How’s your Sunday going?? I’ve had a pretty chill day. I just got up from one of those bomb.com Sunday naps, had a snack and I am now plopped down by my laptop to upload this 🙂
Okayy, so moving on to today’s post. We’re going to be in a Bible Study type format. It’s Matthew 4:1-11. I was studying this passage last week and I thought it would be a good one to share with you guys in Bible study. My hope is that we go through each verse, then comment and reflect on it.
**If you don’t have the time to use this as a proper Bible study right now, I suggest setting a reminder for when you will be less busy, to have proper time to comment with me along the way, reflect and pray on it and see what God may also be speaking to you personally. I’ll also go ahead and say now, if you’re blessed by today’s Bible study, I hope you share with at least one person so they join our mini-online Bible study community**
Sooo, let’s dive right into it!
Matthew 4:1-11. (Clicking on this passage will take you to the text of the passage. Note that clicking on the verses below will also take you to each verse as I believe it will be helpful to still read each verse individually before each comment and reflection).
Verse 1. Boom. That right there snatched me immediately. The thought that our Comforter and Guide would deliberately lead me into a shaky situation. But as we see from several places in the bible, God allows this to test us and reveal what is in our hearts. To those struggling with various temptations recently, this should speak to you, the fact that you are being tempted does not mean you are doing something wrong. It may very well mean you are doing exactly everything right, so be encouraged!
Keep in mind though, the difference between the Holy Spirit leading us to a shaky/tempting situation versus us knowingly placing ourselves in a tempting situation, the latter is foolishness of our flesh and will very quickly take us down hill. We also see Jesus speak a scripture on this in verse 7.
Verse 2: forty days and nights, wowza! What i love most about this verse is the emphasis on Jesus’ humanness. Just plain and simple: he was hungry. I also think this gives us more info to think on as we move on
Verse 3. “Duh, of course! He’s hungry, so turning a nearby stone to bread to hold him for a minute makes perfect sense.” Right? Err, not exactly. I don’t think the solution suggested in this verse is the real problem. I believe the problem is who has suggested this, the devil.
As a side note (really a headline), the devil NEVER ever ever has our best (not even good) interest in mind, NEVER.
Is there anything in our life being offered by the devil but we’re failing to recognize it because it seems like exactly what we want or need right now? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in responding to this question, let Him know you are open to His lead, knowing that God is not a God of confusion.
Verse 4. That line, “but need every word that God speaks.” Need. Also, for we that have struggled with food fasting, this is a good verse to hold close, remembering that even in our discomfort, which is only temporary, God is all we need. Need.
Also, can we note the similarities between Jesus being tempted here in Matthew 4 and Eve being tempted in Genesis 3?
In both cases, the devil’s undertone was “prove to me”. Either prove to me you are the Son of God, or prove to me why you have refused to eat this luscious looking fruit.
Do you notice the difference in Jesus’ versus Eve’s response? Eve probably thought “why of course, i am sure of myself, sure of my reason, so why don’t i proceed to prove to you with this answer.”
Jesus straight up said, “I ain’ got nun to proof. Nathingggg. But here’s the word of God doe”
Two very different responses. Eve seems confident but does not seem to know the nature of the devil to see it is only a trap.
Jesus, on the other hand, is confident to say my worth is in my father, therefore, i do not have to live my life proving it to you.
As we read on, you continue to see Jesus use this tactic. He also never actually gets into a conversation with the enemy, unlike Eve who seems to have had a back and forth with the Snake. Jesus really just sticks to spitting out scriptures. Two things to note from this: 1. You gotta know the scriptures to spit out when needed
2. How many times have we found ourselves trying to justify our Godly actions to the devil when he comes in the form of our fleshly thoughts or even a friend or family questioning our actions? We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us be alert to recognize the traps of the enemy.
Also, in Genesis 3:6 “and she thought how wonderful it will be to become wise” Eve: oooh, eating this fruit will give me wisdom????? But Jesus seems to say: I don’t have to eat physical bread to know that I am satisfied. I don’t have to do anything to prove I am wise.
Imagine if Eve had thought instead, “You know, I hear what the snake is saying about wisdom. But you know, this is what God has told me. And I choose to stand by it. Whether or not I eat the fruit, I CHOOSE to know that I am satisfied in God, my Father.
Regardless of the reality, what if we choose to believe that we have all that we need in Christ? Philippians 4:13
Verse 5-6. “The Devil took…” ugh. This verse is also another case of the devil saying “Prove to me.” Though he seems to have stepped up his game, he’s seen Jesus tactic to use scripture and so in verse 6, he also finishes up with, “the scriptures says” smh. #slimysatan.
Remember though, you have nothing to prove to the enemy! You have nothing to prove to that thought or friend who keeps telling you, “oh if you’re really over… nope. You don’t need to do anything outside of living FOR God to show that “you are really.” Jesus Christ came and proved all that needs proving when he died for you.
Verse 7. Jesus responds with another scripture and leaves it at that. Yas.
Verse 8. Again, “The Devil took” ugh. That statement irks me every time. But I believe it speaks to different seasons we experience in life. How many times during Jesus’ time on earth did the Scripture reference that “Jesus’ time had not yet come,” hence, the Jews were unable to take him. Yet, here we clearly see that the Devil has now taken Jesus so many times in a row.
Not sure about you, but by about the second “taken” in a row, I usually begin to question if I am the one who has failed. When temptations hit so many times, so often, I begin to wonder, Welp. Haven’t I sinned already? There is something about temptation that makes us feel so dirty, like we have already dabbled in the sin.
But I think this dirtiness we feel speaks to the constant struggle between our flesh and our Spirit. Desiring the fleshly things in our heart is direct contradiction to the Holy Spirit that now rules and controls us since we accepted Jesus as our Saviour, hence, in those moments of temptation we are prone to feel so strongly, the filth of the sinful temptation in a way that may make us feel we have already sinned. But stand strong. You may very well be in the situation you’re in, not because you are doing something wrong, but because you are doing it right.
If the Holy Spirit led Jesus to be tempted for FORTY DAYS AND NIGHT straight (verse 1) and after that, allowed him to be taken by the devil to shaky/uncomfortable situations so many times, how much more we?
Verse 9. Remember, the devil NEVER ever ever has our best (not even good) interest in mind, NEVER. This “offer” to Jesus, best believe it has a hidden agenda or may very well be a lieee! He is after all, the father of all liars. John 8:44
Verse 10. Jesus gives a quick rebuke (note that it is a rebuke that does not leave a response time for the enemy, hence, avoiding a conversation with #slimysatan). Jesus immediately follows this rebuke with scripture.
Verse 11. Hold on. Help is on the way. It will soon come time for God to remove the temptations and bring you to more solid ground. Until then, stay strong in Him. I advise that you write down various scriptures that speak to your current situation. Make a note to repeat these verses, mindfully, a few times a day, everyday this week. This way rather than try to have a conversation with the enemy or justify yourself, you have the verses ready to spit out when temptations come.
Okay, that’s all I have folks! I hope you have commented on each verse along the way with me, reflected on how each applies to you personally, and prayed on the various things that we discussed today.
I wish you a week full of very beautiful surprises!
P.S. Please feel free to reach out with comments, thoughts, questions or prayer requests via the “Leave a Reply” below or email email@example.com. Alsoo, don’t forget to like this post and subscribe using the “Follow Blog via Email” link on the side or bottom of this page.