Lectionary Year A
February 17, 2002
Matthew 4:1-11

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) This pericope tells a story of one of Jesus' experiences from which it appears to offer some lessons worth learning. Jesus alone/only, among human beings, was present in the dialogue between Him and the Devil. Consequently, we assume He told this story to His disciples and/or in a sermon and/or a teaching lesson to whomever. Is it a parable? Is it a fabricated anecdote to make these valuable points? Did Jesus preach three point sermons? This passage could be such, for the outline is clear, the syntax seems conducive to preaching and the vocabulary could be readily comprehended by listeners. It is constructed relatively simple sentences and has only a few run-on phrases.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) My first question asks, what spirit led Jesus out there? Next, how and why does Jesus let the Devil lead Him around so? Then, why do the verb tenses change from past to historic present and back again through the paragraph? And, is this story about temptation and how Jesus deals with it and/or how we might handle it or what?

C. Organization

(JFC) The spirit's leading is in the first verse. The Devil's leading is in verses five and eight. The verb tenses change from aorist in verses one through five and nine and to the present in verses five, eight, ten and eleven and then back to aorist in verse nine.

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