Bible Discussion Thread

  • John Boger on Matthew 4
    I hope someone might be able to help me with verses three and four. I understand Jesus was hungry after fasting, but that's irrelevant to what the tempter demands Jesus to do, namely turn stones into bread. The answer to that question is either yes or no; anything else is an evasion. I agree with the statement that we do not live by bread alone--I'm good with that. But has Jesus really responded appropriately. I'd like to hear what others think.
  • Jesse - in Reply on Matthew 4

    I would like to share my thoughts on verses 3 and 4. First, to answer the question on whether or not Jesus responded appropriately. I'm one of those people that believe everything Jesus did was perfect, so I would have to answer yes to that.

    Now for verses 3 and 4:

    Verses 3 and 4 is the first of three temptations. But let me say this first, that even though Satan was tempting Jesus, He could never give in to temptation. Satan starts off by saying, "If thou be the Son of God, command these stones be made bread."

    If I may share some technical information with you, the word "if" in the Greek text is what is called the first class condition assumed to be true. It should be translated "since." But please know that when Satan was tempting Jesus, he was not tempting Him to prove that He was the Son of God.

    Satan is saying (since) you are the Son of God, then do this: Misuse your authority. Misuse your position. Be disobedient to your heavenly Father. But please note that Satan is not asking Jesus to prove Himself to be the Son of God, but actually questioning Him, baiting Him to disobey the commandments of God.

    Jesus answers in verse 4, which is a quote from Deuteronomy 8:3. He says man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from out of the mouth of God. So this was what Jesus said when Satan tried to tempt Him by saying, you are hungry, right? You see these stones? Turn them into bread, satisfy your hunger, since you are the Son of God.
  • Car - in Reply on Matthew 4
    You don't need help at all. All you need is the understanding that GOD left His throne and decided to be The Son of Man, The Son of GOD - He prepared a flesh HE named JESUS. Meaning to say, GOD, The Holy Ghost is JESUS CHRIST Himself (3in1). Whatever GOD responds is what comes first/ the reference/ the source/ everything. Whatever our understanding is or whatever we expect Him to say comes to nothing for we are just a bunch of nothingness. Even that jeopardy champion you mentioned doesn't even deserve a mention when we talk about Dearest LORD JESUS for no one else can't save us from confusion, from incurable sicknesses and diseases, heartbreaking problems, drug addiction, hell but GOD Himself.

    Dearest JESUS sets a benchmark then we follow Him. If you choose to go the other way around, unfortunately, you'll be hell-bound.

    Matthew 19:21

    "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me."
  • Dianne - in Reply on Matthew 4
    John There is nothing written in Gods word that doesn't have significant meaning or spiritual understanding, I never go to Gods word doubting what is says, I go and think why did He say it that way. It's a matter of mental attitude. God Bless
  • Dianne - in Reply on Matthew 4
    John The first thing the tempter said was If thou be the son of God, trying to make jesus Christ question who he was also after 40 days he was hungry so he Hit him with self preservation, Jesus Christ response every time was what ours needs to be it is written. Our adversary knows the word of God and always uses it to His advantage. Thank God Jesus Christ never took the bait so to speak.
  • Adam - in Reply on Matthew 4
    It seems a bit odd to question Jesus's character. He was perfect and we aren't. His emotional, spiritual, mental intelligence is so many light years beyond us it seems silly suggesting that we tiny ants could possibly know something better than God. God bless...
  • Earl Bowman - in Reply on Matthew 4
    Brother Adam, may CHRIST IN US grace us with HIS wisdom and HIS understanding.

    Jesus was not perfect, he came in the likeness of sinful flesh; But he was GIVEN the SPIRIT without MEASURE. This is how he could walk in the flesh and not sin. If he had only been given the down payment as we are given, he would have sinned as we do. If we were GIVEN the SPIRIT without MEASURE; NOW as he was, we could walk in the flesh and not sin.

    We are only GIVEN the down payment NOW; but when we leave this body of flesh and put on the body of Christ (incorruption and immortality) we ALSO will be GIVEN the SPIRIT WITHOUT MEASURE.

    When we return (second resurrection); with Christ, to judge the world; we will be able, as Christ, to walk in flesh and not sin. To judge the world in RIGHTEOUSNESS. We will be the FULLNESS of Christ.
  • John Boger - in Reply on Matthew 4
    Adam: I accept part of your answer, that it's a matter of faith. I don't accept that it's"odd" to ask such questions. Your response, if you will permit me, should be directed towards the meaning of the text, not me or my behavior. What does the text mean, that's my question. Your response is that it is a matter of faith. I can go along with that.
  • I John 2:17 - in Reply on Matthew 4
    If we're tiny ants, then so was Jesus of Nazareth. He took on our nature to save us. Remember that incident where Jesus got mad and cursed the fig tree because it didn't have figs on it. The passage explains it wasn't even the season for figs. And interesting study is how Jesus own understanding of the world directly reflected the knowledge of that age. It's not like he was a superhuman genius while on earth (like that Jeopardy champion). (Actually there was a Far Side cartoon of God racking up millions on Jeopardy.)
  • English sacha - in Reply on Matthew 4
    Hi to you , in this instance I think that the fig tree was a metaphor for Israel , I could be wrong , that's just my interpretation .
  • I John 2:17 - in Reply
    You must have some idea what constitutes an appropriate response, since you question Jesus in this regard. You imply he just should have said "Yes" or "No". Do you mean he should not have referenced scripture? The temptation seemed to be for Christ to exercise his miraculous power merely to meet his own personal bodily needs, and his refusal to do so in the most dire of personal circumstances would presumably steel him for similar though less onerous circumstances in his subsequent ministry. It proved he would not abuse his miraculous power. Interestingly though he did subsequently perform directly analogous acts, *for the benefit of others*, e.g. the feeding of the five thousand, also him causing a coin to materialize in the mouth of a fish to pay the temple tax for him and the apostles, etc.

