Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

The Devil Tempts Jesus

Matthew 4:1-11

Welcome and Announcements

    Next Week - Jesus Calls the First Disciples (John 1:35-51)

Opening Prayer

Jesus Starts His Ministry (Luke 3:21-23)
    How old was Jesus when He began His ministry?
      Luke 3:23 = About 30 years old
    What did Jesus do to kick off His ministry?
      Luke 3:21 = Was baptized - Note that He was praying even then
    Did Jesus need to be cleansed through baptism for a fresh start in ministry?
      Matthew 3:13-15 = No, He did so to obey God's commands
    What was the most important thing that happened at Jesus' baptism?
      Luke 3:22 = The Holy Spirit descended on Him
    What was one reason that the Spirit appeared physically?
      John 1:32-33 = Revealed Jesus to John as the Messiah - See next week's lesson
    Besides being empowered for ministry, what else happened as the Spirit descended on Jesus?
      Luke 4:18, 21 = He was being anointed as the Messiah - The Anointed One

Jesus - The New Israel (Mark 1:10-13)
    What was the first and most important thing the Spirit had for Jesus to do?
      Mark 1:12 = At once sent Him out into the desert
    How long was He in the desert and what happened to Him there?
      Mark 1:13 = 40 days, tempted by Satan, with animals, attended by angels

    How does Matthew first show Jesus as the new Israel?
      Matthew 2:14-15 = Out of Egypt I called my son - Recorded by Hosea about Israel
    How does Jesus being led into the desert by the Spirit compare with Israel?
      Exodus 13:17-18 = God led Israel into the desert prepared for war
    How was Jesus likewise armed for battle?
      Mark 1:10-11 = He was empowered by the Holy Spirit at His baptism

    How do Jesus' 40 days of testing in the desert point to Israel?
      Joshua 5:6 = Israelites wandered in desert 40 years (generation)
    How did the old Israel respond to temptations it experienced in the desert?
      Exodus 32:1-4 = Succumbed to temptation quickly, rejected God
    How did God protect Israel from wild animals in the desert just as He did later for Jesus?
      Numbers 21:7-9 = Healed those who had been bitten by snakes
    What is another example of God's providence with wild animals for the desert-based Israelites?
      Numbers 11:31-32 = God provided quail for the people to eat
    How was the original Israel also attended by angels?
      Exodus 23:20 = God sent an angel to guard and guide them

Jesus Tempted (Matthew 4:1)
    Why did the Spirit lead Jesus into the desert?
      Matthew 4:1 = To be tempted by the devil
    Did God tempt Jesus? = Satan hits Jesus with the most powerful temptations he can
      Job 1:9-12 = No, but He gave Satan permission to tempt Jesus
    Does God tempt His people to test them?
      James 1:13 = No, God does not test with evil
    Can temptations lead to growing in maturity and becoming more complete?
      James 1:14-15 = No, they lead to sin which then leads to death
    How do we know when we are being tested by God or tempted by Satan?
      James 1:16-17 = Don't be deceived ... every good & perfect gift is from above

Why Does God Test? (Deuteronomy 8:2)
    Why was this testing of Jesus important, just as it had been important for the first Israel?
      Deuteronomy 8:2 = to humble and to test you in order to know what was in your heart
    Why does God test His people? = Our faith is refined, purified, strengthened
      1 Peter 1:6-7 = Your faith is refined & proved genuine to God's glory
    How are we to respond to the difficulties of God's tests?
      James 1:2-4 = Consider it pure joy, develop perseverance, become mature & complete
    How does perseverance from difficulties make us more mature, not lacking anything?
      Romans 5:3-5 = Rejoice in your sufferings, our hope is filled by God's love
    Why should we rejoice when God tests us? = He tests us because He loves His children
      Hebrews 12:5-7, 11 = Endure hardship as discipline, harvest of righteousness & peace
    What is the reward for those who persevere?
      James 1:12 = the crown of life that God has promised

The First Temptation (Matthew 4:2-3)
    At what point during Jesus' 40 days in the desert did the first temptation come?
      Luke 4:1-2 = At the end, after He was weakened & drained from 40 days without food
    Had he not eaten because He couldn't find any food in the desert?
      Matthew 4:2 = No, He was fasting
    Why did Jesus fast?
      Matthew 6:17-18 = Out of disciplined devotion to God
    Do we have a record of any other fast lasting this long? = Leader of the old Israel
      Exodus 34:28 = Moses fasted 40 days & nights when he rec'd the 10 Commandments

