Summary: Temptation is ever present and everywhere, how can we handle it - a lesson from Christ’s example.

21When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Lk.3:21-22 (NIV)

1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

3The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."

4Jesus answered, "It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’"

5The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7So if you worship me, it will all be yours."

8Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ "

9The 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. 10For it is written:

" ’He will command his angels concerning you

to guard you carefully;

11they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ "

12Jesus answered, "It says: ’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ "

13When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Lk.4:1-13 (NIV)


This temptation thing is a vast topic. The bible is filled with it from cover to cover, mostly about how God dealt with our problem of sin and giving us victory. God deals with it and we deal with it. It is what’s real...

· Reality: Everybody gets tempted…

It is common experience to all “But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience” 1 Cor. 10:13

· Jesus also was tempted but never sinned.

Our text reveals to us Jesus was sorely tempted and he understand really well what that whole experience is all about…

14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity “ Heb.2: 14

There was once a poor country pastor was livid when he confronted his wife with the receipt for a $250 dress she had bought. "How could you do this!" he exclaimed.

"I don’t know," she wailed, "I was standing in the store looking at the dress. Then I found myself trying it on. It was like the Devil was whispering to me, "Gee, you look great in that dress. You should buy it."

"Well," the pastor persisted, "You know how to deal with him! Just tell him, "Get behind me, Satan!"

"I did," replied his wife, "but then he said "It looks great from back here, too."

Isn’t that the reality ? Trouble is we like to handle things on our own like this story…

On a vacation to Australia, a Texas farmer meets an Aussie farmer and starts talking to him about his farm. The Aussie takes him to see his big wheat field, but the Texan wasn’t impressed.

"We have wheat fields that are twice as large as this one," he told the Aussie.

The Aussie farmer drives him around the ranch and shows off his big herd of cattle.

"Oh, our longhorns are at least twice as big as these," the Texan bragged.

The Aussie farmer is getting frustrated when the Texan notices a herd of kangaroos hopping across a field.

"What on earth are those?" he asks. The Aussie turns to him with an astonished look. "Don’t you have any grasshoppers in Texas?"

We try to look bigger, don’t we? Don’t wanna be the has been, looked down, slighted? Proud and self-sufficient. Pride kicks in and we’re in trouble quicker than we say “uh oh.”

Goal of Temptation

· Temptation’s Lure: Find life apart from God

That is what Satan wanted to do with Jesus – go for the “do it yourself , instant fix”

· Strategy: Twisting Scripture

That is what Satan specializes in. He knows the Bible well enough to twist it with some from of innocent looking deception. What’s wrong with telling a stone to become bread?

Today’s Situation

· Current situation: Temptation is everywhere

Picture this: Like a scuba diver in the ocean, we feel engulfed with water and alluring sights.

ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92

A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:

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