Note: Because of the understandably limited scope of the official Come, Follow Me curriculum, this resource will continue to include additional scripture references not found in the Church curriculum, when appropriate.
Matthew 4:1-11 The Temptation of Jesus (see also Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13)
Some mistakenly believe that this account of Jesus being tempted by Satan was not preceded nor followed by additional temptations. Clearly, the adversary would attempt to derail the Savior’s mission throughout His life:
- In Mosiah 3:7 we read, “He shall suffer temptations … even more than man can suffer.”
- Alma added, “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” (Alma 7:11).
- In the Doctrine and Covenants we are taught, “He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them” (D&C 20:22).
- The Apostle Paul said that Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
After Jesus’s baptism:
- He was “led up of the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matthew 4:1). The rest of verse 1 wrongly states that Jesus went “to be tempted of the devil,” which is corrected by the Joseph Smith Translation to state that He went “to be with God.”
- Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and to commune with His Father (see JST, Matthew 4:2). In what special ways do you seek “communion” or communication with Heavenly Father?
- Other JST corrections in verses 5-6, 8-9 help us understand that Jesus continued to be led by the Spirit, and the devil continued to approach and tempt Him.
- Mark 1:13 adds that Jesus “was there in the wilderness forty days … and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.”
- JST, Luke 4:2 tells us that after Jesus had fasted forty days, the devil came. This verse also reveals that the Savior was not “hungered” until after the forty days were ended.
- Read Matthew 4:3-10, identifying the devil’s three temptations and Jesus’s responses to them. What do you learn from the Savior’s example about resisting temptation?
- Note that these temptations—in order—were intended to appeal:
- To the desires, appetites, passions, and lusts of the flesh.
- To one’s pride by seeking glory, fame, popularity, and power.
- To gather possessions and other material gain.
- In essence, all three temptations were offering Jesus to do something for Himself—something that would not be in keeping with the will of Heavenly Father.
- How do we know when something is not in keeping with the Father’s will?
- What happened after the temptations? (Matthew 4:11).
Next, we learn of Herod Antipas’s imprisonment of John the Baptist, because John had criticized Herod for marrying Herodias, his sister-in-law, and for “all the [other] evils” he had done (Luke 3:19). Both Herod and Herodias divorced their spouses in order to facilitate this marriage (see Matthew 14:3-5; Mark 6:17-20; Luke 3:19-20). All this corresponds to the time that Jesus went north to preach in Galilee (see JST, Matthew 4:11; Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:14; John 4:3).
Luke 4:14-30 Jesus Preaches in Galilee, including Nazareth
- Luke 4:14-15 tells us that Jesus went “in the power of the Spirit” to preach among the people in Galilee, and that “there went out a fame of him through all the region … being glorified of all.”
- Read more of the people’s unusual reactions to Jesus, in Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:22, 27-28; Luke 4:32, 36-37; and Luke 5:1, 15, 26. As you read about the Savior, how do His words and behavior impact you?
- According to Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15, what was the crux of the Savior’s message?
Read Luke 4:16-30:
- Jesus went to His hometown of Nazareth, entered the synagogue, and stood up to read from the scriptures (verses 16-17). What did He read from Isaiah (Esaias), as recorded in verses 18-19? (see also Isaiah 61:1-2). What was Jesus saying about Himself?
- In verse 21, Jesus in essence said to all present, “I am the Messiah.” What was the reaction of the people, in verses 20, 22? This led to His declaration in verse 24 that He would not be accepted in His own city.
- Jesus then prophesied more of their reaction in verse 23, saying that they would consider Him to be sick and in need of healing. Also, He said that they would demand proof-bearing miracles of Him, as had been done in Capernaum (possibly referring to His healing of a nobleman’s son in Capernaum, in John 4:46-54).
- What two Old Testament examples did Jesus then give, of prophets being rejected in their own land and instead going to bless gentiles? (Luke 4:25-27; see also 1 Kings 17; 2 Kings 5).
- What extreme reaction did the people have to all this, in Luke 4:28-29? How did Jesus escape? (verse 30). After these events, Jesus adopted Capernaum as His new hometown.
Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11, 27-32 Fishers of Men (see also Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 1:16-20; 2:14-17)
Read Matthew 4:18-22 and Luke 5:27-32, looking for the following:
- What are the names of the five disciples (apostles) that Jesus has called so far? (Remember, Simon is Peter, and Levi is Matthew.)
- What did Jesus say to each of them?
- How did each respond to Jesus’s invitation? What have you “forsaken” or given up, in order to follow Jesus Christ?
- How did the scribes and Pharisees react to Jesus’s calling of Levi, the publican (tax/custom collector; Luke 5:30). How did Jesus answer them, in verses 31-32?
- Now read Luke 5:1-11. What additional information does Luke give in these verses? How can the experience in verses 4-6 be compared to our lives?
- Note in verse 5 Simon’s willingness to do what Jesus instructed, saying, “nevertheless at thy word I will.” Do we always accept and obey the Lord’s words of instruction and invitation, even when it does not seem to make sense?
- When Simon protested Jesus’s presence by saying, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man” (verse 8), how did Jesus reply to him, in verse 10? How can this help you?
- What kinds of people does the Lord call upon to do His work? What does He expect of them?
- In respect to those called as apostles, the LDS Bible Dictionary states, “The calling of an Apostle is to be a special witness of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world, particularly of His divinity and of His bodily resurrection from the dead.”
- Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Twelve adds that the latter-day apostles “are expected, like their counterparts of old, to see and hear and touch and converse with the Heavenly Person…. The obligation rests upon all members of the Council of the Twelve to see the face of Him whose witnesses they are” (The Promised Messiah, pp. 592, 594).
- And President Ezra Taft Benson testified: “As one of those called as special witnesses, I add my testimony to those of fellow Apostles: He lives! He lives with resurrected body. There is no truth or fact of which I am more assured, or know better by personal experience, than the truth of the literal resurrection of our Lord” (New Era, December 1980, p. 48).
Luke 4:33-41; 5:12-26 Miracles (see also Matthew 8:1-4, 14-16; 9:1-8; Mark 1:23-26, 29-34, 40-45; 2:3-12)
- What miracles has the Lord wrought in your life, or in the lives of your loved ones?
- Read Luke 4:33-41 and Luke 5:12-15, 18-26 and ponder Jesus’s miracles in relation to the unclean spirit, Simon’s mother-in-law, divers diseases, devils, leprosy, and palsy.
- What may have been the greatest miracle, as recounted in Luke 5:20?