Summary: Temptation is probably the most familiar experience of the Christian. While some may be tempted more than others, all will be tempted.
THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS
Temptation is probably the most familiar experience of the Christian. While some may be tempted more than others, all will be tempted.
I believe there is a great deal that we can learn from the temptations of Christ as found in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. I am firmly convinced that there are some basic principles and similarities between the temptations of Jesus and our temptations.
Jesus was not tempted so that the Father could learn anything about His Son. Jesus was tempted so that every creature in Heaven and on earth might know that Jesus Christ is the mighty conqueror. Jesus was also tempted so that Satan and his tactics could be exposed.
By studying the temptation of our Lord by Satan, we learn a great deal about our adversary, Satan. To know the methods of our enemy, the Devil, we are forewarned and forearmed as to the temptations by which he will seek to destroy us.
A pastor once told his congregation about a man who had a dog, and the man was trying to train his dog to be obedient. And what he would do was to take a large piece of meat, good, red, juicy meat that dogs would normally like to eat, and he would put it in the middle of the floor near the dog and then he would say, “No,” to the dog. Well, the first few times the “No,” was an irrelevant suggestion, the dog proceeded to grab the meat and got wailed on, and after a few such results when he said, “No,” the dog no longer attacked the meat.
But what the man noticed was this; the dog never looked at the meat anymore. When he put the meat on the floor, the dog never for a moment took his eyes off his master. Seemingly feeling that if he did so the temptation to disobey would be too great, so he just maintained a steadfast gaze into the face of his master.
The greatest way to experience victory is a steadfast gaze into the face of the Master who has been there and shown us the path of victory.
If anything this passage is designed for us to take our eyes off the temptation, focus them on the Master who was victorious in all points though tempted like as we are yet without sin. If we will do this we will be able to enter into His victory. That’s what this passage is going to do for us.
Temptation is common to all of us, victory is not so common. The problem is we look at the object and not the Master. Maybe this morning this will help us change that.
I. The SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MOMENT
Jesus was tempted after His baptism and after the divine acknowledgment from Heaven as to who He was. It was a significant time in the life of Christ when Satan attacked Him.
“Then” - there is an emphasis laid upon that. Immediately after the heavens were opened to Him, and the Spirit descended on Him, and He was declared to be the Son of God... the next news we hear of him is, He is tempted!
Great privileges, and special tokens of divine favor, will not prevent us from being tempted.
“Then,” - when he was newly come from a solemn occasion, when He was baptized, then He was tempted. The enriched soul must double its guard.
After a glorious evidence of his Father’s love, Jesus was tempted.
A. Moment of resolve by Christ
Temptation came on the heels of His determination to be baptized.
He was baptized to identify the Saviour of sinners with those He came to save. He chose to deliberately identify Himself with Adam’s ruined race.
He was baptized not because He was a sinner but because we were, and He had come to take our place.
Following on the heels of this great resolve comes temptation.
Here is a great truth of life. After every great victory there comes a temptation. There is a reason why the Word of God says, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed (what?) lest he fall."
It is in our moments of exhilaration that we become vulnerable. We work to gain the victory and in the moment of the victory we are most susceptible to the defeat.
I read recently about a 4th string running back, who didn’t get to play much. It got to be the fourth quarter, and the team was ahead something like 54 or so to nothing. They were on the five yard line and about to go in for another score, and the coached decided to put this Senior 4th string running back in to give him his shot to score a touch own.