Matthew 4:1-11 (3-31-14)
Matthew 4:1-2 Introduction to Temptations (student read)
Question: Who led Jesus into the wilderness? The Spirit of God
Question: Why did he go? To be tempted by the devil
Question: How many days did he fast? 40
Question: What is a fast? Not eating anything or eating only a select type of food for a specific period of time.
*God tests. Satan tempts. Sometimes God’s tests include allowing Satan to tempt us as is the case here with Jesus. The difference between God’s testing and Satan’s tempting is the motive. God will test us to strengthen us but Satan only tempts us to sin. God’s goal in the testing and trials is to make us stronger in our faith in Him and His deliverance. Satan’s goal in tempting us is to have us fail and turn away from God.
Matthew 4:3-4 The First Temptation (student read)
Question: What was the first temptation? Turn these stones into bread.
Question: What was Jesus’ response? Quotes the Scriptures – God’s word says man cannot live on bread but on God’s word.
*Jesus hadn’t eaten for 40 days. I would guess this was a pretty big temptation at this point - an easy “miracle” for him to perform in order to fill his hungry belly. Satan often uses our pride in our own abilities against us, convincing us to take matters into our own hands instead of trusting God. Jesus resisted the temptation by quoting Scripture showing His trust in God.
Matthew 4:5-7 The Second Temptation (student read)
*Satan gets a little smarter on this one. He sees Jesus used Scripture to stand up to the first temptation, so he uses Scripture to put the 2nd temptation into play. “Throw yourself down from here; the Scriptures say the angels will save you if you are who you say you are.”
Question: How did Jesus answer? It is written, do not put the Lord to the test.
*Jesus didn’t fall for it, and neither should you and I. We need to know what the Bible says and be able to use it like a sword. Bible verses are often misquoted and taken out of context to be used to condone bad behaviors or to be used against followers of Christ. Knowing the Bible not only gives you a strong defense against temptations, it also provides you solid footing when you are facing trials in life as well as helping you to know if what someone is saying is accurate when they are quoting the Bible.
Matthew 4:8-10 The Third Temptation (student read)
Question: Satan says he will give Jesus what? The world and all its splendor
*Satan doesn’t really “own” the world, so he can’t really give it to Jesus. There are several schools of thought on this concept.
· Satan exaggerated when claiming the world as his own.
· Sin has a place on earth. Satan is the “king” of sin, so he “rules” here.
· Satan would leave the people of earth alone and stop tempting them if Jesus agreed to bow down to him.
*The bottom line is that Jesus didn’t fall for Satan’s deception.
Question: What was Jesus response? Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.
*This is a key point! Bowing down to Satan would have changed everything. Jesus would have submitted his power and authority to Satan. Then Satan could have done anything he wanted and as his nature suggests, it wouldn’t have been pretty. God requires total devotion and dedication to Him and Him alone. There are many religions, belief systems, deities or gods in our world today, but there is only ONE TRUE GOD, and we are to stay focused on Him and worship Him and serve Him only.
*Some people like to choose the “best parts” of many different religions creating a mosaic of the good things that they like about each one in order to develop their own personal religion. Although this seems to make the person happy and meet their earthly needs, it is not the truth. The Bible repeatedly tells us that there is only one true God. The Bible repeatedly tells us that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. For those who take parts and pieces of the Bible and mix it with parts and pieces of other religions, I have to ask “when the time comes, will they be spending eternity with Christ?” Will you?
Matthew 4:11 Angels Assist (student read)
*The devil lost the battle, and the angels came and took care of Jesus. There are some trials we will not come out of without needing a little help recovering from. God and God’s people are here to help you. Do not feel like you need to go through this on your own. Even Jesus had the angels helping him after his battle with Satan. Do not let pride keep you from getting the help you need to get back on your feet.
Interesting Thoughts and Questions:
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.
Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”