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Matthew 4:1-11

May 19, 2011

I had intended this commentary to go at a little faster pace. I will try to remedy that now.

–In Matthew 4:1-11, we have the Temptation scene. I don’t get a lot of this. Any of it, really. Why would tempting Jesus to turn stones into bread be enticing him to disobedience? To failure of his fasting, perhaps? If he knew eating bread would be failure, would he really have felt tempted? These are just some thoughts.

–What would have been wrong with Jesus throwing himself off the Temple at Jerusalem? How far does Matthew want us to take the “do not test God” statement? Would Jesus have really thought that proving that God would keep a promise would be testing God wrongfully?

–Would there be anything wrong besides just putting God to the test? If someone saw Jesus land safely, he or she might believe the Jesus was the Messiah. Wouldn’t Jesus want that?

–Was Psalm 91:11-12 truly applicable to the situation? Psalm 91 is about anyone that “dwells in the shelter of the Most High,” not just the messiah or a son of God. Could any godly person really jump off the Temple and be unharmed?

–Why was Jesus supposedly tempted by the devil’s offer of kingdoms and their splendor? This certainly doesn’t seem to go with the rest of Christian theology, since Jesus would know that he was the Ruler of everything.

–This sequence is a notable part of the “Q material.” Although Mark refers to this scene, the book merely summarizes the event. The Q material, however, gives us the rest of the story. It agrees with Mark’s identification of Jesus as the son of God, or at least that the devil though he might be the son of God.

–The differing sequence of the temptations is probably insignificant. Both Matthew and Luke record the stones and hunger temptation first, but record the other two in opposite order. However, Matthew says “then” and “again” with its account; Luke gives no definite chronology.

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