January 5th Matthew 4
Christ is tempted
1: Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2: And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3: And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4: But he 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. 5: Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6: And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7: Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8: Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9: And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10: Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11: Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
C. The Propaganda of the King Christ begins to preach
12: Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; 13: And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15: The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16: The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17: From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The very first thing that Christ is led by the Holy Spirit to do, is the very opposite of what we might imagine. Christ is led into Satanic contact. Christ is to be tested. And so we learn that the Man of God must begin his spiritual work by the leading of the Holy Spirit and through temptation. The Lord Jesus is holy, but his holiness is unconfirmed, however here Christ will face the Tempter all by himself in the wilderness. All great men of God emerge from the wilderness, where they have learnt to trust completely in God. The temptations do not start until after 40 days of fasting. The first temptation is to step outside of the Holy Spirits leading and to provide food for himself – in spite of Gods specific direction. Christ responds by saying that physical food is predominate in his life but obedience to Gods will is first. The second temptation is to demonstrate his divine power, by tempting God to protect him, while doing something in which the Holy Spirit was not directing him. Christ simply says that, we should not put ourselves into a position in which we demand Gods protection. The third temptation is to give honour to Satan, in exchange for dominion over all the Kingdoms of the world. Now, dominion over all the kingdoms of the world was indeed Christ’s destiny, however is was not to be achieved through satanic worship. And ironically it was not be achieved until Satan is bound in the Abyss. Christ says no. Men shall worship the Lord their God and only him. And so Christ triumphs over satanic temptation. He faces the Giant and conquers him. He is David’s greater son. Just like David, he faced the Giant with five smooth stones of the Torah and he only used one. When Christ hears that John is put in prison he moves to Capernaum in the North. And so fulfils scripture that those who sit in darkness have seen a great light. And now Christ begins to preach but what will he preach? He will call on Israel to return unto the LORD their God because the Kingdom promised to their fathers is near.
- Why did Christ go straight into temptation instead of going straight into preaching?
- Describe the three temptations of Christ.
- What was Christs message all about?