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Jesus In The Wilderness: The Test (pt. 1)

Updated: 5 days ago



session: 3


In our series, we look at Jesus' conversations and interactions with others. We are exploring these interactions to understand Jesus and to discover his purposes. In doing so, we can draw closer to him and deepen our fellowship with him and each other. Today, we will consider a time when Jesus was tempted, by the devil, in the wilderness (Matt. 4).


New To The Bible?


If you are new to reading the Bible (or not), this may seem like a very odd story. How often do we read about the devil (or evil) walking alongside a person and tempting them? That doesn't happen very often. Even in the Bible, we don't read these types of stories that often. So what is going on with this story? Why do we have this account recorded for us? I plan to explore these questions over the following two lessons.


Arrangement


If we step back for a moment and notice the arrangement of this story, it tells us something important. Matthew, Mark, and Luke each include this account in their gospel narratives. This story is important. So important that it is included in three of the four accounts of Jesus' life and ministry. And each places it in the exact location. Each of these gospel authors places this account right after the baptism of Jesus and just before his public ministry. I understand this to be intentional, and we will discuss that later in our lesson.


Misunderstandings


Before considering the background and context of this interaction, we should discuss a common misunderstanding. So often, there are layers of misconception surrounding the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. For example, how do we understand the devil in this account? Some would not have an issue with the devil or an evil spirit walking beside someone and tempting them. Others, perhaps to a modern western imagination, would struggle with this language and imagery. In his lesson, Te