“Unit 2, Day 3: Matthew 4,” New Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2016)
“Unit 2, Day 3,” New Testament Study Guide
Following His baptism, Jesus spent 40 days fasting and communing with Heavenly Father in the wilderness. After this experience, the devil tempted Jesus. Using scripture, Jesus resisted each temptation. The Savior went to Galilee, where He called Peter and others to follow Him and went about teaching, preaching, and healing.
Go to a nearby window, and for 30 seconds focus your attention on a specific item outside without looking away. (If you are not able to look out a window, focus on an item inside.)
Was there anything that distracted you from the item you were focused on? What did you think about during the 30 seconds?
As we try to stay focused on obeying Heavenly Father’s commandments, distractions in the form of temptations try to pull our focus away and lead us to sin. Think about ways Satan tempts you to sin. As you study Matthew 4, look for a principle you can apply to help you resist temptation.
Following His baptism, the Savior had an experience that helped prepare Him for His earthly ministry. Read Matthew 4:1–2, using the corrections from the Joseph Smith Translation in the footnotes for both verses. As you read, look for what Jesus experienced in the wilderness. (Note that in this context, commune means to have a close, spiritual interaction.)
How would fasting and communing with Heavenly Father have helped Jesus prepare for His earthly ministry?
The following chart can help you learn about Jesus’s experience when He was tempted by the devil. Study the scripture passages in the left column of the chart. Then write what Satan tempted Jesus to do and describe how Jesus responded to the temptation. As you study, be aware that the Joseph Smith Translation corrects the statements in Matthew 4:5, 8 to show that the Spirit, not the devil, took the Savior to the different locations (see also Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 4:5 [in Luke 4:5, footnote a]; Luke 4:9 [in Luke 4:9, footnote a]).
What Satan tempted Jesus to do
How Jesus responded to the temptation
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What does this account illustrate about the devil’s strategies to tempt us to sin?
Notice the similarity in the Savior’s response to each temptation. The scriptures the Savior recalled clarified the right course of action for each temptation, and He applied the truths taught in those scriptures. The following is one principle we can learn from the Savior’s example: When we recall and apply truths taught in the scriptures, we can resist the devil’s temptations. You may want to write this principle in the margin of your scriptures somewhere near Matthew 4:3–11.
Thinking about this principle, why is it important to regularly study the scriptures?
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave the following counsel about studying and memorizing passages of scripture: “Be wise in how you embrace technology. Mark important scriptures on your device and refer back to them frequently. If you young people would review a verse of scripture as often as some of you send text messages, you could soon have hundreds of passages of scripture memorized. Those passages would prove to be a powerful source of inspiration and guidance by the Holy Ghost in times of need” (“For Peace at Home,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 30).
- Complete the following activity in your scripture study journal:
Make three columns on one page. In the first column, write three sins that young people your age might be tempted to commit. In the second column, write a way Satan tries to entice someone to commit each sin you listed in the first column. Then find a specific scripture reference that teaches truths someone could recall and apply when being tempted to commit each sin you listed, and write the scripture reference in the third column. (Consider referring to scripture mastery passages, such as Genesis 39:9 or Doctrine and Covenants 10:5.)
On a separate page, write out a scripture you will recall and apply the next time you are tempted to sin. Consider memorizing the scripture you chose.
In Matthew 4:12–15 we learn that following His experience in the wilderness, Jesus went to Galilee and dwelt in the city of Capernaum. Matthew noted that the Savior’s ministry in Galilee fulfilled a prophecy made by Isaiah (see Isaiah 9:1–2). Read Matthew 4:16, and consider marking what Isaiah prophesied would happen.
From this prophecy we learn that Jesus Christ brings light into the lives of those who are in darkness. As you continue your study of Matthew and the other Gospels, look for how the Savior did this throughout His ministry.
As recorded in Matthew 4:17, the Savior began to preach repentance in preparation for the kingdom of heaven (His Church) being established among the people.
Look at the picture of the Savior calling Peter and Andrew, and notice what Peter and Andrew are doing with the fishing net.
While other people at that time probably viewed Peter and Andrew as ordinary fishermen, Jesus Christ saw their great potential and knew what they could become. Think about ways that we are like Peter and Andrew.
As you continue to study Matthew 4, look for what we must do to become all that the Lord wants us to become.
Read Matthew 4:18–22, looking for the interactions between the Savior and some fishermen.
Put yourself in the position of one of these men. Think about what you would be sacrificing to follow the Savior and assist in His work full time. Why might this be difficult?
Notice how these fishermen—Peter, Andrew, James, and John—responded to the Savior’s invitation. What does their immediate response show about their character?
What are “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19)?
Ponder why these men would do more good in their lives as “fishers of men” compared to being fishermen.
We learn the following principle from the example of these men: If we immediately respond to the Savior’s invitations to follow Him, He can make more out of our lives than we can on our own.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles posed a question related to “nets” in our lives:
“‘If the Savior were to call you today, would you be just as willing to leave your nets and follow Him?’ …
“Nets come in many sizes and shapes. The nets that Peter, Andrew, James, and John left were tangible objects—tools that helped them earn a living. …
“Nets are generally defined as devices for capturing something. In a more narrow but more important sense, we might define a net as anything that entices or prevents us from following the call of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
“Nets in this context can be our work, our hobbies, our pleasures, and, above all else, our temptations and sins. In short, a net can be anything that pulls us away from our relationship with our Heavenly Father or from His restored Church” (“Follow Me,” Ensign, May 2002, 15).
- Based on Elder Wirthlin’s definition of “nets,” in your scripture study journal describe 3–4 examples of how modern-day nets can prevent someone in our day from immediately responding to the Savior’s invitations to follow Him.
President Ezra Taft Benson taught about blessings that can come as we follow the Savior: “Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life” (“Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” Ensign, Dec. 1988, 4).
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
When have you, or someone you know, experienced similar blessings for leaving behind worldly concerns in order to follow the Savior?
As you consider the blessings we receive by following the Savior, why do you think it is important to respond immediately to His invitations to follow Him?
Consider setting a goal for one way you can better respond to the Savior’s invitations to follow Him.
Read Matthew 4:23–25, and consider marking the Savior’s actions.
Throughout your study of the Gospels, you will learn about specific instances of the Savior’s teaching, preaching, and healing during His earthly ministry.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Matthew 4 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: