Gospels in 40 Days – March 9

Welcome to our study of the gospels during the Lenten season. Lent is the Christian tradition of preparing for the resurrection of Jesus by taking intentional steps to grow closer to God during the 40 days before Easter.  The tradition mirrors Jesus going into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days, where he was tempted by Satan but was able to resist, strengthen, and grow his ministry for the days ahead (Matthew 4). Typical Lenten observances include fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial, and spiritual discipline.

To join the study, pick a reading plan to follow, journal on the day’s reading using the SOAP method of Bible study (see “What’s SOAP?” on our website for details), and check in for daily posts from our study leaders. We hope you will join us this season, intentionally stepping toward God!

Scripture

Matthew was a tax collector before he knew Jesus, but once he got the call, he left it all to follow Jesus as one of the twelve apostles. Matthew was raised in the Jewish tradition and knew scripture well. His gospel is placed perfectly at the beginning of the New Testament to connect the Old to the New. He often references Old Testament scriptures that are fulfilled in Jesus, and his gospel’s purpose is to show that Jesus is the Messiah they’ve been waiting for.

Clicking on the following links will take you to the Bible Gateway website where you can read the NIV version of today’s reading:

ALL OF IT: Matthew 4-6,

MOST OF IT: Matthew 6:7-34, or

HIGHLIGHT REEL: Matthew 5:43-48

Discussion Question

Jesus says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Anyone come to mind? How can you love them and pray for them? 

SOAP Note

Standing on the Word of God | Becky Newman

Scripture

Matthew 4:4 – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread along, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

Observation

As Satan attempts to tempt the Son of God, using Jesus’ physical limitations of hunger since he is fasting, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3, taking the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6) and thrusting it into Satan’s cold dark hard heart. Here’s the context of the verse Jesus chose:

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. [Deuteronomy 8:2-5]

See the similarities between Deuteronomy 8 and Matthew 4? These scriptures were probably at the front of Jesus’ mind as he was led into the wilderness for 40 days by the Spirit, and he probably regularly returned to this as being the reason for his fast. My Bible notes state that Biblical temptation is a testing to demonstrate genuineness, faithfulness, and character. Jesus being tempted was just part of being made fully human, and we know we have a Savior that suffered temptation just like we do. Jesus emerges from these 40 days of Godly discipline standing on the Word of God, ready to do the ministry God brought him here for.

Application

Jesus could have responded to Satan with, “Oh yeah? Well my Dad said…” But no, he chose to say, “It is written…”, referring back to God’s Word in the scriptures. Satan does not dispute the Truth of God’s Word; he may try to twist it but he has no weapon against the Truth. This is why it’s so important to read and study Your Word, to live by it as soul nourishment. That’s why I hunger for Your Word when I’m not choosing time with You. Jesus grounds his ministry in Your Word and garners strength and energy from it. To follow Jesus, I need to too.

Prayer

Thank You for Your Word! During these 40 days of Lent, I pray that my commitment to reading the gospels and sharing this with my family would demonstrate genuineness, faithfulness, and character and ready my feet to do Your work. Lead me from temptation, Lord!

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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Posted on March 9, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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