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Daily Bible Studies

N.T. Contents
Series Theme:   Matthew's Gospel Studies

Page Contents:

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4

4:1,2

4:3,4

4:5-7

4:8-11

4:12-16

4:17

4:18-20

4:21,22

4:23

4:24,25

Recap

Summary Ch.1-4

Concl Ch.1-4

 

 

 

 

 

   

Chapter: Matthew 4

        

Passage: Matthew 4:1,2

    

A. Find Out:

        

1. Who came to Jesus? v.3a

The tempter came to him

2. What was the first “if” he brought? v.3b

"If you are the Son of God,

3. What did he tell Jesus to do? v.3c

tell these stones to become bread."

4. To what did Jesus obviously refer? v.4a

Jesus answered, "It is written

5. On what did he say man does not live alone? v.4b

Man does not live on bread alone

6. But what does man live on? v.4c

          but on every word that comes from the mouth of God

           

B. Think:   

                

1. When did this temptation come? (Look back to v.2)

2. How was Jesus particularly vulnerable?

3. What means did Jesus use to overcome the temptation?  

   

C. Comment:        

          

       There are various lessons from these two verses. First, Satan comes to our point of vulnerability. Jesus was hungry so Satan tempts him at that point. When we are feeling weak, weary or run down, those are often the times when he comes. If we leave unresolved issues or sin not dealt with in our lives, those will be the areas he will aim for.

      

     Second, the conflict will be between my desire and God's will. The Spirit had led Jesus to fast for a certain time and at the Father's bidding the fast would come to an end, not at Jesus instigation or, even worse, by the wrong use of his power.   Jas 1:14 tells us that we are tempted by our desires, our wanting pleasure or status for ourselves.

     

     Third, the conflict is overcome by a referral to the truth, the will of God. Jesus referred to a Scripture (Deut 8:3) that reminds us that God's word or His will is more important than our apparent physical desires.  Unrestrained desires ALWAYS lead into sin.  God has given us many desires and they are good and are for pleasure, and that is God given, but if they are to be used properly, there are God-given constraints.

     

     Excess desire for food is gluttony, for sex brings immorality, for things is covetousness, for status brings idolatry, and so on. The first temptation is God's will or my excess desires?

            

D. Application:

              

1. I need to check my areas of vulnerability.

2. I need to speak out the truth about the reality of these things.   

   

   

Chapter: Matthew 4

  

Passage: Matthew 4:3,4

A. Find Out:

        

1. Who came to Jesus? v.3a

The tempter came to him

2. What was the first “if” he brought? v.3b

"If you are the Son of God,

3. What did he tell Jesus to do? v.3c

tell these stones to become bread."

4. To what did Jesus obviously refer? v.4a

Jesus answered, "It is written

5. On what did he say man does not live alone? v.4b

Man does not live on bread alone

6. But what does man live on? v.4c

          but on every word that comes from the mouth of God

           

B. Think:   

                

1. When did this temptation come? (Look back to v.2)

2. How was Jesus particularly vulnerable?

3. What means did Jesus use to overcome the temptation?  

   

C. Comment:        

          

       There are various lessons from these two verses. First, Satan comes to our point of vulnerability. Jesus was hungry so Satan tempts him at that point. When we are feeling weak, weary or run down, those are often the times when he comes. If we leave unresolved issues or sin not dealt with in our lives, those will be the areas he will aim for.

      

     Second, the conflict will be between my desire and God's will. The Spirit had led Jesus to fast for a certain time and at the Father's bidding the fast would come to an end, not at Jesus instigation or, even worse, by the wrong use of his power.   Jas 1:14 tells us that we are tempted by our desires, our wanting pleasure or status for ourselves.

     

     Third, the conflict is overcome by a referral to the truth, the will of God. Jesus referred to a Scripture (Deut 8:3) that reminds us that God's word or His will is more important than our apparent physical desires.  Unrestrained desires ALWAYS lead into sin.  God has given us many desires and they are good and are for pleasure, and that is God given, but if they are to be used properly, there are God-given constraints.

