Summary: Deals with the temptations of Jesus in the desert.
“THE TEMPTED JESUS”
INTRODUCTION: Read text
The cocoon of the Emperor moth is flask like in shape. To develop
into a perfect insect, it must force its way through the neck of the
cocoon by hours of intense struggle. Entomologists explain that this
pressure to which the moth is subjected is nature’s way of forcing a
life giving substance into its wings. Wanting to lesson the seemingly
needless trials and struggles of the moth, an observer said, "I’ll
lesson the pain and struggles of this helpless creature!" With small
scissors he snipped the restraining threads to make the moth’s
emergence painless and effortless. The creature never developed
wings. For a brief time before its death it simply crawled instead of
flying through the air on rainbow colored wings! (By the way.....the
struggles of childbirth...i.e., the child squeezing through the birth
canal are also a God designed way of forcing liquid out of the
Sorrow, suffering, trials, and tribulations are wisely designed to grow
us into Christlikeness. The refining and developing processes are
oftentimes slow, but through grace, we emerge triumphant.
A. So we see Jesus Himself going through a time of tribulation (right after His baptism).
B. Satan does to Jesus what he has always and will always do to every believer who makes a commitment to do the Lord’s will…..he tests their resolve.
C. Jesus made a commitment at His baptism to do the will of the Father.
1. The will of the Father for Jesus was the cross.
2. Satan was determined to keep Jesus from doing things God’s way.
D. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days and nights following His baptism.
1. What we have recorded for us is not everything that happened during those 40 days.
2. It is probably a summation of the types of temptations Jesus was posed with.
E. The purpose of Satan in these temptations was not just to get Jesus to sin in the sense that we might think of it.
F. His purpose was to determine what kind of Messiah or Savior Jesus was going to be.
G. Our text states that Satan posed the challenged, “If you are the Son of God…”
1. The better translation of the text is “Since you are the Son of God….”
2. Satan knew quite well who Jesus was (as evidenced by the demons knowledge in other events).
H. We know that Jesus knew the will of the Father was the cross.
1. We are not sure to what extent Satan knew in foreknowledge about the cross.
2. What he knew in advance is really unimportant.
3. The important thing is that he tries to keep Jesus from doing the will of the Father whatever that might be.
I. Satan’s temptations to Jesus could be summed up in the phrase, “Walk by sight and not by faith” a complete reversal of what the Bible teaches that we are to "walk by faith...and not by sight."
PROPOSITION: As Christians, we must walk by faith and not by sight!
TS: As we examine the temptations of Jesus we will note some temptations that
we must avoid if we are to walk by faith and not by sight.
I. THE FIRST TEMPTATION: THE ECONOMIC ROAD
A. “Turn these stones into bread.”
B. After 40 days without food this must have been an appealing idea. (Palestine is covered with rocks that have the look and size of little loafs of bread.)
C. What Satan is suggesting to Jesus is that He take the economic road towards becoming the Messiah.
D. If Jesus would do this, He would have no trouble getting a following.
1. In the days of Jesus, you were fortunate if you got one good meal a day.
2. Wouldn’t you follow a leader who could promise you three or more meals a day?
E. The problem is, however, that if Jesus did it this way, people would be following Him for the wrong reasons.
F. There were two dangers to Jesus giving in to this temptation:
1. There would be no cross. (You don’t kill the hand that feeds you.)
2. People would walk by sight and not by faith.
G. Satan would much rather have people walk by sight rather than by faith. Why?
1. Because once the signs and wonders stop coming in, their faith goes out the window.
2. Those religious movements today that constantly seek after signs like tongues speaking or healings are no better than the sign seeker’s of Jesus day.
3. Satan’s temptation to Jesus is basically this, “Go ahead Jesus. Give them the signs that they crave.”
H. The answer of Jesus to Satan is profound. “Man shall not live by bread
alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”