Why would Jesus put up with the devil and his schemes?
It is necessary that Jesus experiences temptation as all other men do. Satan knows that these specific temptations were the best means of causing Jesus to stumble. These specific temptations may not work on you or me. Jesus had to be effectively tempted to demonstrate the means of resistance. The means of resistance is demonstrated by the Lord using three attributes in unison. Through truth by using the scriptures in right context (2 Timothy 2:15). Through love of the Father in obedience (John 14:24, 15:10). Through humility of service to God alone and not Himself or creation (John 4:20-24). In these things, Christ shows us the perfect example of the child of God (John 13:15, 1 Timothy 1:16, 1 Peter 2:21).
Why would they go up to the top of a high mountain?
Matthew indicates the purpose for going to a high mountain was to see the kingdoms of the world. The specific mountain is not named. Some might reflect to the description of the view from Nebo afforded to Moses by God before he died (Deuteronomy 43:1-3). But the meaning of the presentation by Matthew has a greater scale than that presented to Moses. The statement pertains to all kingdoms in contrast to the coming kingdom which belongs to Jesus. Satan portends a dominion governed by Jesus that would be in-fact inferior to the kingdom designed by God (Micah 4:1-5, Daniel 2:44-45). It is a kingdom to be constituted by souls from all kingdoms of the world.
Is there such a mountain that one can see all the kingdoms of the earth from its top?
Not physically. The closest someone could come is to define the kingdoms as composing a certain region but this is not the meaning.
What was it about the kingdoms of the earth that the devil wanted to show to Jesus?
The sense of authority and power wielded so as to control their fellow man is desired by some as much as others desire the lust of the eyes or the lust of the flesh. Satan was promising what no other man could do outside of the blessing of God. He offered control over all humankind. While there have been empires that have been declared in governance of the entire civilized world, there has never been an empire over all mankind. What Satan offered is still lesser than the kingdom that was at hand under the command of the Father.
What does Matthew mean by the glory of the kingdoms of the earth?
There are certain aspects of every kingdom or empire that bring them to prominence. That can be technological or cultural, but they mark the greatness of that kingdom. The problem is, the glory of these kingdoms, empires, and nations is brought about by men in the wisdom of men. What is promised to Jesus and those that follow Him into the promised kingdom will attain to an infinitely greater glory. It is a glory that belongs to God (1 Timothy 1:16) but is blessed to the Lord and those that make up the eternal kingdom (2 Thessalonians 2:14).
What definition would Satan give for the glory of the kingdoms of the earth?
It would be all the things that entice a soul to rebel against God (Jude 1:11). But anyone that does so only follows the example of their father (John 8:44). Satan believes he is the glory of the kingdoms which is the perfect antithesis of the Christ. This is rebellion.
What definition would Jesus give for the glory of the kingdoms of the earth?
Christ is stated to be the Light of the world and the glory of the people of Israel (Luke 2:32). The true people of Israel are the inheritors of the promise to Jacob through faith. Therefore, Satan, stating a revelation of the glory of the kingdoms is factually lying because Christ is the glory to be attained to in as much as His kingdom is among the world and should be sought (Matthew 6:33). Not the peculiarities of the nations based on this world. All things we have in the world is intended for the use of glorifying God in the name of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Satan said he would give all the kingdoms of the earth to Jesus if Jesus would worship him. Did Satan have this authority?
Luke records the statement by Satan as a claim that such authority has been given to him. The implication is that the Father allows such authority. Such power that Satan has is not defined by blessing or life, but a power defined in death (Hebrews 2:14). This is a power without authority due to the fact that Satan cannot force us to follow him. “The devil made me do it”, is a lie. All the devil can do is deceive us (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Over what did Satan have authority?
Those that were willing to follow him (Ephesians 6:12, 1 John 5:19). We submit ourselves to a master. Choose who it will be, God or Satan (James 4:7).
What would it mean if Jesus did worship Satan?
If Jesus would have succumbed to the temptations of Satan then He would have given up the authority given to Him to be in subjection to an inferior identity and power.
Did or does anyone “worship” Satan?
There are some that claim to worship Satan. They are reveling in the illusion of liberty from the authority of God and the consequence of rejecting Him.
Did those that “worship” Satan have authority over all the kingdoms of the earth?
