The Quotations Bible Study:
Series I: The Person of Jesus
Appendix: Suggestions as to
answers to the study questions
Week 3. Temptations:
Jesus in the Wilderness
- The word "shema" means the imperative "hear attentively," hence the name Shema for this famous passage. Whom is Moses addressing? (Deut. 6:3,4) All of Israel, including future generations.
- What is Moses preaching against when he affirms that the "LORD our God, the LORD is one"? (Deut. 6:4,14) The pagan religions in the lands about to be conquered and occupied by Israel.
- What is the good conduct of Israel to be based on? (Deut. 6:5,6) Commitments in and of the heart.
- How shall the children of Israel propagate belief in "these words"? (Deut. 6:7-9, 20-25) Each generation is to teach the succeeding one.
- What is about to happen? (Deut. 6:10-11) God is about to give Israel the land He promised.
- What is Israel's danger? (Deut. 6:12) Israel's danger lies in forgetting the LORD, forgetting that it is He who brought all this about.
- What is Israel's primary allegiance? (Deut. 6:13) Israel's allegiance is to be to the LORD.
- Which of God's characteristics are the people particularly to remember? (Deut. 6:15; Ex. 20:5) That the LORD is a jealous God.
- What is the condition of possessing the land? (Deut. 6:18,19) That Israel do what is right and pleasing to the LORD.
- To fear the LORD is given as a command, so it is not an involuntary fear prompted by fright or immediate circumstances. What is fear of the LORD? Fear of the LORD is, in part, prudent fear, fear to do that which would place one's well-being in jeopardy. Acting against the LORD is dangerous.
- What does it mean to serve the LORD? Is this service exclusive? To serve the LORD means to do as He commands. His service is exclusive, particularly when it comes to other gods.
- How are the commandments and the possession of the land connected? (Deut. 8:1) Occupation of the land is predicated on observation of the LORD's commands.
- What were three purposes of the 40 years' wandering in the desert? (Deut. 8:2) To humble Israel, to test Israel, and to find out whether Israel would keep God's commandments.
- What happened to Israel during the 40 years? (Deut. 8:3) Israel was humbled, Israel hungered, and Israel was fed by God, both by manna and the word.
- Where did the manna come from? (Ex. 16:15) The manna came miraculously from God.
- What was the lesson in the manna? (Deut. 8:3) Nourishment comes from the LORD, and one needs more than bread to live.
- What other miraculous signs accompanied Israel in the desert? (Deut. 8:4) Israel's clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell.
- What is the overarching purpose in the 40 years' wandering? (Deut. 8:5,6) The purpose of the forty years' wandering in the desert was the chastening of the LORD, so that they would keep His commandments.
- Is there a symbolic parallel between the Christ's forty days of temptation in the desert and the forty years' wandering of the children of Israel in the desert? Yes. Jesus was being tempted or tested, just as the children of Israel were.
- Are there other parallels? Yes. At the end of the forty, each was sent on his mission. Each learned obedience, and each was given miraculous aid along the way.
- The devil prefaced his temptation with the premise, "If you are the Son of God..." Jesus' Sonship had been declared by the Father and confirmed by the Holy Spirit at Jesus' Baptism immediately before His retreat into the desert. What was the devil trying to do? (Matt. 4:3; Luke 4:3) The devil was trying to undermine the mission of the Lord. If he could get Jesus to use His authority in a way contrary to God's purpose, he could prompt Jesus to sin and defeat Jesus' mission.
- Jesus had the authority to turn the stones into bread. Why was this a temptation? (Matt. 4:1,2; Luke 4:1,2) Jesus was hungry after His long fast.
- How did Jesus' quotation of Deut. 8:3 answer the devil? (Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4) Jesus was sustained through His fast by God. His life was the life of God. Immersed as He was in His mission, it was unnecessary for Him to deviate from God's purpose and direction for physical comfort.
- Again the devil prefaced his temptation with the premise, "If you are the Son of God..." What was the devil's purpose? (Matt. 4:5; Luke 4:9) To prompt Jesus to misuse His authority.
- What authority did the devil claim? (Matt. 4:6; Luke 4:10) The devil claimed the authority of Scripture.
- Why would not God rescue Jesus if He jumped off the Temple? Of course, He would. But why would Jesus do such a foolhardy thing? It would demonstrate unbelief.
- How did Jesus' quotation of Deut. 6:16 answer the devil's temptation? (Matt. 4:7; Luke 4:12) Deuteronomy 6:16 commands Israel not to tempt or test the patience of the Lord with demands for demonstrations of God's power. The Lord's powers and authority are for Him to dispense at His pleasure, not man's.
- Was the devil's claim of sovereignty correct? (Luke 4:6) The devil is a liar. Yes, he had power of a sort, and certainly he had many willing servants and followers and slaves. As to any ultimate sovereignty, one must doubt it.
- Was the devil's offer real? (Matt. 4:9; Luke 4:6,7) Of course. To the extent that the devil had power to yield, I am sure that he would gladly have given all of it just to derail God's purpose in Jesus.
- Jesus revealed a flash of anger in his response to Satan. What prompted Him so? (Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8) Jesus' allegiance was to the Father alone. To worship anyone else was to commit the quintessential sin of unbelief and to violate a trust whose demands were absolute. Also, to fling an offense against the Father before the Son naturally outraged Him.
- How did Jesus' quotation of Deut. 6:13 answer Satan's temptation? (Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8) Deuteronomy 6:13 plainly demands worship exclusively for the One true God.
- Are the devil's propositions substantial? No, they are empty, especially when compared to Jesus' purposes.
- What is the common feature among Jesus' responses? The response of Jesus was always to appeal to the teaching of God, in this case in the Scriptures through Moses.
- With whom does Jesus most closely identify? Israel.
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