Read Matthew 4 -- 6
Following His baptism, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days . . . He was . . . hungry. And when the tempter (Satan) came to Him, he said, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matthew 4:1-3). The word tempt carries the thought "to test." Such testing is a necessary part of our lives and reveals our true character. First, the devil suggested an easy, self-serving way in which Jesus might achieve His goal: If (since) You are the Son of God, command these stones be made bread, meaning surely You can use Your abilities for Your own self-interest and to satisfy Your hunger (lust of the flesh)." But Jesus, knowing that obedience to the Word of God must be the basis for all decisions, quoted Scripture saying: It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3). The abilities that God has bestowed upon us are meant to be used for His honor and glory. But many are seduced by Satan's appeal to use them to satisfy selfish ambitions.
Satan's second temptation came in the Holy City . . . on a pinnacle of the Temple (Matthew 4:5). Satan suggested that Jesus could leap down into the midst of the people. This way He would present Himself as a superhuman Messiah (pride of life). Satan quoted Scripture to support this temptation, saying: He shall give His angels charge over You. . . . they shall bear You up . . . lest You dash Your foot against a stone (Psalms 91:11-12). The devil frequently appears very religious by quoting Scripture, but only the portion which fits his scheme. Jesus responded: It is written again, you shall not tempt the Lord your God (Matthew 4:7).
In Satan's final attempt to seduce Jesus to sin (lust of the eye), he showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to Him, All these things I will give You, if You will fall down and worship me (4:8-9). The devil suggested an easy, self-gratifying way in which Jesus might avoid all the pain and suffering and yet rule the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. Jesus' reply was: You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve (4:10). The purpose of Jesus was perfect obedience to God, as He said: As my Father has taught Me . . . I do always those things that please Him (John 8:28-29). Jesus taught His followers to pray: Our Father . . . Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9-10).
Jesus promised His followers: Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
Word Studies: 5:13 lost his savor means lost its usefulness; 5:18 one jot or one tittle means as the dot on the letter "i"; 5:22 Raca means worthless one, said in contempt; 5:29 offend thee means causes you to sin; 5:33 to forswear means to swear falsely; 5:46 publicans means tax collectors; 6:19 corrupt means make worthless; 6:22 single means free from deceit; 6:23 evil means sinful; 6:24 mammon means material things.
For Matt. 4:4: See Deut. 8:3. Matt. 4:6: See Psa. 91:11-12. Matt. 4:7: See Deut. 6:16. Matt. 4:10: See Deut. 6:13. Matt. 4:15-16: See Isa. 9:1-2. Matthew 5:21: See Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17. Matt. 5:27: See Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:18. Matt. 5:31: See Deut. 24:1. Matt. 5:33: See Num. 30:2; Deut. 23:21; Matt. 5:38: See Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21. Matt. 5:43: See Lev. 19:18.
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Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 3:17