This is the story of many books, movies, etc. Sell your soul to the devil for a great “reward”. Make a sacrifice of something (someone) you love in order to receive great power. The problem with this is the lie that leads to the supposed proposition. That is, that Satan has any such real power. True power is what endures. With evil, the only thing that endures is the absence of God unless the evil doer repents. There have been great leaders of nations and empires on the earth but they did not rule all the earth. Jesus has the authority to grant what does endure. That is, eternal life. Satan offered to Jesus what he couldn’t give to anyone else before or after.
What power does anyone have that worships anything or anyone?
Only what the worshipped has authority and ability to bestow on the worshiper. If we worship the created, such as the sun, earth, animals, science, government, etc. then they only can give to us what power they have authority to offer. Last I checked, my dog isn’t offering and doesn’t have anything to offer. Same goes for the all the other entities. Science is what God made it and government is made up of men. Worshipping other people, no matter what organization or society they comprise, is not an alternative to God who authorizes them (Daniel 3, Romans 1:24-25).
What was the response of Jesus to Satan?
“You shall worship the Lord your God and you shall serve Him only.”
What scripture does Jesus quote in order to answer Satan?
This comes from Deuteronomy 6:13.
How do we know we only worship God?
Based on the instructions given in scriptures. In truth, John 4:23-24. By the Spirit, Philippians 3:3. With a clear conscience, 2 Timothy 1:3.
To whom or what do we serve?
The word used here is latreuo which means “to minister”. By Paul’s example, we serve the Lord through the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:9). Through Christ’s blood (gospel and doctrine, one and the same) we serve the living God (Hebrews 9”14).
Is there a connection between worshipping and serving?
To worship someone is to show reverence to them and express our submission to the worshipped. To serve someone or something is to minister, or work for, the worshipped. In worship, we declare our love, but in serving, we show our love. John 14:15.
What constitutes worship in the case as Jesus has answered Satan?
A full commitment of our entire lives. This love we have for our creator is demonstrated in worship that is completed by obedience (James 2:22). The Lord here says we shall serve no one else. Therefore, our worship must be true to the instructions given on the method of worship. The following verses help in illustrating the necessity of loyalty to God and only God.
Jer. 25:6 Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.’
Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
If Christ did worship Satan, what would it look like in this case? What was Satan actually demanding of the Lord?
Christ worshipping Satan would have been quite simple. It would be denying the purpose that the Father had for Christ. Therefore, everything coming before would be forsaken as it was completed and fulfilled in order to bring the Son to this point. This would require Christ to deny and forsake His very being and reality. John 1:1-5.
What is the holy city?
The holy city at the time of the temptation was Jerusalem.
Why is it referred to as the holy city?
Some might say it was holy because the temple was there. But, we can recall the event of the burning bush. During this meeting between Moses and Jehovah, God told Moses to remove the sandals from his feet because “the place on which you are standing is holy ground” (Genesis 3:5). The ground was holy on account of the presence of God and because it is a place of revelation. This makes the location special or set apart from others. Progressing through the scriptures, then next identification of holy is associated with the assemblies of the Israelites at the tabernacle. The holiness of the tabernacle and the event associated were based on the presence of God and the sharing of the Word of God (Law).
Is it still the holy city?
No. The holy city is now where the Lord resides and His Word is revealed.
Where is the holy city today, since the resurrection of Jesus and the Day of Pentecost?
The holy city is now Christ’s church.
But you have drawn near Mount Zion, even the city of the living God, to a heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
and to a gathering, an assembly of the first-born ones having been enrolled in Heaven; and to God the Judge of all, and to spirits of just ones who have been perfected;
What is the pinnacle of the temple?
This should be understood to be the high point of the temple. The writer is not perfectly clear. But the word used comes from the Greek word meaning wing. This derived word should be understood to mean an extremity. The meaning is, of course, subject to the intention of the writing.
Why would the devil lead Jesus to the top of the temple?
Satan wanted to attain a clear view of the valley as seen below the temple. Thereby, viewing much of Jerusalem.
Is the devil not sure if Jesus is the Son of God?
Satan knows who Jesus of Nazareth is just as the demons did.
And crying with a loud voice, he said, What is to me and to You, Jesus, Son of the most high God? I adjure You by God, do not torment me.
