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Matthew  ◦   Chapter 4

1 Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to confront and overcome the temptations of the devil.2 Jesus fasted for forty days and nights, and was very hungry3 when the tempter came to him and said, "You don't look like God's Son — you're starving! If you really are God's Son, turn these stones into bread — use your power to provide food for yourself."

4 But Jesus replied, "The Scriptures say: 'Life doesn't operate upon the principle of self-preservation, but by abiding in harmony with every word proceeding from the mouth of God.'"

5 Satan then took Jesus to Jerusalem and placed him upon the highest point of the temple.6 The evil one tried to trick Jesus by quoting Scripture out of context, "If you truly are God's Son, jump off! For the Scripture says, 'He will command his angels to guard and protect you, and they will catch you in their hands so that you won't be crushed on the rocks.'"

7 Jesus immediately answered, "The Scripture also says: 'Don't test God to provide miracles when he has already provided overwhelming evidence upon which to base one's beliefs and know one's duty.'"

8 Then the devil took Jesus to a high mountain and displayed to him all the splendor, riches, and kingdoms of the world.9 The evil one said, "I am the rightful ruler of this world, and I will give it all to you — without you having to experience any suffering or pain — if you will simply bow down and worship me."

10 Jesus immediately replied, "Get away from me, Satan! For the Scripture says: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve only him–with your entire heart.'"

11 Upon hearing these words, the devil fled, and angels of God came and helped Jesus.

12 When Jesus heard that John was in prison, he went back to Galilee.13 He went from Nazareth to Capernaum near the lake in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,14 just as God's spokesman Isaiah foretold:15 "The land of Zebulun and Naphtali, along the Jordan, toward the sea, Galilee of the Gentiles–16 the people whose minds have been clouded by lies have seen the great light of heavenly truth; upon those living in the land darkened by death the source of eternal life shines."

17 And from then on, Jesus preached: "Turn away from selfishness, for the kingdom of heavenly love has arrived."

18 Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee when he saw two brothers, Simon (also known as Peter) and Andrew. They were fishermen, and were throwing their net into the lake.19 Jesus looked at them and said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."20 Immediately they both left their nets and followed Jesus.

21 A short distance from there, he saw two other brothers, James and John, sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat with their father, preparing to cast their nets, when Jesus called them to follow him.22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

23 Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching the truth about God's kingdom of love, distributing the Remedy for selfishness and sin, and demonstrating God's ultimate healing plan by curing every physical disease and alleviating every malady among the people.24 The news about him spread like wildfire all over Syria, and the crowds flocked to him, bringing to him all who were sick with disease — those with chronic pain, the mentally ill, the demon-possessed, those with seizures, and the paralyzed — and he healed them all.25 Huge crowds from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and the region across the Jordan followed him.