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1. Mt. 4:1-11

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3. The Wilderness Temptations Of Christ


1. Matthew 4:1-11 

2. Matthew 4:12-25 

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Matthew 4


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The Wilderness Temptation Of Jesus

Jesus In The Wilderness: A Study In The Language And Nature Of Temptation

The Wilderness Temptations: A Window Into The Mind Of Jesus

Angels and the Wilderness Temptations Of Jesus





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Jesus is tempted
Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
   2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he hungered. 3 And the tempter came and said to him: If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. 4 But he answered and said: It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God
   5 Then the devil took him into the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to him: If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down. For it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning you, and on their hands they shall carry you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said to him: Again it is written, You shall not make trial of the Lord your God.
   8 Again, the devil took him to an exceeding high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. 9 And he said to him: All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. 10 Then said Jesus to him: Away with you Satan! For it is written: You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.
   11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and ministered to him.

Jesus begins to preach   
12 Now when he heard that John was imprisoned, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, he went and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: 15 The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles- 16 the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and the shadow of death, on them a light has dawned. 17 From that time began Jesus to preach and to say: Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
18 And walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them: Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they immediately left the nets and followed him.
   21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22 And they immediately left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus heals many
   23 And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people. 24 Then his fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and he healed them 25 And great crowds followed him, those from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from the other side of the Jordan.



4:1-8 ‘The Devil’ doesn’t exist as a fallen Angel or evil cosmic being. Jesus "was in all points tempted like as we are" (Heb. 4:15), and: "every man is tempted... of his own lust, and enticed" (James 1:14). We are tempted by the "devil" of our own mind, and so was Jesus. We are not tempted by an evil being prompting us to sin - sin and temptation come "from within, out of the heart of man" (Mk. 7:21). The temptations cannot be literal: 4:8 implies that Jesus was led up a high mountain to see all the kingdoms of the world in their future glory "in a moment of time" (Mk. 4:5). There is no mountain high enough to see all the world- the earth is a sphere.
- Comparison with Luke 4 shows that the temptations are described in a different order. Mk. 1:13 says that Jesus was "in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan", whilst Mt. 4:2-3 says that "when he had fasted forty days... the tempter (Satan) came to Him...". Thus these same temptations kept repeating themselves- e.g. to turn stones into bread.
- It’s unlikely the devil led Jesus through the wilderness and streets of Jerusalem and then they scaled a pinnacle of the temple together, all in view of the inquisitive Jews.
- If the devil is a physical person who has no respect for God's Word and is interested in making people sin, then why would Jesus quote Scripture to overcome him? According to the popular view, this would not send the devil away. Jesus quoted a Bible passage each time. Ps. 119:11:"Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin".
- Jesus was "led of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil". How could the Spirit of God lead Jesus to be tempted by a superhuman being existing in opposition to God. He had just received the power of the Spirit (3:16). Now He was tempted to use it to turn stones into bread, jump off buildings unharmed etc.