BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 4, Day 5: Matthew 4:12-25

Summary of passage:  When John the Baptist had been put in prison, Jesus returned to Galilee.  He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum, which fulfilled Isaiah 9: 1,2.

Jesus called Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew to follow him.  Then he called James and John.  Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching the good news and healing people.  News about him spread and people brought him man sick to heal.  Large crowds followed him.

Questions:

8a)  Isaiah 9:1-2:  Jesus visited the land of Zebulun and Naphtali and Galilee.  He was the light to those living in the shadow of death.

Isaiah 11:1-3:  Jesus will come from the line of Jesse and the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him, a Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel, power, fear of the Lord and he will judge with righteousness.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus is definitely the light in my otherwise dark world.  I know I am judged by righteousness and I am saved eternally.  I can go to him for wisdom, understanding, and counsel whenever I need him.

9a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It was immediate.  One command was all it took to obey Jesus.

b)  He will make them fishers of men.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Fishers of men is disciples so they would learn from Jesus first-hand as they followed him in his ministry and then go and “fish” out others to convert.  I believe I am learning every day to follow Jesus and be like him and as I do I gain the knowledge I need to speak the good news to others.

10a)  Repent, turn to God, and accept Jesus for the kingdom of God is near.

b)  John the Baptist was preaching the same thing of repentance, only saying that Jesus was coming as well.  When Jesus arrived, he brought the power of the Holy Spirit and the ability to grant people eternal life.

c)  Accept me (Jesus) and have eternal salvation.

11a)  Jesus has come to save you from you sins and offer you a way to God once again.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  In Isaiah 35:10, we learn we will have everlasting joy and sorrow will flee away.  Jesus came to save us all and to heal the sick and the broken-hearted who desperately need him.  If we accept him, nothing can defeat us (including the devil) for Jesus is our guiding light in this dark world.

Conclusions:  Wasn’t feeling this lesson.  Not sure why.  It seemed to be the same idea and thought and question just worded differently.  We spent a lot of time in Isaiah looking at the prophecy of Jesus.

My favorite part was how the disciples immediately followed Jesus.  They didn’t say,”Hold on, Jesus.  I gotta go home and get a few things and make sure my house is in order.”  No.  They dropped what they were doing and followed him without question.  Great example for us when we are called to do His work.

Extras:  Great explanation of the phrase “fishers of men” HERE

Map showing Capernaum and Nazareth HERE

Map showing Zebulun and Naphtali HERE

Explanations:  Matthew leaves out some of Jesus’ first ministries that is recorded in the first four chapters of John.  Jesus left Nazareth because they did not believe in him (Luke 4:16-30) and chose Capernaum instead.  Galilee at this time is a highly-populated, very productive and economically viable state with very fertile land with a lot of Gentiles.

The Greek word for preach means a herald’s proclamation from a king.  Jesus was the herald for God.

Jesus had actually met these men previously (John 1:35-42 & Luke 5:3) but this was the first time he called them to follow him.

Fun Fact:  This is the first time demon-possessed is mentioned in the New Testament.  With the exception of Saul, it seems to be much more common in the New Testament than the Old Testament.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 4, Day 4: Matthew 4:1-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted for 40 days and nights and the tempter told him to turn stones to bread.  Jesus said he only needed the word of God to live.  The tempter took him to the highest point of the temple and told him to jump.  Jesus said not to test God.

The devil offered him to rule the world if he only would worship him.  Jesus told him to go away for only God deserves to be worshipped.  Angels came to him afterwards.

Questions:

6a)  Satan suggested that Jesus perform a miracle to satisfy his human need to eat by turning stones to bread (verse 3).   Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 to resist.

Satan suggested that Jesus test God’s word by jumping from the temple and having the angels catch him (verse 6).  Jesus quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to resist.

Satan appealed to human pride by telling Jesus he could have all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor if he’d bow and worship him (verse 8-9).  Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:13 to resist.

b)  Satan appealed to the needs of the flesh in terms of eating.  Jesus says all we need for bread is God’s word.