     

     Excess desire for food is gluttony, for sex brings immorality, for things is covetousness, for status brings idolatry, and so on. The first temptation is God's will or my excess desires?

            

D. Application:

              

1. I need to check my areas of vulnerability.

2. I need to speak out the truth about the reality of these things.   

   

    

Chapter: Matthew 4

 

Passage: Matthew 4:5-7

A. Find Out:

       

1. Where did Satan then take Jesus? v.5

the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple

2. What was his second “if”? v.6a

you are the Son of God," he said

3. What did he tell Jesus to do? v.6b

"throw yourself down

4. What did he appeal to? v.6c

For it is written:

5. How did Jesus respond? v.7  

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test

        

B. Think:   

           

1. What was Satan basically saying Jesus could do and why?

2. What was he seeking to undermine?

3. How can quoting Scripture be misleading?

          

C. Comment:  

       

     In the first temptation Satan appealed to Jesus' physical desire and challenged him over the matter of his Sonship and possible provision.  In this second temptation, he challenges Jesus over his security.

  

     Basically Satan is saying “Prove your security. If you really are God's Son then you will be secure whatever happens.   Look, even if you leap off the top of a tall building you will be safe.  God would look after you and make sure nothing happened to you!”

          

      Now the moment we are confronted with an “impossible challenge” like this, one where we know we would be hurt unless God turned up, doubt is ready to leap forth;  not merely doubt about whether God would do it, but doubt as to whether I really am God's child and am I worthy of His protection and care.

     

     In Genesis 3 we find Satan come to Eve and sow doubt in Eve's mind: “Did God say...?” And here, a second time Satan is sowing doubt by saying “IF you are the Son of God...” with the clear implication that there is doubt about it which needs proving.

     Don't let Satan lead you into battles you don't need to fight.  Get to a place where you don't need constantly to reassure yourself about being God's child.  Get clear on it and then just declare it whever he turns up. You'll soon find he stops coming with that issue! 

     

     Note also that Satan even used Scripture to “prove” his point. However Jesus also knows Scripture AND is secure in the knowledge of who he is. In both temptations so far, Satan seeks to make Jesus self orientated, focusing first on his own need for food then his need for reassurance for the days ahead.

         

D. Application:

            

1. Temptation so often challenges our relationship with God.

2. Each time we need to reaffirm we are children of God.

    

Chapter: Matthew 4

 

Passage: Matthew 4:8-11

A. Find Out:

      

1. Where did Satan next take Jesus? v.8a

the devil took him to a very high mountain

2. What did he show him? v.8b

and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor

3. What did he offer him? v.9a

All this I will give you," he said

4. On what condition? v.9b

"if you will bow down and worship me

5. What did Jesus quote by way of response? v.10

Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'

6. What then happened? v.11   

Then: the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

             

B. Think:   

           

1. What short cut was Satan offering?

2. Read 1 John 5:19b How does that verify the possibility?

3. Why was the condition an impossibility for Jesus?

           

C. Comment:  

    

     Having attacked Jesus on his point of need for physical provision and then his need for reassurance as to who he was, Satan finally attacks in the area of Jesus' forthcoming ministry. Look, says Satan reasonably, there's no need to go to great lengths of endeavour and struggle over what you have to do in setting the people of the earth free, I'll just let you have them. To save you all the trouble, just acknowledge my greatness and power by bowing before me and submitting to me and they can be yours.

    

     The only trouble with that sort of reasoning is that when we do that we come into the same dominion as the rest of the people and they may be ours but we are all then under Satan's dominion!

   

     This temptation is pure deception! Take a short cut and do it the world's way with the world's methods, is the application for us today. Use big advertising campaigns, use clever techniques, throw money at it, preach a painless gospel, play on people's needs. But not Jesus!

     Not only that, it is deception because it is completely untrue! The people of the world are under Satan's dominion because they are in Sin and are quite happy about that. They have a problem with God. That's why they're given over to Satan, as a form of divine discipline. If Satan simply hands dominion over them back to Jesus, it still leaves the Sin question not dealt with. They are still unredeemed sinners.  Avoiding the Cross means leaving the Sin still there and the division between God and man still unresolved. Yes, this is total deception!  But then all of Satan's suggestions are!

