Summary: We see in the temptations how the devil works and how we can resist him by doing as Jesus did.
The Temptations of Jesus
In the beginning of the show CSI Las Vegas we here a song by a group called “The Who.” The song asks the question “Who are you?” Do we always remember that you are a child of the King? We are going to be looking this morning at the temptation of Jesus. The central question to the temptations that Jesus faces is the repeated statement of Satan, “if you are the Son of God.”
Matthew and Luke differ on the order of the temptations, but they both emphasize the question. “If you are the Son of God…” The devil came to him, in what form we do not know, but he asks the question not so much for his information, but to possibly plant a seed of doubt in the mind of Jesus. Once the devil gets us doubting where we stand with God, he gets us to distrust God, and then the fall. This question would be repeated later when Jesus is on the Cross. Praise God each time Jesus answered with a resounding YES!.
The point of each temptation must be determined by closely examining both the temptation and Jesus' response. This clearly shows that this first temptation was no simple incitement to use improper means of making bread, or an attempt to use a miracle to prove to himself that he was really God's Son or to act alone without thought of others; it was a temptation to use his Sonship in a way inconsistent with his God-ordained mission. The same taunt, "If you are the Son of God," is hurled at him in 27:40, when he had, left the cross would have annulled the purpose of his coming.
A. If you are the Son of GOD… (v4 & 6)
a. The temptation is the same as in the Garden
i. It is to plant the seed of doubt
ii. It is to get us to question what God has said.
iii. In the Garden, they were forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said it.
iv. Here it is to question the Sonship of Jesus. God said “This is my beloved Son.
v. He uses questions to get us to take our eyes off the promise.
vi. This is the same question asked at Calvary.
The question is followed by a demand of Proof. In this passage, the proofs refer to the human nature.
B. Turn the rocks to bread.
a. Hunger is a powerful motivator.
b. What would Jesus have lost by turning the rocks to bread?
i. It would have played into Satan’s hand
1. When we start to play into his hand remember these 5 items
a. He will keep you there longer than you want to stay
b. It will cost you more than you want to pay
c. It will take you further than you want to go
d. He never fights fair
e. He never gives up.
2. It would have shown doubt of God’s Word
3. Instead, of giving in Jesus answers with Scripture ( that is a hint for us).
C. Cast your self off the Temple Mount
a. Satan uses scripture by not completely
b. He quotes Psalms 91:11-12 but omits the words “to guard you in all your ways.”
c. Jesus once again resists by quoting scripture.
D. the last temptation here is to forego the Cross and worship Satan.
a. Is it possible this is in reference to Moses seeing the Promised Land?
b. All the kingdoms of the World, all their splendor and none of their sin.
c. Like a dishonest realtor showing all the good points of a house or piece of land with none of its flaws.
d. He is the Prince of this world until Jesus returns to take it back.
e. Jesus once again answers with scripture.
The key for us to in Jesus’ response, each time he was tempted here He responds with scripture, same is for us. We know the passage in James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
First, like Jesus, we must submit ourselves to God.
Like Jesus we are to be baptized, we commit ourselves to His mission, following His Holy Spirit. Did we miss that in the beginning of this passage. Jesus went to the desert to fast and pray because he was led by the Spirit to do so.
The devil wants us to take our eyes off Jesus and onto whatever situation we are in, Paul advises us to pray continually, when we are in difficult situations, pray, when we are feeling pressure to give in, pray.
Secondly in order to resist Satan we have to listen to the Spirit, we must be led by the Spirit, and we must be in his word. How else are we going to quote it, if we don’t know it.