Matthew 4 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-11 - We've been noticing in our Sunday morning and evening sermons about the importance of being part of a local church. One of the key reasons it's so important is that God designed us to live in community.

  • Jesus purposely removes Himself from community in order to undergo temptation. Understand that temptation is much more dangerous, both for Jesus and for you, when you're "in the wilderness (v1)."

  • Notice the words with which Jesus rebuffs all three of Satan's temptations:

  • "It is written (v3, v7, v10)."

  • Even though Jesus is alone in the wilderness, He's still fully anchored in the truth of scripture, and can therefore fend off the lies of the devil.

  • If Jesus could count on scripture to strengthen Him when He had no other strength (he had not eaten in 40 days), you can count on it to strengthen you against temptation as well!

  • Satan recognizes Jesus' dependence upon scripture and tries to use it against Him by quoting Psalm 91 in v6.

  • Understand that as important as what it is to read and be familiar with the Bible, it's just as vitally important to properly understand what the scriptures mean.

  • Just because someone quotes a Bible verse, like Satan does here, doesn't mean the truth is on their side.

  • This is why it's important for you to read large chunks of the Bible, rather than just a verse or two at a time, so that you understand the context.

  • The more you read the Bible, the more you'll be able to trust your instinct when it seems like somebody is making a far out claim by misusing a Bible verse. When it just doesn't seem right to you, it probably isn't.

  • v12-17 - Oftentimes it's easy to just skip over geographical descriptions like this passage, but it's important to understand just how remote the areas Jesus lived in were, and how Jesus moved between Jewish and Gentile regions. This atlas will help.

  • Already, things seem to be going off the rails for Jesus' fledgling ministry. His cousin John the Baptist has been thrown in prison for calling o