       

     Interestingly Jesus doesn't waste time in refuting all this rubbish; he simply quotes Scripture again. The condition is impossible: God is the only one to be worshipped and submitted to, no one else has any authority beyond which God gives. Worship Him only!

      

D. Application:

            

1. Do we use Satan's methods or preach Christ crucified?

2. Do we use human methods or rely on the power of the Spirit!

   

   

Chapter: Matthew 4

Passage: Matthew 4:12-16

A. Find Out:

       

1. When did Jesus return to Galilee ? v.12

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee

2. Where did he settle? v.13

Leaving Nazareth , he went and lived in Capernaum

3. How does Matthew view this? v.14

to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

4. To what people was it spoken? v.15

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali , the way to the sea, along the Jordan ,

Galilee of the Gentiles

5. What had been their state? v.16

the people living in darkness ....  on those living in the land of the shadow of death

6. What had happened to them? v.16

have seen a great light.... a light has dawned." 

              

B. Think:   

     

1. Why do you think Jesus went to live in the north?

2. What do you think Matthew meant with the Isaiah prophecy?

3. How is that applicable today?

         

C. Comment:  

  

       With the removal of John the Baptist from his ministry, it is time for Jesus to commence his own ministry. He moves north, perhaps to be out of the glare of the authorities in Jerusalem .   He has three years of ministry to perform before he is to clash with them, and so in accordance with a prophecy from Isaiah he goes to Galilee .   

    

     Isaiah had been speaking about darkness that comes with occult activity (see studies in this Series on the Messiah in Isaiah), and a darkness that had covered the land of Zebulun and Naphtali in the north of Israel when various invaders of the north had come. This land had known the oppression and darkness that comes with foreign domination but, said Isaiah, the land will know a time of great brightness, a time of rejoicing, a time of peace. When Jesus came, there was great joy as he ministered into similar conditions, there being much occult activity and the land was being dominated by a foreign invader. It was as if a great light had entered their dark land.

     

     The description of Jesus' ministry as a great light indicates what he also does in us. When he comes into our lives, he comes to expel the darkness and flood us with the light of goodness.   Jesus comes to bring total transformation.

     

D. Application:

             

1. Jesus' timing for his ministry is perfect.

2. Jesus comes to bring his light into our lives.

   

    

Chapter: Matthew 4

  

Passage: Matthew 4:17

A. Find Out:

      

1. What did Jesus start to DO? v.17a

         Jesus began to preach

2. What was the first thing he told people to do? v.17b

          Repent,

3. What reason did he give for that?  v.17v

        for the kingdom of heaven is near

B. Think:   

    

1. Look up the following verses and see what you can find out about

    heaven: Mt 5;16, 6:10 , 7:21 , 18:10 , Jn 3:13 , 6:38 , Acts 1:11

2. What feeling does that leave you with about heaven?

3. So what was Jesus saying in this verse?

    

C. Comment:  

    

     We pause on a single verse today because it is so important. Once Jesus arrived in Galilee he started preaching. No doubt the message was much greater than these eight words but they encapsulate all of his other teaching.

  

      First of all note that it is a one word command that he brings, the same that John brought. Repent means to do a one hundred and eighty degree turnabout, in our thinking, in our attitudes and in our lives in general.  Within the word repent there is an element of sorrow, contrition, or remorse, for one will not repent unless sure that the way they have been going is the wrong way, and in the acknowledgement of that there will be a measure of sorrow at having gone the wrong way.   Yet the meaning is far more than sorrowful acknowledgement of wrong; it is a willingness, even strong desire to do a complete turnabout and go a different way, the right way!

  

     Then comes the reason for this command and we need to note the word “for” which is used in the sense of “because”. Why repent? Because God's kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, is about to appear on the earth. If you have looked up each of the references above, you will have seen that heaven is a place where God rules absolutely, and is a place of perfection and goodness. I suspect it defies our wildest imagination in its wonder. Jesus came to bring a glimpse of this!!!!!    But note that it is the place where God rules, and therefore our repentance means we want a change to take place, a change from our self-rule to God's rule over our lives.

