Matthew 4

Part of a series on N.T. Wright's Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15

Big Takeaway

Temptations are suggestions that are designed to steer you away from the daily fight against evil in the world.

Your daily commitment to do what is right, regardless of how you feel, will ultimately contribute to the removal of all evil in the world.

On The Temptation in The Wilderness

"We shouldn't be surprised, then, that after his great moment of vision, when his sense of God's calling and love was so dramatically confirmed at his baptism, he had to face the whispering voices and recognize them for what they were. These suggestions are all ways of distorting the true vocation: the vocation to be a truly human being, to be God's person, to be a servant to the world and to other people." - N.T. Wright

  • Temptations reach their peek during the moments when we are about to embark on or live out of our true calling as children of God and servants of people.
  • Jesus' key weapon against the Enemy's suggestions was the word of God, specifically texts taken from the story of Israel in the wilderness.
  • The temptations Jesus faced then, and we face now, are purely designed to distract us from our true vocation. They are suggestions that, if followed, will always take us off course.

On Announcing The Kingdom

"The problem with all these movements was that they were fighting darkness with darkness, and Israel was called - and Jesus was called - to bring God's light into the world. Jesus could see that the standard kind of revolution, fighting and killing in order to put an end to... fighting and killing, was a nonsense." - N.T. Wright

  • Jesus announcing the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven/God being at hand is not declaring the arrival of a place but rather the arrival of a revolution.
  • The revolution that He brought was not of the standard, violent kind. Rather than with killing and fighting, the powers that be will be overthrown by repentance.
  • Repentance does not, on a foundational level, mean feeling bad. At it's core it means to do what's right regardless of how you feel.
  • To refrain from repenting is akin to standing in front of a coming train and refusing to get out of the way. The revolution means hope for some yet danger for others.