Mat 4:1-11; Two Easy Ways to Get It Right.

Class Outline:

Tuesday February 6, 2024

MAT 4:5-7

Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,









7 Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'"


Idea: Those who know they should live by the Scripture will be tempted with false interpretations that lead to false application.


Hermeneutics is the science and art of Biblical interpretation. It is a science because it is guided by rules within a system; and it is an art because the application of the rules is by skill, and not by mechanical imitation.” (An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics, Kaiser / Silva)


Jesus shows us a very important hermeneutical principle: Scripture interprets Scripture (DEU 6:16). Interpreting Scripture with Scripture and context are foundational to the science and art of interpretation. 


Devil quotes Psa 91 after he commands Jesus to jump off the temple. He fails in both context and using the whole of Scripture.


The first temptation is for Jesus to use His miraculous power and now it is to test and see if the Father will use His. 


If we are able to test the Lord then man may become the Lord of God, and compel Him to act through the power of his faith.


2CO 5:7; Php 1:29; 2CO 12:10


Read all of Psa 91 and see the context. A psalm of praise for protecting and rescuing grace. 


Psa 91:

91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.    91:2 I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!"    91:3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence.    91:4 He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.    91:5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day;    91:6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.    91:7 A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you.    91:8 You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked.    91:9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.    91:10 No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent.    91:11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.    91:12 They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone.    91:13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.    91:14 "Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.    91:15 "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.    91:16 "With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation."    


Psa 90:

90:1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.    90:2 Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.    90:3 You turn man back into dust And say, "Return, O children of men."    90:4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.    90:5 You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.    90:6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades and withers away.    90:7 For we have been consumed by Your anger And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.    90:8 You have placed our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.    90:9 For all our days have declined in Your fury; We have finished our years like a sigh.    90:10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.    90:11 Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?    90:12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.    90:13 Do return, O Lord; how long will it be? And be sorry for Your servants.    90:14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.    90:15 Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, And the years we have seen evil.    90:16 Let Your work appear to Your servants And Your majesty to their children.    90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.    


Both the context and the application are being falsified by the devil. 


Use of imagery is not to be taken in the literal sense. The psalm as a whole is about God’s protection and providence to those who trust Him. The language is obviously extreme in order to show that God’s promise is absolute. 


Application of other Scriptures reveal that those who trust the Lord will suffer, sometimes terribly (Heb 11).


Conclusion: What does the life of a believer who trusts, loves, and knows the Lord look like? Can it be measured by anything physical? (Marx, Rousseau, Darwin, and Freud said, “Yes.”)


It’s not that such people are not going to suffer. Like the Lord they are going to overcome in truly miraculous ways, but not the way of physical miracle, testing the Lord over and over so as to gain trust. 


Protection does belong to Jesus. Nazarenes seek to throw Him off a cliff. 


Do not jump (pun) to conclusions. Know that you have preconceptions that may not be correct. 


Read to and study to know the Lord. (read Psa 91 as God’s song written to you.)


Finally, do not let interpretation divide you from your eternal brothers and sisters in Christ. Be a humble learner and a humble teacher (Rom 14 - worth the read).