Why does the devil ask, “if you are the Son of God”?
This is not an attempt to convince Jesus to do something to prove who He is. This was an attempt to appeal to pride. If Jesus answered the temptation by taking up the challenge, He would have been caught up in a demonstration of power but not true authority. The temptation here is for Jesus to intentionally put Himself at risk of doubtless death in order for the God to be forced to save Him. In throwing Himself from the temple, Jesus forsakes the purpose of Him living the mortal life.
What is the point of throwing yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple?
At that point it would mean certain death.
What scripture is the devil quoting in Verse 6?
Is Satan capable of knowing scripture?
Yes. There are plenty of enemies of God that seem to profess righteousness and quote many scriptures but prove to be the hypocrites they are.
Is Satan capable of understanding scripture?
Yes. Even hypocrites can understand the condemnation that is predicted for them. Also, apostates are better off not having known the Word than having tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:3).
Is Satan capable of telling the truth with respect to scripture?
Even lies, or misrepresentations can have some truth involved. That can make the deception that much more effective to its evil intent.
Did the devil quote the scripture correctly or did he change anything?
For He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You in all Your ways.
They shall bear You up in their hands, that You not dash Your foot on a stone.
for it has been written: "He shall give His angels charge concerning You, and they shall bear You on their hands, lest You strike Your foot against a stone."
Matthew provides a quote that follows the Psalm.
Did Satan use the scripture according to the context of the intention of the scripture?
The devil is speaking of Jesus performing an act unto death prior to His time (Matthew 26:18). This would be Jesus straying from obeying the will of the Father and thus tempting the Father by making God’s plan and blessings strictly about Him. Christ shows us we obey, not to our glorification, but to the glorification of others. Christ did not die for Himself but for us. Satan leaves out the second part of the quote from Psalm 91:11, “to keep you in all your ways”. The way of Christ is obedience to the Father and nothing had the power to override God’s authority in it, whether it be assigned to the Christ or the angels. Satan had to leave that part out in order to tempt Jesus into deviation from the path of righteousness. Therefore, the quote should not be considered consistent with the Psalm or the context intended.
Did Satan abuse the scripture so as to fulfill and glorify himself instead of God?
Yes. The whole motivation of someone compromising or adulterating the scriptures is to glorify themselves and flatter their arrogance. The motivation for the communication of deviated scripture is to stroke their boastful pride. The purpose of expressing the abuse of the scriptures is to lead others into a life of subjugation that reinforces the perpetrator’s pride. In fact, Paul instructs us that all false prophets, false apostles, false teachers, and otherwise purveyors of false doctrine follow the example of Satan.
For such ones are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
And did not Satan marvelously transform himself into an angel of light?
It is not a great thing, then, if also his ministers transform themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
2 Corinthians 11:13
Satan was presenting himself as having authority not empowered to him. In this instance Satan is presenting a form of rebellion for the Son of God in likeness to his own rejection of God’s purpose and intention for him. Satan is acting in his nature at this point and lying.
Did Jesus refute Satan’s reference to the scripture?
Yes. The manner of refutation is not to go head-to-head in an argument about words in the scriptures Satan is referencing. The tactic is to refer to scriptures that contradict the falsehood presented. The falsehood is inaccurate context. The scriptures presented by the Lord refute the false context by providing supporting context. This is the method of forming sermons for many preachers. We should not reference a single scripture and compose a doctrine when other supporting scripture is available to help give definition to the intended meaning by the Spirit.
How did Jesus answer the challenge and temptation of the devil?
Despite the physical stress the Lord would be under due to the fasting, He was able to remain composed to give logical answers to the tempter. The routine was to answer the lies with the truth. Always deal with the false teachers with the truth and nothing but the truth.
What scripture did Jesus use to answer Satan in Verse 7?
“You shall not tempt the Lord your God” comes from Deuteronomy 6:16: You shall not test Jehovah your God as you tested Him in Massah. Massah meaning the desert or the occasion of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness.
What did Jesus mean in quoting “you shall not put the Lord your God to the test”?
It is to test the grace of the Lord. Paul spoke concerning sinning in order to continually realize the grace of God. Paul’s point was this is illogical. The problem is doing this in the concept of measuring how far a soul can go before God reacts. We should not mistake God’s patience for us with indifference to sin.
