Read: Matthew 4
Matthew four can be divided into two main sections. The first is found in 4:1-11, where we observe the onslaught of the Evil One against the Savior. The second is found in 4:12-23, where Jesus begins his public ministry and calls his first disciples.
These verses are known to most students of the Bible as the three temptations of Christ. It is essential to understand that these are merely examples of the daily onslaught of the Evil One against the Lord Jesus. His whole life was a temptation from beginning to end. There are some things to observe about this section. First, the temptation of Christ parallels the temptation of our first parents. Note that the temptation that the Savior went through was not in paradise but in the wilderness. Second, note that the temptations all appeal to the desires of the flesh. That was one of the items used by Satan against our first parents. Third, note that the Lord Jesus counters the efforts of Satan with the Word of God.
Two items are worth noting in this section. First, the Lord Jesus solicits help as he seeks to begin his public ministry. As the God-man, he understood that he could not do everything alone. He understood his need for companionship and fellow laborers to help him. He also understood the need to disciple and train men who would carry the message that he preached to subsequent generations. Second, the Savior’s primary mission was to preach the Gospel and call men to repent. The main message of every minister of the Gospel must be the same.
- Temptations will come to the godliest even as they came to the Savior. To fight against it, you must know the Scriptures, filling your mind with them daily. What temptations do you face often, and what are you doing to fight against them? List those items, look up Scripture that speaks to those issues, and memorize and meditate on them.
- Remember that the Christian life is not a lone ranger enterprise. You need other brothers and sisters in your life who will help you and encourage you. If the Lord Jesus understood the need for companionship, how much more do you need it in this life? Who do you have in your life to talk openly and honestly about your struggles, successes, etc.? If you do not have a close, godly friend who will point you to Christ and help you on your pilgrimage, find one.
- The three specific temptations as listed in the chapter, and how Christ responded to each.
- The names of the first disciples called by Christ as given in this chapter.
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