What does Matthew 4:7 mean?
ESV: Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
NIV: Jesus answered him, 'It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.''
NASB: Jesus said to him, 'On the other hand, it is written: ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE Lord YOUR God TO THE TEST.’?'
CSB: Jesus told him, "It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God."
NLT: Jesus responded, 'The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’ '
KJV: Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Verse Commentary:
Satan knows the Bible well. He was bold enough to quote it to Jesus, tempting Him to claim the crown over Israel immediately. The devil took Jesus to the very top of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and challenged the Lord to jump. He wanted Jesus to illegitimately claim the promise of Psalm 91:11–12: that God's angels would not allow Him even to strike His foot against a stone. In doing so, Jesus would also demonstrate to Israel He was indeed the Son of God. Such a dramatic event, however, would mean Jesus acting in His own timing and outside of the plan of God the Father.

Interestingly, Scripture does not say if this was something which had already weighed on Jesus' mind. Satan's first temptation involved food, and Matthew has been clear that Jesus is hungry. Temptation, by definition, requires an offer of something attractive—but this may or may not have been something Jesus was already eager for, prior to this moment.

This temptation is designed, perhaps, to appeal to Jesus' desire to skip the suffering of the cross. A flashy, public miracle might have led to Christ immediately taking the throne of Israel. Jesus does not reveal that He has any interest in this.

Instead, Jesus focuses on the act of jumping from the top of the temple and forcing the hand of God the Father to send the angels to save Him from death. This would amount to testing God to keep His Word, instead of obeying God by following His will. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16 to the Devil: a clear command to Israel not to put God to the test.

Notice that, though He is the Son of God, Jesus believes the commands of Scripture apply to Him as much as to any other human being. He must remain obedient to God's Word in order to stand in as the sacrifice for the sins of humanity.
Verse Context:
Matthew 4:1–11 describes Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. After 40 days and nights of fasting, Jesus faces three temptations from Satan. Each one attempts to lure Christ into abusing His power; to take immediately what God the Father has promised to provide later. Jesus resists each temptation with a quote from Deuteronomy, refusing to rebel against the plans of God the Father. Finally, Jesus refuses to worship the devil in exchange for the kingdoms of the earth. He tells the devil to leave, and angels come minister to Him.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 3 ended with the Holy Spirit coming to rest on Jesus following His baptism. Now the Spirit leads Him into the wilderness to endure tempting by the devil after 40 days of fasting. Jesus demonstrates His sinlessness by resisting all temptations. He begins His ministry in the region of Galilee, settling in Capernaum and calling some disciples to follow Him. Jesus' work in Galilee includes traveling from place to place, proclaiming the good news that the kingdom of heaven is near and healing every kind of affliction. He soon becomes famous, drawing huge crowds from great distances.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 3 ends with a great affirmation from the voice of God the Father: Jesus is His Son. Immediately after that, God's Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness for a time of temptation by the devil. Jesus passes that test and then begins His ministry in the region of Galilee. Jesus begins to call His disciples and travel around the region. He teaches in the synagogues and heals people with every kind of affliction. Jesus' fame grows quickly. This provides Him a large audience for the Sermon on the Mount, which Matthew begins to record in chapter 5.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 4/18/2024 7:14:44 PM
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