Summary: Listen God gives me the desire for food so that He can feed me. One of these days I am going to be at the marriage supper of the Lamb and I won’t have to carry a covered dish but feast from the table prepared by the Savior.
Forty days that changed a life, 4
Here is another group of text we are familiar with, it is the Scripture of Jesus in the wilderness and tempted for 40 days and 40 nights. All of us have read this passage before but I wonder if we have really looked and see how Jesus handled this temptation. As we study, we see a pattern on how Jesus handled the devil in spiritual warfare. Jesus is the pattern for you and me when facing temptation.
Now you notice in chapter 3, verses 16 and 17 right after the baptism of Jesus in the river of Jordan that the Spirit of God descended on Him in the form of a dove. The Scripture says the God said this in my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Then in chapter 4 verse 1, the Bible says that Jesus was led up in a mountain to be tempted 40 days and 40 nights. So right after the dove comes the devil. So this morning we want to look how Jesus withstood the temptation of the devil to come out the victor. Now, lets read our text for this morning.
Now I want you to notice it was God’s plan to allow the temptation. Verse 1 says the Spirit led Jesus into the mountain there He was tempted. Folks, that means that the Spirit led Jesus in the mountain where the tempter was waiting for Him. But keep in mind that God tempts no man. The devil sends temptation to make us stumble. God allows temptation so that we might stand firm. So, God allowed Jesus to be tempted by the devil.
Now I want you to see not only God’s plan to allow the temptation but also God’s purpose to allow the temptation. Now what was God’s purpose? It was so that God could demonstrate His strength. Now it was a time for the Spirit in Jesus to be tested. You will never know the strength of your faith unless your faith comes under a test. A faith that isn’t worth testing is a worthless faith.
I want you to notice that Jesus made preparation for the temptation. His preparation was through 40 days and 40 nights of fasting and praying. Now if Jesus who is God in the flesh felt it necessary to fast and pray, don’t you think we need the same? The average church member doesn’t read his Bible everyday. Did you know that reading the Word of God and praying go together? Jesus felt it necessary to pray and often. What a great example He leaves us. If we are use to praying and reading the Word of God, then when temptation does come we have equipped ourselves with some spiritual armor.
We see in our text God’s plan to allow the temptation and God’s purpose to allow the temptation, but I want you to see God’s path to allow the temptation.
God allowed the devil to tempt Jesus in three areas. There was first of all the physical. The Bible says that Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights and then was tempted. The devil approached and said, aren’t you hungry? It has been some time now since you have had anything to eat. The devil said if you are the Son of God command these stones to turn to bread. The devil tempted Jesus to fulfill His physical need in an unspiritual way.
Now I want you to notice how Jesus responded to the devil’s temptation to fulfill the physical in an unspiritual way. When Jesus was tempted in the physical He affirmed the spiritual. Jesus said it is written that man shall not live by bread alone but every Word that comes from the mouth of God. Jesus did not say man does not need bread but that is not the important thing. The most important thing is the Word of God. Man shall not live by bread alone. Bread should not be the thing that consumes the life of the believer. Listen, out of the mouth of God shall provide a man with bread. He fed the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years and that was child play to Him. Listen God gives me the desire for food so that He can feed me. One of these days I am going to be at the marriage supper of the Lamb and I won’t have to carry a covered dish but feast from the table prepared by the Savior.
Now the second temptation was from the realm of the emotional. The devil carried Jesus to the highest point of the temple and said if you are the Son of God cast yourself down for God will see to it that the angels will keep you from being hurt.