Monday, April 28, 2014

“Jesus Resists Temptation” Adult Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday May 4, 2014

Purpose: To grasp how Jesus’ no to temptation empowers us to renounce evil, injustice, and oppression.

Background Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:13-16; 8:3; Psalm 91:11-12

Scripture Text: Matthew 4:1-11

Deuteronomy 6:13-16 (CEB)
(13) Revere the Lord your God, serve him, and take your solemn pledges in his name!( 14) Don’t follow other gods, those gods of the people around you—(15) because the Lord your God, who is with you and among you, is a passionate God. The Lord your God’s anger will burn against you, and he will wipe you off the fertile land. (16) Don’t test the Lord your God the way you frustrated him at Massah.

Matthew 4:4-11 (CEB)
(4) Jesus replied, "It’s written, People won’t live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God."
(5) After that the devil brought him into the holy city and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, (6) "Since you are God’s Son, throw yourself down; for it is written, I will command my angels concerning you, and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone."

(7) Jesus replied, "Again it’s written, don’t test the Lord your God."

(8) Then the devil brought him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. (9) He said, "I’ll give you all these if you bow down and worship me." (10) Jesus responded, "Go away, Satan, because it’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him." (11) The devil left him, and angels came and took care of him.

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

This week we look at the portion of scripture that describes the events shortly after the baptism of Jesus, often called the “Temptation of Jesus.” Our hope as Christians and Christ followers is that we can glean from this text things that can help us face temptations in our spiritual lives.

The temptation that Jesus faced was not a sneak attack by Satan. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in preparation for Satan. After 40 days of fasting, Satan immediately attacked his most vulnerable point, hunger. Many times in our Christian walk we are tempted by things where we are most vulnerable. Jesus had, for the past 40 days, been in close communion with the Father. I feel comfortable saying that it was period of great reassurance for Jesus, it was probably as close as the Father and Son could get this side of paradise. I feel certain it was this closeness that threatened Satan, and his only recourse was to drive a wedge between Father and Son.

Paul in Ephesians 2:2 (KJV) assigns to Satan “the prince and power of the air.” Jesus speaking in John 12:31 claims, “Now is the time for judgment of this world. Now this world’s ruler will be thrown out,” and Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of those who don’t have faith so they couldn’t see the light of the gospel that reveals Christ’s glory. Christ is the image of God.” Satan has been given power by God, which allows him to blind us, of God’s wonderful goodness and grace, our only hope is a relationship like Jesus and God possessed, one of obedience and trust.

After the first test of tempting Jesus as a human failed, Satan took it to a new level. Now he was testing Jesus confidence and trust in God, surely God would have done all that Satan said, but it would also show a lack of trust in Jesus’ own power to resist Satan. Like us, Jesus did not need proof that God could deliver on a promise.

The third test attacked Jesus in what could have been a very vulnerable place, Satan was removing the death on the cross. Satan offered to Jesus power over this world now, just bow down and worship me.

Many sermons have been preached and lessons taught on this passage, but I think the lesson for me is, with Christ in me, I can do all things, even resist the greatest of temptations. The other thing that I take away from our text is, be careful whose god you are following. Our God is a very passionate God, but his passion can also bring about judgment. When we fail to follow the teachings of God, we risk the relationship that provides us with an escape from the “god of this age that has blinded us.”

The light of the gospel reveals Christ’s glory. Christ is the image of God.

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