08 October 2013

BSF 2013-2014: Matthew 4

Last week, we saw Jesus experience a “mountaintop” moment when He was baptized by John the Baptist. This week, we see Jesus go from the mountaintop to the valley where the devil tempts Him three times.

Satan tempted Jesus to turn away from God. But Jesus resisted the temptations. To do so, He used the same tools available to us today – the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.

Jesus defeated the devil in His humanity. He didn’t use any godly powers or miracles. He simply withstood the devil the same way He asks us to. And because Jesus was victorious, we also can be victorious.

Temptation 1 – The devil said, “If Your Father loved You, He would feed You. So take these stones and turn them into bread.” Jesus could have done this, but then He would have sidestepped God’s will. When we put our physical needs above God and His will, we sin.

Temptation 2 – The devil said, “Your Father won’t let you be harmed. So throw Yourself down and see if the angels will come to protect You.” Jesus could have done this, but he refused.

Temptation 3 – The devil said, “I will give you all of these kingdoms without suffering on the cross.” Jesus knew that God sent Him to earth with the ultimate purpose of dying on the cross for our sins. It was God’s plan for Jesus to suffer for all humanity.

If Jesus had given in to any of these temptations and had sinned, it would have broken God’s plan of redemption.

We all are tempted in these ways. The devil tempts us to ignore God’s will, to do things for ourselves and to ignore suffering in the Christian life. But remember I Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Jesus resisted Satan’s attacks and rebuked Satan with Scripture. We also can resist and rebuke Satan with the Bible.

After His temptations, Jesus began His public ministry. Remember that John the Baptist was the forerunner for Jesus. Jesus didn’t change John’s message. Jesus carried on the same message. He proclaimed the good news.

Jesus met Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John and called them to follow Him. Immediately, they left their fishing nets and families and followed Jesus. He called them to be fishers of men. He wanted them to fish for people and bring them to God. Following Christ requires sacrifice, sometimes leaving things behind.

Things to Think About
  • No temporary pleasure will outweigh the satisfaction of obeying God.
  • Believe that what God has allowed me to have is good, even if I want more. God is enough for me.
  • Believe that God’s will is right for me, even if it seems crazy.
  • Which situation in my life is causing me to doubt God’s goodness and sovereignty?
  • Am I equipped for Satan’s attacks? Am I using the Holy Spirit and God’s Word like Jesus did to resist Satan?
  • What am I willing to give up for Jesus? Time? Money? Pride?