The Gospel Sync | #22 | Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:12–13, Luke 4:1–13

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Welcome Back! Today, we will sync the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke to examine how Jesus used the Word of God to resist temptation.

So let’s dive in.

(Click here to get a copy of the Gospel Sync document) 

The Gospel – Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:12–13, Luke 4:1–13

Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was impelled by the Spirit to go into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter (the devil) came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took Him to Jerusalem, the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple. “If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You carefully; and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He said, I will give You authority over all these kingdoms and all their glory,” “For it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. So if You fall down and worship me, it will all be Yours.” Jesus declared, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”

When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. He was with the wild animals, and the angels came and ministered to Him.

Some Thoughts 

“I always say, “If you poke Jesus, the Word of God will come out.” Well, it’s true! Look at the passage. Satan poked Him three times, and what came out? The Word of God. During the first temptation, Jesus could have said, “Nope, not done with my fast yet.” Instead, He quotes Scripture as His defense, and on top of that, He emphasizes how important the Bible should be to all of us.

‘Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Once again, Satan pokes Jesus with another temptation, and once again, the Word comes out. This time, though, Satan is trying to fight fire with fire and use Scripture to tempt Him. But Jesus has studied enough of the Holy Script to know not only its context but the proper application.

Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

One final time, Satan tries to move Jesus off-center by offering all the kingdoms of the world (of which He created, already owned, and had all authority), and Jesus quotes Scripture to combat him.

Jesus declared, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’

Three times Jesus parries Satan’s thrusts with “It is written.” Now Jesus didn’t have the convenience of an app on His smartphone. Nor did He carry the huge scrolls of the day into the desert with Him. But Jesus had an immediate response to each temptation because He had heard, read, and memorized the Scriptures. Then there’s the proper interpretation and application of the Word. In order for Jesus to pull that off, He must have logged some serious hours of study and meditation in the Bible. What I’m trying to point out here is that Jesus was saturated with the Word of God. That shouldn’t surprise us because Jesus obeyed every command, including this one:”

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6.6-9)

That’s some pretty intense time in the Word! Why do you think God the Father would give such a command and God the Son would so clearly model obeying this command? I think that God was trying to protect us from the thousand voices in our ears on a daily basis. We have our normal relationships like family, friends, and associates but we also get a tidal wave of information from TV, the internet, Billboards, and the list goes on. And is the message consistent with God’s design and desires? NO WAY! And that is why God commanded and Jesus modeled a lifestyle of being saturated in the Word of God. We need the truth to serve as the breakers against the overwhelming tide of deception that inundates our world. 

As disciple-makers, this is one of our highest priorities: To be saturated in the Word of God ourselves and help others do the same. But how? Here’s a method I’ve been using for years. Start them reading one chapter in the Gospel of Mark daily. Why? First, they’ll be reading about Jesus, and second, it’s a quick win. Mark has only 16 chapters, and if they read one chapter a day, they will have read their first book in a little over a week. Focus on Jesus and a Quick Win. Then I have them start reading another Gospel, and if they have the stamina, I have them start reading another chapter in the book of Acts. Now they are reading two chapters a day. Once they get the hang of that, I have them read a chapter in the Old Testament, starting in Genesis. Now they are reading three chapters daily: One in the OT, the Gospels, and the NT. To put the icing on the cake, I have them start reading in Psalms. Now they’re up to four chapters, and they continue to cycle through the Bible this way, and they have begun the saturation process. See this video on the Cornerstone Method of reading the Bible for further information.  The Cornerstone

My Story

I’m so thankful that the men who discipled me saw the importance of being saturated with the Word of God. I started out slowly by reading a chapter in the Bible daily. I was listening to the Word preached on Sundays and attending a weekly Bible study. And I was doing my best to memorize Scripture (that was a hard discipline for years). I started the journey of being saturated and was thinking (meditating) about the Word several times a day.

The key to my saturation was consistency. I developed a daily rhythm of getting some of the Bible in my heart and mind. Then, as I grew stronger in the discipline, I began to increase the volume. Over the years, I noticed a very cool thing happening. Not only had my life radically transformed, but I was also able to “connect the dots” a lot easier on Biblical concepts. My ability to make disciples using the Word and counsel from a Biblical perspective increased tremendously. After 40 years of consistent saturation in the Scriptures, I can say without hesitation that it was a wise investment.

Our Action Plan

So let’s talk about some possible applications for us as disciple makers. Here are some ideas:

  • Think through what it would take to develop the conviction within the people you disciple to be saturated in the Scriptures daily, come rain or shine.
  • Help people get a handle on consistency and volume in the Word over time.
  • Consider how daily routines impact daily intake of the Scriptures.

As disciple makers, we have an exceptional privilege and responsibility to help others consume the Word in a way that is both informative and transformative. Until next time, keep making disciples of Jesus.

Author: Chuck & Deb

Chuck & Deb love Jesus!

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