Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“The Son of God Is Tempted”
April 9, 2017
Matthew is one of the four Gospels.
Matthew connects the Old Testament (Malachi) with the New Testament.
The time between Malachi and Matthew was about 400 years, called the silent years.
Written by Matthew (also known as Levi- Matthew 9:9-13), a tax gatherer.
The date for writing is commonly accepted as 37 AD
Matthew records the teachings and events of Jesus Christ from birth to His ascension
Each of the Four Gospels focus on certain aspects of Christ:
Luke - “the Son of man”
Mark – "the suffering servant"
John – the “Son of God”
Matthew – "Jesus, the King"
The most asked question of this event is, “Can Jesus, if God, be tempted?” The answer is first, God cannot be tempted (James 1:13); however, Jesus is both God and man. Jesus, in His humanity, could experience the struggles temptation, but without sin. SEE Hebrews 4:15
This was a necessary aspect of His identification with man.; the experience of being fully man. Jesus is both the provision for man’s sin and the power over sin. In Christ we have the victory over the penalty of sin and the power of sin. (See: Hebrews 2:18).
Everything in this section of Scripture MUST be balanced by the reality of the confluence of the two natures of Jesus, the blending of His Deity and humanity.
NOTE – The pendulum experience of the high of His baptism (“this is my beloved Son”) to the low if temptation. Our victories in Christ are often followed by spiritual struggles.
A question that must be answered is, “Is temptation a sin?” The answer is, “No!” (See James 1:13-15).
Jesus is tempted to gratify His desires apart from God’s will (Matthew 4:1-4).
Why would the Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted? Temptation can either be destructive or constructive… Jesus in His humanity grew in His confidence in God and God’s Word through His temptations.
Being led “by the Spirit” Jesus serves as the believer’s necessity for the Holy Spirit’s involvement in life and ministry.
Temptation – “A desire to do something or be something other than what God wills.”
“But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14).
“by the devil” – God does not tempt us; the source of temptation is the devil working through the lust of the flesh (See: The serpents temptation of Adam and Ever, Genesis 1-3).
The Lord’s Prayer … “… lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (the evil one).
“Jesus fasted forty days and nights” – Jesus abstained from physical food for the purpose of seeking God.
Satan attacked at the Lord’s weakest moment …. When He was hungry Satan used bread to tempt Him.
The devil will not attack our strengths but our weakness; the weak links in our lives.
Fasting is a spiritual exercise designed to strengthen one’s relationship with God.
DISCUSS – WHY FAST?
Satan’s most volatile weapon of temptation is DOUBT.
Genesis 3:1 “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
In the first temptation, Satan, seeks to instill doubt in the mind of Christ as to His identity in God, “If you are the Son of God…”
TALK ABOUT: The different forms of doubt utilized by Satan in a believer’s life… (Are you sure you’re saved? You can’t do that.).
NOTE – How to overcome temptation … By the Word/Promises of God (See 1 Peter 2:2)
Jesus was more interested in the spiritual bread provided by God than the physical bread offered by Satan (See John 4:30-34).
Jesus is tempted to test God and doubt His promises (Matthew 4:5-7).
Note – Satan returns to his old strategy of doubt, “If you are the Son of God…”
Satan hope to create doubt sufficient to cause Christ to test God by doing something that violated what was the will of the Lord. The devil hoped to cause Christ to get ahead of God’s plan for His life.
Once again Jesus responded with the Word of God.
IN this temptation Satan used the Scripture… Talk about the danger of “proof-texting” the Bible (Using Scripture in isolation to prove a particular point that is not true).
Jesus is tempted to exalt Himself apart from the cross (Matthew 4:8-11).
The devil sought to encourage Jesus to take a shortcut to success (one day the Father will give to the Son everything Satan now offers).
Satan offers the pleasures and possession of the world, but fails to reveal what he offers is only temporary and will result in one’s own demise.
How do some people bypass God for instant gratification?
Jesus used the truth of Scripture to ultimately defeat Satan’s temptations.
*NOTE – It is not the quote that sends Satan fleeing, BUT believing what God has spoken to the point of personal application and assurance.
Satan is not afraid of the Bible, but the application of the Bible and the assurances from the Bible.
HOW TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION
1. Affirmation – Know who you are in Christ (See Romans 8:28-39).
2. Assurance – Know the Scripture (And the “truth shall set you free.”)
3. Application – Put into practice the Word of God (Be doers of the Word … not just hearers … faith
Theological Theme: Where Adam failed, Jesus, wholly God and wholly man, succeeded, overcoming temptation.
Christological Theme: Jesus is both the provision for our sin, and the power over sin (ultimately accomplished on the cross).
Missional Theme: Resist temptation by understanding who you are in Christ Jesus; your victory is in His victory.