Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Nature of Temptation: Matthew 4:1-11 - An Interactive Sermon

As you look at this passage do you have any observations or questions that arise that jump out at you?  Things you never noticed before?  Things that have always bothered you?
As we look at this text and think about this text I want us to contemplate this thought: The Jesus we see here is an example of Jesus at his most human point not an example of Jesus at his most divine.
How is this a picture of Jesus being “human”?
How does it change how we look at this passage to remember that Jesus withstood temptation in his humanity not because he was divine?
How does seeing Jesus here, being tempted as we all are help you to see Jesus differently?
Does seeing Jesus being tempted make you think about your own temptations differently?
Look at the three temptations? What do you notice about them? 
What is important about this temptation?
Why does the Devil tempt in these particular ways?
Do we see our own temptations reflected in these temptation?
Note: Then the Devil begins to tempt Jesus, saying, “If you are the Son of God”:  When looking at this the Devil could be saying several different things with this one statement.  He could be saying, “If you are, which of course you are not,” or “If you are, which of course you are,” or even “If you are, but I have no idea if you are or are not.”  In Greek there is no option, it not up for interpretation, the words in Greek let you know which one of these options the Devil is saying here.  He is saying, “If you are, and of course you are.”
Knowing that the Devil does not have any doubt as to whether or not Jesus is really the Son of God what is the Devil saying here?  What is he questioning?  
What does it say to us to know that Jesus was tempted at this time and throughout his lifetime, just as we are?
Other thoughts:
Why do you think Jesus echos John’s message in his first proclamations?
What does it mean for Jesus to say, “ the kingdom of heaven has come near”?