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Behold the King

“The Preaching of the Kingdom” Matthew 4:17-25

Date:February 13, 2022
Author: Wayne J. Edwards



“If you walk in the kingdom of darkness, you are only adding to the darkness. If you march with the armies of the wicked, God cannot use you to defeat them. In fact, the one who would win the world must come out of the world, and be rejected by the world, to be trained and equipped to live in the world, but not be of the world, so God can send them back into the world to draw others out of the world. That’s the Great Commission; and it hasn’t changed since Jesus said it 2,000 years ago. We must reignite the fires of evangelism in our homes, our families, our neighborhood, our workplace, etc., not swearing over the sin and darkness we are living in, as if we had no part in it, but sharing the glorious gospel of the Kingdom that is soon to come, and preparing those we love to live in it.” 

We will explain this further in our next sermon in this series – “Behold the King: The Preaching of the Kingdom.” You can prepare by reading Matthew 4:17-25.

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Old Testament Reading: Daniel 12:1-13 – New Testament Reading: Romans 10:1-5

Behold the King
“The Preaching of the Kingdom”
Matthew 4:17-25

  • In the first three chapters of his gospel, Matthew outlined the majesty of Jesus, including His royal lineage, His miraculous birth, the homage paid to Him by the Magi, the way he was announced by John the Baptist, anointed by the Holy Spirit and confirmed by the voice of God the Father, and all this in fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
  • In the beginning of the fourth chapter, Matthew outlined the ministry of Jesus, including changing the water into wine, healing the Nobleman’s son, assuring the woman at the well of God’s forgiveness of her sins, if she would confess Him as her Savior and Lord.
  • Matthew showed us how God used the people’s response to His ministry to guide Him to Capernaum, the city the prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would appear as a light in the midst of darkness.

In Matthew 4:17-25, Matthew moved from the majesty and ministry of Jesus to the message of Jesus.

1. Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom – Vs. 17 – “From that time Jesus began to preach, and say, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Why Jesus called the people to “repent!”

  • “From that time”the Old Covenant had come to an end; the New Covenant was beginning; Jesus had been sent into the world to proclaim God’s final message of redemption to the world.
    • Hebrews 1:1-2 – God spoke to people in the Old Testament through various methods, but God’s final word to mankind was His Son, Jesus.
  • “Repent”to have a change of heart and a change of mind about God that results in a changed life. “Sin” is not just the acts of wickedness man commits, but it is man’s unbelief in God’s plan for the world and man’s purpose for life in the world God created.
  • “Kingdom of Heaven”God’s sovereign authority and power over the world and over all mankind. While God’s kingdom is not upon the earth at this time, it is revealed through those who receive Him as “ruler” of their hearts.
  • Jesus preached the Kingdom of Heaven:
    • With certainty – He called them to change their view of God and their purpose for life – to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and to allow Him to rule in their lives.
    • With urgency – He was God’s final word – His coming began God’s kingdom, but it also began the countdown to the day He would come again and establish His kingdom upon the earth.
    • With gravity – He knew those who rejected His invitation would spend eternity in the kingdom of darkness, from which there is no escape and of which there will be no end.

2. Jesus’ Expansion of the Kingdom – Vs. 18- 22 – “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 

 Jesus gave five “callings” to His disciples with each call requiring a deeper level of commitment:

There was the call of:

Patterns our call to:

  • Salvation – John 1:36ff – John the Baptist told them not to follow him anymore, but to follow Jesus, and in so doing, he “led” them to Jesus.
  • Salvation – to be born again by the Holy Spirit – giving us new life and a new purpose for life.


  •   Discipleship – Matthew 4 – Jesus called them to “follow Him” – to learn from Him – to catch His heart for a lost world.
  • Sanctification –one-to-one discipleship – learning what it means to be saved.


  • Commitment – Luke 5 – Jesus challenged them to stop fishing for “fish” – to end their worldly careers and join Him in “fishing” for men.
  • Dedication – forsaking all and following Christ to advance His Kingdom.


  • Apostleship – Mark 3:14 – Jesus called them to Himself and then appointed them to go forth and preach the gospel with the same power as He had.
  • Separation – time alone with God in the “wilderness” – knowing Him fully; learning to trust Him completely.


  • Proclamation – Matthew 10:1-5 – Jesus called them to Himself and endued them with power to exemplify what life will be like in the Kingdom of Heaven – to cast out demons and heal all manner of diseases.
  • Multiplication – going where God sends us and doing what God equips and empowers us to do to invite people to enter into His kingdom.


3. Jesus’ demonstration of the Kingdom – Vs. 23-25 – “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

Matthew used three words to describe the two dimensions of Jesus’ Messianic credentials.

  • His Word –
    • Teaching – explaining the Scriptures to those gathered in the synagogue; showing how He fulfilled the types and prophecies of the Messiah.
    • Preaching – proclaiming the Scriptures to those who would hear Him; showing them how they could enter into the Kingdom of God.
  • His Work –
    • Healing – evidencing His deity by removing the “curse” of sin; healing every kind of sickness and disease; not just for the benefit of those who were healed – for they all died, but to prove He was the Messiah, who had the power to forgive sins.

Where are you in your personal, spiritual growth?

  • Have you been born again? Do you know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you are truly saved?
  • Have you been discipled? Do you know what you believe, why you believe it, and how to live it?
  • Have you dedicated your life to Jesus? Do you know you are not your own; that you belong to God, for you were purchased by the blood of Christ?
  • Have you been to the wilderness with God? Do you have a personal, intimate relationship and fellowship with Him that assures you of His love for you, personally?
  • Is God using you to draw others into His kingdom? Who will be in the Kingdom of God because you invited them and showed them the way?