
34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.
36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
37 And the report about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

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 teaching, for He taught them as one having 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 Now when Jesus had come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother lying sick with a fever.
15 So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.
29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once.
31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.

38 Now He arose from the synagogue and entered Simon’s house. But Simon’s wife’s mother was sick with a high fever, and they made request of Him concerning her.
39 So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served 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 evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,
17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”
32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.
33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.
34 Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
40 When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.
41 And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of God!” And He, rebuking them, did not allow them to speak, for they knew that He was the 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 has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by 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 Isaiah the prophet, saying: 'He Himself took our infirmities And bore 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 Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He 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, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.
25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
36 And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him.
37 When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”
38 But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”
39 And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.
42 Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them;
43 but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
44 And He was preaching 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, "Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan." And verse 24 indicates the popularity of Jesus North of Israel into Syria.