Read Matthew 4 - 6
In Today's Reading:
Temptation by Satan; 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. When He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward hungry. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If
(Since) You be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He
(Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God
(Matthew 4:1-4; Deuteronomy 8:3). 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. The word tempted
carries the thought of "try to establish the truth." Such testing is a necessary part of our lives, for it reveals our true character. The abilities God has bestowed upon us are meant to be used for His honor and glory.
Satan's second temptation came in the Holy City . . . on a pinnacle 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, appealing to the pride of life. Satan quoted Scripture to support this temptation, saying: He shall give His angels charge concerning You. . . . lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone (4:6; Psalm 91:11-12). The devil frequently appears religious by quoting Scripture, but only 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 said . . . All these things will I give You, if You will fall down and worship me. 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. Yielding to Satan even one time would have made Jesus a sinner. When we allow for one exception, it usually leads to another and another. Jesus' reply was: It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve (Matthew 4:8-10).
5:13 lost his savor = lost its usefulness; 5:18 one jot or one tittle = as the dot on the letter "i"; 5:22 Raca = worthless one, said in contempt; 5:29 offend thee = causes you to sin; 5:33 to forswear = to swear falsely; 5:46 publicans = tax collectors; 6:19 corrupt = make worthless; 6:22 single = free from deceit; 6:23 evil = sinful; 6:24 mammon = 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.
Pray for Country: Switzerland (7 million) in central Europe · Major languages: German and French · Religious freedom · 53% Roman Catholic; 41% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His redeeming love (Revelation 5:9).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 15:1