Summary: Handling temptation


When Facing Temptation?

In the Broadway Play, My Fair Lady, one of the characters sings a memorable song.

The Lord above made liquor for temptation, To see if man could turn away from sin, The Lord above made liquor for temptation, BUT, with a little bit of luck, with a little bit of luck, When temptation comes you'll give right it.

Fortunately, most of us don't take such a flippant attitude toward temptation. As Christians many of us struggle seriously with how to resist it. It’s frightening how often we encounter people whose entire lives are destroyed or forever changed because when temptation came, they gave in. Temptation is no laughing matter. It destroys!

The allurement of sin and the appeal of temptation are seldom viewed in light of their devastating and injurious consequences! Too often the situation is something like this:

1) she doesn’t listen like you do…doesn’t have the looks (use to)…don’t have as good a time as you and I and I don’t think I love her any more—lust after you!

2) Satan is a liar—never keeps a promise (father of lies)…laughs at our gullibility!

3) Won’t hurt anyone…who’ll notice, it is a big thing…if I told the truth I might lose my job or this account…who says its wrong—those bible thumpers!

Jesus faced temptations—just as we do—but He NEVER gave in. We worship Him as the Son of God but we also learn some valuable lessons on how to deal with temptation.


Note: Following Jesus’ baptism by John, he faces the devil [the slanderer]. The Spirit of God had descended upon Him and God spoke from heaven: This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. The Spirit of God leads Him into the wilderness, where for 40 days and nights he fasted and considered how he would fulfill the divine mission! Matthew 4

1. The first two temptations begin with the words, If you are the Son of God ... [since]

a. The devil is not so much tempting Jesus to question whether he is the Son of God as he is tempting him to fulfill his vocation in a different, easier way—a way contrary to God's will, one which leaves us in our sins.

b. The tempter puts Jesus to the test of disobeying God by trying to get Him to believe things that aren't true.

Stones to bread

2. IF God is going to meet you needs…not starting out very good—hungry!

a. You’ve got the power, make yourself something to eat…your power is more reliable than God’s and you can do it your way!

b. Jesus chose to fulfill his vocation in God's way. In Matthew 26:26, Jesus takes bread, breaks it, gives to his disciples and says, Take, eat; this is my body. Because he didn't turn the stones into bread, he was able to offer himself up as the bread of life. I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst (John 6:35).

c. Jesus quotes from part of Deuteronomy 8:3—God was teaching dependence on him… Jesus learned it; Israel did not.

Jump off the Temple

3. Jesus quoted Scripture to counter Satan, now Satan uses scripture…it is written

a. So you’re going to trust God—here’s a perfect opportunity…see IF He’s really with you in this mission [Ps 91:11,12] -- prove to yourself you are who you say!

b. If He sends the angels…you can stroll into Jerusalem and the mission’s accomplished!

c. Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 6:16—Jesus refuses to force God to prove himself

Bow Down and Worship Me

4. Offer of the ultimate fulfillment without all the pain and suffering—it can be yours NOW

a. Jesus uses Deuteronomy 6:13—Fear the Lord your God, serve him only….

b. If Jesus had given into this temptation and assumed sovereignty on the devil's terms, what kind of world would he be leading? Fact: It would be an unredeemed one.


Following the resistance of Satan’s tests, the angels came and ministered to Jesus but this didn’t mark the end of the testing…continued throughout His lifetime!

1. Matt 16:22,23—Jesus was preparing the disciples for His coming death and explained how it would happen—find Peter speaking up, saying NO this isn’t right! [didn’t fit into Peter’s understand-ing of Jesus as the Messiah]

a. Jesus heard the words of the temper again—although it was from one who meant well

b. Get behind me, Satan—like a rock out of place, he was a stumbling stone

c. Times when we search for reassurance if something is right or wrong—ask enough peo-ple and you’ll find the answer you desire…BUT is it God’s answer?

2. Matt 26:39—Gethsemane as Jesus asked for another way but yields to the will of the Father

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