Matthew 4: 8Again, the devil took* Him to a very high mountain and showed* Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
While the teaching points of this and the surrounding verses are often brought up as being that the Lord Himself was subject to temptation and the best response to temptation is with the Word of God, we simply want to look at one word: AGAIN. Relentless, Satan will not give up easily; he will keep on testing us. We must always be on our guard where we are weakest AND where we perceive ourselves strongest. Those are the areas where Satan most often manages to take us down.
The Temptation of Jesus
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”
5Then the devil took* Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6and said* to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’;
‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”
7Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”
8Again, the devil took* Him to a very high mountain and showed* Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10Then Jesus said* to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” 11Then the devil left* Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
Jesus Begins His Ministry
12Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
15 “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI,
BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—
16 “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT,
AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH,
UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”
17From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The First Disciples
18Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19And He said* to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 21Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. 22Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.
Ministry in Galilee
23Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
24The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. 25Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.
The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes
1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Disciples and the World
13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15“nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
21“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25“Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26“Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30“If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
31“It was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’; 32but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ 34“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36“Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or’No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ 39“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Prayer for Protection against the Wicked.
FOR THE CHOIR DIRECTOR. A PSALM OF DAVID.
1 Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men;
Preserve me from violent men
2 Who devise evil things in their hearts;
They continually stir up wars.
3 They sharpen their tongues as a serpent;
Poison of a viper is under their lips.
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked;
Preserve me from violent men
Who have purposed to trip up my feet.
5 The proud have hidden a trap for me, and cords;
They have spread a net by the wayside;
They have set snares for me.
6 I said to the LORD, “You are my God;
Give ear, O LORD, to the voice of my supplications.
7 “O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation,
You have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 “Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked;
Do not promote his evil device, that they not be exalted.
9 “As for the head of those who surround me,
May the mischief of their lips cover them.
10 “May burning coals fall upon them;
May they be cast into the fire,
Into deep pits from which they cannot rise.
11 “May a slanderer not be established in the earth;
May evil hunt the violent man speedily.”
12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted
And justice for the poor.
13 Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name;
The upright will dwell in Your presence.