Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992.
“III. Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee, 4:12-13:52” pp. 79-363.
Due to the length of this portion, we will divide notes roughly by biblical chapter.
After the temptation, Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee. Matthew’s text suggests “that Jesus as in Judea for some time after his baptism, moving to Galilee only after the arrest of the Baptist” (Morris 1992, 79). Matthew begins this part of his narrative by citing fulfilled prophecy. Morris thinks the shift of John to prison and Jesus to Galilee signifies that John’s ministry was over and Jesus’ time had come (Morris 1992, 80). Galilee at the time was well populated and was a busy and relatively prosperous area (Morris 1992, 80). The prophecy Matthew cites for Jesus’ entry into Galilee is very likely from Isaiah 9:1-2, but the translation does not match any version we now have (Morris 1992, 81). Morris observes that the population in Galilee was a mix of Jews and Gentiles. With Matthew, he sees it as very appropriate that Jesus the savior would appear in Galilee, bringing life and light to a land of death and darkness (Morris 1992, 82). Jesus’ preaching. like that of John, was of repentance and God’s kingdom (Morris 1992, 83).
In Matthew 4:18-25 Jesus calls his first disciples. Morris observes that Jesus had more than four disciples but does not choose to tell us how they were called. “It is noteworthy that Jesus called those he wanted; in Judaism the disciple chose his rabbi” (Morris 1992, 84). Jesus’ call to his disciples and calling them “fishers of men” is not known to have a precedent. The phrase was not a common metaphor in any way. Morris suggests that the issue was a greater dignity of pulling men from a fate similar to drowning (Morris 1992, 85). The disciples did leave their nets, indicating their livelihood, and followed Jesus as he went from one place to another (Morris 1992, 86).
Unlike typical rabbis who would teach in a particular location, Jesus was itinerant (Morri 1992, 87). He went about teaching, preaching, and healing. He did this in the synagogues, a particular place dedicated to hearing God’s Law (Morris 1992, 87). “An interesting feature of Matthew’s presentation is that he records no discourse of Jesus as given in a synagogue or even in a house. It seems that for him the essential message of Jesus was given as he moved about - in the countryside, on the seashore, and in similar places” (Morris 1992, 87-88).
Jesus showed himself in this time as a very powerful healer, dealing with “every illness” (Matthew 4:24). This was readily noticed, and Matthew observes a report of Jesus went out quickly (Morris 1992, 89).