After the final temptation of Christ in the wilderness the Devil departs from the presence of the Christ. It is important to realize and remember that though this was the last temptation in the wilderness, it may have not been the last temptation given to Christ from Satan overall; Luke 4:13 reads:
and when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
This may imply until a better opportunity presents itself, which ought to be a reminder to all of us who love and follow the Lord Jesus Christ as our master and God; that our adversary the Devil is constantly thinking of ways to tempt us to fall into sin and away from Christ. Remember that Satan may not know who truly belongs to Christ, and just because someone says they believe in God, does not necessarily mean they acknowledge Christ as their God. Even the Devil and His angels believe in God, and they tremble at the name of Jesus Christ, but yet they do not love and worship Him; the same may be said about the religious hypocrites all over the world.
At some time perhaps during Christ’s 40 days of fasting and temptation; John the Baptist was thrown into prison by Herod to silence him for accusing Herod of marrying his brother’s wife Herodias; not because she was a widow, but while his brother was still alive; which makes Herod guilty of fornication, adultery, and incest under God’s law. While imprisoned by Herod; John the Baptist meets his death as the first martyr of Gospel preachers. Scripture implies in Matthew 14 beginning in verse 3, that Herodias provoked her teenage daughter to seduce Herod into murdering John the Baptist, and so it was that Herod severed the head of John the Baptist and presented it to Herodias on a dish, just as she requested. We see here an example of the desperate state of man when their dark sin is exposed in the light. As a result of our sinful nature we would rather keep our sin and guilt in the dark in order that we may not face our shame and public humiliation. We see also what we as sinners are willing to do if given enough power to hide our sin. Instead of repenting of our sins we are willing to murder those who would expose our sin publically or even privately. Let it not be so among us; may we all repent and turn from our evil deeds while we are living under the grace of God; before meeting God in our spiritual body un-repented and in danger of meeting God as the judge of our sin.
It was after hearing of the imprisonment of John the Baptist that Jesus went through Galilee and Capernaum preaching His Gospel and calling men to repentance in the manner of His forerunner and Cousin John the Baptist. In His travels He found Peter, Andrew, James, and John who He called to become His disciples. It was taught by Theophylact of Ochrid, an 11th century bible scholar from Constantinople that Peter and his brother Andrew were disciples of John the Baptist and were taught by John the Baptist concerning Jesus Christ, from this we may infer that Peter and Andrew had some recognition of Jesus when they were called by Christ personally.
Let me digress a little into some Gospel exposition. Jesus said to them “follow me and I will make you fishers of men” this was an allegory to their professional jobs as fishermen now called to a higher purpose in Christ to gather many men with the Gospel of Christ being thrown out as a net to catch as many men as possible. Jesus said in:
Matthew 13:47 the kingdom of heaven is like to a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.
The allegory is a very interesting one in the sense that when the net is cast into the sea; he who casts it never knows what fish or how many he will catch if any at all, and also that when the net is cast the fish will always attempt to resist the net. In essence that is the reality of Gospel preaching. The preacher casts the Gospel message into the air unknowing who may respond in a positive or negative sense, or if any may respond positively to the Gospel call of repentance at all. But when the Gospel is preached to the multitudes, men would naturally rather avoid anything that pertains to the true things of God as a fish swimming away or against the net. Consider:
1 Corinthians 2:14: But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The natural man is the unbeliever who does not receive what comes from the Spirit of God. “Neither can he know them” implicates the lack of ability to receive the things of God because men naturally are not inclined to the spiritual things of God. Some may say well some may believe if they see physical evidence like a miracle; I would remind them of:
John 12:37 Although Jesus had performed so many miraculous signs before them, they still refused to believe in him.
Traveling further He found James and John who were also brothers in the same profession as they were mending fish nets with their father. Jesus perhaps gave them a similar spiritual proposition as He did Andrew and Peter, and both brothers immediately left their ship, and their father to follow Jesus Christ. The profession these four men were in was a busy one. In the case of James and John assisting their father in the business was a noble duty. To assist our parents in any way possible is always honorable, impressive, and pleasing to the Lord.
Colossians 3:20 reads: Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
Something else relevant about these men being busy is that when the Lord found them they were working. So it should be when our Lord returns again, that when He comes He finds us busy doing God’s work. That we may be found laboring in the study of His word, laboring in the preaching of His Gospel, laboring in whatever task our master has entrusted us with, or laboring at least to figure out what mission it is that God wants us to achieve in this life for Him, to the glory of God.
