Resisting temptation – Matthew 4:1-11

Central Reflections

When Jesus was confronted by the devil in the wilderness, he might have just destroyed the devil once and for all.  Or, he might have used a bit less of his own divine omnipotence and suddenly shut the devil’s mouth.  After all, hadn’t the Holy Spirit just descended upon him at his baptism in the last chapter?  Wasn’t he ready to engage in a mighty public miracle-working ministry?  Maybe so, but those options would not have taught us the same lesson as what he actually did.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,

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Fruit in keeping with repentance – Matt 3:8

Central Reflections

When John the Baptist saw the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he had some harsh words for them.  He knew coming to observe him was insincere.  One thing he said that was not so harsh though was, 

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matt 3:8 ESV throughout)

This is helpful for anyone.  His point was that no birthright or position, however lofty or admirable, was going to be enough to please God.  Those with the best social standing still need to repent.  And repentance, that turning from sin toward God with a new attitude toward both, is going to be visible.  One passage that shows us the contrast of a pre/post repentance life is Gal 5:19-24.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like…

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Matthew 2 Verse by Verse

Central Reflections

Matt photoIn Matthew 2 we get the story of the wise men or magi and related events.  Herod’s desire to kill Jesus takes the family to Egypt for a time.

Matthew 02.pdf                 

Matthew 02.mp3

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Worthy of worship – Matt 2:1-2, 11

Central Reflections

When the “wise men” or magi came from the east, they came to worship the king of the Jews.  To all but Christians this may seem odd since the Jews never worshiped their kings.  They were not a people whose religion allowed for the worship of humans, angels, anyone or anything else but the one true God.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (ESV throughout)

This non-worship of others besides God continued into the Christian era.  Take this example of Peter when he meets the Roman centurion Cornelius in Acts 10:24-26.

24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together…

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Quietly at work – Matthew 1:1-17

Central Reflections

Sometimes God works clearly, obviously and quickly.  Sometimes he does not.  Please keep reading

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father…

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