|(Life of Christ, Part 5)
JESUS OF NAZARETH: HIS TEMPTATION
1. Our attention is turned from the glorious scene at His baptism to
the desolate scenes of rugged wilderness where our Lord engages Satan in spiritual warfare
2. Matt. 4:1-11 - Generally viewed as Jesus' temptation, it is, in
reality, but the first contest in a continuing battle which ensued (cf. Lk. 4:13; 22:28).
3. Though weakened and isolated from men, He resisted Satan's
temptations and gives us with an example of how to overcome temptation in our lives -
cf. Jas. 4:7.
I. WHY WAS JESUS TEMPTED AT THIS TIME?
A. He Was Divinely Led Into The Wilderness For A Special,
Divine Purpose - cf. Matt. 4:1; Mk. 1:12.
1. Led into wilderness, not into temptation!
2. Lk. 4:1-2 - Full of Holy Spirit; Temptations existed
throughout this 40 day period.
B. The Divine Purpose In The Temptations Of Jesus:
1. To fully experience the allurements of temptation in order
to help us in our temptations - Heb. 2:17-18.
a. He understands the suffering of temptation.
b. He is able to aid us when we are tempted! (Heb. 4:15-16)
2. Equipped to be a merciful and faithful High Priest - Heb.
C. To Demonstrate His Superiority Over Sin and Satan.
-This first victory signaled a complete victory to come (Gen.
II. HOW WAS JESUS TEMPTED? Jas. 1:14-15 (define temptation).
A. At A Time Of Intense Desires - Jas. 1:14.
-Satan provided the enticements to fulfill desires unlawfully
1. The desires Jesus must have been experiencing:
a. Hunger - Matt. 4:2.
b. Desire to rebuke all doubt of His divine Sonship - cf. 4:3.
c. Desire to trust God - cf. 4:6.
d. Desire to rule over God's kingdom - 3:2; 4:9.
2. Satan uses innocent, even worthy desires, to tempt us to
fulfill those desires unlawfully!
a. cf. Desire to teach gospel (unauthorized arrangements);
help needy (unauthorized church involvement); trust God (violate His word in demonstrating
B. Satan Tried To Disguise The Sinfulness Of The Action.
1. v. 2-4 - Stones - Use your power to satisfy your
hunger. (Misuse of His power). -Instead, He trusted God to provide.
2. v. 6-7 - Satan now works upon that trust - Throw
yourself down - Show your trust in God!
3. v. 8-10 - Give you rule / Worship me - You can
receive your universal dominion immediately! - (cf. Jno. 18:37).
a. Escape suffering and death... end justifies the
b. Counterfeit dominion - Lk. 4:6-7.
4. 2 Cor. 2:11 - His device: Lessens seriousness of the
a. Dancing (to be accepted, fun); immodest dress (Cool,
comfortable, fashionable); drinking alcohol (My life, relax, etc.)....
b. Heb. 3:13 - Hearts can harden to its seriousness!
C. Full-Range Of Temptations - Heb. 4:15; Lk. 4:13.
1. Lust of flesh: Gratify a normal desire wrongfully.
(cf. Sexual desire - fornication).
2. Pride of life (ambition): Demonstrate His Sonship
and His trust in God. -Testing God through unnecessary dangers.
3. Lust of eyes: Reign w/ power (this was
Messiahs right, Matt. 3:2).
-But at what cost? .....Not by denying God! - Matt. 16:26
III. LESSONS TO LEARN FROM JESUS' TEMPTATIONS.
A. The Skill Of Satan - 2 Cor. 11:3.
1. He adapts temptations to our situations when desire is
strong and resistance is weak.
2. Will tempt us with full range of temptations.
B. How To Resist Satan (Jas. 4:7):
1. Reverence for God's will and knowledge of God's word.
2. Appeal to scriptures (Psa. 119:11): Their authority (v. 4),
harmony (v. 7) and application (v. 10).
3. 1 Pet. 5:8-9 - Sober, watchful and resist in faith -
C. Temptation and Sin Are Two Different Things - Jas.
D. We Can Go To Jesus When We Are Tempted.
1. 1 Cor. 10:13 - We can bear them and escape.
2. Heb. 4:15-16 - Knows our difficulties and as High Priest
offers relief from sin and temptations (2:18).
3. cf. Heb. 12:1-3 - Remember Jesus in temptations.
4. 1 Pet. 5:6-7 - Cast your anxieties of sin onto Him - Resist
Satan and remain steadfast (v. 8-9).
1. Jesus refused to abuse His divine power (v. 3-4), He did not make
trial of God (v. 6-7), He would not conquer the world by denying God (v. 8-10). Therefore,
He was refreshed and comforted by God (v. 11).
2. He showed His power (and ultimate victory) over Satan - 1 Jno.
3. Place your confidence in Him!