   

D. Application:

            

1. I need a complete turnabout to enter heaven, but I can go there.

2. Heaven is the most glorious existence imaginable. Wow!

   

    

Chapter: Matthew 4

  

Passage: Matthew 4:18-20

A. Find Out:

  

1. Where was Jesus walking? v.18a

Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee

2. Who did he see? v.18b

he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew

3. What were they doing? v.18c

They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.

4. What did he call them to do? v.19a

"Come, follow me," Jesus said,

5. What did he say he would make them? v.19b

"and I will make you fishers of men."

6. What did they do? v.20

At once they left their nets and followed him.

           

B. Think:

    

1. Read Luke 5:1-11 for a fuller account of this?

2. What does it say about Jesus that their left their livelihoods for him?

3. What sort of men must these have been?

         

C. Comment:  

  

     Now we come to Jesus' first encounter in this Gospel with people, after his baptism and temptation, as he starts his ministry. He wants others, not merely to follow him, but to become those who will go on doing what he has been doing, after he leaves them.

     

     He chooses two fishermen, men who were simple, straight forward, and non-academics. Yes they are fairly tough and hardy, used to living outside but those are their only merits. Jesus does not choose on the grounds of personal gifting; he chooses on the basis of likely response. Those who will respond to him and will go on with him, those are the ones he wants. We repeat again; he does NOT choose on the grounds of natural ability or natural goodness. He will impart goodness; he will impart ability. What we have of ourselves is tainted, and limited.

        

    He takes fishermen and says I will make you into fishermen, those who will fish-for-men.  Peter would become “The Big Fisherman” as one writer called him, who on the day of Pentecost threw out the gospel net with the others and caught three thousand souls in one go!  Note that when Jesus calls us, he calls us with a specific purpose.  He knows what he can do with us and he has a specific task for each of us. See Eph 2:10.

    But wait, just before we move on; if you know anything at all about Peter you will know that between his calling now and his being used at Pentecost and after, he was constantly putting his foot in it, he actually denied Jesus and he ran away leaving Jesus to the Cross - and Jesus knew it would happen!  You have a long walk ahead of you probably, and you'll probably get it wrong more than a few times, just like Peter. The outcome is not about how clever you are but how willing you are to respond when Jesus calls you - every time!

     

D. Application:

        

1. Jesus' knows what he can do with us. Rest in that.

2. Jesus knows what he wants us to do. Find that out and do it.

   

Chapter: Matthew 4

  

Passage: Matthew 4:21,22

 

A. Find Out:

    

1. Who did Jesus next encounter? v.21a

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John.

2. Who were they with? v.21b

They were in a boat with their father Zebedee,

3. What were they doing? v.21c

preparing their nets

4. What did he do? v.21d

Jesus called them,

5. What was their response? v.22

and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

           

B. Think:   

                

1. Read John 1:35-42 What does that indicate about the disciples

    contacts with Jesus?

2. What would the presence of James' and John's father indicate about

    the strength of the call to follow Jesus?

       

C. Comment:        

   

    From John's and Luke's Gospel, together with reading this passage in Matthew, we begin to piece together the fuller picture.   Andrew and Peter had encountered Jesus on a trip to investigate John the Baptist. When Jesus had subsequently moved north and started preaching, he borrowed Peter's boat and subsequently called both he and Andrew.  A while later on the same water front he comes to James and John who would have now heard all about him and calls them.  The fact that their father was with them indicates either that they had their father's blessing to go (more probable) or that the call was so strong that they were even willing to cut their family ties. Whatever the truth, they left their fishing and went with Jesus, not really knowing what would be happening or where they would be going.  Amazing!

      

     Most versions say James and John were “mending” their nets. Watchman Nee once compared the ministries of various men to what they were doing when they were called. Peter was fishing and became the great evangelist. Paul was a tent maker and brought the great doctrines of the church and the structure to the growing church in Asia Minor . John in old age brought his Gospel and his letter to repair the gaps in the churches teaching. Interesting!

