Thursday, March 29, 2018

Jesus Tested in the Wilderness - Matthew 4:1-11 - Daily Reading from Sunday School Book

Jesus wasn't tempted in the Temple or at His baptism but in the wilderness where He was tired, alone, and hungry, and thus most vulnerable. Satan often tempts us where we are vulnerable when we are under physical or emotional stress (for example, lonely, tired, weighing big decisions, faced with uncertainly). But Satan also likes to tempt us through our strengths where we are suscepible to pride. We must guard at all times against his attacks.

Satan's temptations focused on three crucial areas: (1) physical desires, (2) possessions and power, and (3) pride. But Jesus did not give in. Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. "He knows firsthand what we are experiencing and he is willing and able to help us in our struggles. When you are tempted, turn to Him for strength.

Angels, like these who ministered to Jesus, have a significant role as God's messengers. These spiritual beings were involved in Jesus like on earth by (1) announcing his birth to Mary, (2) reassuring Joseph, (3) naming Jesus, (4) announcing His birth to the Shepherds, (5) protecting Jesus by sending His family to Egypt, (6) ministering to Him in Gethsemane.

Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the test. The devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left Him, of course, in a state of hunger, which the devil took advantage of in the first test: "Since you are God's Son, speak the Word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth.

For the second test the devil took Him to the Holy City. He sat Him on top of the Temple and said, "Since you are God's Son, jump." The devil goaded Him by quoting Psalm 91: "He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won't so much as stub your toe on a stone."

Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: "Don't dare test the Lord your God."

For the third test, the devil took Him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth's kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, they're yours - lock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they're yours.

Jesus refusal was curt: "Beat it, Satan." He backed his rebuke his rebuke with a third quotation and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.

The test was over. The devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus needs.

The Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There the devil tempted Him.

After 40 days and 40 nights of going without eating, Jesus was hungry.

The tempter came to Him. He said, "If you are the Son of God tell these stones to become bread.

Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Man must not live only on bread. He must also live by every Word that come from the mouth of God. (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Then the devil took Jesus to the Holy City. He had Him stand on the highest point of the Temple.

"If you are the Son of God," he said "throw yourself down. It is written, the Lord will command His angels to take good care of you. They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won't trip over a stone.

Jesus answered him, "It is also written, Do not test the Lord your God.

Finally, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed Him all the kingdom of the world and their glory.

"If you bow down and worship me," he said, "I will give you all this."

Jesus said to him, "Get away from me, satan! It is written, Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve." (Deuteronomy 6:13)

Then the devil left Jesus. Angels came and took care of Him.

May The Faith Be With You Holy Bible @ Zondervan 2017; The Message copyright @ 1993,1994,1995,1996,2000,2001,2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, IL 60188 & Life Application Bible @ 1986, 1988, 1989 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jesus Is Crucified - Children's Sunday School Lesson - Mark 15 - Sunday - 3/25/18

Jesus Is Brought to Pilate. The soldiers make fun of Jesus. Jesus is nailed to the Cross. Jesus dies. Jesus is buried.

This was a terrible, painful, and embarassing way for Jesus to die. Jesus could have rescued Himself. Jesus did not have to let those bad men take His life.

Who did Jesus die for? Why did Jesus die for you and me?

Jesus did not do anything wrong so He didn't deserve to die. Instead, Jesus decided to take the punishment all of us deserve for all the wrong things we have done. Jesus did it because he loves us.

The six hours (9am - 3pm) pm the cross Jesus touched a depth of suffering in body, mind and spirit beyond the stretch of our imagination. Jesus death paid in full the penalty for our sin. Jesus saved us from the death sentence, making possible the free gift of eternal life.

Jesus Words from the Cross:

Luke 23:34 ... Jesus said, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing." The soldiers divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Reference Scriptures: Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; John 19:23; Acts 3:17

Luke 23:43 ... (Jesus word to the thief on the cross beside Him who repented) Jesus answered him, "What I'm about to tell you is true. Today you will be with me in paradise.

John 19:26-27 ... (Jesus commending His mother to John's care) Jesus saw His mother there. Jesus also saw the disciple he loved standing nearby. Jesus said to His mother, "Dear woman, here is your son." From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.

Matthew 27:46 (Mark 15:34) ... About three o'clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice. He said, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?" This means "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?"

Psalm 22:1 ...My God, my God, why have you deserted me?
Why do you seem so far away when I need you to save me?
Why do you seem so far away that you can't hear my groans?

John 19:28 ... Later, Jesus knew that everything had now been finished. He also knew that what Scripture said must come true. So he said, "I am thirsty."

Reference Scripture ... Psalm 69:21

John 19:30 ... After Jesus drank He said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and died.

Reference Scripture ... John 17:4

Luke 23:46 ... Jesus called out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my life." After Jesus said this, He took His last breath.

Reference Scripture ... Psalm 31:5; Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; John 19:30

Scripture reference used from the New International Readers Version (NIRV May The Faith Be With You Holy Bible) Copyright @ 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. & The New Analytical Bible Dictionary of the Bible, Authorized King James Version, World Bible Publishers, Iowa Falls, Iowa