Matthew, Chapter 3
The Path of the Disciple
The Living Message, demonstrated by the Son of God, will prepare you to do the Works of God, and yes, even greater works, which He said we must do.
Matthew 4:1 says “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
Remember, if you desire to follow Jesus, you will encounter and suffer these prophetic words found in Matthew Chapter 3. Endure to the end and you will be ministered to by Angels and you will see the Glory of the Lord in the land of the living. You will be one of His Disciples.
Following Jesus is not just about attending church and saying you believe in Him. Following Him means you go where He goes and you will do what He does.
Some say they will follow Him, but they cannot or will not:
John 6:53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
58 “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 ¶ Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”
61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble?
62 “What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?
63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.
Count this cost because Jesus not only calls, but He actually MAKES Disciples. Consider this carefully so when the testing begins, you will not lose heart and turn back.
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit… WHEN was Jesus led up by the Spirit?
(Immediately after His baptism. Don’t be surprised or taken unaware that this testing begins so quickly. So will it be with you.)
…led up by the Spirit. WHO led Jesus?
(The very Spirit of God. This is the Spirit of God, present at creation. The Spirit of God who comforts, guides, leads, empowers, convicts of sin, prays on your behalf with Words and Groanings to deep for our understanding. Jesus is showing us, by His example, the path we must walk to become His Disciple.)
This is one of the most powerful events in the life of a Believer and Follower of Jesus. It is not imaginary. This is deadly serious and gloriously real.
…into the wilderness (Judean desert ). WHERE was Jesus led?
(The Judean wilderness was and is a dangerous, barren, dry, life threatening environment. There were scarce resources of food and water, or no resources at all. The temperatures were extreme. Any wildlife that could survive in these areas were predatory. This is where the Spirit led Jesus, and likewise, where He will lead the willing Disciple.)
This is an apt description of what you endure in your preparation to follow Jesus and become His Disciple. Be warned)
…to be tempted by the devil. Tempted by WHOM?
(The Devil, and he is real. He is “the ruler of this world,” a spirit creature who became wicked and rebelled against God. (John 14:30; Ephesians 6:11, 12) The Bible reveals the Devil’s personality through these names and descriptions:
· Satan, which means “Resister.”—Job 1:6.
· Devil, which means “Slanderer.”—Revelation 12:9.
· Serpent, which is used in the Bible to mean “Deceiver.”—2 Corinthians 11:3.
· Tempter.—Matthew 4:3.
· Liar.—John 8:44.
Some view Satan the Devil as just a principle or quality of evil that exists inside us. The devil is not a principle or quality of evil. The Bible records a conversation between God and Satan and remember, God is perfect, so he could not have been talking to an evil part of himself.
The devil is real and you will be tested by this evil one, at some time. Be prepared.
Matthew 4:2 “And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.” And after He had fasted… WHEN?
(After He had fasted. Not before, not during. After He had fasted He became “hungry”. The importance of this one verse take will take prayer, study to gain a proper understanding.)
(Fasted. Abstaining from food and nourishment. We have to put this fasting into the context of these verses. Jesus was led into the wilderness where He had no food, no water, no companionship, no resources, no help. He was isolated and alone, except for the Spirit of God. His physical Self was at great risk.
This fast began with no food, but continued with the lack of any sustenance for His physical, mental, or emotional well being. This fast intensified as it affected every aspect of Jesus, yet Jesus obeyed and followed the Spirit. )
And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights… HOW long?
(The significance of the “forty days and forty nights” cannot be ignored.
Biblical verse Numbers 14:33-34 alludes to the same with ties to the prophecy in The Book of Daniel. “For forty years–one year for each of the forty days you explored the land–you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.'”
Rain fell for “forty days and forty nights” during the Flood. (Genesis 7:4)
The number forty symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation. In fact, the word “tempted” in this verse “to be tempted by the devil” means to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself. So it will be for you and me.
Remember, this is Jesus going before us, enduring the Trial, and showing us the way which we must go, also. But, He assures us that we too, can endure, because He has gone before us.
Likewise, as a true Believer and Follower of Jesus there comes a time when we will find ourselves seemingly without help, without hope, without resources, at risk, isolated, with circumstance intensifying. Now the Great Work of God is beginning in our life. Endure this to the end, following the example of Jesus carefully.)
Matthew 4:2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.