The Temptation of Jesus
4:1-11pp — Mk 1:12,13; Lk 4:1-13
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,”he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him,”Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” 11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
The Temptation of Jesus
4:1-13pp — Mt 4:1-11; Mk 1:12,13
1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’ ” 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ” 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 12 Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 13When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
Matthew v.1 = “Then…led into the wilderness…”
Then = important connection between chp 3 and chp 4. Last time, Jesus was baptized by John.
The same HS that descended on Jesus at his baptism, led him into the desert to be tempted.
Luke = “Jesus was full of the HS (Holy Spirit).”
This HS sent Jesus into the desert to be tempted.
We want to be filled with the HS. But even if we are filled with the HS, we can still be finished. Many people think, Jesus was only tempted this one time of fasting – the truth is, through the entire 40 days, he was tempted.
Luke says “40 days” and v. 13 “when the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” This means Satan tempted him continually.
- Also, Satan tempted Jesus through Peter (”Never, Lord, you shall not die.” – Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan.”)
- Also Satan tempted Jesus on the cross through the voice of the crowd “If you are the Christ, come down!”
The HS compelled JC to the desert to be tempted. Temptation was a divine necessity to prove his Messianic purpose – he HAD to be tempted so that all Creation would know that he was the victor over temptation – and so that all would know who Satan was. So, because of his victory, we also will get victory over the tempter.
Satan = fallen, created, real being (not symbolic)
He is constantly fighting against all who follow God.
- Devil in Greek = “accuser”
- Satan in Hebrew = “accuser/tempter”
The HS put JC in the desert to be tested – not to see if he was ready, but to show the world that he was ready.
Satan hoped to destroy his mission by tempting him to do evil. He tried to make Jesus declare his Kingship early – to take his power into his own hands and forsake his Father’s will. Satan’s final purpose was to destroy Jesus’ mission (to die on the cross for our sins and give us opportunity to have eternal life).
- The first Adam met Satan – in the beautiful garden – with plenty to eat – and lost the battle.
- The last Adam (Jesus) met Satan – in a hot desert – while hungry – and won the battle (culminating on the cross).
Also, his temptation makes him our sympathetic High Priest
Hebrews 2:18 “He himself suffered while tempted, so he can help those who are tempted. He is our High Priest, tempted in every way, as we are, so let us approach the Throne of Grace with confidence to help us in our time of need.”
Matthew 4:2 – After 40 days/nights, he was hungry (famished).
- 40 days = Noah in the ark
- 40 days = Moses on Mt. Sinai
- 40 days = Goliath’s taunting
- 40 days = Elijah in the wilderness
- 40 days = Jesus’ time on earth after his resurrection
- 40 years = Israel’s time in the wilderness.
God uses 40 for many purposes and people, preparing them for something.
If we compare Matthew and Luke, they are different in order.
- Luke = temptation 1, 3, 2
- Matthew = temptation 1, 2, 3
Which is correct? Is it important?
Both are right – they compliment each other.
In the Greek Bible, it is more clear.
- Matthew #2: v.5 “Then…” in Greek = tote = after that
- Matthew #3: v.8 “Again…” in Greek = palin = once more again
In Luke, there is no sequence conjunction.
In Matthew, last temptation = “Go away Satan!”
In Luke, there is not this sentence.
- Matthew = historical, chronological order
- Luke = just introduced the types
Matthew #1: v. 3-4
- “Make bread from these stones.”
- “No. (Deut. 8:3)”
Looks outwardly, like a good suggestion, rather than a temptation. It looks reasonable outwardly. “Woah, man, you look hungry! Eat something.”
Eating is not a sin, food is no sin. But, I know you know you have power to make these stones into bread – just, c’mon do it!
The time was wrong, though eating is right.
Jesus’ purpose was fasting.
Sometimes we are tempted to satisfy normal, healthy desires in a wrong way.
Stealing for food? Sex outside of marriage?
Jesus never used his divine power for himself – only for others. He fed 5,000 men miraculously – but never fed himself in a miraculous way.
We also are given gifts and talents – sometimes we are tempted to use them only for ourselves.
- What can I do for ME with this gift?
- What can I do for OTHERS with this gift?
Jesus quotes Deut 8:3
Physical needs are normal, but to put those before spiritual needs is not good. Physical needs = temporary life. Spiritual life = eternal life. Which is more important?
Matthew #2: v. 5-7
- “Skydive with an angel parachute.” (Ps. 91:11-12)
- “No (Deut. 6:16) – interesting how he always quotes the Old Testament
Even more subtle temptation.
Satan KNOWS Bible verses and can use them inappropriately. “Hey, man, you want to live by Bible verses? Here’s a GOOD one for you! Hehehe…If you REALLY believe this, do it!”
You can’t choose verse by verse to believe.
Believe it ALL or none.
If we separate text from context, it may become pretext.
One common thing of all heresies and cults = they use memory verses as “proof verses” to justify their own wrong ideas.
- Don’t use memory verses to judge others.
- Don’t use memory verses to support your personal lifestyle.
Last Sunday, Acts, last chapter, the snake bites Paul’s hand – but nothing terrible happens to him immediately – God kept his promise with Paul. God cares for us, and is keeping his promise with us to protect us – but don’t drink poison – it’s not faith in God, it’s testing God. That’s a no-no.
- Satan knew the verses, but failed to obey them.
- Jesus knew the verses, and obeyed them.
Knowing the Word is important to get victory over Satan, but we must ALSO obey.
Matthew #3: v. 8-11
- “Call me Master and I’ll make you Regent.”
- “No (Deut 6:13) – all from Deuteronomy
Satan knew that one day, all authority and power on Earth would be given to Jesus. He knew that one day “all knees would bow down and confess Jesus is Lord.
His temptation = “Why wait? I can give you what you want NOW!” (hmm, reminds me of credit cards…)
Painless short-term. There are no difficulties here. This temptation = easy, painless shortcut, convenience.
Even today, Satan offers us this world with convenience. He entices us through our sinful nature – money, lust, fame, popularity.
Jesus says, “Don’t worship this world – only worship God.”
As long as we stay in this world, we cannot escape from temptation.
1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in it. If anyone loves this world, the lust of his eyes, the cravings of the flesh, is not from Father God, but from this world.”
Do you feel tempted?
If you feel like you have received this temptation, it means: you DO NOT belong to Satan. (He doesn’t need to tempt his own.)
To get victory means to fight against something or somebody – without fighting there is no victory. So, against what or whom must we fight?
If we belong to God, we must fight against Satan – not against man. Worship God, serve men, fight Satan.
Let us focus on God’s plan, person, purpose.
Jesus our King defeated Satan and got victory, so we can follow him. Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith…endured the cross, scorning it’s shame.”
God bless us for this wonderful victory against Satan.