3 Sermon Ideas from Matthew 4
Three Lies Satan Tells
1. You can HAVE whatever you want
1. “Turn those stones to bread”
2. This is an appeal to our desire to feel good. We fill our stomachs with food, we fill our lust with sex, we fill our emotions with drugs, etc…
3. Jesus’ response reminds us that we cannot fill our emptiness with earthly things. We need something more.
2. You can DO whatever you want
1. “Throw yourself down”
2. This is an appeal to our desire for autonomy. We don’t think anyone should be able to tell us what is right and wrong or what we can and cannot do.
3. Jesus’ response reminds us that God’s laws are designed for our safety and protection and real consequences exist for those who ignore His law.
1. Specifically, we should not expect God to bail us out of situations when we have made bad decisions.
3. You can BE whatever you want
1. “…all the kingdoms of the world… These will I give you”
2. This is an appeal to our desire for affirmation. We want people to like us and respect us even if we are not being the person we were made to be.
3. Jesus did not come to earth the first time to take rulership of all kingdoms. That was not God’s mission for Him, that was not the identity He was supposed to assume.
4. His response reminds us that we find our true identity in God. When our starting point is true worship, our finishing point will be contentment with who we are.
CONCLUSION: God’s way is best. The more time we spend in His Word, the more prepared we will be to deal with the temptation to abandon His way in favour of what we think is better. Doing it our way always seems appealing in the moment, but it never ends well. Do it God’s way.
The Wilderness and the Garden
Notice how similar Satan’s temptations in Matthew 4 are to his temptations in Genesis 3. The devil’s strategies haven’t changed that much. He plays to our lack of contentment, suggests that we don’t have what we want because God is not good, and then deceitfully suggests we can be something much better if we’ll go His way.
1. The devil suggested they eat what has not been provided
1. “Command these stones to become loaves of bread”
2. “You will not surely die.”
2. The devil suggested they didn’t understand God as well as he did
1. “He will command his angels concerning you”
2. “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be open”
3. The devil suggested God was holding them back
1. “All these (kingdoms of the world) I will give you”
2. “You will be like God.”
Conclusion: Even though, in the garden they had everything, Adam and Eve fell for these lies and as a result sin entered the world and death by sin. However, even though, in the wilderness he had nothing, Jesus resisted the temptation. Because He succeeded where Adam and Eve failed, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice to bear our sins and make it possible for us to have eternal life, free from the penalty, presence and power of sin.
The Disciples’ Invitation is Our Invitation
1. Follow me
1. For the disciples, following Jesus meant walking where he walked, talking like He talked, acting like He acted, treating others as He treated them, choosing the attitudes He chose, and much more.
2. Everyone is following someone or something. To “follow” is to pay close attention and to sometimes imitate.
1. The news channel of choice.
2. A favorite politician
3. Celebrities or athletes
4. A preacher or other influencer
3. Truly following Jesus means we allow Him to be the primary TEACHER, EXAMPLE, INFLUENCER, and BOSS of our life.
2. I will make you
1. Jesus transformed the disciples from fearful and cowardly to bold and driven.
2. Jesus wants to make you into the person God created you to be. However, until you can acknowledge that you need help and that, on your own, you cannot make yourself, He cannot make you.
3. If you choose to closely follow Jesus, the result will be that He re-makes you.
3. Fishers of men
1. Peter and Andrew were fishermen. Jesus took what they were good at, redeemed it, and used it to accomplish His mission through them.
2. Jesus can take the gifts you already have, redeem them, and use them to accomplish His mission through you.
1. Your Power (what you are good at)
2. Your Passion
3. Your Personality
4. Your Possessions
5. Your Past
Conclusion: The disciple’s three year adventure with Jesus changed everything about them and altered the direction of the rest of their lives. The challenge for us is to choose to follow Jesus and let Him change us as well. He wants to change who we are so that He can use who we are to accomplish His mission for those around us.