Is the scripture Jesus quotes comparative to or compliment the scripture Satan quotes?
Yes, but the key is that Christ understood what Satan was trying to do. It is important to understand your enemy and know how that enemy can hurt you. In this effort, if you can think steps ahead of the false teacher, the proper scriptures can be referenced to present truth effectively to bring conviction concerning such lies (Hebrews 4:12). We should remember the admonition from Paul to be wise to what is good and studied in the truth.
For your obedience reached to all; therefore, I rejoice over you. But I desire you to be truly wise as to good, but simple toward evil.
Give diligence to present yourself approved to God, a workman unashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
Can we “put the Lord to the test” today?
Yes. But it is highly unadvisable. The testing in this scripture is based on people trying to validate their desires of the flesh of their pride by a lack of faith in the word of God. This attitude inherently involves a high degree of hypocrisy. A person puts God to the test when they claim to be a follower of Christ and desire the credit for faithfulness but are not proving themselves capable of living out what they know to be the works of righteousness. Some examples: lack of giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), negligence in attendance to worship with a congregation (Hebrews 10:25), or attending the need of our brethren/neighbors (Ephesians 4:25, Galatians 6:2, Philippians 2:4).
How do you reconcile the quote by Jesus with Malachi 3:10?
Malachi is conveying the desire of God for His people to be confirmed in the promises He has given. What God is instructing through Malachi is obedience. God was challenging the Israelites to do the Law of Moses. Jesus, is telling us, do not challenge God to prove His authority by making new promises or covenants. Believe in God and His word faithfully and the promises of God will be proven.
If we put God to the test, are we showing dependence and full confidence in His Word?
If done according the instructions in Malachi 3:10, yes. In order to test Jehovah as Malachi teaches, we must do the works of righteousness according to Lord’s law. Everything God tells us to do is the means by which we test the Lord scripturally. Testing the Lord to fulfill our own desires or testing the Lord on our own terms is not within our power.
If we feel the need to put God to the test, do we have doubt and a weakness of hope in us?
Consider Jacob in Genesis 28:10-22. Here is the account of Jacob’s dream. Jacob seems to test the Lord or challenge Him. If God will do certain things for him then he would seek after God (Verse 20-22). Did Jacob not follow after God before this, according to the ways of his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham? He did. Jacob already new what God expected of him. Jacob already new God’s law. All Jacob is doing is confirming his expectations of God. He was telling God that he would continue in His law with the expectation that the promises would be kept. Jacob was confirming the covenant between him and God. We must do the same day-to-day without doubt according to the purpose of the Lord. We can not invent works to be reconciled to life. We do those works instructed by the Lord and the Spirit (Romans 8:28).
Do we put God to the test when we have fear because our expectations are not met?
Yes. We must continue in life steadfast in faith despite any hardships or seemingly bad events that work against us. Many times, these troubles can strengthen us and challenge us to greater faith. We should celebrate and rejoice when we remain faithful through events the world suggests should cause us to change adversely (James 1:1-2). We fear nothing except the wrath of God. When we stumble or are depressed because we did not receive what we were not promised by God (Matthew 6:33) then we are likely living with unscriptural fear. This leads into temptation and compromises we might not otherwise concede.
What does Matthew mean that Jesus was led by the Spirit? What Spirit?
He is speaking of the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit as many refer to Him. This is one and the same as the Spirit that Jesus was promising to authorize and provide to the disciples after Jesus departed this world (Acts 1:6-11). The point Matthew makes is based on a truthful understanding of the Spirit as described by John
This is the One coming through water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the One witnessing, because the Spirit is the truth (1 John 5:6).
The Spirit is the truth. John tells us that the purpose of the Spirit is to guide us in the truth:
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come (John 16:13).
Since Jesus was to be the perfect Lamb of God unto the salvation of all men that would repent of sins and be cleansed in His name, it is appropriate that the penultimate example for all Christians to be led in truth to thereby uphold the Word of the Father. Christ, of course, is the Son of God. Anyone seeking to have an inheritance of eternal life must become sons of God in like manner. That is led by the Spirit of God which is the Spirit of Truth.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (Romans 8:14).
But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in Words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)
Into what wilderness was Jesus led?