    But regarding the scripture he referenced, Deuteronomy 8:3 (you did go look that up for yourself before posting, right?) it is God telling the Children of Israel that he humbled them by making them hungry so he could then miraculously provide them manna from Heaven, so that they would learn that, "Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."

    In the same passage God references the Hebrews being in the wilderness 40 years, during which he miraculously sustained them. So clearly Jesus being 40 days in the wilderness is an intentional metaphor for that -- he was reliving the 40 years in the wilderness in microcosm. Incidentally, he had this temptation regarding bread at the very end of the forty days, at which point your stomach starts to digest itself, i.e. he was in agonizing pain. (Were you perhaps munching on an apple as you speculated that Christ's response didn't seem appropriate?) So he knew he was effectively at the end of his own ordeal, and perhaps tempted to jump the gun a little. Then the very next temptation to jump off the tower was Satan's perverse spin on the whole point of the fast -- relying on God.
  • John Boger - in Reply
    Thank you for your response. I am here to learn so I will go look at the passage in Deuteronomy.

    However, you seem to want to put me on the defensive (was I "munching on an apple", "You must have some idea . . .", "you did go look that up . . . right?"). This borders on an ad hominem logical fallacy. My motivations are not the issue; what matters is the text and what it means. So no need to be on the offensive.

    But let me offer you my other cheek. One person responded to my question that it was a matter of faith, that as finite beings, we can not understand the motives of an infinite being. You however responded:

    "The temptation seemed to be for Christ to exercise his miraculous power merely to meet his own personal bodily needs, and his refusal to do so in the most dire of personal circumstances would presumably steel him for similar though less onerous circumstances in his subsequent ministry. It proved he would not abuse his miraculous power. "

    I find that to be an interesting interpretation. I can't say whether it is the correct interpretation or not, but it is an interpretation beyond the simple words in this passage. (Actually I like it.) That this is an interpretation--and not gospel--is revealed by your own words: "The temptation seemed to be for Christ . . ." The key word there is "seemed".

    So now permit me a personal observation. The first person who responded won't speculate on the meaning of this passage; Jesus's response is beyond human comprehension. You on the other hand will engage in such activity. That is not a criticism. Just two different people reading the same passage.

    I am reading Matthew for the first time. I want to know what people think. You have told me. So please drop trying to put me on the defensive; there's no need to.
  • Dianne - in Reply
    John Here's an example of your challenge,everything in Gods word is there in its original language for a reason, a perfect example. One of my study observations the number four biblically stands for the world or earth. The reason why there are 4 Gospels is that each one magnifies a specific aspect of Jesus Christ Ministry on earth. Mathew as King of Kings mark as servant of God to man, Luke as a perfect man and John as the Son of God. So I understand what your seeking but it takes personal study and research but above all that God showing you what to look for and where. God Bless
  • Dianne - in Reply
    John I think I understand where your coming from in the temptations, especially in luke he was hit with the basics, self preservation, environment, religion, power, all responses were handled by It Is Written which he used accurately and the adversary didn't. He never considered what was said His answers were direct. It Is Written. That's is the power of Gods Word.
  • I John 2:17 - in Reply
    >"I am reading Matthew for the first time"

    Elsewhere I believe it was you that commented the reason the gospels keep talking about demon possession, is that they had no tenable theory for disease in that age, and thus blamed demons for everything. And then I think you said Matthew's gospel was very much a product of its times in this regard.

    So comments like that made me think you had a much more extensive background (e.g. also your comments on Moby Dick quoting scripture, etc.)

    As far as Matthew, I'll pose a conundrum to you, that occurred to me just last week. Both Mark and Luke have Jesus floating up in the air to ostensibly go back to Heaven at the end of their gospels. Luke says that all eleven apostles witnessed this, and then alludes to it again at the beginning of Acts. Luke was of course just quoting others and almost certainly not a personal witness of this. And neither of the apostolic gospels (Matthew and John) have anything to say about it.

    Go read the last chapter of Matthew and explain why he would not even mention such a spectacular event, which Luke asserts Matthew was a personal witness of. This is the sort of thing that really wrecks some people's faith. It doesn't mine, for well considered reasons. Even if the gospels are not "infallible" in the way most Christians affirm as a matter of faith, you can still read them and discern a pretty impressive reality underlying them all. We don't need infallible witnesses for anything else in history. And Jesus own words I think bespeak of his divinity -- as it says in John I think, "No man ever spoke as this man did."
  • English sacha - in Reply
    Whoever you are , this was a fab answer , thank you .

This comment thread is locked. Please enter a new comment below to start a new comment thread.

Note: Comment threads older than a month are automatically locked.

Do you have a Bible comment or question?

Please view the Comment Guidelines before posting...

2000 characters remain...