What Jesus Did! 'I Won't Play Your Game' — Matthew 4:5-7

Friday, January 27, 2017

Then the devil led Jesus to the holy city (Jerusalem). The devil put Jesus on a very high place on the temple. The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off. Why? Because it is written {in the Scriptures}, 'God will command his angels for you, and their hands will catch you, so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.'" Jesus answered him, "It also says {in the Scriptures}, 'You must not test (doubt) the Lord your God.'"
— Matthew 4:5-7
Illustration of Matthew 4:5-7 —  Because it is written {in the Scriptures}, 'God will command his angels for you, and their hands will catch you, so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.

Key Thought

Is Jesus really sure God is with him? Is he truly Immanuel, "God with us"? One sure place to know and to show this was the Temple. Throughout the Old Testament, the Tabernacle and later the Temple represented God's presence and protection for his people. Once again, Satan tempts Jesus like he tempted the Israelites—to make God's protection and care the condition on which loyalty was to be established. Jesus would not play Satan's game! Jesus was committed to honor his Father and to be faithful to him even if it meant the path of suffering and death. The reason these early temptations of Jesus are so important is that they reveal that Jesus will not chose ANY shortcut to obedience! Whether Satan realizes it or not, when Jesus walks out of the desert victorious over him and his temptations, Jesus has demonstrated that Satan's doom is assured. Jesus will choose God's plan even if it means suffering, death, and personal ridicule on a cross. What is the cost of my following God? Will I choose faithfulness over ... ?

Today's Prayer

Almighty Deliverer and Faithful God, in light of your centuries of faithfulness to your people, your preservation of them in the face of great calamity and struggle, I recognize my inconsistency and weakness. Give me a heart to recognize the long-term consequences of my decisions about Satan's "small" challenges. Please empower me to choose faithfulness. I believe you are my Rock and my Salvation, so I rest my hope in you. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. Jesus was taken there to be tempted by the devil. Jesus ate nothing for 40 days and nights. After this, he was very hungry. The devil came to Jesus to tempt him. The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written {in the Scriptures }, 'It is not just bread that keeps people alive. People's lives depend on what God says.'" Then the devil led Jesus to the holy city (Jerusalem). The devil put Jesus on a very high place on the temple. The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off. Why? Because it is written {in the Scriptures }, 'God will command his angels for you, and their hands will catch you, so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.'" Jesus answered him, "It also says {in the Scriptures }, 'You must not test (doubt) the Lord your God.'" Then the devil led Jesus to the top of a very high mountain. The devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, and all the great things that are in those kingdoms. The devil said, "If you will bow down and worship me, I will give you all these things." Jesus said to the devil, "Go away from me, Satan! It is written {in the Scriptures }, 'You must worship the Lord your God. Serve only him!'" So the devil left Jesus. And then some angels came to Jesus and helped him.

Matthew 4:1-11

Related Scripture Readings

You can go to God Most-High to hide. You can go to the God All-Powerful for protection. I say to the Lord, "You are my place of safety, my fortress. My God, I trust you."

Psalm 91:1-2

You must not test the Lord your God like you tested him at Massah. You must be sure to obey the commands of the Lord your God. You must follow all the teachings and laws he has given you. You must do the things that are right and good - things that please the Lord. Then everything will go well for you, and you can go in and take the good land that the Lord promised your ancestors.

Deuteronomy 6:16-18

God says, "Don't be stubborn, like you were at Meribah, like you were at Massah in the desert. Your ancestors tested me. They tested me, but then they saw what I could do!

Psalm 95:8-9

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.