This is likely Matthew referring back to the same wilderness as designated concerning John the Baptist in Matthew 3:1. This would be the wilderness of Judah.
Is Matthew indicating to us that Jesus went into the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted?
The take away here is that Jesus was led by the Spirit into a rural area without distractions from other people. The activity that Jesus conducted Himself in included prayer and fasting. This is the denial of all carnal considerations, including those we call “needs”, in order to focus the heart, mind, soul, and strength on the things spiritual.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to flesh, but according to Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
But I say, Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another; lest whatever you may will, these things you do. (Galatians 5:17)
Why would Jesus need to go through an event of being tempted by Satan in this manner?
Living in the flesh, Jesus was tempted the same as any other man. To be tempted is to be tried or tested to see if the course of righteousness a soul is set to can be changed in spite of commitment. The Lord went through this from the beginning as any person must endure. At this time, He was beset with the purpose involving preaching and establishment of the disciples who were to become apostles. The Lord is tempted at this time by Satan himself in order to try and ruin the course set before Him. This is the best time to rattle someone’s commitment to a task or goal, at the beginning. This is when the finish seems most distant and for many, taking the first step can be the most challenging step of all. Jesus shows us that beginning to participate in God’s purposes and goals can be challenging but must be done despite any hardship. What hardships can come against someone that is committing themselves to the Lord? Anything that involves this world of the flesh including family (Matthew 29:19), friends (James 4:4), careers (Philippians 3:4-7), assets (Luke 18:22), wealth (Hebrews 13:5), etc. In this temptation, as through His entire life, He shows we should not forsake the Lord for anything at any time, no matter what the world suggests. There is no vacation from being a Christian. In this we should consider the example of Joshua:
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you nor will I forsake you. Joshua 1:5
And if it seems evil in your eyes to serve Jehovah, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, whether the gods whom your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah. Joshua 24:15
Was Jesus not hungry during the 40 days and 40 nights that he fasted?
Matthew says that after the period of fasting Jesus was hungry. Some would suppose that, being the Lord, He could go without consuming any food and be fine where the normal person would not make it without serious health issues. That is to say, this was a miraculous event. Jesus wasn’t the only person to fast for 40 days. Moses and Elijah did so. Some suppose, likewise, that Moses and Elijah did so under miraculous help. But that would actually defeat the entire purpose of the fast in all three cases. The purpose is to show the affiliation of the Christ to mankind. Peter says that Jesus suffered and died on our behalf leading the way on the path of righteousness.
For you were called to this, for even Christ suffered on our behalf, leaving behind an example for us, that you should follow His steps;
"who did not sin, nor was guile found in His mouth;"
who, having been reviled, did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten, but gave Himself up to Him who was judging righteously; 1Pe 2:21-23
It by this example, that is only credible through conventional experiences, that we have the command to be holy as He is holy.
For think this within you, which mind was also in Christ Jesus,
who subsisting in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, having become in the likeness of men
and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, having become obedient until death, even the death of a cross. Php 2:5-8
If we can realize that Jesus suffered with miraculous help through the scourging, that He suffered and buckled under the weight of the cross, and that He suffered on the cross until He expired, then we should be able to recognize the suffering of hunger He underwent for 40 days and nights concentrating on the spiritual strength within Him. This is the spiritual strength the people around Him saw develop over the course of His life (Luke 2:52).
What is fasting?
Fasting is the denying of the will toward to the flesh in a centered and focused consideration of the spiritual needs of the person fasting or someone they need to pray for. This is the humble means of showing dependence and dedication to God’s helping hand. Christ demonstrates this through the period of fasting and temptation by Satan by proving every person has the ability to overcome all temptations. Paul states that though we have the ability, we all, with the exception of Christ, fall short (Romans 3). But that does not mean we have to continue falling short. Repent and do not sin anymore (Roman 6:12, 1 Corinthians 15:34). The strength it takes to deny ourselves the cares of the flesh is the same spiritual strength required to navigate clear of sin.
In the case of Jesus’ fasting for 40 days and 40 nights what would the fasting entail?
