Summary: What we can learn from the temptation of Jesus.
What We Can Learn From The Temptation of Jesus
Every Christian young or old, will face temptation. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. (Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness) Jesus is full of the Spirit but tempted by the devil. If Jesus faced temptation, we can be assured that we are not immune to the devil’s tactics. Jesus the perfect son of God is the greatest challenge the Tempter has ever faced. What can I learn from the temptation of Jesus?
1. The Source of Temptation: Our Enemy (4:2a Where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.) Satan is the enemy of the Lord Jesus and our enemy too. Diablos is a Greek term used 7 times in Luke-Acts. It means "backbiter," accuser, slanderer. He works against you in everything that you would want to do for good and for God. Never ignore the reality of The Enemy. The Bible affirms the destructive efforts of Satan.
Luke 22:31, 32 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail….”
1 Peter 5:8 Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2. The Subject of Temptation: Our Desires (4:2b-3 He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”) The only things that tempt me are connected to my desires. Our ancient enemy knows humanity well. He lays out the bait - he prepares tailor-made lures. He makes an appeal. He cannot make us bite, but he does know how to make us want to. The struggle begins. We linger over it, toy with it, until it consumes our imaginations. The Response: either we resist or yield. (Swindoll)
Jesus was at the end of a 40 day fast - hungry, tired, weak. Powerful Temptation! Not only from hunger, but the temptation to use his power at the command of Satan. We must believe Jesus wrestled with this temptation.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet he did not sin.
We wrestle with temptations and have mixed results! What we learn from Jesus here is to wrestle with these temptations, don’t just give in!
3. The Strength of Temptation: Our Weakness
Temptation is strongest when we are weakest. This may be one of the weakest times we see Jesus in his life on earth. (No other account of 40 day fasts!) The devil in his evil awareness chose this moment to go for broke…to try to tempt the Son of God! When is your resistance to temptation at its lowest?
What’s the setting? Avoid it!
What supports you in your sin? Eliminate it.
What people are you usually with? Unfriend them!
Be honest with ourselves. What are the people, places, and things that weaken our defenses?
Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
4. Suggestions For Times of Temptation
*Focus on Jesus, the supreme example of resisting. Jesus is more powerful than our temptations, so we need to focus on Him when we are being drawn away.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
“Minds” translated in other places “Imagination”. Use your mind, imagine the presence of God - you are imagining the truth! Jesus is there, what is He telling you to do? When our thoughts are turned toward Jesus they are turned away from temptation.
*Arm Up With Christian Armor!
2. Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
3. Jesus quotes Scripture over and over
Luke 4:4-12 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’