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5: Temptation and Beginning of Ministry (Mt 4:1-25)
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5: Temptation and Beginning of Ministry (Mt 4:1-25)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Having been baptized by John, Jesus was brought by the Spirit to the desert to be tempted by the devil. With the word of God, the Lord overcame the devil’s trickery. Then, after hearing that John was put in prison, Jesus moved up north to the regions around Galilee, where He called the first disciples and began His public ministry.

B.     Key Verse

            “Then He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (4:19).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.       The word “devil” (4:1) means “slanderer”; and the name “Satan” means “adversary.”

2.       Capernaum (4:13) is one of the territories assigned to the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. It is located at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee.

3.       Fishermen had more income than average people in Galilee, so James and John left behind a good job. 3/55

4.       Synagogues (4:23): (Hellenistic Gk. sunag-og-e, “gathering of people,” “a congregation,” “a place of prayer,” Acts 16:13 NIV)…  As only a small proportion of the people could become proficient in the study of the law under the scribes, and as it was desirable that all should have at least an elementary acquaintance therewith, the custom grew up in postexilic times of reading the Scriptures in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. 10/1229

5.       Syria (4:24): The area north of Galilee and between Damascus and the Mediterranean Sea. 8/1444

6.       Decapolis (4:25): “ten cities”…A district containing ten cities in the NE part of Galilee, near the Sea of Galilee. 10/295A league of free cities…characterized by high Greek culture. All but one, Scythopolis (Beth Shan), were east of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan river. The league stretched from a point northeast of the Sea of Galilee southward to Philadelphia (modern Amman). 8/1444

II.    Observation

A.     Outline






B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     4:1-11

1.       Why did Jesus have to be tempted?

2.       What were Satan’s three challenges to Jesus?

3.       What are the common characteristics of the temptations?

4.       What traps was Satan laying down with each of his temptations?

5.       Were the temptations similar to any that came to Jesus later during the course of his earthly career? (Lk 4:13 reads, “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time”)

6.       Explain each of Jesus’ response to Satan’s challenges.

7.       What does Satan’s ability to quote the Scriptures tell us about Satan and his work?

8.       What was the difference between Satan’s and Jesus’ use of the Scriptures? What can we learn from this about our attitude to God’s word?

9.       What does Jesus’ victory over Satan’s temptations teach us about how to overcome temptations in our lives?

B.     4:12-17

1.       What message did Jesus preach?

2.       What do the images of darkness and light mean?

3.       Could there be a significance to the term “Galilee of the Gentiles” (4:15)?

C.     4:18-22

1a. What does the term “fishers of men” mean?

1b. How did the disciples later become fishers of men?

2. What does the reaction of the disciples to Jesus’ calling teach us about our attitude towards God?

3. According to this passage, how can we become fishers of men?

D.     4:23-25

1.       What threefold ministry did Jesus carry out?

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