Read Matthew 4
Jesus tempted of the Devil (Matt. 4:1-11). Christians are heirs of the Kingdom of God. The Sermon on the Mount describes the character of the children of God because of the new birth nature of God which they receive and the True Spiritual Food: Every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (4:4; Deut. 8:3) when Christ becomes Savior and Lord of their lives (Matt. 5:13-6:34). Don't miss how to pray and fast (6:5-18).
Following His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil (Matt. 4:1). First, the Devil suggested an easy, self-serving way in which Jesus might satisfy His hunger (appealing to the lust of the flesh). But Jesus, knowing that submission to the will of God must be the basis for all decisions, quoted Scripture saying: It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (4:7). The word tempt carries the thought of "try or prove." Such testing is a necessary part of our lives for it reveals our true character. When He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If ( or Since) Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matt. 4:2-3). The abilities God has bestowed upon us are meant to be used in such a way that He receives all the honor and praise.
Satan's second temptation came in the Holy City . . . on a pinnacle of the Temple (4:5). Satan suggested that Jesus should leap down into the midst of the people and present Himself as a superhuman Messiah (appealing to the pride of life). Satan quoted Scripture to support this temptation, saying: He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee. . . lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone (4:6; Ps. 91:11-12). The Devil frequently appears religious by quoting Scripture, but only the portions which fit his scheme. Jesus responded: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Matt. 4:10).
In Satan's final attempt to seduce Jesus to sin, he sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world . . . And saith . . . All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me (4:8-9). The Devil suggested an easy way by which Jesus might avoid all the pain and suffering of the cross and yet rule all the kingdoms of the world. Even one exception would make Jesus a sinner. When we allow for one exception, it usually leads to another, etc. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. . . . He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men (4:17,19).
Thought for Today:
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord (Ps. 31:24).
5:13 his savour its usefulness; 5:18 one jot or one tittle is the dot on the letter "i" or the cross of a "t"; 5:22 say . . . Raca worthless one, pour contempt; 5:29 offend thee causes you to sin; 5:33 forswear swear falsely, break an oath; 5:46 publicans Jewish tax collectors, worldly minded; 6:19 corrupt take money worthless; 6:22 single free from deceit; 6:23 evil selfish, sinful; 6:24 mammon material things.
For Matt. 4:4: See Deut. 8:3. Matt. 4:6: See Ps. 91: 11-12. Matt. 4:7: See Deut. 6:16. Matt. 4:10: See Deut. 6:13-14. Matt. 4:15-16: See Is. 9:1-2. Matt. 5:21: See Ex. 20:13. Matt. 5:27: See Ex. 20:14. Matt. 5:31: See Deut. 24:1. Matt. 5:33: See Num. 30:2. Matt. 5:38: See Ex. 21:24. Matt. 5:43: See Lev. 19:18.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Hank Johnson (GA) and Rep. Mark Schauer (MI) • Country: Chad (7 million) in north-central Africa • Major languages: French and Arabic • Limited religious freedom • 35% Muslim; 31% animist; 11% Protestant; 5% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your hands in surrender and praise as you pray (Ps. 63:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Timothy 2:12