Summary: Jesus wasn’t not only led into the desert to have communion with the Father, according to Matt.4.1, He was brought to this dry place to be “tempted.”
A Man in the Wilderness
(Lenten Season Series: 1 of 7)
March 16, 2014 Chester FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, speaker
A Matt. 4.1-11 (Have the congregation read this text as a responsive reading here or at an earlier time in the service.)
B Jesus wasn’t not only led into the desert to have communion with the Father, according to Matt.4.1, He was brought to this dry place to be “tempted.”
1 The word “tempted” can mean either “I tempt” or “I test.”
a In a sense, temptation & testing are the heads & tails of the same coin.
aa The devil tempts, The Father tests.
bb A temptation is a trap that is meant to get us to against God’s will; a test tries to get us to prove ourselves faithful to God’s will.
b According to Scripture God never tempts anybody to do evil. (James 1.13, “Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.)
aa He will use circumstances to test our character/faithfulness with the intended purpose of a solid outcome (passing the test.)
bb IL. Abraham was tested when he took Isaac to the top of Mt. Moriah. (Hebrews 11:17 (NASB) By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, . . .”
c Satan is tempting Jesus to go contrary of the Father’s will.
aa At the end of Jesus’ 40 day fast in the desert, the enemy attacks Jesus with three different temptations.
bb Jesus is tired, hungry, lonely, stretched physically/emotionally/spiritually . . .then comes the temptation!
cc The enemy rarely makes a frontal assault, but rather waits until we’re sidetracked, weary, & weak. (That’s why it seems we become inundated all at one time; he get’s one punch to land and then he immediately starts attacking on several fronts simultaneously.)
2 Temptation must be seen in the context of testing, because God is in control of both the tempter & and the circumstances, and He will never allow a person to be tempted beyond what they can endure.
a 1 Cor. 10.13; “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
aa In other words, Satan doesn’t tempt us without God knowing about it.
bb For example, when Satan tempted Job to go contrary to the will of God, Satan tempted Job, but God was testing his faithfulness . . . Job passed with flying colors!
cc With Joseph in Genesis, his brothers sold him into slavery (Satanic attack) but God used those same circumstance for good. (Gen. 50.20; "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”)
b A temptation in the hands of Satan turns to a test in the hands of God.
aa Jesus is on mission (to do the Father’s perfect will.)