Matthew 4 Questions and Answers
1. Who led Jesus into the desert? When? Matthew 4:1
1. Who led Jesus into the desert? When? Matthew 4:1
- God's Spirit, immediately after his baptism.
- Jesus was led into the desert not by the devil but by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.
- Immediately after Jesus' was honored by His Heavenly Father and the anointing at Jesus' baptism by the Holy Spirit comes Christ's greatest trial.
2. Why was Jesus led into the desert?
- Jesus went to the desert to be alone with God prior to His direct conflict with Satan.
- To have a time for sustained prayer and fasting, a time for solitary preparation for ministry, a time for intimacy with the Father. Moses, Elijah & Paul all had to spend time with God before they engaged in their ministries and so did Christ.
-The Holy Spirit wanted this encounter to take place to prove Christ's holiness, and His power over His arch enemy.
- The Spirit sent Jesus into the desert to show His power over evil and to gain victory over Satan right at the beginning of his ministry.
- if Jesus triumphs over sin, temptation, and the greatest assault of Satan then He really is holy, Sovereign, the Savior and King, and He really can rescue sinners from the kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan. We need to know that if we are to acknowledge Him as God's true King and Savior.
3. Who was the agent of the temptation? When did he come to tempt Jesus?
- Satan came when Jesus was hungry, the weakest, the most vulnerable
4. What are some other things we know about the devil from Scripture? (Some other verses to read might be: Genesis 3;14;
John 8:44; John 10:10).
- he's a tempter
- Jesus and Satan were in conflict until Christ's resurrection. The devil tried to get Jesus to not fulfill the purpose for which God sent him (eg. These temptations and using Peter to say that Jesus shouldn't die)
- Satan is real
- Ezekiel 28:13-17 Having been cast out of heaven the devil is full of envy, full of fury, and his hatred is directed against God, and his hatred is against Jesus Christ, and he uses people as pawns to accomplish his ends, of hurting and seeking to defeat Christ and destroy the work of God.
- People don't matter to Satan, they are means to his end. He wants to wrench them out of the hand of God. He wants to steal them from having a relationship with God. (John 10:10)
- uses doubt to get people to disobey God (eg. Eve)
- was cursed by God (Gen 3:14)
- He is a liar, the father of lies and a murderer (John 8:44)
- He has to get permission from God to hurt righteous people (eg. Job)
- In this chapter the word devil means slanderer. He is also called, the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the god of this age, the prince of demons, Lucifer, Satan, the serpent, the great dragon, the evil one, the destroyer, the tempter, the deceiver, and the spirit that works in the sons of disobedience, etc.
- Satan tempts us at the point of our own abilities. We are tempted through our gifts. If we have a charming personality, Satan will tempt us to use our charm to get what we want. If you have a way with words he will tempt you to use your ability to communicate to produce glib excuses, to justify your conduct and to talk people into what you want. If you have mental brilliance you will be tempted to use it to become the master and not the servant of men. The person with a vivid and sensitive imagination will undergo agonies of temptation that a more calm person will never experience.
- Satan does not want to lessen our strength at the point of our gift. He wants to use our strength for his advantage. If you do something well, that's exactly what Satan wants you to do, only he wants you to do it for your own glory and for his credit. (Matthew 5:16)
- He has been defeated by Christ and we can also have victory over Satan's temptations.
5. What is the difference between a test and a temptation? Who tests and who tempts? What is the end goal of a test compared to a temptation? ( James 1:2-4, 13-14)
- The Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness for a test, but the devil is there with a temptation. When it was all said and done, Jesus passed the test, God was vindicated, Satan was defeated.
- From God's viewpoint it is a way to prove that the Son is worthy. From the devil's viewpoint it is a way to tempt the Son to be unworthy and destroy God's plan of a sinless offering.
- All the things that come our way to entice us from the devil are negatives to defeat us, but God may allow them as ways to prove us. (James 1:2) God allows testing to give us the opportunity to exercise spiritual muscle.
