SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 4:1-11
The devil tempts Jesus three times here. First, Jesus goes to the desert and fasts for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus was hungry so the devil attempts to get Jesus to sin by appealing to his hunger. Jesus refuses to make bread out of stone, saying instead you should live on God’s word. The devil dared Jesus to fall from the highest point of the temple, telling him the angels will catch him. Jesus tells him to not test God. Finally, the devil offered Jesus the world if he would worship him (ironic since Jesus/God already had the world). Jesus banished the devil finally, and angels came to Jesus.
BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 4, DAY 2: MATTHEW 4:1-11
3a ) Jesus was in the desert sent by the Spirit to fast and face temptation by the devil.
b ) John 4:34 tells us that Jesus came to do the will of the Father and to finish God’s work of dying on the cross, cleansing us from sin so that we can be with God. Hebrews 2:14-18 tells us that Jesus suffered temptation so that we can be helped when we experience temptation. Jesus shared in our humanity to give us an example on how to live. It helps me know if Jesus can overcome, then so can I.
4a ) Eve doubted God’s word and His goodness. The serpent used this against her. In addition, the serpent knew that God wouldn’t kill them, and since Eve had no concept of what “death” was since nothing God had created had died, she had no idea. However, she doubted God’s word at the end of the day; Jesus did not.
- Jesus used God’s words as his defense and answer to the devil
- Eve knew God’s word, but let the devil twist it
- Eve gave in to her physical needs; Jesus used will power
- Jesus told Satan to leave him
- Both were tempted
- Both were alone
CONCLUSIONS BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 4, DAY 2: MATTHEW 4:1-11
Matthew moves from this beautiful picture of Jesus’s baptism where God descends and commends His Son to this horrible picture of Jesus fasting and being tempted by the devil. This illustrates the Christian life perfectly. We can go from the highs of our lives to the next instant horrific lows. It should give us comfort that Jesus experienced this as well.
Check out this map guide for where Jesus walked:
END NOTES BSF STUDY QUESTIONS LESSON 4, DAY 2: MATTHEW 4:1-11
Jesus endured tempation for two main reasons:
- To identify with us
- To show us you can overcome temptation
Note that the Holy Spirit does not tempt (James 1:13). It led Jesus to temptation so that we can grow spiritually.
Jesus was tempted by the devil; we are usually tempted by the devil’s minions. We find relief when we give in to temptation; Jesus does not. Many Bible scholars argue that is a testing since the propert translation of the Greek verb here means “to test.”
“Luther’s remark stands true that prayer, meditation, and temptation are the three best instructors of the gospel minister.” (Spurgeon)
Jesus does not eat for 40 days and nights. Humans can survive up to two months without food (they need water), Jesus would have been in a state of starvation and desperate for sustenance (which is why we see the angels tending to him at the end). When you are that desperate for food and are at the point of death, you will give in to most temptations for food. Jesus endured it all for us. Amazing!
Jesus depended on God for all things (Hebrews 5:8) as we must, too.
Satan is asking Jesus to prove his deity by producing bread for himself. This would have been purely selfish if Jesus had given in. We see Jesus making bread in other parts of the Bible when he feeds 5,000 people (Matthew 14:13-21), so we know he has the power. He refuses to even entertain the devil here. Instead, he quotes Deuteronomy 8:3.
Jesus uses God’s truth to defeat Satan. So must we.
Satan tries to get Jesus to force God to use His powers to save him. The temple was 200 feet in the air. A jump would mean certain death unless God intervened. False prophets will use these means at the End Times.
Satan has the Bible memorized. He uses this knowledge to tempt us as he always takes the words of the Bible out of context (Psalm 91:11-12) and uses them to deceive us.
We must take the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) , and we must know what the Bible says so that we ourselves are not deceived. The early Christians could not read; in this day and time in our society, we have no excuse.
Here, Satan offers Jesus the world. In truth, Jesus already had the world. What Satan is really offering Jesus is an escape from the cross. Jesus obeys God’s will here and tells Satan to go jump in a lake. All Satan wants is worship and recognition. We, too, must be careful of this sin.
Note that Satan does have something to give Jesus: the earthly world. When Adam and Eve sinned, humans gave Satan authority here on earth (2 Corinthians 4:4). This is what Satan is offering.
TAKE AWAY: It is not a sin to be tempted; we all face that, even Jesus. It’s a sin to give into temptation and commit the act itself.
The only weapons Satan has against us are lies and deceit. These, however, spark fear, doubt, and unbelief in our hearts, which can ruin our lives.
Our weapons? God’s word. Many mistake Satan’s lies for God’s truth, which is where sin happens.
Obviously, only Jesus knew what happened to him in the desert. He told his story to his disciples so they could share his example with us for all of time.
FUN FACT: All of the passages that Jesus quotes are from the Book of Deuteronomy. So many people today discount the Old Testament as too antiquated and full of laws that do not apply to us. But that is not the point of knowing the Old Testatment. If it’s in the Bible, there is a reason for it to be there. God wants us to know it. That should be sufficient for all of us.
Note how God cares for Jesus by sending angels to attend to his needs after the temptation. God does the same for us. When we feel spiritually attacked, God is there. He cares for us; He picks us up; He cradles us in His loving arms. Keep those images in mind in the midst of temptation. Remember, He doesn’t give us anything we can’t overcome (1 Corinthians 10:12-14).
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