Jesus' Temptations #1: Make your own bread
Perspective for the teacher:
The first temptation of Jesus is to question whether His Father will provide. As followers of Jesus, we also have to fight through the soul-gnawing question, “Does my father love me enough to provide for me?” When we are in seasons where things are going well, we might feel like Jesus standing in the river (“My Father loves me!”) But when we are in life’s deserts and there our soul is craving, we can begin to listen to Satan—"maybe I’m not His loved child” or “I know He loves them, but I struggle to believe He loves me!”
Read Matthew 3:13-17 What do you think it felt like for Jesus that day? How does it feel when the Father so richly rains down His approval of Jesus?
(Amazing. Accepted. Loved. Like everything is right with the world.)
Now read Matthew 4:1-4 remembering that when Matthew wrote it there were no chapter breaks.
When Satan says “If you are the son of God…” he is challenging whatever was present when Jesus was standing in the river only three verses back.
What has changed for Jesus that is would be harder to believe that His Father still feels the same way about Him?
(Hot. Feels far from God maybe? Hungry. “Did I take a wrong turn?”)
If Jesus chooses to listen to Satan and make his own bread, what is He saying about His Father?
(That He will not provide. That maybe He doesn’t love me enough to provide for me? I just have to do this myself.)
What is it like for us today to question whether our Father loves us enough to provide for us what we really need? At work? In our marriages? At school? With our children? Where else?
Conclusion and questions for the group:
If the Enemy can get us to believe that we are not really God’s loved children, then who will be in charge of our well-being?
(We will be! We will feel as though we must fend for ourselves of no one will. Every sin we have ever committed has had this attitude at it’s heart.)