Read Matthew 4 -- 6
In Today's Reading:
Sermon on the Mount; the Beatitudes; believers likened to salt and light; Jesus' teaching on the Law, divorce, oaths, giving, fasting
Following His baptism in the Jordan River, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil (Satan). And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungry. And when the tempter (Satan) came to Him, he said, If (Since) You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matthew 4:1-3). The word tempt carries the thought of "test, try, or prove." Such testing is a necessary part of our lives for it reveals our true character. First, the devil suggested an easy, self-serving way in which Jesus might achieve His goal: If (Since) You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread, meaning: "Surely You can use Your abilities to satisfy Your hunger (appealed to the lust of the flesh)." But Jesus, knowing 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 people are seduced by Satan's deception to use their abilities to satisfy themselves.
Satan's second temptation came in the holy city . . . on a pinnacle (highest part) of the Temple (Matthew 4:5). Satan suggested that Jesus should leap down into the midst of the people and present Himself as a superhuman Messiah (appealed to the pride of life). Satan quoted Scripture to support this temptation, saying: He shall give His angels (messengers) charge concerning You. . . . lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone (4:6; also Psalm 91:11-12). The devil frequently appears very religious by quoting Scripture, but he only quotes the portions which fit his scheme. Jesus responded: You shall not tempt the Lord your God (Matthew 4:7).
In Satan's final attempt to seduce Jesus to sin, he shows Him all the kingdoms of the world . . . And says to Him, All these things will I give You, if You will 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. Jesus' reply was: It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve (4:10). Even one exception would make Jesus a sinner. When we allow for one exception, it usually leads to another, etc.
Jesus is our example to follow: As My Father has taught Me. . . . I do always (no exception) those things that please Him (John 8:28-29).
5:13 lost its savor = lost its usefulness; 5:18 one jot = small letter; one tittle = tiny mark, as the dot on the letter "i"; 5:22 Raca = Senseless one; said in contempt; 5:29 offend you = causes you to sin; 5:33 forswear = swear falsely; 5:46 publicans = tax collectors; 6:19 corrupt = decay, destroy, make worthless; 6:22 single = whole, healthy, free from deceit; 6:23 evil = sinful; 6:24 mammon = material things, worldly riches.
For Matthew 4:4: See Deuteronomy 8:3. Matthew 4:6: See Psalm 91:11-12. Matthew 4:7: See Deuteronomy 6:16. Matthew 4:10: See Deuteronomy 6:13. Matthew 4:15-16: See Isaiah 9:1-2. Matthew 5:21: See Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17. Matthew 5:27: See Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18. Matthew 5:31: See Deuteronomy 24:1. Matthew 5:33: See Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21; Matthew 5:38: See Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21. Matthew 5:43: See Leviticus 19:18.
BP Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Pray for the Bible Pathway Internet Outreach and the Bible Pathway devotions in Arabic, English, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish that are now on-line on our website. Let friends and missionaries overseas know that the devotional commentary is now available in these languages · Country: Tajikistan (6 million) southeast central Asia · Major languages: Tajik and Russian · Almost entirely Muslim · 82% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Wives, pray for a quiet, loving spirit to win your husband to Christ (I Peter 3:1-2).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 15:4