- God will allow a test to prove righteousness, God will never entice someone into sin. (James 1:13)
6. What do we know from the book of Job about temptations and testings? (Read especially Job 1 & 2)
*How did Job respond?
- Satan and God talk together about people on earth. Satan urged God to ruin Job without any reason. (2:3) God had put a hedge around Job so Satan couldn't get at him and had blessed him on every side. Satan was sure that Job would curse God if everything he had was taken away from him.
- God gives Satan permission to only go so far
- the first time Satan could do anything he wanted to with Job's belongings but could not touch Job.
- Satan came down on Job's possessions with a vengeance and destroyed everything. (that is like Satan
- he comes to kill, steal and destroy John 10:10 whereas God gives life & blessings)
*Job's response: "You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. Job 2:10
- he tore his clothes, shaved his head, fell to the ground in worship. He did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
- the second time Satan and God talk, Satan wants Job's body. God says Ok but Satan has to spare Job's life. Again Satan is very mean
- he struck Job with terrible boils from head to foot.
- To make matters worse, Job's wife encouraged him to curse God and die.
7. What did Jesus do in the desert? Matthew 4:2
8. What does it mean to fast?
- It means setting aside time to be with God for a special purpose, humbling ourselves before God, praying and seeking His face while abstaining from solid food and sometimes liquids.
9. What do you think might be a reason for Jesus going on a 40 day fast?
- Israel suffered 40 years of temptation and disobedience in the wilderness so Jesus resisted Satan through forty days of temptation and obedience in the wilderness.
- To prepare Himself for the ministry His Father was giving Him.
- After His commissioning He needed some time alone with the Father. Even in His perfect humanity He needed as we do, time for quiet thought, time to prepare for the coming trial, time to realize the great danger, time to adjust to the ministry He would be involved in.
10. What kinds of fasts can people go on?
- Yes there are.
- (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14,15) For Jesus it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it.
- Fasts can be of different lengths of time
- one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days (Beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts.) Also need to decide how much time each day will be spent in prayer and God's Word
- Different fasts can include: absolute fast, water only, or water and juices. Lent is sometimes seen as a form of fasting
- giving up certain foods for 40 days before Easter.
To read more about fasting go to: 7 Steps to Fasting
11.How many times did Satan tempt Jesus in this chapter? Was Jesus ever tempted again after this? (Matthew 13;
- Three times
- Even though the devil left him because Jesus dismissed him and he'd been defeated, he still came back because he had not yet been destroyed.
- Matthew 16:23 Jesus looked Peter right in the eye and said, "Get behind me Satan." Why? Because Peter said to Jesus, you don't need to go to the cross, don't let it happen. Satan was tempting Jesus to avoid the cross.
- He had conflict with Satan in Matthew 13.
- In Luke 22:28 Jesus said to His apostles, "You are the ones who have continued with me in my trials." Jesus was continually in conflict with Satan, all the way to the Garden of Gethsemane.
12. What was the first temptation that the tempter brought to Jesus and why was it a significant temptation at this point in the life of Jesus? Matthew 4:3
Some possible significances of this first temptation are:
- When Jesus was hungry, Satan came and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
- First of all, Satan says "if". He always plants that doubt. If he can create doubt, he's got a foot in the door. He tempts us to doubt God's love, if we're really saved, and many other doubts.
- The tempter wanted Jesus to make bread from stones to show His spiritual power over nature. As a man, Jesus was hungry. As God, he could have created bread from nothing as He had given Israel manna in the wilderness for 40 years.
- He wanted Jesus to become a bread Messiah gaining followers by miraculously meeting physical needs.
- The point of the temptation is not the feeding of the hunger but to have Jesus distrust His Father. He was attempting to destroy Jesus' confidence in the Father's will, the Father's power and the Father's plan to sustain Him. It's the suggestion that what is going on is incompatible with Jesus being the Son of God. Satan is saying, "If you're the Son of God, what are you doing being hungry? God fed His people all throughout the centuries yet you're out here starving, and You're the most beloved of anyone?"
