October 4th, 2006
When you start on something new, things often come along to distract you from the task. Most New Year’s resolutions last less than a month. Most weight loss and fitness programs fall by the wayside after a few days. Jesus had to resist the temptations and sidetracks offered by the devil before his ministry could take off. If you want to find God, you need to concentrate on the search and avoid the temptations which might sidetrack your search.
Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 4
4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 4:2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and he was hungry. 4:3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, order these stones to become bread.” 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.'”
4:5 Then the devil took him into the holy city, and stood him on the top of the temple, 4:6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, because it is written, ‘He will order his angels to carry you in their hands, so that you don’t strike your foot on a stone.'” 4:7 Jesus said to him, “It is also written, ‘You must not test the Lord, your God.'”
4:8 The devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory. 4:9 He said to him, “I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.” 4:10 Jesus answered him, “Get behind me, Satan! It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and he is the only one you shall serve.'” 4:11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and looked after him.
4:12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left for Galilee. 4:13 Leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum near the sea, in the districts of Zebulun and Naphtali. 4:14 This fulfilled the prediction of Isaiah the prophet: 4:15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, 4:16 the people who once sat in darkness have seen a great light, on those sitting in the region and shadow of death, on them light has dawned.” 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach: “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
4:18 While walking beside the sea of Galilee, he saw two fishermen: Simon (also known as Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea. 4:19 Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers for people.” 4:20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 4:21 Going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in a boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them. 4:22 At once they left the boat and their father, and followed him.
4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, announcing the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people. 4:24 His reputation spread throughout Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases, pains, demon-possession, epilepsy, or paralysis, and he healed them. 4:25 Crowds from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and from beyond the Jordan followed him.
Entry Filed under: Perseverance