Some believe Jesus did not eat as He normally did. This is false. Or, some believe the angels ministered to Him in such a way that the fast was not demanding of Him but a formality for presentation. This also is false. Some believe, by projecting their own limitations on the Lord, that He did not eat sustaining meals at least drank some water and maybe had some limited bread or crackers. This is absolutely, false. Luke, the physician, states matter of fact what Jesus did. He did not eat (Luke 4:2).
Under what law, standard, or direction was the fasting accomplished?
Jesus lived his life subject and in perfect compliance to the Law of Moses.
Was the tempter only there at the end of the fasting for 40 days and 40 nights?
No. The period of fasting was one and same as the period of temptation: 40 days and nights. The writers of the event give us a generalization of the event through the three temptations placed upon the Lord.
Why would Satan tempt Jesus concerning stones being turned to bread?
This may have been a test of the Lord with respect to power and authority. Similar to the challenge latter that Jesus receives from certain concerning signs being shown so that belief could be established. The problem with this, is that belief, or faith, is not established through the experience of or witnessing of miracles of power and authority. Christ defers the miracle in as much as the power of God is revealed through His Word.
What does Satan challenge in verse 3?
“If you are the Son of God…”. The challenge concerns the authority of Jesus to conduct Himself in the purpose of God as, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”(Colossians 2:9). The purpose of the miracles were to show the hearer of the spoken word of God that the preacher is true of God. This was no different for Christ. He performed miracles so people could be reassured that Jesus was who He claimed to be. If they could not hear the message of the preaching, they would not be converted from sin. Even John said there were many signs and wonders performed before the people but they did not believe (John 12:37). The following verse quoting from Isaiah says they did believe because they would not hear the report that was revealed to them (John 12:38, Isaiah 53:1). John went on to explain their unbelief quoting also from Isaiah 6:10. Jesus went away from these particular people as stated in Verse 36 and left them to discuss His words. If the Lord would not continue to perform miracles among those that refused His message, why would He change stones to bread on behalf of Satan who will not obey the Jehovah?
How does Jesus answer the temptation offered by Satan?
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every Word going out of the mouth of God."
What text is Jesus quoting in verse 4?
What is the correlation between the bread and word of God?
Bread is for the body as the word of God is for the soul.
Was Satan just trying to persuade Jesus to eat some bread?
If Jesus turned the rocks to bread, then Satan will have persuaded the Lord not to satisfy physical hunger but to satisfy a curiosity for rebellion. Innate to the eating of bread miraculously turned from stones would have been the use of authority given by the Father for goals not set for the Son of God. Christ, in this story, portrays the Son in the mind of the Spirit and in the flesh. This, in as much as, Christ is demonstrating the power of the Spirit over the things of the flesh (Romans 8:6-8).
What was the intent of the temptation?
The intent is to cause Jesus to stray from spiritual purposes to those governed by temptation (Galatians 5:16). Hence the title given for Satan in Verse 3, Tempter.
Was there anything wrong with turning stones to bread? Was there anything wrong with turning water to wine?
In itself no. It is what the two represent. The rocks-to-bread represent a delinquency from spiritual mindedness to a concern with the influence of the fleshly considerations. Specifically, the lust of the flesh that involves all things physical self-gratification. It is the rejection of the use of God’s power for others and use for self. The water-to-wine represents the power of God to provide His love to all, even those that are not ready for it (John 2:4). This is the pure fruit of the vine (not corrupted by alcohol which is destruction of the flesh) in the highest quality that gives blessing to the ones who receive it, whether they realize it or not.
What would have been wrong with Jesus turning some stones to bread at this time?
This would have played into the hands of Satan. If Jesus becomes deviated by the lust of the flesh then the opportunity of the fulfillment of all prophesy is lost. That means the possibility to render salvation through the blood of the spotless Lamb of God to all men (who have all fallen short of the glory of God) is lost. The embodiment of the glory of God in the flesh is lost (1 Timothy 3:16).
If Satan recognized the power that Jesus had to accomplish the miracle, then what was it about Jesus that Satan was challenging?
The authority of God in Jesus, as the Son of God, was being challenged. In as much as Satan demands this of Jesus, Satan acknowledges not on the power but the command of Christ over all things.
Go back to the first questions of this study. Why and by whose direction was Jesus fasting in the wilderness?