                

D. Application:

                    

1. Jesus takes us as we are and transforms us in his service.

2. Our abilities are used to build his kingdom. What are they?

  

    

Chapter: Matthew 4

  

Passage: Matthew 4:23

A. Find Out:

          

1. Where did Jesus go? v.23a

Jesus went throughout Galilee

2. What was he first doing? v.23b

teaching,

3. Where was he doing it? v.23c

in their synagogues,

4. What was he next doing? v.23d

preaching

5. What was his subject? v.23e

the good news of the kingdom

6. How was he confirming it? v.23f

healing every disease and sickness among the people

         

B. Think:   

         

1. What do you think is the difference between teaching & preaching?

2. Why do you think Jesus “taught” in the synagogues?

3. What was the significance of what he was doing

    

C. Comment:  

     

     An information packed verse! Note first where Jesus exercised his ministry: in Galilee , in the north of the land away from the glare of the spiritual authorities, where he could get on and communicate God's will without too much interruption.

   

    Second, observe the distinction between teaching and preaching (also 1 Tim 4:13 ). Teaching imparts information and brings understanding to transform the mind. Preaching proclaims truth to stir the emotions and challenge the will to act.

        

     First Jesus went teaching in the synagogues. He taught the Jews in the synagogues who would already have lots of  “information” because they were “scripture orientated” people and they needed to have understanding brought to what they already knew. But then he went preaching to the crowds out in the open. If you are to catch and hold people's attention you need more than information impartation; you need life and challenge!  Jesus came with BOTH teaching AND preaching.

          

     Jesus proclaimed that God's wonderful rule was coming and then proved it by healing all who came to him. Sickness came with sin; Jesus came to forgive sin and heal the sickness.   Such was his clear proof that the presence of God was among them.

           

D. Application:

            

1. Do we preach that God's rule is here?

2. Do we confirm it by allowing Him to heal through us?

   

    

Chapter: Matthew 4

  

Passage: Matthew 4:24,25

A. Find Out:

      

1. Where did news spread? v.24a

News about him spread all over Syria

2. Who were the five groups who were brought? v.24b

people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed

3. What was Jesus' response? v.24c

he healed them.

4. With what result? v.25a,c

Large crowds ..... followed him.

5. What five regions did they come from? v.25b

from Galilee , the Decapolis , Jerusalem , Judea and the region across the Jordan

             

B. Think:   

          

1. What was it about Jesus that attracted people?

2. What is obvious about Jesus' desire and capability?

3. How would you summarise the area from where people came?

              

C. Comment:  

    

      As we come to the end of this first introductory part of Matthew's Gospel, we are left with a picture of the whole countryside being set alight as the word spreads about Jesus. He has been preaching the kingdom of God and demonstrating its existence by healing people.

        

     One of the greatest desires of human beings is to be well and healthy, yet the indication is that, at that time in Israel , people were far from healthy.  Also the number of people who were demon possessed seems to indicate that many had been into the occult in some form or other, showing a society far from God.  Yet as soon as the Messiah appears they flock to him. There is spiritual hunger even here.

         

     It has been said that most people aren't against God, they are just against the church. We might suggest, looking at these verses, that as soon as the church starts doing what Jesus did, the world will come flocking!

         

     So let's remind ourselves just what he was doing: first, he was preaching that the presence of God was there to rule, (Jesus of course, was himself completely submitted to his Father's will) the kingdom of God was there in reality.   Second, he demonstrated the presence of that rule or kingdom by using the power of God to heal whoever came to him - and that IS good news!

      

D. Application:

                   

1. Submission to the total will of God is essential.

2. Preaching plus power equals people responding, people being healed,

    people being delivered, people being made whole.

   

RECAP: Confict, Calling & Confrontation - Chapter 4
 
SUMMARY :
     

In this final group of 10 studies we have seen :

- Jesus being tempted by Satan in the wilderness
     - to use his power to satisfy his own desires
     - to provoke God to care for him
     - to take a short cut to achieve his ends
- Jesus starting to preach
     - being a light in the dark land
     - preaching repentance & the arrival of the kingdom
- Jesus calling his first disciples
    - Peter and Andrew while fishing
    - James and John while mending their nets
    - all to become fishers of men
- Jesus ministering
    - teaching in the synagogues
    - preaching in the countryside
    - healing all who came

          

COMMENT :     
     
      This summary says it all: conflict with the enemy, calling of others to follow, and confrontation of the works of darkness by the word and the Spirit. That is the ministry of Jesus and that is our calling as well.  
          
