Summary: Jesus tempted in the wilderness just as we are, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life

I. Introduction

A. It was the first camping experience for Jed. As soon as he had pitched his tent, he went for a hike in the woods. In about fifteen minutes he rushed back into camp, bleeding and disheveled. "What happened?" asked a fellow camper. "I was chased by a black snake!" cried the frightened Jed. The camper laughed and retorted, "A black snake isn't deadly." Listen," groaned Jed, "If he can make you jump off a fifty-foot cliff, he is!"

B. This is the only record of Jesus temptation.

1. Turn to 1 John 2:16

2. The first thing I want you to see is that Jesus was tempted in every way we are

1 John 2:16 (NKJV)

For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world.

a. We turn to Hebrews 4:15

3. Take note of what it says here in Hebrews 4:15 concerning Jesus’ temptation

Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

C. Why was Jesus being tempted now, right after His baptism, what we might call a mountaintop experience, and right before the launch of His ministry?

D. There was one primary reason.

1. Christ was about to launch His ministry

a. An unbelievable ministry that was to determine the eternal fate of every person who had ever lived, is living, or ever would live

b. The weight of its importance, the necessity of personal preparation, and the need for having the right plan pressed in upon Him

c. He had to be prepared

(1) Prepared mentally

(2) Prepared spiritually

(3) Prepared physically

d. How could He prepare Himself?

(1) There was only one way

(2) He had to get alone with God and subject Himself

(a) To gain complete control over His body and Spirit

(b) He had to get completely apart from the world

i) Turn to Matthew 4:1

2. This Jesus did

a. He was "led by the Spirit" to separate Himself from food and from everything else

b. He got alone for forty days and nights in order to be with God

c. He was in earnest, ever so intense over His ministry which was about to be launched. He prayed

(1) He thought

(2) He meditated on the Scripture

(3) And He planned

(4) He bore so heavy a responsibility, and all the strain in all its weight and duty pressed in ever so heavily upon Him

d. Just imagine the pressure and weight pressing against Him

(1) He surely prayed

(2) He surely asked

(3) He may have pleaded

(4) He may have wept

(5) He may have begged for strength and endurance to stand up under all that was to face Him in the upcoming years

(6) The preparation went on for forty days and nights

3. Once Jesus had worked out the plan necessary to launch His ministry, and once

a. He had received the necessary strength to go forth, His personal preparation lacked only one more thing: confronting the temptations that would face Hun in the upcoming years

b. Conquering the onslaught of temptations that lay ahead would complete His preparation

II. Body

A. Jesus in the wilderness

Matthew 4:1-2 (NKJV)

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. {2} And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.

1. Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil

a. Turn to Hebrews 5:8

2. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights He was hungry

Hebrews 5:8 (NKJV)

though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

3. Verses 1 & 2 set the stage for the real message to come

a. Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights

b. Any human would be at the point of utter starvation at this time

(1) And Jesus was human in every way

(2) The passage says that Jesus was hungry

(3) Many people would have moved past being hungry

(a) They would be at the point of being numb

(b) Food would be beyond the mind of many

(c) It might have made them sick to think of food

(4) But, Matthew says that He was hungry

(a) Turn to Matthew 16:23

4. Christ’s temptation: this was not the only time Jesus was tempted.

a. Satan tempted Jesus through Peter when Peter tried to tell Him that His execution was not going to happen

Matthew 16:23 (NKJV)

But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."

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