The Spirit of God is guiding Jesus. It is in this power of truth that Jesus is able to overcome the temptations. Many who know the truth of their problems still commit to the works of the flesh and create unnecessary sinful drama in their lives. So, what sets Christ apart from the rest of us? The Spirit not only is the truth, but the Spirit has the truth of love. Love, faith, and hope are the things that require knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to apply in such a way that leads us away from temptation. This is what Christ is exercising in the story of the 40 days and nights temptation. He is demonstrating the love that is required to help us (Revelation 1:5).
If Jesus had turned the stones to bread, then by what authority would He have been acting?
If we live by every word from God, then by whose authority do we act?
By the authority of the God through the Lord. We do all things in the name of Christ (Colossians 3:17).
If we live by every word from God, on whom do we depend (Deut. 8:1-3)?
We completely depend on the Lord and not ourselves, anyone, or anything (1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Hebrews 13:5).
If Jesus would not turn the stones to bread, on whose word is he acting and depending?
Jesus was acting on the expectation and word of the Father in heaven. This is the authorized word by which the true power of God can be seen. The power of God is the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). The gospel of Christ is the word of the cross of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18). If Jesus was not acting in complete obedience of the Father’s word then the sacrifice on the cross could not be accomplished.
Why would Jesus be coming from Galilee to see John? Where was Jesus from?
Jesus was from Nazareth and likely was traveling generally south and east to John. Nearly the length of the Jordan River between the sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.
The preceding verses concerning Jesus is at the end of Chapter 2. How much time has passed since then to Chapter 3 Verse 13?
Recall that Joseph was apprehensive about going back to Judah because of the ruler, Archelaus, son of Herod (Matthew 2:22). The Herodian tetrarch was formed by Augustus in 4 AD. Archelaus was removed from power in 6 AD. So, Jesus, being born in the year 4 BC, would be 8-10 years old when moving to Nazareth. The events at Verse 13 are about 22 years later if Jesus went to Nazareth in 4 AD.
About how old was Jesus and John at Verse 13?
Jesus was thirty years old when he went to see John.
Why would anyone go to John to be baptized by him?
This would involve the cleansing and purification of the people based on their confession and repentance from sins. Consider Leviticus 5:5, Leviticus 26:40, Number 5:7, and Psalm 32:5.
Why would Jesus need to be baptized?
Jesus tells John it is necessary to fulfill all righteousness. Some would say that this is done to set the example for the institution of baptism in His name. But baptism according to the preaching of John was according to the repentance from sins and in the name of Christ is for the remittance of sins. Christ was not in need of either repentance or remission of sins.
By what standard or law would Jesus be baptized?
Jesus lived as a man subject to the Law of Moses.
John says he has need to be baptized by Jesus. What would such a baptism of John by Jesus entail?
John’s point is to show humility to the One by whom all righteousness is known to the world.
What is the “fulfillment of all righteousness”?
Some say Jesus was baptized to mark the beginning of His ministry. This is close. Christ is subject to the Law of Moses. The scriptures tell us Jesus was brought up in compliance of all ordinances of the Law (Luke 2:21-24, 27, 41) in which He continued as He grew. Prior to a priest beginning his work for the day or taking on tasks of his responsibilities he had to be cleansed by completed washing. He also had to put on clean specifically prescribed attire. This action of Christ symbolically represents the action of Christ showing Himself ready to be the High Priest and King of the kingdom of Heaven. It is accomplished by the washing which represents the leaving behind of the concerns of the physical and pertaining one self fully to the concerns of the Spirit.
Who is fulfilling all righteousness?
The Lord is fulfilling all righteousness.
What is recognized by Jesus in John by Jesus asking permission to be baptized by John?
a. the willingness of John to complete the expectations of God
b. the humility of John to do the work under the conditions necessary to convict others unto a humble response to God’s invitation of repentance
c. the authority of John to speak the word of God
d. the respect that the disciples of John rightly have for the preacher
What does Matthew mean by “the heavens were opened”?
This is not explicitly described but is likely referring to an opening of cloud cover to dramatically visualize the engagement of the Father from above in the event of Jesus’ baptism and commitment to the obedience of the Father’s commands. Luke says that while He was praying and the people were being baptized this opening of the heavens occurred (Luke 3:21). The other point of view is that of the Lord’s. The “heavens opening up” is also used at the death of Stephen when Stephen says he was able to see into heaven and noted Christ sitting at the right hand of God.