LESSONS?    
           
1. Temptation comes to our point of weakness
2. Temptation challenges us to give up the will of God
3. Temptation is overcome by the truth and will of God
4. Jesus came to bring light into darkness -and therefore so should we
5. Jesus preached a need to repent - and therefore so should we
6. Jesus preached that God's rule was there - and so should we
7. Jesus showed the rule of God by healing - and so should we
8. Jesus said, “Follow me”, so we should!
        
PRAY :      
         
        Thank the Lord for the wonder of the gospel, that it is both truth and power. 

 

      

SECTION SUMMARY - Matthew, Chapters 1-4 
     
      In these four chapters we have seen Matthew present Jesus as a royal figure who has come to bring in or rule over a new kingdom:

 

1. The King's Background

    - in human terms descended from Abraham and David

    - identifying with fallen humanity

    - brought into human existence by the work of the Spirit

    - son of a human mother but not a human father

 

2. The King's Arrival and Welcome

    - welcomed by wise men from the east

    - opposed by the present evil king

    - protected by Joseph as directed by God through dreams

    - living in Bethlehem , Egypt and then Nazareth

 

3. The King's Herald

    - proclaimed by John the Baptist

    - a people prepared to receive him

    - baptised by John in the Jordan river

    - acclaimed by his Father from heaven

 

4. The King Challenged

    - led by Spirit into a conflict situation

    - challenged by Satan as to his identity

    - provoked by him to provide for himself

    - questioned as to whether God would provide for him

    - offered the kingdom by submission

 

5. The King Ruling

    - proclaiming good news that the kingdom was here

    - calling others to follow him

    - teaching the taught

    - preaching to the crowds

    - healing all who were sick

    - delivering all who were demonised

    - being acclaimed by large crowds

  

     

SECTION CONCLUSION - Matthew, Chapters 1-4 

   

As we come to the end of this first four chapters of Matthew's Gospel, consider the following:

 

1. The Incredible Grace of God

    The Father sends His Son to earth to dwell in human form in the midst of fallen, sinful humanity to redeem it. As a picture aid to us, He chooses the royal family line of King David, to indicate to whoever will see and understand, that this Son is a ruler. Yet the whole of the family line is polluted with sin and failure, a very picture of the need of humanity. Instead of destroying this humanity, the Father seeks to redeem it through His Son.

    The Son comes and risks this awful (by comparison) existence, being born into the world from a human womb, trusting to the hands of human parents the well-being of this tiny child that is God incarnate. He survives, grows up, goes through the most gruelling confrontation with the enemy while he is at his weakest, and then sets out on the task for three years of loving this humanity, blessing it with healing and seeking to teach it, knowing that at the end of it, they will reject him and seek to destroy him.  Amazing!  He did it for you and me.

 

2. The Frailty of the Plan

     Yes, entrusted to weak human parents, threatened by the scheming of Herod, and all that can save the child is the simple faith of the father, Joseph, who takes notice of some dreams.  Supposing he hadn't?

     Then the Son subjects himself to the hands of the enemy with his twisting, deceitful logic at the end of a long desert vigil.  Supposing he had given way?

      Then he chooses a number of fishermen to follow him, to whom he would entrust all he had.  Supposing they gave up?

      Yes, there are lots of “what if”s, but in the midst of what so often appears the incredible frailty in the purposes of God, is the incredible wisdom of God who knows just how far He can trust people, just how far they will go, just how far they will respond.

    From our viewpoint it is incredibly frail, but from His there is a certainty that is rock solid.  God WILL achieve His purposes, and that without forcing anyone!

  

   Our response? It must be to worship this Almighty Being who is so gracious. May it be so as we end this set of Studies.

 

ers of men

- Je