- Satan wanted Jesus to go against God and grab the control. This is a temptation to exercise personal, selfish authority to do what would satisfy His own wants of material comfort and food.
13. What was Jesus' response to the first temptation? Matthew 4:4
- "It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Deuteronomy 8:3) This was written to Israel reminding them to trust God that life consisted not in bread alone but every word that comes from the mouth of God.
- Jesus is basically saying, I will not run ahead of God or take God's control out of His hands and control my own life to meet my needs. I will wait for my Father's divine supply and when God says He is ready to give me bread then I'll have all the bread I need and not until then.
- Jesus is saying to Satan that it is not bread that will keep him alive but God's creative, energizing power. And if God wants to keep Him alive He'll keep Him alive without any bread because man does not live on bread alone but he lives by every word coming out of the mouth of God.
- Jesus then is affirming His absolute confidence in the Father's promise and care. Jesus knows that God wills that He live and He leaves the sustenance to Him.
14. What was the second temptation? Matthew 4:5-6
- The devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple and said, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." (Psalm 91:11-12 )
15. What was the focus of this temptation?
- God will take care of you so you can do crazy stuff to show how powerful God is.
- Satan wanted Jesus to be a spectacular Messiah gaining followers through displaying miraculous powers
-Satan's goal was to have Jesus put God to the test. Satan used God's Word to tempt Jesus to test God to see if He will keep His Word. He would be putting Himself in a position where God had to get Him out of trouble, and that is the sin of presuming on God. It is wrong to push God into a corner and say, "Now, God, you've got to get me out of this." God is not a genie.
16. How did Jesus respond to this temptation? Matthew 4:7
- By once again quoting Scripture
- "It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test." (Deuteronomy 6:16)
- Jesus could have jumped off the pinnacle of that temple, and He would have been immediately accepted. But Jesus didn't come to be accepted. He came for one reason
- to die. He came to be rejected. (Isaiah 53). He didn't come for a popularity contest. He came to become a sacrifice. He refused to collect a crowd of thrill seekers. He wanted a crowd of repentant sinners.
- If he'd have fallen into this temptation, He would have bypassed the cross. He would have sinned in changing the reason of His coming. God expects us to take risks for Him, but He doesn't expect us to take risks just to enhance our own prestige.
17. What is different between the first and second temptation?
- In the second temptation Satan quotes scripture too.
18. What was the third temptation and why would it be a temptation for Jesus? Matthew 4:8-9
- The devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. Satan told Jesus he would give him all of that if Jesus would bow down and worship him.
- Psalm 2:8 is a Messianic promise from God to the Messiah. "Ask of Me and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance and the outer most parts of the earth for your possession." Satan was offering Jesus what God offered him minus the cross, if Jesus would compromise and worship Satan.
- Satan wanted Jesus to become a compromising Messiah, joining forces with the evil one to accomplish heavenly purposes. Compromise is achieving a good end, but the wrong way.
- Jesus refuses an alliance with Satan, and chooses obedience and loyalty to God, whatever the cost may be. For Christ, submission to Satan and an easy path to popularity and temporary power was disloyalty to God.
19. What was the flaw in the temptation?
- Jesus did not come to rule over the world, he came to save the world.
- Satan didn't have the right to give Jesus the position of ruler of this world. It wasn't his to give away because God's in control.
- God had already promised Jesus everything. (Ps. 2:8)
20. What scripture did Jesus use to overcome the temptation and the tempter? Matthew 4:10
- Jesus said, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only." Taken from Deuteronomy 6:13
- Jesus wouldn't take any shortcut to the kingdom at all.
21. What helped Jesus to defeat Satan each time?
- Knowledge of scripture and how to use it under the Holy Spirit's power.
- Jesus after forty days and forty nights of fasting was prepared, alert, and ready.
Temptations which have been seen in advance, anticipated, watched for, prayed against, and prepared for, we can be victorious over. Mark 4:38, "Watch and pray, so you won't give in to temptation." The great enemy of the believer is spiritual unpreparedness, lack of alertness.
