Matt 3:1-4:25

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Home > The New Testament > Matthew > Chapters 3-4
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Summary[edit]

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Discussion[edit]

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  • Matt 4:3. The irony of this temptation is that Jesus is the bread of life (John 6) and, as Jehovah, provided bread in the wilderness (Exodus 16).
  • Matt 4:8-9. In this third temptation, it seems Satan is trying to tempt Christ with wealth, power, and fame. In verse 1 Matthew describes Jesus as being "tempted" of the devil, which some (many?) readers assume means that Jesus indeed felt desire for what Satan was presenting to Jesus, in this case—presumably—greed.
Although Satan promises Jesus "all the kingdoms of the world," it is not clear that Satan is really capable of actually giving these things to Jesus. On the one hand, Satan is often viewed as the God of this world, having power of worldy kingdoms. On the other hand, Satan is also known as a Deceiver, and he may be promising something that he cannot actually give. Regardless, Jesus resists the temptation, perhaps because he has faith that God's kingdom will be much greater (nevertheless, this reasoning may be criticized because it ultimately seems to ascribe a selfish motive for Jesus' resisting of this temptation).
If Jesus had a sense of the suffering and rejection he would experience during his ministry and crucifixion, it may that this offer of Satan's was tempting to Jesus in that it offered an alternative path for Him that did not entail suffering and rejection.
Reading this passage as a pattern of how Satan might tempt us, we might recognize the pulls of the world. Oftentimes we might be tempted to compromise our principles for the world, effectively worshiping Satan instead of God.

Unanswered questions[edit]

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Prompts for life application[edit]

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Prompts for further study[edit]

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  • Matt 3:1-5. Did John the Baptist have to wait until he turned 30 to begin his ministry or was he able to baptize and preach earlier due to being set apart for that from birth & being a Nazarite? So, how long was his ministry? -- A: Well, seeing as how he, being john, held the Aaronic priesthood, which is preaching the gospel of repentance, he was most likely preaching and baptizing before then. I say this because a worthy child may receive the Aaronic priesthood early in life. John received it at 8 days old I believe.

Resources[edit]

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  • Matt 4:1-11: Temptations. Howard W. Hunter, "The Temptations of Christ," Ensign, Nov 1976, 17. President Hunter teaches that the reason this was wrong was that Satan was asking Christ to do this in a miraculous fashion for a self-interested reason. It would not have been a temptation if he had asked Jesus to go down and get some bread from the bread maker since it was appropriate to eat at the end of his fast.
  • Matt 4:4. D. Todd Christofferson, "Let Us Be Men," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 46–48. Elder Christofferson remarked that, when confronted by temptation, Jesus countered with scripture. "Gospel commandments and standards are our protection also, and like the Savior, we may draw strength from the scriptures to resist temptation."

Notes[edit]

Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.



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