Mat 4:1-11; When Are the Weak Strong?

Class Outline:

Tuesday January 30, 2024


MAT 4:1-4

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'"


Jesus became hungry, and was therefore in a weakened state physically and mentally.


The Word of God understood and obeyed is a power not dependent upon optimum physical of mental ability.


Human strength is breathing divine thought.


Both inhale and exhale.


Weakness is not necessarily sin. It can lead to sin. It always comes from sin. 


All mankind are weak.


1CO 15:40-44

There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.


42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.


Jesus came to heal us of our weakness.


MAT 8:16-17

 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES [astheneia] AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES [nosos]."


ISA 53:4

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,

And our sorrows He carried;


What is the result of our weakness being healed by Him? 


Some think that we become strong in the way of the world (win all arguments, get all promotions, overcome all diseases). It is not this at all.


When I am weak, I am strong.


2Cor 12:10

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


2CO 11:1-3

I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. 3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.


Even the perfect woman was weak enough to be deceived when she did not trust and obey the Word of God.


Satan draws us away from devotion to God by:

Deceit and Craftiness that is called wisdom.


When he was in Corinth, Paul was weak, but boasted of Christ.


2CO 11:9

and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone;


Still, he boasted of the truth of Christ.


2CO 11:10

As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia.


It is here that boasting becomes an important word in this part of his letter.


Boasting is proudly proclaiming or glorying in something or someone. When that someone is self, boasting is abhorrent.


Others boasted about Christ in Paul’s day (and all through the church) but falsely.


2CO 11:12-15

But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.


Satan has propaganda that boasts of Christ with false doctrines, using willing and sometimes unwitting minsters.


For his boasting of Christ as well as his own weakness as a man, Paul suffered greatly.


2CO 11:23-29

Are they servants of Christ? — I speak as if insane — I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.  25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern [burning]?


Now he will highlight his weakness.


2CO 11:30

If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.


In this light, weakness seems to be a good thing. Some interpret this as being always weak, so they do nothing divine, live sinfully and use weakness as an excuse. 


Paul needed more suffering in order to show him his weakness - thorn in the flesh.


2CO 12:7-9

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me — to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me [spread like a tent on me].


Weakness is humanity.

It is those who do not think they’re weak that err.


Great revelation in the heart and still we are in danger of thinking we (ourselves) are strong. 


“Power is matured in weakness” said God. We would not say that power is matured by weakness, but in the state of weakness. All humanity is weak but few are strong.  


Result of knowing my weakness and faith, trust, and obedience:

Strength of the divine type. 


2CO 12:10

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


We do not remain weak. 

Our faith / trust and obedience to God’s Word makes us strong. 


We could now understand the Lord better when He said:


MAT 6:25-33

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  26 "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  27 "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  28 "And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,  29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  30 "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  31 "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'  32 "For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.