Summary: The conclusion to series of Biblical Characters that faced temptation. This is a brief look at how Jesus faced in the wilderness, in essence, the same temptations that Adam and eve faced in the Garden of Eden. We explore how Jesus defeated the tempter!
Hello and welcome back this morning to Church 360. I heard that the Ladies had a great time yesterday at the Brunch. Glad that you all had that time of fellowship together. Thanks to all the hands that put everything together for that event!
Today we are going to take another look at the topic of Temptation through a different lens. So far, we have looked at the Temptation of Joseph. We saw that he “learned, to expect Temptation, to see it for what it is, avoid it if possible, resist it when it finds you anyway, and be quick to flee, quick to run from the grip of Temptation. Lastly, we learned that it is ok to not be the popular kid. Doing right brings ridicule more than it brings accolades and awards.”
Last week we looked at the temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden. We saw tactics that Satan used to fool her and cause all of creation to fall into the grips of the curse. We saw that He loves to tempt us in 3 main areas. The Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eye, and the Pride of Life.
We also saw that John taught us to keep our eyes upward. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love God’s Word. Despise the things of this World. The things that attract your flesh, your covetous eyes, and your pride, avoid them. They are not of God, they are from the Adversary. This world is temporary. Those things will be here and satisfy for only a moment, then they will be gone, leaving destruction and pain in their wake. But if we seek God and His Kingdom, those things will never pass away. Those things will last for all eternity.
This morning we are going to look at Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11.
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry. 3 Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 But He answered, “It is written:
Man must not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes
from the mouth of God.” n
5 Then the Devil took Him to the holy city, had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
He will give His angels orders concerning you,
and they will support you with their hands
so that you will not strike
your foot against a stone.” s
7 Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.” u
8 Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written:
Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only Him.”
11 Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him.
The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Mt 4:1–11.
First, we need to set the stage. We only have two characters present in this temptation. So, one less than last week. Last week Adam was a silent observer and participant. One character is the same, Satan. This week instead of Eve, we have the Son of Eve, the New Adam, Jesus Christ.
Instead of being in a beautiful garden with glorious trees and bushes and flowers all around. With fruit hanging from every limb. Instead of the one being tempted standing there with a full belly, we see Christ in the wilderness. He has been in the wilderness for 40 days. He went into the wilderness immediately after John the Baptist baptized him and his father in heaven had called out, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.”
He went into the wilderness to fast and to pray. The desert is hot! It is dry! Fruit trees and food in general usually do not grow in the desert! I mean other than the occasional dry blade of grass, or a scorpion, or a lizard! But Christ had intentions of fasting anyway. He went 40 days without eating anything. The text makes mention that he was hungry.
Sometimes it is easy for us to lose sight of the important fact that Jesus was fully man. Sure, he was fully God, but he was also fully man! He was hungry. Really hungry!
I sometimes forget to eat. I get busy doing things and forget to eat. I know, not healthy! But I do… But let me tell you, I never forget for more that 24 hours. A day goes by and my body lets me know, “Hey Dummy! You forgot to eat! You are hungry!!” I cannot imagine how hungry I would be after 40 days without food. There are studies that have been done. By this point, your body is actually using and digesting your fat stores and even your muscles to provide your vital organs with the energy they need for you to survive. To say that Christ would have been in a weakened state for this temptation would be a huge understatement.