Session 4: A Method for Interpretation
What does the NT say? What does the OT say? Where else does this idea occur in Scripture? How is the NT author using the OT?
- Play: Session 4 Video
Steps to Walk Through
- What does the NT say?
- What does the OT say?
- Where else does this idea occur in Scripture?
- How is the NT author using the OT?
Deut 6:13, 16, 8:3 / Matthew 4:1-11
This is a series of passages we are looking at to understand why Jesus would quote from these, of all places, in his interaction with Satan.
We've seen quite a bit of Matthew already, but now we've witnessed the preaching of John and the baptism of Jesus.
- Notice: he was led by the HS. This is not a rogue operation into the desert but rather a calculated, spirit-led movement as he sought to honor God.
Many people think Jesus was tempted at the end of his forty days because he was at his weakest. But Dallas Willard notes: Jesus' fasting was spiritual preparation. At the end of 40 days, he may have been the most ready, the most prepared to face the attacks of the devil.
OT: Block's commentary (NIVAC) has an excellent outline of Deuteronomy called, "The Gospel According to Moses."
First, we have the Shema, the call to Exclusive Covenant Commitment (6:4–9)
But then, we have a series of tests the people have faced and will face.
The Trial of Faith, Part I: The Internal and External Tests of Covenant Commitment (6:10–25)
- The Nature of the Tests (6:10–19): Encountered in the future, when you are tempted to go after other gods, or keep your enemies around
- The Response to the Tests (6:20–25): remember what God did in Egypt and his faithfulness to us in the desertl
The Trial of Faith, Part II: The External Test of Covenant Commitment (7:1– 26)
- The Nature of the Test (7:1–16): Encountered in the furure, when you are tempted to make peace with pagans and thus accept their gods
- The Response to the Test (7:17–26): remember how God dealt with Egypt and trust him to take care of the nations before you
The Trial of Faith, Part III: The Internal Test of Covenant Commitment (8:1– 20)
- The Nature of the Test (8:1–10, I think it is actually through v. 17): Encountered in the past, when you were tested time and again by the harsh environment of the desert and yet God sustained you, and encountered in the future when, in dwelling in homes of plenty, you may be tempted to think you are the ones who delivered yourselves
- The Response to the Test (8:11–20, I think it is actually 8:18-20): remember: God made you what you are!
These verses, in many ways, set the ground rules for how the people understand themselves and their history in relation to Yahweh. They are unpacked, to a degree, in the rest of Israel's history and in the works of the Psalms.
- These actually become the main ways Israel fails. They can't see what God is doing, and they fail the tests miserably.
When we approach the NT, then, we need to realize how Jesus is fulfilling all of this.
Think about our Guiding Principles:
- Jesus is the true Israel. He is succeeding where Israel has failed. Even though Israel had already failed, she would continue to fail once she moved into the land.
- Notice how this fits, though, into the narrative of Matthew. Jesus' birth circumstances are less than ideal, being a child who manages to escape the genocide inflicted by a maniac king. He comes out of Egypt, just like Israel did. He passes through the waters, just like Israel passed through the Red Sea, and he makes his way out into the desert. We can't even get to the end of Exodus 15, the chapter that began with Moses and Miriam's song, without the people grumbling and complaining. Will Jesus do the same? No...we find Jesus seeking God, fulfilling God's plans for Israel in a powerful way.
And then, after having defeated the enemy so decisively, Jesus goes up onto a mountain, just like Moses went on the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments. But in Matthew 5, Jesus sits down and opens his mouth, and we begin to wonder....who is this who presumes to speak a new Law, new Torah, as if he was God himself?
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