- Jesus did not focus on the object of the temptation but on His Father.
- Jesus experienced the ultimate in temptation, because Satan tempts us until we yield. He just keeps tempting and tempting and tempting until we finally collapse. But Jesus never yielded. That means because He never yielded, He took all the temptation that Satan could possibly give.
22. What does God do when we are able to overcome temptation? Matthew 4:11
- There is great blessing and spiritual power available when we overcome temptation.
- God sends helpers to minister to us. God sent angels to minister to Jesus' needs.
23. When and where did Jesus start his ministry? Matthew 4:12-13
- When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali
- Jesus' ministry begins when John's ends.
24. Why had John been put in prison? ( Matthew 14:3-4)
- Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for John had been saying to him: "It is not lawful for you to have her."
25. Why did Jesus begin his ministry there? Matthew 4:14-16
- To fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles
- the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Is 9:1-2)
- Galilee was the place of the greatest darkness, and the place of the greatest darkness always has the greatest need for light.
- Jesus was called to Galilee of the Gentiles, because His Gospel is for everybody. Galilee was a populated place with lots of foreigners and half Jews. They were little more open to new ideas. There was good infrastructure in Galilee with many travelers coming through. It was a place where there were farmers and fishermen
- not theologians
26. In Matthew 4:15-16, What is Jesus called? ( John 8:12)
- A light
- John 8:12
- Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
27. How does a person, or a place become a place of darkness? (Read Romans 1:19-21)
- When they reject God's qualities that can be seen through His creation, and they sear their conscience through willful sin. Then their hearts become darkened.
28. What was the 2 parts of Jesus' message? Who else had the same message? Matthew 4:17
- Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near
-John the Baptist had the same message in Matthew 3
29. What were Peter and Andrew doing when they met Jesus? Matthew 4:18
- casting a fishing net into the lake for they were fishermen
30. What was Jesus' invitation to the two fishermen? Why do you think this is an appropriate invitation? Matthew 4:19
- Come follow me and I will change your focus to people.
- Jesus was going to change their occupation from being fishermen to sending them out to fish for people.
31. How did they respond to Jesus' invitation? Matthew 4:20
- At once they left their nets and followed Jesus.
32. Who else joined this new group? Matthew 4:21-22
- James and John, sons of Zebedee
- in a boat with their father preparing their nets. Jesus called them and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus.
- Along with Peter and Andrew, this became the first band to be trained for ministry to start the process to fulfill the Great Commission.
- They used nets to catch lots of fish. Jesus also wants us to "fish for a lot of people".
33. What qualities do good fishermen have that would also be qualities needed in fishing for people?
- Patience. Fishermen learn to wait, so if we're good at fishing for men we have to be patient.
- Perseverance. "We didn't catch anything, but we'll go again." We keep looking for people that God wants us to speak to
- Courage. They'll face the sea for the cause of the fish. It takes courage to talk to people about Christ.
- Have an eye for the right moment. If you just talk to a fisherman who knows his stuff he'll tell you when and where. We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to let us know when it is the right moment to share the gospel
34. How did Jesus "fish for people"? What were the 4 men learning about fishing for people?
"Evangelism is not taught as much as it's caught," like everything else in the Christian life.
- Jesus was available. He was always where the crowd was, where the sinners were.
- Jesus had no favorites. He didn't run around with the rich, the famous, or the religious. It didn't matter what their social standing was.
- Jesus was totally sensitive. He could quickly spot an open heart. Eg. Woman with issue of blood
- He drew out of people a public confession. Eg. Mark 5 the woman with the issue of blood
- Jesus used love and tenderness. Eg. John 8 with that woman who had been abused by all kinds of men, who was a harlot of the worse category. Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2). In Matthew 8 Jesus reached out and touched a leper. He had tenderness toward the sinner.
