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    The Porch for March 1, 2020 – Lent 1

    Matthew 4:1-11

    v.1
    Led – launched, set sail, offered
    Led by Spirit to wilderness to be tested by devil

    Unpack all of those words. What, by whom, where, why, by whom…

    What is the symbolic importance of “the wilderness”?

    Devil – Greek diabolos Hebrew: satan = the accuser, the prosecuting attorney.

    v.2
    What’s the significance of 40 days?
    When does the temptation scene happen? (afterward)
    What would Jesus’ state of mind/being be at that point?
    Famished – hungry – also means to desire earnestly! Discuss.

    v.3-4 – satisfying desires
    Command – speak
    What is the nature of this temptation?
    How does Jesus answer? (Deuteronomy 8:3)
    – What do you think this means?

    What does this temptation tell us about the nature of God and our relationship with God?

    v.5
    What is the significance of the location of the 2nd temptation?

    v.6-7 – God as lifeguard
    Devil quotes Psalm 91:11-12
    What is the nature of this temptation?
    How does Jesus answer? (Deuteronomy 6:16)
    – What do you think this means?

    What does this temptation tell us about the nature of God and our relationship with God?

    v.8-10 – worldly riches and power
    What is the nature of this temptation?
    How does Jesus answer? (Deuteronomy 6:13)
    – What do you think this means?

    What does this temptation tell us about the nature of God and our relationship with God?

    v.11
    Suddenly – actually behold
    Waited on him – ministered to him, served him (same root as diaconal)

    Thoughts

    Led by the Spirit to wilderness. What happened to the Spirit then? (I believe this is a vital point!)

    When tempted to turn away from God, what does Jesus draw on to resist?
    Why is that important?

    Have you ever been in a scripture debate with someone?

    What tempts you to turn away from God?
    How does the world try to tempt you?
    What do you draw on to resist? Scripture? Prayer? Willpower? Habit?

    Theologically speaking…
    Turns down bread, but soon will feed thousands.
    Won’t throw himself down to be saved by angels, but soon will give himself up and be saved by God.
    Refuses world power, but now the most powerful nations on earth are ostensibly Christian.
    – Thoughts?

    Theologically speaking…
    Jesus’ temptations never stop. The devil becomes the Pharisees, Herod, Pilate, etc.
    Discuss!

    Our Lenten Journey
    · What in our lives echoes Jesus’ temptations?
    · What is your “theology of Lent”?
    · What do you think Lent is for?
    · What does Lent accomplish?
    · Why do we mark it each year?
    · Why do people “give things up” for Lent?
    · What are they trying to accomplish?
    · What kind of theology is that revealing?
    · What might we do instead of giving something up?

    Shalom!

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