Only Jesus

Sunday Lesson Notes from 5-15-2022

Read Matthew 4:1-11

  • Satan tempted Jesus with a promise that he would give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor  if he worshiped Satan. Why would this be a temptation for Jesus?
    • Perhaps because Jesus would not have to go through the pain of dying for the world’s reconciliation to God. Afterall, he would “be in charge” of all the kingdoms in one second and then he could force the world to obey him and “his job on earth would be completed”.
    • Jesus was fully human, so it could have been a temptation to desire power and to be in control of all the “man-made” kingdoms for his own benefit.
  • Why was this temptation flawed?
    • Satan was offering something to Jesus that Jesus already owned! Jesus was already the King of all the earth, everything was made for him at the beginning of time.
    • Satan was offering all the worldly glory-which is really a big joke- since everyone knows everything made by humans eventually gets old, rots or becomes irrelevant with time. The world changes and is not consistent or reliable.
  • Why was Jesus able to overcome this temptation?
    • Satan was tempting Jesus to use worldly kingdoms for his own benefit, which is the complete opposite of who Jesus was
    • Jesus was here solely to do God’s will, and God’s will was to serve all the kingdoms as God had asked him to do
    • Jesus knew being in charge in this way was not what God asked him to do, it went against God’s will
    • Jesus had no desire to outdo God, he already was lifted up by God
    • The way Jesus wanted to rule the world is completely opposite to what earthly kings were doing. Jesus came to serve the people, not for the people to serve him
  • What is God’s reasoning for setting up his plan of salvation for humanity in this way (Jesus dying for our sins as the ultimate sacrifice)?
    • God wants a personal relationship with each one of us and therefore paid a high price for our personal salvation and furthermore gives us a choice to take it or not
    • When humans have a free choice in a matter, this allows room for relationship as opposed to just following rules and meeting obligations. God is not into ruling over us or forcing us to make a choice to respond in favor of seeking a relationship with God, he wants us to come to him willingly
    • When Jesus refused to obtain all the kingdoms of the earth as a “gift” from Satan, he reinforced God’s love for us and willingness to give us freedom to choose GOD’s way as the way we would live our lives.
    • When humans are forced to follow rules or follow a structure, there is little room for heart and self motivation to keep us engaged. 
    • It is so easy for us to seek our own plans and ignore God’s plans for our lives. But when we feel like God is personally invested in us and gives us the freedom to live the way of our choosing, then the motivation to do what is right comes out of pure love for God.
    • It was terribly “inefficient” to build a kingdom by influencing one person at a time. Jesus spent 3 yrs of his life building his kingdom through building  relationships with 12 guys. Yet, 2000 years later, his words are being proclaimed throughout the world as these guys spoke to others about their personal interactions with Jesus. 
    • Jesus did God’s will and did not seek out a more efficient way or an easier way or his own way to spread God’s message. Therefore, we could confidently say, it is very likely that those who are responding favorably to God’s scriptures are more than likely doing so willingly and are gaining  a personal connection to God.
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