- He always took time for people no matter how busy He was. Eg. Jarius' daughter
35. What did Jesus do around Galilee? Matthew 4:23
1. Throughout Galilee Jesus taught in synagogues, (Galilee is about 40 miles by 70 miles)
- The synagogue was the centre and most important institution in the life of any Jew.
- It was a place of worship, preaching and teaching
- The synagogue became the court of law and any disputes or court problems or civil things came there, and their judgment was made and execution was even pronounced.
- The synagogue was a public school for boys in their childhood to learn the Talmud.
- The synagogue was a theological school for the men.
- The temple was not usually a place for teaching and preaching
- although Jesus did. The temple was a place for offering sacrifice and making offerings.
2. Jesus preached the good news of the kingdom. Some have said preaching is proclaiming the gospel and teaching is the explaining of the gospel. Jesus did both.
- Jesus always talked about the Kingdom of Heaven/God, right up to his ascension. After Jesus' resurrection He was seen by the apostles 40 days and spoke of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
- When Jesus was teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom He was announcing that He was the king, and He's got a kingdom.
- The good news is this: God has a kingdom, and He wants you to be a citizen of it. Jesus died for you and rose for you. Your sin is paid for. Your eternal life is purchased and you can be in God's kingdom in the new heaven and the new earth forever with God. That's what Jesus came preaching and teaching.
- The plan of salvation is the good news.
3. He healed every disease and sickness among the people. Jesus used a variety of ways to help people in their various needs to point them to their greatest need - salvation. There is no conflict between meeting social or physical needs and providing spiritual necessities.
- confirmed His message as divine. They proved that He was divine because no human being could do these things. ( John 14:11)
- showed that He was the prophesized Messiah because the Old Testament had predicted a Messiah of miracle power. (Matthew 11:2)
- gave a little taste of what was going to be in the future. He let them have a glimpse of the kingdom. (Matthew 10:7) All the demons are going to be gone in the kingdom and all the people will be healed. Jesus gave the same power to His disciples. He told them to preach saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand and heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. The healings and miracles were always connected with kingdom preaching and kingdom teaching to show that in fact the kingdom was really coming.
- The purpose for the healings was to announce the kingdom of God is near.
36. What happened throughout Syria? Matthew 4:24
- people heard about Jesus healing every disease and sickness and they brought to Jesus those who were ill and had diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed.
- this is a little picture of what the kingdom is going to be like.
37. Where was Syria in those days?
Syria was a Roman province that included Galilee and Palestine. When it's used here it refers to the north part where Damascus was the major city.
38. What is the implication that Syrians were touched by the ministry of Jesus?
- People, even from Syria, the Gentiles, heard about Jesus healing every disease and sickness and they brought to Jesus those who were ill and had diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon possessed, those having seizures, the paralyzed and he healed them.
- Jesus healed everybody without discrimination, healing all manner of illness, disease, and symptoms with a word or a touch, instantaneously and totally.
39. Where were people coming from to hear Jesus? What was the result of Jesus' first ministry?
This is a picture of what it's going to be like at the kingdom; the whole world gathering at Jesus' feet.
- Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis (Ten Cities), Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan came to hear Jesus.
- Large crowds followed Jesus.
1. Have you ever sensed that you have been given temptations to test your faith and make you stronger in God?
- After times of spiritual highlights or experiences we are often tempted or tested. If we overcome, it shows that our experience was genuine and not just emotional.
2. What doubts has Satan put in your mind?
3. What kind of temptations have you faced? How have you overcome your temptations?
4. How can you live on God's Word? Are you actually practicing "feeding on the Word of God?"
- we are not to live on bread only but we should feed on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
What does that mean?
- Trust in God to meet my material needs for He will not fail me or forsake me. God is the source of my life and He loves and cares for me so I don't need to control my own life but wait for God to meet my needs. (Matt 6:23 Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the things we need will be given to us)
- our lives and needs are not just physical or material, we are spiritual beings too that need to listen to God speaking
- Need to wait on God and his provision for our every need (Philippians 4:19) We don't need to get uptight about what is happening or not happening in our life. In God's time, and in God's way, He'll supply. And it's not for me, or even Jesus, to presume on God's supply.
