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Bible Studies

Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 2
Preparation for Jesus' Ministry

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 1:1-17, 3:1-17, 4:1-11, Mark 1:1-13, Luke 3:1-38, 4:1-13

This section of the gospels bridges the gap between Jesus' birth and the beginning of his public ministry. We get one glimpse of Jesus at age 12, then skip 18 years until his baptism by John the Baptist. After His baptism, Jesus goes into the desert for 40 days to be tempted by the devil.John begins his ministry before Jesus, baptizing people and urging them to repent (turn away from sin).

1. What did you learn about Jesus as a youth from Luke 2:41-52?

2. This is the only mention of Jesus in the Bible between his birth and the beginning of His ministry at about age 30. Why do you think the gospel writers did not say anything else about this period of Jesus' life?

3. How was John the Baptist related in kinship to Jesus? (See Luke 1:34-36

4. a) What things did John the Baptist teach to his followers?
b) What was John's role in God's plan of salvation?

5. What is your overall impression of John the Baptist from his diet, dress, speech and where he lived? If John were alive today, would you go to him to be baptized? Would you welcome him into your home or church?

6. a) Why did Jesus go to John to be baptized?
b) Why didn't John want to baptize Jesus?

7. What does the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and the voice from heaven tell us about Jesus?

8. Read the genealogies of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38. Does the fact that they are different cause you to doubt the Bible? How can you get past that doubt?

9. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Satan). After 40 days of fasting, Jesus must have been very hungry! The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
a) What was Jesus' reply?
b) In what ways have you been tempted to use your position (at work, at home, at school, at church, etc.) for self-satisfaction or self-gain instead of in pursuit of God's work?

10. Next the devil tempted Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple, as a test of God's willingness to send angels to save Him.
a) What was Jesus' reply?
b) In what ways have you been tempted to test God or bargain with Him?

11. Finally, the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and said "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." This must have been the greatest temptation of all. Jesus could fulfill his mission without suffering rejection and crucifixion.
a) What was Jesus' reply?
In what ways have you been tempted to use ungodly means to achieve good ends?

12. What "tools" does Jesus rely on to determine right from wrong and resist temptation?

13. What did Jesus' temptation demonstrate to Satan? To God? To us?

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