Read Matthew 4
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. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If (Since) Thou 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 proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:1-4; Deuteronomy 8:3). In an attempt to thwart God's plan of redemption, the devil craftily 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 testing. Such testing is a necessary part of all 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, not for our self-gratification.
Satan's second temptation came in the Holy City . . . on a pinnacle of the Temple (Matthew 4:5). Appealing to the pride of life, Satan suggested that Jesus should leap down into the midst of the people and present Himself as a superhuman Messiah. Satan then 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; Psalm 91:11-12). The devil frequently appears religious by quoting Scripture, but he only quotes the portions that fit his evil scheme. Jesus responded: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (Matthew 4:7).
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 (appealing to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — I John 2:15-17), if Thou wilt fall down and worship me (Matthew 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. Yielding to Satan even one time would have made Jesus a sinner and thus unable to be the Saviour of the World (John 4:14,42). When we allow one exception, it usually leads to another, and then another. Jesus' reply was clear: It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Matthew 4:8-10).
5:13 lost his savour = lost its usefulness; 5:18 one jot or one tittle = as the dot on the letter "i"; 5:22 say . . . Raca = maligns, slanders; 5:29 offend thee = causes you to sin; 5:33 to forswear = to swear falsely; 5:46 publicans = tax collectors; 6:19 corrupt = make money worthless; 6:22 single = free from deceit; 6:23 evil = selfish, sinful; 6:24 mammon = material things.
For Matthew 4:4: See Deuteronomy 8:3. Matthew 4:6: See Psalms 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.
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Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 2:1