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 and forty nights, He was afterward hungry. And when the tempter 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. The devil suggested an easy, self-serving way in which Jesus might achieve His goal: "Since You are the Son of God, surely you can use your abilities for your own self interest and satisfy your hunger." But Jesus, knowing that the Word of God must be the basis for all decisions, quoted the Old Testament 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 first and foremost for His honor and glory. But many are seduced by Satan's appeal to use them primarily for self-benefit. Jesus promised that when we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness . . . all these things (the necessities of life) shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).
In Satan's second temptation, Jesus was placed on the peak of the Temple where He could leap down into the midst of the people and present Himself as a superhuman Messiah. Satan quoted Scripture to support his temptation, saying: He shall give His angels charge over You. . . . they shall bear You up . . . lest You dash Your foot against a ston (Psalms 91:11-12). The devil frequently quotes Scriptures, 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).
There is something satisfying about the Bible, because it is our one, reliable source of spiritual insight as well as strength. Therefore we must desire the . . . milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby (I Peter 2:2).
In Satan's final attempt to seduce Jesus to sin, he showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said unto Him, All these things I will give You, if You will fall down and worship me (Matthew 4:8-9). The one purpose of Jesus was to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). But this meant bearing the sins of the world and dying on the cross for all sinners who would receive Him as their Savior. The devil suggested an easy, self-serving way in which Jesus might avoid all the pain and suffering and yet achieve His goal. Jesus' reply was: You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve (Matthew 4:10).
Later Jesus said to His followers: No man can serve two masters (6:24). He then stated the rule of conduct for His disciples: Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? . . . for your Heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things (6:31-32).
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: