Home Service 9th June 2024

Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

The first time we hear Jesus called by the title “Son of God,” he is being addressed by the devil in the desert. While tempting Jesus, the devil calls him twice by that name.
At first, it seems that the tempter is questioning Jesus’ divinity. But we’ve already heard at Jesus’ baptism that God announced, “This is my Son” (Matthew 3:17). What the tempter means is “Since you are the Son of God, use your power to turn these stones into bread.” In other words, the tempter is trying to lure Jesus into using his divine power for his own purposes
Why is Jesus tempted? By being tempted, Jesus shows that he is human like us. And by overcoming temptation, he shows his ability to carry out his Father’s will. Through his perfect obedience, Jesus will rescue us from the devil. Jesus’ rejection of the devil’s temptations also provides us the perfect model for enduring temptation. Jesus used words of Scripture to stand firm against the devil. We too must let God’s holy Word resonate in us so that when we are tempted, the echo of his voice will guide our hearts, our desires, and our actions.
When you face temptation today, listen for God’s voice and turn to Jesus, because he is able to help all who are tempted. And if you fail, get up and be assured that you are forgiven, because Jesus did not fail in rescuing us from sin.

Son of God, pioneer and perfecter of our faith, help us to hear the Father’s voice and to trust you in resisting the temptations we face today and every day. Amen.
As we gather here today, help us, Lord, to hear beyond the noisy world. Help us to recognise your voice, to listen to what you have to say to us, and to hold your word in our hearts. We draw near to you, gracious God, laying aside the things that hinder us, focusing on you and your will for us, opening our hearts and minds to you. Amen.

Forgive us, God of grace, when we have listened to other voices instead of yours, and drawn away from you.
Forgive us, God of love, when we have refused to give up our bitterness, our selfishness, and all the ‘stuff’ we should not keep inside us.
Forgive us, God of our salvation, when we have forgotten who you are, what you have done for us, and who you call us to be.
Forgive us, God of justice, when we have treated others badly or neglected their needs, when we have closed our eyes to suffering, not acting in your mercy, but in our own impatience or busyness. Cleanse our hearts, O God we pray. Forgive our guilt, and instruct us in the days ahead. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Awesome and audacious God, we praise you for your work in our lives. We remember the times you have spoken to us, and we yearn to hear you speak again. Amen.
Lord, whatever I face this week, give me guidance and strength. Help me to listen to your call. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Suggested Listening Dear Lord and Father of mankind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqOnjmr9Ah0 I heard the voice of Jesus say https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74kyfROS4q8 You are my hiding place https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElVC6rfX3Z8

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