Matthew 4

Jesus Moves to Capernaum & Preaches

MATT 4:12-17    MARK 1:14-15    LUKE 4:14-15


MATT 4:12 – Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; {Similar to Mark 1:14 & Luke 4:14-15}

[had heard that John was cast into prison] – John was put in jail for saying that Herod was wrong for committing adultery (Matt 14:3-4).  John being thrown into prison was ‘the violent people seizing the Kingdom of Heaven by force’ (Matt 11:12).  Did Jesus hear that John was in prison from God or from the people around Him?  Probably from the people, just as He heard about John’s death (Matt 14:13).  In any case, this is what triggered the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  John was sent to “prepare the way for the Lord” (Matt 3:3), and since John was in prison, the preparation was complete.  John’s gospel never mentions the baptizer in prison; it only says “John was not yet cast into prison” (John 3:24).

[departed into Galilee] – Jesus came off of the mountain and went to Nazareth.



MATT 4:13 – And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

[leaving Nazareth] – Jesus left the wilderness and went to His hometown in Nazareth.  While in a synagogue of Nazareth, Jesus’ teaching offended people, so they tried to kill Him (Luke 4:16-30).  That is the reason why Jesus left Nazareth.

[he came and dwelt in Capernaum] – He moved and made Capernaum His new home.

[the sea coast] – Near the Sea of Galilee.



MATT 4:14 – That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

[That it might be fulfilled] – This is why Jesus chose Capernaum instead of, for example, Jerusalem.

[spoken by Esias] – In Isaiah 9:1-2



MATT 4:15 – The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; {Similar to Isa 9:1}

[The land of Zabulon, and the land of

[Nephthalim] – See Gen 49:21, Josh 19:32 & 2Kings 15:29.

Isaiah 9:1 – “Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.”



MATT 4:16 – 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.  {Similar to Isa 9:1}

[sat in darkness] – Because it was so near to the Gentile territory, it was considered spiritually dark.

[saw great light] – Quoted from Isa 9:2, Jesus was “the Light” (John 1:4-10, 1Tim 6:16, & 1John 1:5).



MATT 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.  {Similar to Mark 1:15}

[from that time] – After John was put in prison and Jesus moved to Capernaum.

[Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand] – This is what John preached (Matt 3:2) and John being taken to prison is what started Jesus preaching the same message (Matt 4:12).  How did Jesus know to start preaching at this time?  John’s purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus (Matt 3:3).  After John was taken to prison, Jesus knew that John’s work was done and “the way” wasn’t going to get any more prepared than what John had already made it.  It was time.

Kent Owen

Author: Kent Owen

After college I lived in China for 5 years, working as an English teacher and foreign marketing manager. Now i'm an insurance salesman, but my real passion is Christ and learning the bible.

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