Jumping off the roof of the temple would be a sensational act, one that would attract huge amounts of attention.  Further, this would test God, something we are never to do.  This was the test of pride.

The third temptation was an attempt to get Jesus to skip the cross and have all the kingdoms of the world, which Jesus gained anyways when he died for us.  And Satan wanted Jesus to worship him.  Jesus gained the world as we will as well when we die and are granted eternal life without giving into earthly, material desires.

c)  God’s word should be more precious to us than bread.  We need Him more than we need to eat.  Jesus was also being tested to use his gifts from God for selfish purposes.  We face this all the time especially in the media and with celebrities.  We see those with enormous talent fall flat and waste God’s gift that could have been used to advance His kingdom as they fall further and further into sin and the ways of this world.  Jesus would not perform a miracle just because he could.

How many times have we asked God for a miraculous sign only to come up empty-handed?  That’s not to say we can’t ask for miracles in our lives.  But we can’t ask for miracles just for the sake of a miracle that has no purpose.  This is an attempt to seek approval from not only God but also from others.  God has given us his greatest act of external love we need to see–Jesus on the cross.  We should demand nothing else from God.

How many times have we worshipped false idols instead of the One, True God?  Here, the devil is a false-idol, desperate for your attention.  The devil will offer us our deepest desires if we only turn away from God.  Any material, earthly thing we want, the devil will grant us if we sin enough.  Literature is filled with allusions of selling our soul to the devil for such things as eternal life, gold, etc.  Stories such as Dante’s Divine Comedy, King Midas, The Chronicles of Narnia come to mind.

The devil will promise us the world if we worship him.  Jesus says defiantly “No!”

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We will not be tempted beyond what we can bear and every temptation has a way out.  God closes doors on paths He doesn’t want us to take.  My temptations are daily to sin in small ways but they are big to me.  Yet, I know I have a way out.  Often to not say discouraging words or to be kind instead of mean to others.  To offer help when all I want to do is walk away.  To give of my time which I am very selfish about.  To put others first.  To care more than I’d like to.

In essence, that I can overcome my human nature to be more like Jesus.

7a)  Angels came and attended Jesus (scholars says this means brought him food).

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  There is no guilt when we resist temptation.  In fact, we are strengthened.  We become a bit more like Jesus and it shows to all.  I just feel better about myself as a whole when I deny the flesh and the lies and seek His truth instead–when I do do what Jesus would do.

Conclusions:  Through temptation number 3, we learn that Satan does have authority and dominion over this world. It was originally given to Adam (Genesis 1:28-30) but he gave it to Satan when he let him into the world.  2 Corinthians 4:4 reminds us that the devil if only of this age, not of heaven.

There is not a better example in the Bible of overcoming temptation that Jesus’ example.  Great study and analysis of pulling out all the tactics the devil uses (basically lies and deceit) and focusing on our weapons (the Truth of God’s word and ways) that will set us free if embraced.  So embrace it today!

It offers us encouragement and I’m glad we studied this at the beginning of the year as I for one needed it!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 4, Day 3: Matthew 4:1-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted for 40 days and nights and the tempter told him to turn stones to bread.  Jesus said he only needed the word of God to live.  The tempter took him to the highest point of the temple and told him to jump.  Jesus said not to test God.

The devil offered him to rule the world if he only would worship him.  Jesus told him to go away for only God deserves to be worshipped.  Angels came to him afterwards.

Questions:

5a)  He said “If you are the Son of God” (verse 3, 6).  Satan also repeated “It is written” (verse 4, 6, 7, 10).  Satan’s is verse 6

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus had just been baptized which is an outward sign of being cleansed from all sin and now Jesus heads to the wilderness to be tempted, which also happens to all sinners.  So Jesus is again identifying with us (sinners) and showing us how to live.  He sets the example of being baptized into Him and of overcoming temptation through God’s word.  Showing us how to be more like him!

c)  Personal Question.  My answers:

Matthew 6:25-26:  The command is to not worry about anything for the Father takes care of all of our needs just like He does the birds.  Who amongst us doesn’t worry?  We are tempted to take things in our own hands instead of placing them in God’s.  It’s a lack of faith in God and who He is that we are lacking.

