The Test 4 1Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. 2Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, 3which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.” 4Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.” 5For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, 6“Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.” 7Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: “Don’t you dare test the Lord your God.” 8For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. 9Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.” 10Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single–heartedness.” 11The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs. Teaching and Healing 12When Jesus got word that John had been arrested, he returned to Galilee. 13He moved from his hometown, Nazareth, to the lakeside village Capernaum, nestled at the base of the Zebulun and Naphtali hills. 14This move completed Isaiah’s sermon: 15Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, road to the sea, over Jordan, Galilee, crossroads for the nations. 16People sitting out their lives in the dark saw a huge light; Sitting in that dark, dark country of death, they watched the sun come up. 17This Isaiah–prophesied sermon came to life in Galilee the moment Jesus started preaching. He picked up where John left off: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” 18Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. 19Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” 20They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed. 21A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James and John, Zebedee’s sons. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fishnets. Jesus made the same offer to them, 22and they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat and father. 23From there he went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was his theme—that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. 24Word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. 25More and more people came, the momentum gathering. Besides those from Galilee, crowds came from the “Ten Towns” across the lake, others up from Jerusalem and Judea, still others from across the Jordan.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About