At this point Jesus is currently leading an element of four Soldiers with Him through Galilee until Jesus finds Phillip, who in return finds Nathaniel, as it is written in the book of John. The book of John is the only book which records the Marriage in Cana where Jesus turns water into wine; which is also credited as Christ’s first miracle. The claim of turning water into wine being the first miracle may seem perplexing when trying to figure out the chronological order of events since the Gospel books of Matthew and Mark do not record the marriage in Cana, but instead record the finding of disciples and then immediately Christ begins to preach, heal, deliver demons out of people throughout Galilee, which are signs and miracles; while the book of Luke goes from the temptation of Christ, no finding of disciples and immediately into miracles in Galilee. Considering this makes it seem as if turning water into wine was not the first miracle, but instead making it seem as if the healings in Galilee were the first order of miracles followed by turning water into wine, which could not be the case because it would not fit the context of the book of John in the marriage in Cana. The book of John records the incarnation of Christ, His baptism by testimony of John the Baptist, immediately going into the finding of half of Christ’s disciples; which in the book of Matthew and Mark only four are recorded to be found; no temptation of Christ is recorded in John, no preaching or healings recorded in Galilee, taking us immediately into chapter two of John of the miracle of turning water into wine, and then Jesus takes His disciples as He starts preaching the Gospel and performing more miracles throughout Galilee as His testimony to all around Him that He is the Messiah.
The only way I could reconcile this paradox was to conclude that after the temptation of Christ; Matthew and Mark, Jesus went into Galilee preaching the Gospel, but not yet performing any miracles, then finding four of His disciples; Andrew, Peter, James, and John; then going immediately to the book of John chapter one where Jesus finds Phillip and Phillip finds Nathaniel taking place for two days from the last temptation of Christ because John chapter two tells us the Marriage in Cana happened on the third day. Jesus then turns water into wine on the third day from His last temptation as His first miracle. Jesus then in John chapter 2:12 departs into Capernaum; which corresponds with Matthew 4:12 where it says that Jesus went into Capernaum after His temptation. Matthew and Mark merely chose not to write about the marriage in Cana; deciding to emphasize on the miracles in Galilee instead, but in no way does it mean the marriage in Cana occurred after the miracles of Galilee as it may seem to read at first glance.
At this point Jesus is attracting large crowds from; Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judaea, and beyond Jordan; resulting from His preaching and people bringing Him people from everywhere to be healed and have devils removed from them. Luke 6:17 adds that people were brought to Jesus also from and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. All these crowds that the Lord had gathered are the multitudes of people who are present as the Lord begins to preach His sermon on the mount.
Matthew 5:1-2 reads: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was sat, his disciples came to him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them.
Notice verse one reads that Jesus was sitting down when He began to preach His sermon. You will find in Matthew 13:2 and Luke 4:20 that Jesus was sitting down as He was teaching there as well; this is because the Jewish tradition was that the master or teacher would instruct sitting down, while the disciples remained standing. It also reads that His disciples came to Him. This does not mean that only the twelve came to hear His sermon. Luke 6:17 reads that a great multitude came to hear Him and to be healed. At this point Jesus had many disciples, many followers, and many students. It reads in:
Matthew 7:27 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.
It wasn’t until John 6:66 when most of His followers left Jesus with only the 12 who remained to become His Apostles excluding Judas, who betrayed Christ.
Jesus begins His sermon in verse three of chapter five and it continues until chapter seven of verse 27. My approach in the study and deliverance is with the intention of dividing chapter five into eight segments or eight sermons, which may be delivered in the course of at least two months if there are no interruptions. The first sermon will cover verses three through twelve, which is Christ teaching on whom the blessed are, their qualities, and the inheritance of the kingdom. The second sermon will be an analysis of what it means to be the salt and light of the earth. The third sermon will be interpreting what Jesus meant by Him saying He is the fulfillment of the law. The fourth sermon will consist of Christ’s definition of what it means to kill and the introduction of the doctrine of hell. The fifth sermon is Christ’s teaching on adultery and the great analogy illustrating extreme actions to avoid going to hell. The sixth sermon will consist of two subject; one will be showing the contrast between swearing in the Old Testament and swearing in the New Testament; and Christ declaring swearing now being a thing of evil, and the second subject will be analyzing to what extent we are supposed to allow evil to be done to us for those who desire it, such as turning the cheek when we are slapped; exactly what does that mean? The seventh sermon will refer to Christ exhorting us to love our enemies, as opposed to the false prophet Mohammed who exhorts his followers to kill their enemies. The eighth and final sermon will pertain to Christ’s command to us to be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.