Acts 4:12:  Salvation is found in Jesus.  People today don’t believe this and don’t believe in Jesus or believe in something else that will not bring them salvation.

Romans 8:16:  The indwelt Holy Spirit marks us as God’s children.  People don’t believe that and thus do not act like Jesus would.  They dismiss the significance and magnitude of the Spirit within and sometimes fight against it.

2 Corinthians 4:8:  Even though life is hard and we are confused, we are not defeated for we have Immanuel, God with us, inside of us all the days of our life.

1 John 1:9:  If we confess our sins, God will forgive our sins and purify us.  A lot of Christians do not confess their sins or don’t give them over to God to handle and thus walk this world needlessly carrying burdens God should be carrying.

Hebrews 2:1:  We must heed God’s words so we do not drift away.  A lot of Christians today do not know God’s word and do drift from Him into sin.

Conclusions:  Especially for the 2 Corinthians passage, read before and after in order to get a greater sense of the context of this tiny verse.  It will make much more sense if you do.

Again, we must watch out for Satan’s ploys and twistings of God’s word.  We must etch God’s words onto our heart, believe what God tells us is true, in order to fight the constant lies that bombard us every day.  God is enough.  We must only have the faith to allow Him to be so.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 4, Day 2: Matthew 4:1-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted for 40 days and nights and the tempter told him to turn stones to bread.  Jesus said he only needed the word of God to live.  The tempter took him to the highest point of the temple and told him to jump.  Jesus said not to test God.

The devil offered him to rule the world if he only would worship him.  Jesus told him to go away for only God deserves to be worshipped.  Angels came to him afterwards.

Questions:

3a)  The desert.  To be tempted.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To share in our humanity, to become merciful and a faithful high priest in service to God so that he might make atonement for the sins of people.  Because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.  It encourages me because I know how much God loves us.  He didn’t need to be tempted for he understood us, His creation, completely.  But God sent Jesus to become man for our benefit–so we would more fully believe in Him.  So we would have an example of how to defeat the devil.  So that we could identify with him.  And so we could see Jesus’ holiness.

Jesus used a weapon we all can use–God’s word.

4a)  Eve was almost immediately blinded by the things of this world:  how good the fruit was and how pleasing to the eye it was and also her desire for wisdom.  She lost track of the things of God’s world, which at that point was His word since Adam and Eve lived in Paradise, and also God’s character and who He was.

Jesus never forgot who God was.  He used God’s words against the devil as defense.  He didn’t care for the kingdoms of this world for his eye was fixed on the kingdoms of God’s world.

b)  Differences:  Jesus used God’s words against the devil.  Eve had no defense in essence.  She believed the devil over God.  Adam and Eve tested God’s words; Jesus didn’t.  Eve gave into lust of the eyes, flesh, and pride.  Jesus did not.

Similarities:  The serpent/devil was equally crafty and deceptive.  He tried to plant doubt of God in both Eve’s mind and Jesus’.  The devil was in physical form.  Both had a personal relationship with God and both had the same weapons available.

Conclusions:  Very similar to a lesson in Genesis last year (see Lesson HERE) where we were asked the exact same question with regards to Jesus.

Take away:  God loves us so much He allows us to be tempted so that we may turn to Him in faith.

Martin Luther once said that prayer, meditation, and temptation are the best instructors of God’s word.  Because in it we learn who He is.

We also see 40 days and nights in Noah and the Flood and the Israelites wandering in the wilderness.

Satan quotes God’s word as well but he twists it and leaves out important phrases.  It’s our job to know God’s word so we do not fall into the trap of twisted lies.

We will all face temptation.  But it is a sin when we give in.  The devil cannot win against us if we use God’s word as a weapon.  It is too powerful.  Through Jesus we know we can defeat the devil’s tactics.