Matthew 4:1-11 NASB
¹Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
²And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
³And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
⁴But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”
⁵Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, ⁶and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'”
⁷Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
⁸Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; ⁹and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
¹⁰Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'”
¹¹Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
God is very close in Jesus!
Despite God’s greatness, He comes very close to us in Jesus, who feels our weaknesses well (Hebrews 2:17,18).
The distance between God and man is very great and yet also very small.
This apparent contradiction is one of the things that makes the Christian faith unique.
God is great, exalted and enthroned (cf. Isaiah 6:1-4).
Yet He literally takes on the role of man, the man Jesus, who is therefore called the Son of God. Jesus is both God and man.
Jesus is brought by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1). Apparently it is God’s plan that there will be a confrontation. Traditionally, the desert has been the place Israel associates with a test, such as the forty-year wandering in the desert.
Jesus fasts forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:2), as did Moses before Him (Exodus 34:27,28). The mediation of the old covenant was accompanied by a forty-day fast, as was the beginning of the new covenant.
The three temptations of Jesus are reminiscent of Israel’s time in the wilderness.
▪︎ Jesus is hungry, just like Israel then. The people murmured, but Jesus does not ask for a miracle (Matthew 4:2-4).
▪︎ The second temptation (Matthew 4:5,6) is about prestige. Will Jesus assert his prestige and allow himself to be received by the angels? But even now He does not want to appeal to God’s miraculous intervention in order to gain prestige.
▪︎ The third temptation (Matthew 4:8,9) is the climax: is Jesus really God’s obedient Servant or does He give in to the lust for power and possessions?
Israel had failed in its temptations.
▪︎ They murmur for food,
▪︎ always appealed to God’s intervention
▪︎ and worshiped the golden calf.
In his answers (Matthew 4:4,7,10) Jesus keeps quoting from Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:16, 6:13), the book that calls to obey God’s commandments.
Unlike Israel, he does not give in to temptations and, as the obedient Son of God (cf. Hebrews 5:8), He has the authority to establish God’s Kingdom on earth.
Adam by his disobedience made paradise a desert,
Jesus, through His obedience, makes the desert a paradise.
▪︎ How is this also evident in Hebrews 4:14-16?
▪︎ Ask God to lead you not into temptation, but deliver you from the evil one.
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl
You are welcome to share your comment in the comment section.