What does Matthew mean by “the Spirit of God descending as a dove”? What does the phrase “lighting on Him” mean?
Cross referencing to Luke 3:22 is helpful for this question. The indication of the Spirit descending as a dove is to give a visualization of the event. This way the disciples are witnesses to the event. Matthew gives the physical description of this event. Lighting on Him is an expression of an animal of flight landing on an intended perch. Therefore, the appearance of a dove lighting on the Lord presents the intention of the Father in targeting Jesus as opposed to anyone else.
Whose voice is coming out of the heavens?
It is God the Father’s voice.
Who is claiming Jesus as their Son?
It is God the Father.
Why should the Father be well-pleased in the Son?
Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, was obeying the Father. He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, having become in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, having become obedient until death, even the death of a cross. Because of this also God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name above every name.
What was done that made the Father well-pleased?
Jesus, in being baptized by the prophet of God, had by action committed himself to the purpose of the Father. It wasn’t enough to be the Son of God. It wasn’t enough to be born miraculously by the will of God. It wasn’t enough to be God in the flesh.
And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in flesh, was justified in Spirit, was seen by angels, was proclaimed among nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
I Ti 3:16
Understand that is wasn’t even enough to be the very Word of Life.
And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and of truth.
Jesus acts out an example to each and every one of His followers. If you are going to be accepted by the Father as His child through faith, you have to do the works that are expected.
for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God prepared that we should walk in them
Why is it significant that the Father states Jesus is His Beloved Son?
The text is more accurately read, “This is My Son, the Beloved”. The beloved being a title or moniker. This is intended to recall the prophets, namely, David and Solomon. A particularly reference would be Psalm 2:7. Psalm 2 concerns the Anointed of Jehovah. This Anointed One of Jehovah is to preside over holy Mount on Zion. This makes the definitive connection between Jesus and the Beloved spoken in prophecy.
Reference Psalm 2 for study with regard to the subject text.
How does David show himself a type unto Christ in the context of Matthew 3:13-17?
David presents himself as an example by the combination of being the anointed king of Israel and the faithful servant of God. In 1 Samuel 16, David was anointed by Samuel and still humbly served Saul. The assessment of David is a person who, despite making mistakes, repented from his sins and showed faith. In contrast Saul did not. Recall Acts 13:22:
And removing him, He raised up to them David for a king, to whom He also said, witnessing, "I found David" the son of Jesse "to be a man according to My own heart, who will do all My will."
This was stated on account of David’s willingness to follow God and show his commitment in action. David shows a type to Christ not in perfection of this commitment but in the ability to continue despite any contention from Satan, the world and other enemies.
Also reference 2 Samuel 7:8-17.
Similar wording is used by the Father to refer to another son in 2 Samuel 7. Who was the son?
In 2 Samuel 7:12-17 God makes clear that David shall not build a house for Him but David’s son will. He is speaking of Solomon directly but also speaking of Christ prophetically.
How are the statements in 2 Samuel 7:14-16 foreshadowing of Christ?
He speaks to a kingdom that is under His creation and ownership. It will also involve a house built not for the purpose of housing but for the purpose of supporting the name of God. Prophetically, that house is the church. Someone might ask, in Verse 14, Nathan says that when David’s son sins God will correct that son. So how can that represent the Christ since Jesus never sinned. This should be understood as sin from the perspective of those that were against Christ. In other words, Jesus did not transgress a law of God the Father but laws of the Jews. In this God uses man’s punishment for His own means unto grace to all men.
Do the statements of Jesus to John in Matthew 3 relate to God’s words in 2 Samuel 7?
Yes, indirectly. God was speaking to David about the selected person to fulfill the type of Israel and the temple. That comes through Jesus and the church. Christ and His church are the means by which salvation is made available to the world. Without the righteousness of the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36) then the sacrifice that makes possible the addition of forgiven sinners to the church can not take place. If the church is not here then the dwelling place, or house, of the truth of God doesn’t exist (1 Timothy 3:15). To fulfill all righteousness, Christ needed to show His commitment to the will of the Father beginning from this baptism through the day of Pentecost and the establishment of His church (house of God from 2 Samuel 7). All members of the Lord’s church much show the deeds of righteousness by faith.
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