    How did Satan take advantage of Jesus' weakness to tempt Him?
      Matthew 4:3a = If - began by trying to get Jesus to question His calling
    How did Satan take advantage of Jesus' hunger to severely tempt Him?
      Matthew 4:3 = Pointed out He could easily satisfy His hunger by a word
    How could just a word from Jesus turn stones into bread?
      John 1:1-3 = Jesus was the Word - the Word through whom all things were made

Jesus Replies to the First Temptation (Matthew 4:4)
    How was this temptation similar to the first temptation that man succumbed to?
      Genesis 3:4-6 = Satan combined food with power into a single powerful temptation
    Why would it be sinful for Jesus to prove to Satan that He was the Son of God?
      1 John 2:16 = Satan already knew, it would be boasting - that comes from the world
    How did Jesus respond to Satan's difficult temptation?
      Matthew 4:4 = Quoted Scripture that spiritual food is more important than material food
    Was Jesus quoting this verse out of context to make His own point?
      Deuteronomy 8:2-3 = No, it was in the same context as His, but for the first Israel
    Why did Jesus quote God's Word to defend himself against Satan's attack?
      Ephesians 6:10-17 = God's Word is the Sword of the Spirit, our offensive weapon

The Second Temptation (Matthew 4:5-7)
    Seeing that Jesus' hunger was not a strong enough temptation, what did Satan then focus on?
      Matthew 4:5-6a = If you are the Son of God... - SE corner had 100' drop to Kidron valley
    How did Satan try to turn Jesus' reliance on God's Word against Him?
      Matthew 4:6 = Quoted Scripture commonly accepted as describing the Messiah
    Did Satan quote this verse correctly and completely? = Left out to guard you in all your ways
      Psalm 91:11-12 = Left out section where verse referred to the Messiah's normal life
    Did Jesus recognize the slight adjustment Satan had made? = It is also written...
      Matthew 4:7 = Yes, He saw that Satan had twisted it to point to specific incidents
    Did Jesus misquote an obscure part of Scripture?
      Deuteronomy 6:4, 16 = No, He directly quoted from the Shema, recited often by Jews

    What had happened at Massah?
      Exodus 17:1-2 = They quarreled with Moses when there was no water
    How were they putting God to the test just by asking for water? = Questioned God's control
      Exodus 17:3 = They indicated this wouldn't happen if an all-powerful God was in control
    How did God respond to this threat to Moses?
      Exodus 17:4-6 = Made water come from a rock
    How was this incident further pointed out as an example of man testing God?
      Exodus 17:7 = Called Massah (testing) because they tested God if He was there or not

The Third Temptation (Matthew 4:8-10)
    Unable to get Jesus to test his deity, how did Satan then appeal to His human desires?
      Matthew 4:8-9 = Promised to give Him the world in exchange for a simple act of worship
    How could Satan show Jesus all the kingdoms of the world from a high mountain?
      Luke 4:5 = Showed Him in an instant - gave Him a vision
    Was Satan exaggerating that he had power over the world that he could offer to Jesus?
      John 12:31 = No, Jesus even called him the prince of this world
    Was power over the nations something Satan could really give?
      Psalm 2:5-8 = It was God's to give and He had promised to give it to His Son
    Did Jesus understand who alone had control over the world?
      Matthew 4:10 = Yes, quoted again from the Shema that we are to worship God only

Satan Leaves (Matthew 4:11)
    Who did Jesus point out in His last reply was really in control?
      Matthew 4:10a = He was, He commanded Satan to leave
    Did Jesus have the power to do this?
      Luke 10:18-19 = He even gave power over the enemy to His disciples
    How did Satan respond to Jesus' command?
      Matthew 4:11 = He obeyed and left

    Did Satan leave Jesus for good and no longer bother with trying to tempt Him?
      Luke 4:13 = Left Him until an opportune time
    When was the next most opportune time for Satan to get directly involved with tempting Jesus?
      Mark 8:31-33 = Tempted Jesus to back out of impending suffering & death, used Peter
    Were these the only times Jesus was tempted?
      Hebrews 4:15 = No, He was tempted in every way, just as we are - follow His example
    Why was it important that Jesus was without sin?
      Hebrews 7:26-27 = He was blameless so that His sacrifice would cover all sacrifices

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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