- I need to live by the mouth of God, not by my instincts. If we feed on God's Words in the Scripture we will be more prepared to trust God and wait for His ways.
5. Have you ever used scripture to defeat temptations like Jesus did? If so, what scriptures did you use? Or what scripture do you need to memorize in order to overcome temptations.
6. What lessons can we learn from the first temptation and how Jesus handled it? Have you ever been tempted in this way?
Response: God will take care of us. He promised.
- Satan tempted Christ, and He'll tempt us to distrust the providential care of God and make us think we've got to provide for ourselves, and make sure we've got everything under control.
- He will tempt us to distrust the love of God, the will of God, the way of God, the purpose of God, the concern of God, and the compassion of God. He doesn't want us to believe God when God says He'll supply all our needs according to His riches by Christ Jesus.
7. What lessons can we learn from the second temptation and how Jesus handled it? Have you ever been tempted in this way?
Satan will tempt us to presume on God, to put Him to the test. Satan encourages us to go out there and do what we think we need to do to make our splash in the world and expect God to rescue us or put the pieces back together. Eg. I Samuel 4 - Israelites presumed that if the Ark was with them in battle they would win. God does not operate like that, and they didn't win the battle.
8. What lessons can we learn from the third temptation and how Jesus handled it? Have you ever been tempted in this way?
- Satan will tempt us to compromise - to fulfill our ambition in our own way, not God's way. Eg. James and John's mother asked Jesus if her 2 sons could be on each side of Him in the Kingdom. Jesus says, "Do you think they could bear what I'm going to bear?" "He that is least among you shall be greatest in the Kingdom." We are not to seek the elevated position. God's way is to be humble.
- Another example is Judas. He wanted to be part of the Kingdom, only he went the wrong way. He went Satan's way to get what he thought he wanted. If he'd done it God's way, he would have inherited the Kingdom forever. Instead, the Bible says he hanged himself.
- It is easy to want to be a success in a ministry, and Satan will try to get us to do it our own way with our own ideas and our own message, bypassing God's way according to Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- Satan will tempt us to shortcut, to bypass the consistent Christian life to get something that you don't need until God's good time and God's good way to give it to you. There's no shortcut to God's will.
- to replace God and worship of God with other activities or things. Eg. Sports, family time, work, etc.
- Jesus exercised his freedom to serve God and God's purposes. He showed that Satan can be defeated. He also showed that accomplishing God's purposes through Satan's methods is wrong.
Each must be done under God's leadership, not Satan's.
9. When we are tempted to whom do we turn and how do we gain victory over temptation? (
I Corinthians 10:13)
- We can go to Jesus Christ confidently to receive mercy because was tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without sin.(Hebrews 4:15, 16) Take our eyes off ourselves and our temptations and focus on Christ who can empathize with us in our weakness and showed us how we can have the victory and get through our temptations without sinning.
- Jesus told Satan "Away from me!" Whenever Satan tempts us, we can say with Jesus Christ, "Away from me. Get out!"
- Jesus and Satan don't occupy the same heart at the same time. If our heart and mind is filled with the presence of Jesus Christ, there's no room for Satan there. That's why need to keep our eyes on Him, focus on Him, and think about Him.
- Jesus knows how hard it is to resist temptations, so he understands us in our temptations. (Hebrews 2:18) "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. " He has been there, He has been victorious, and He can help us.
- Hide God's Word in your heart so that God's thoughts will be in your mind. If you start the day with something of God's book, getting some of God's thoughts in your mind, then when you meet the adversary it makes all the difference in the world.
- "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) When you see Satan and his temptation coming, tell the Lord, "He's here again. Get him." "I can't do it, Lord. But You can." The Christian doesn't attempt to fight temptation in his own strength. His watchfulness is in observing the approach of the enemy and reporting to the Lord. That's prayer. And He can give the victory.
- James 4:7 says, " Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, " No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." When that verse comes to us the way of escape is really the gaze on the Master, He's the One who draws us through the temptation to victory.
