We live in a world filled with many temptations. I don't know of any
place on the face of the earth where we can go to be free from them.
Temptation is something that is common to everyone. No one, not even
Jesus was exempt from them. "Jesus was tempted in all pints like
as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). The Apostle Paul,
writing to the Corinthian believers about their battles with temptation
said, "But remember that the temptations that come into your
life are no different from what others experience"(1 Cor.
10:13 NLT). When Jesus said "In this world you shall have
trouble" (John 16:33), He could have also said it about
temptation. The truth is that as long as we're in this world we will
continuously be facing an external enemy (the world and its lure),
and internal enemy (the flesh and its carnal desires), and an infernal
enemy (the devil and his enticing suggestions) --all presenting us with
temptations that demand a response.
we respond to those temptations will determine whether they become
stumbling stones to our spiritual defeat or stepping stones to spiritual
growth and victory in our Christian walk.
this lesson, as we look at the way our Lord Jesus handled the
temptations Satan put before Him, we are going to learn how we too can
follow His example and be triumphant over temptation.
Why Jesus Was Tempted
A. The word used for Jesus' temptation in Matthew 4:1 is
the Greek word "Pierazo" which means to tempt - to
solicit - to seduce - to entice a person to do evil.
- Please note that while it was the
Spirit that led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted - it was
not the Holy Spirit that did the tempting - Satan did
- The Scripture declares God does
not tempt us. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am
tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil; neither
tempteth He any man" (James 1:13).
- Kenneth Wuest in his Expanded
Translation of the New Testament renders Matthew 4:1 to read "Then
was Jesus led up into the uninhabited region for the purpose of
being put to the test of the devil - that test being in the form
of a solicitation to do evil."
- It is important that we understand
that the wilderness testing of Jesus was not to prove
something about Him to the Father, but to prove something
about Jesus to the devil.
- Jesus had already gotten the Father's approval at His water
baptism. The Father had said, "This is my beloved son in
whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).
- In His wilderness temptation, Jesus would prove His
superiority over the devil. He would not heed to the voice of
the tempter as the first Adam had done under similar temptations. What the first Adam lost with his "yes"
to Satan's temptations, the second Adam would eventually regain
with His "no".
- Three purposes God had in mind for
allowing Jesus to be tempted by Satan.
- For the purpose of Identification.
- It was to prepare Jesus to be our
High Priest ministering on
our behalf before the throne of God.
- To effectively minister and speak as our High Priest,
advocate and mediator in a compassionate and understanding way
before the throne - it was necessary for Him to be tempted in
all points as we are so He would understand the warfare that
goes on in our minds when tempted.
- Christ know from personal experience what we are going
through mentally and emotionally during times of temptation
because He endured the same temptations.
- Hebrews 4: 14-16 (Wuest Translations)..."for we do
not have a High Priest who is not able to enter experientally
into a fellow feeling with our infirmities, but one who has
been tempted in all points like as we are - without win. Let
us be coming therefore with boldness to the throne of Grace,
in order that we may procure mercy and find grace for
- Hebrews 2:18 (Wuest Translation)..."For in that He
suffered, having Himself been tempted and put to the test, He
is able to run to the cry of those who are being tempted and
put to the test and bring them aid."
- Christ is the perfect "Sympathizer" because He
can identify with and feel for any persons circumstances.
- For the purpose of Illumination
In the Old Testament, Satan operated in the
shadows. Very few references are made about him. But we know he
was busy at work just the same.
In the New Testament, God suddenly shines the
spotlight on him and he is seen for what he really is - "the
thief who comes to steal - kill - and destroy"
The event in the wilderness exposed Satan and
brought him into the light where we could see him at work.
For the purpose of Information
Jesus was tempted by
Satan so He could expose the enemy's tactics to us in order to
show us the way of victory over our enemy.
When temptations come
to us, we have the same resources at our disposal that Jesus used
when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.
overcame temptation by doing three things:
1.He spent time alone
2.He made sure He was led by the Spirit of God.
3.He relied upon the Scriptures as a weapon to be used.
How Jesus Was
The devil knows
He knows when
to tempt a person.
He knows what
to tempt a person with.
He know where
to tempt a person.
He'll tempt us in
the wilderness experiences of life when we're feeling
alone and without .
He'll tempt us in
the valley experiences of life when we're suffering
severe moments of weakness both physically and mentally.
He'll tempt us on
the mountain top experiences of life when we're
confident that we've got everything under control.
The devil tempted
Jesus to do three things.
To prove who He
was by using His power for personal reasons (verses 2-4).
a. Jesus was asked to satisfy a normal human bodily
appetite by use of the miracle power of God in a way it was
not intended to be used.
To reveal who He
was by doing the spectacular (verses 5-7).
a. He was tempted to presume upon the Father's power and
protection. He was tempted to deliberately put Himself in a
position (circumstance) where God must perform a miracle to
To surrender who
He was by compromise (verse 11).
a. Satan offered Jesus an easier way than the Father's
way to receive the Kingdoms of this World. Father's way was
the cross first and then the crown.
b. If Jesus would worship Satan then Satan would give Jesus
the Kingdoms of this World without the cross.