Matthew Lesson 4 Part 3

Matthew Lesson 4 Day 2, Matthew Lesson 4 Day 3, Matthew Lesson 4 Day 4, Matthew Lesson 4 Day 5

Matthew Lesson 4 Day 3

Three temptations

5a) Matthew 4:3,6

If you are the Son of God, …”

First temptation, Matthew 4:3-4, the lust of the flesh

Luke’s account says Jesus “was tempted by the devil for 40 days.” Luke 4:2 The most notable temptations came at the end of His fast.

Jesus hadn’t eaten for forty days and nights, so He was hungry. The tempter suggested, “If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread.”

Satan tempted Jesus to doubt who He was. Jesus knew His mission from an early age. When He was 12, He amazed the teachers of the Law and told His parents he must be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:46-49).

Satan tempted Jesus to be independent, using His power to satisfy His hunger. This suggests that perhaps God can’t always be trusted to supply His needs, so He should be impatient and self-reliant.

Second temptation, Matthew 4:5-7, the pride of life

Then the devil took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem. (Luke reverses the order of the second and third temptations.)

Guzik writes “The pinnacle of the temple arose some 200 feet from the floor of the Kidron Valley.”1

Another resource said its height was 100 feet, and another 300 to 600 feet. Regardless of the specific height, no one would survive the fall. I’m afraid of heights, as most humans would be in that situation, so I wonder if Jesus felt fear. He may have been shaky from hunger, too. Is anxiety in a dangerous situation sin?

It sounds like Satan supernaturally transported Jesus there. That’s an interesting prospect to think about.

Jesus “knew that attempting to force or manipulate God the Father into such a demonstration would tempt God, which the Scriptures strictly forbid.”1

Third temptation, Matthew 4:8-9, the lust of the eyes

Satan took Jesus to an “very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Now we see what Satan really wants—for the Divine to worship him. He already had control of the kingdoms of the world, but he temps Jesus to accept this shortcut to kingship, skipping the cross and making him, Satan, “like the Most High.”

Lucifer (the devil) is the one who said,

You said in your heart,
    I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
   I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
    in the far reaches of the north;[a]
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:13-14)

Jesus didn’t fall for it. He commanded, “Be gone, Satan!

b) Ways people are tempted today

Worry and fear

Jesus said, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Matthew 6:31

Jealousy. Comparing ourselves to others and what they have.

We doubt that our heavenly father loves us and knows what we need.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6:30

Many look to the government, family members, or others to meet their needs and desires rather than trusting God.

Instead, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

6) Scriptures Jesus quoted to Satan

First temptation

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3, emphasis added)

Second temptation

Satan quotes from Psalm 91:11–12 leaving out some key words and using it out of context:

“For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.”
This text is falsely quoted, because the devil left out the words, “To keep you in all your ways.” To test God in this way was not of Jesus’ way; it was not of the way of the Savior or Messiah. “God had never promised, nor ever given, any protection of angels in sinful and forbidden ways.” (Poole)1

Jesus quotes:

“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.” Deuteronomy 6:16

This verse referred to an incident recorded in Exodus 17:7.

And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Third temptation

It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear [take your oaths].” Deuteronomy 16:16

7) 1 Corinthians 10:13

 “We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,”

In the wilderness, the Israelites . . .

“became impatient . . . and spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? . . . there’s no food and no water and we loathe this worthless food [manna].'”
Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people so that many people of Israel died.” Numbers 21:4-6

We confront similar temptations daily—Fear, worry, self-pity, pride, greed, gluttony, envy, etc.

“Each of us daily chooses whether to eat of forbidden fruit or to know God by intimately walking with Him in every thought, word and deed. How will [we] choose today?” Brian Hardin, The God of Your Story


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1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 4 Day 3