- Hebrews 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." As we fix our eyes on Him (as opposed to focusing on the temptation) and as we gaze at Jesus Christ we find that the obstacles that are thrown in our way are no problem at all.
10. When we have a great victory what do we have to be careful of?
- Just because we have reached a point of spiritual victory at one time doesn't guarantee our spiritual victory even for the next moment. In fact, Satan probably is going to hit harder than he has before. It's the very precise point when we think we stand that we have to evaluate ourselves so we don't fall. He likes to tempt us in the moment of glory when our defenses are down.
- Matthew 4
- Jesus spent 40 days with His Father preparing for the conflict with Satan. We too need to be on the watch out for Satan's temptation, be in constant talking terms with God. (Matt 26:41)
To read more about fasting go to: 7 Steps to Fasting
11. Why or when do we not have victory when we are tempted?
- the greatest enemy of the Christian is spiritual unpreparedness. We're just not ready for the temptations thrown our way. We're not ready for it because we're not watching for it.
- we're not praying. We're not in constant fellowship with God. Eg. Peter denying Jesus
- we're focusing on the temptation instead of God.
12. Have you ever tried fasting? for an extended time? If so, for what purpose? Do you think Jesus expects us to fast? (
; Matthew 9:14,15)
- Jesus says, "When you fast" so it sounds like he expects His followers to fast.
13. What are the benefits of fasting?
- Lord will give fresh, new spiritual insights.
- Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened.
- You will feel mentally, spiritually, and physically refreshed.
- You will see answers to your prayers.
- makes a person spiritually alert, more in tune with the Holy Spirit
14. Jesus message was: Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Do we share this message with the lost? Should we be? Would it be understood if we did?
- We should be asking individuals if they are ready to meet God for Jesus will return soon.
15. Do you think Jesus has chosen you to be a fisher of men, to join His disciple group?" If so, how did you respond to Jesus' invitation to follow Him?
- Yes. Everybody in Christ has that commission. We're all to be witnesses. We're all to speak of Christ. We're all to work in the fields that are white unto harvest, etc.
- It started with the twelve, extended to the early church in Jerusalem and then to Judea, then to Samaria, then to the world and to us. This is our work. We too are to follow Jesus and be fishers of men.
16. What might that mean if we join His disciple group?
- need to find people that I can share Jesus with
- It means leaving parents and family emotionally so I can listen to what God wants me to do
- not them.
- It means not focusing on what I want to do, but what God is asking me to do.
- It may mean a change of priorities
- from focusing on hobbies and self-seeing to serving others.
- It may mean leaving family and friends physically/geographically so I can go where He wants me to go
- We sometimes think, "If so and so famous person could just become a Christian, think of how many they'd win." The Lord never picked those people from the start. He just picked the humble fishermen. God is always identified with the people, with the poor, as well as the poor in spirit. We could possibly also be asked to identify with the poor, the weak, the sinner, etc.
17. How do we get a passion to share Jesus with people?
- be a believer. You can't be on the team unless you are.
- spend time with Christ praying and learning His Word
- be available. Learn how to win people to Christ. If that means getting involved in an evangelism ministry then get involved. If that means reading the New Testament and underlining everything about evangelism and cataloging it and learning it, do it.
- be concerned. Maybe that means reading some books. Meeting some unsaved people.
- Go out and do it even if the passion isn't there. Just obey God's promptings. Reach out to your neighbor. Speak the words you've always wanted to speak and never have. Then watch God work.
- Realize Jesus is your pattern
- be His follower. Study how He did it. Then find somebody else you can follow and let them be your model.
18. Could we do something similar to what Jesus did around Galilee, preaching, teaching and healing people? Is Jesus asking you to serve His kingdom in some way?
19. Does God still heal today?
- Yes He does. "If any sick among you let him call for the elders of the church to pray for them." (James 5:14-16) He heals if He chooses to.
20. What did God teach you from this chapter that He wants you to apply to your life?