Summary: Why was Jesus "tempted" by the devil after His Baptism?
Jesus and the Devil
Why would the Devil come to Jesus when He was on earth and try to “tempt” Him? You have to remember that satan became the “tempter” because he refused to acknowledge God’s Supreme authority before Adam was created and was cast OUT of Heaven. He TESTED God’s Authority and LOST. (Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-18, Job 1 and 38, and Revelation 9:1, Rev. 12, Heb. 12:22 and Jesus statement: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” in Luke 10:18, all give us HINTS about what happened to cause satan’s fall from heaven.) God had promised satan after Adam’s fall in Genesis 3:15, that God would send one who would CRUSH the head of satan, although the “Heel” of the Promised One would be bruised.
The Promises of God are a threat to satan’s existence: God promised to CRUSH satan’s head, and now satan would try and see if he could turn that around. DO NOT underestimate or minimize what is on the line here in Matthew 4 with the temptation of Jesus Christ. Matthew 4:1 tells us, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
The Shadows of “Temptation”
For thousands of years, Christians have prayed the Lord’s Prayer, in which Jesus included: “Lead us NOT into temptation, but deliver us from evil”, yet immediately after Jesus’ Baptism and affirmation by the Spirit (the same Spirit which conceived Him), Jesus is LED by the Spirit to be “tempted by the devil” (diabolos- the false accuser). Why did the devil come to tempt Jesus? SATAN CAME TO CHALLENGE God AND HIS PROMISED GIFT FOR STHE ATONEMENT OF SIN.
The word for tempted is much like satan, himself. It’s a tricky word:
Root Verb: “Peiro” "to pierce in order to test, try, examine or prove"
Also Peran: “on the other side, or beyond.”
Noun: “Peira”: a trial, experience, attemp, to make trial of a thing or of a person, learn to know by experience.
Verb: “Peirazō”: to tempt, to try or test one's faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin. Old Testament Usage: by impious or wicked conduct to test God's justice and patience, and to challenge him, as it were, to give proof of his perfections, of God: to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character and the steadfastness of his faith (Verb)
(See TEMPTATION OUTLINE)
Satan came to challenge God and His promised Gift for sin.
God tests people to bring them to repentance and holiness;
the devil tempts people to bring to them condemnation and sinfulness!
Satan’s temptation and God’s testing reveal the true character of both. (Yielding to temptation would bring sin, to withstand brings holiness.)
The devil comes disguised as God to lead you away from God to eternal death.
Jesus comes disguised as Man to lead you to God and Everlasting Life.
Remember that God does not TEMPT people to sin. James 1:13,14: When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
Matthew 4: 2 “And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.” Jesus was led into the wilderness for Forty days, which reveals a time of testing.
In the Old Testament, 40 days of rain destroyed the unbelieving world with a flood, but God saved Noah.
When Moses spent 40 days on the mountain in the presence of God to receive the law, he returned to find the children of Israel sinning their brains out.
For 40 days, the spies, Caleb and Joshua scouted the land of Canaan. They were sure that God would bring them safely into the land, but Israel rejected their report and God’s promise.
As a result, ISRAEL spent 40 years of wandering in the desert. Out of the 12 spies, only Caleb and Joshua saw entered the land of God’s Promise because they followed the LORD wholeheartedly. The rest perished in the wilderness.
God allowed Nineveh 40 days to repent or they would be destroyed.
We have to remember that the Old Testament is full of “shadows”, pictures of what would be fulfilled in Christ. Water in the Old Testament is many times a sign of God’s judgment on sin; the inability of man to live up to God’s standard: Noah and the flood, the Egyptians drowning in the Red Sea while God’s people are saved on solid ground, the lack of water in the wilderness, without God’s provision, and the plague in Egypt of the water being turned into blood.
The Fulfillment of ALL Righteousness in Temptations