Matthew 4:21-25
Mat 4:21 (KJB)
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
While Jesus was still on the shoreline, He saw two others mending or preparing their nets for the next day’s catch. These were the sons of Zebedee which became known as the sons of thunder. (Mark 3:17 KJV) And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: James would be the first martyr among the disciples. (Acts 12:1-2 KJV) Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. {2} And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. The name “James” is the Greek form of the name “Jacob” which means “supplanter.” The name “John” means “the Lord has been gracious.”
Mat 4:22 (KJB)
And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
Just as Peter and Andrew did, James and John also left the ship and followed Jesus. The fact that their father is included in this verse shows that they had left not only their business but their families also. This is the essence of the calling of a Christian. We may be called upon to not only leave our vocation but also to leave our families and be separated from them, sometimes for life as so many missionaries could attest to. By choosing disciples, Jesus is also showing us that no Christian can be an island and each one needs a support base for their ministry. Not necessarily only financial support but also spiritual and prayer support. It is a body of believers working together, not millions of islands working independently.
Mat 4:23 (KJB)
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.
While Jesus was in Galilee, He began His Galilean ministry. Jesus had gone into the synagogues which were up there and started teaching and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom. As He was continuing to preach the Gospel, He was also healing those that were sick and had bodily infirmities such as those who were disabled and did not have use of all their limbs. What Jesus was doing was confirming His ministry that He was not just another preacher but this time the Kingdom of God, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, has come to Galilee. After Jesus went back to Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit, it was through these types of miracles which also gave credence to the ministry of the apostles. (Mark 16:18 KJV) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Mat 4:24 (KJB)
And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Fame - A thing heard or a report
Torments - Great pain
Lunatic - Those suffering from epilepsy
Palsy - Paralytics
Not only did the fame of Jesus permeate the region of Galilee but it was heard of in Syria which was north of Galilee. Jesus was not only healing those with different types of diseases, He was showing His authority over some of the most debilitating diseases of the day. He had healed those who had great pain which could be from any number of ailments. Those who suffered from epileptic seizures which people probably took for being possessed of the devil. Then Jesus healed paralytics, those who could not walk or did not have use of their limbs. These people would probably lay around all day on a very uncomfortable straw mat and beg for alms and that was all they had to look forward to and Jesus healed them. People would see them every day and would know when they were healed because they would be walking and not paralyzed anymore. They would be giving glory to God for their healing and would testify to the goodness of God. Then Jesus not only healed those with physical problems showing His authority over disease but He also healed those who were possessed of the devil. He showed that he had authority over the kingdom of Satan. When He commanded a devil to leave a person, they had to go because they knew exactly who He was. (Mat 8:29 KJV) And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? Jesus now showed this great light of the Kingdom of God had now come to Galilee.
Mat 4:25 (KJB)
And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
Jesus had now captured the hearts of the people and they began to follow Him in large crowds. They came from Galilee and Decapolis. Decapolis literally means “ten cities” and it was located south and east of the Sea of Galilee. Not only did those from the north follow Jesus but there were many who came from Jerusalem and Judaea and regions beyond the Jordan. At this point they were not yet disciples of Jesus but because of the great miracles they saw and heard of, plus the teaching that the Kingdom of God was here, it caused people to leave their homes and see for themselves. These people would have been used to the same old teachings of the priests but here was a gospel of Hope being proclaimed. That hope was also accompanied by the miracles to confirm the truth of it. This crowd was about to be in for one of the most greatest teaching sessions in the history of man.