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Summary: Jesus resists the devil’s temptation and shows us the way to deal with Satan.

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WHEN THE TEMPTER COMES

INTRODUCTION

1. Matthew 4:1-10 (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. {3} Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." {4} But He answered and said, "It is written, ’Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’" {5} Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, {6} and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ’He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ’In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’" {7} Jesus said to him, "It is written again, ’You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’" {8} Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. {9} And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." {10} Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ’You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’"

2. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into a dangerous situation. He faced rigorous tests.

a. Alone in the wilderness. The wilderness of Judea was a remote mountainous area.

b. Hungry. He intentionally fasted for 40 days and nights.

c. Powerful opposition. The devil is a dangerous adversary [1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.] The stakes in this battle were unbelievably high. If Satan could succeed in overcoming Jesus, he would win the battle for the souls of humanity. If Jesus failed in this challenge to "stand against the wiles of the devil" [Ephesians 6:11], it would have become impossible for Him to offer us salvation.

3. Satan was quite direct in hurling forth his challenge to Jesus’ identity as the Son of God. His first words were, "If You are the Son of God . . . " What did Satan say such a thing? He knew exactly who Jesus was. The man possessed with a legion of demons pleaded with Jesus. He said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me." [Mark 5:7 (NKJV)] These demons (devil’s angels) knew that Jesus was the Son of the Most High God! Certainly Satan himself had access to the same information. The devil is trying to provoke Jesus into performing a miracle to show off His power.

4. Thus, the first temptation was to turn stones into bread -- lust of the flesh [1 John 2:16-17 (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. {17} And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.]

5. Next in Matthew’s account, the devil took Jesus into the holy city of Jerusalem. He offered the temptation for Jesus to throw Himself from the pinnacle of the temple -- pride of life. Prove to the people that God will keep you safe. If you are the Son of God, you will not be hurt. Scripture proves it. The devil is quite adept at quoting scripture when it suits his purpose to twist it and make what he is saying sound good.


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