It’s week six for us in the book of Matthew, where we’ll look at Jesus’ time of testing in the wilderness.
Why Matthew though? The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, presenting Jesus not as a mere historical figure, but as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of life. Here’s how you can prepare this week:
1. Read our text, Matthew 4:1–11.
When Jesus came up from the waters of baptism, the Spirit of God came upon Him and God’s Fatherly love and approval was declared over Him. Immediately after this, the very same Spirit of God led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The Bible affirms in many places the presence of rebellious spiritual beings who, through various schemes, tempt humanity to turn away from God. The first example of this is in the Garden of Eden, when the first humans were tempted by the devil to turn away from God and to follow a different path to abundant life. The consequences for humanity and for the world were devastating. Since that moment, the world has been waiting for someone to defeat the evil one, reconcile humanity to God, and restore the world. This scene in Matthew 4 is the story of Jesus’ showdown with the devil. In the face of temptation, Jesus was victorious where everyone else had failed, and His victory offers hope for all who follow Him.
2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:
CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 63:1–7, Greeting:
To those in plenty and those in need,
To those who know that the love of God that is better than life,
and to those who feel as though you’re in a dry and weary land,
May Jesus satisfy each one of us as we accept His gracious invitation together:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Better (Joseph Pat Barrett, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin)
Before The Throne Of God (Charitie Lees Bancroft arr. The Modern Post)
CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Book of Common Prayer:
whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan;
come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations;
and, as You know the weaknesses of each of us,
let each one find You mighty to save;
through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: 1 Peter 2:21–25
I Am Loved (Jonathan Smith, Jason Ingram, Mack Brock)
GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION
He Will Hold Me Fast (Ada R. Habershon)
Lord I Need You (Carson, Maher, Nockels, Reeves, Stanfill)