Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: You notice a woman drop a $20.00 bill on the sidewalk as she hastily disappears into Walgreens. What do you do? You check into a hotel and discover that a premium channel is free, and it’s featuring an explicit, yet critically praised, television show. How do you respond? These are real temptations. But the greatest temptations are our selfish impulses to take things that are good—food, knowledge, sexual pleasure, authority—and use them improperly. These we face every day. Well, what can we learn from Jesus’ perfect response to temptation?
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
- Matthew tells us in verse 1 that the Spirit led Jesus “into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” How do we reconcile that statement with James 1:13?
- What are some ways that we can improperly use intrinsically good things like: food, knowledge, sexual pleasure, and authority?
- Why would it have been wrong for Jesus to create for himself food out of stones (verse 2)?
- Why is it significant that Jesus consistently recites Scripture as he faces temptation? How well do you do this?
- What Old Testament scenarios are we reminded of as we read this account of Jesus interacting with the devil?
- What assurance do you take in knowing that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:15)?
- Read Matthew 4:1-4.
- “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” – James 1:13
- “Satan’s aim was to entice Jesus to use powers rightly his but which he has voluntarily abandoned to carry out the Father’s mission.”
- 01. Jesus took no shortcuts in making a way for our salvation.
- “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.” – 1 Peter 3:18
- Read Matthew 4:5-7.
- 02. Jesus is the new Adam, the true and faithful man.
- Read Matthew 4:8-11.
- 03. Jesus is the Lion of Judah, the victor who spells the end to Satan and his schemes.
- “Satan will try anything—subterfuge and effrontery—Jesus defeats both strategies. He is too strong, too good, to fall.” – Daniel Doriani