This is an important part of the Gospel. Together with Jesus’ Baptism, it serves to validate Christ’s Messiahship as well as prepares Him to fulfill His mission on earth. This story is one of many where we see the uniqueness of Jesus The Christ. He displays the fullness of His divinity while incarnated as a human so we can connect and directly associate with Him. He gives us a perfect example of how we can be united in relationship with God. He sets the bar, and even though we cannot do it every time like He does, we can overcome temptation by becoming self-aware and yielding to God’s spirit.
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where He was tempted by the devil for forty days.
- Jesus example of Biblical Doctrine of ‘Being Filled with The Holy Spirit
- He already ‘had’ the Spirit, the ‘Filling’ is for supernatural work to be done
- Led by = Yielded to
- 40 days is significant: Generally a period of testing
- The Flood / Spies sent to promised land / Ezekiel on his side
Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry. 3Then the devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”
- Deuteronomy 8:3 “…people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
- The act of not eating anything for 40 days… Previously done by Moses & Elijah
- Moses & Elijah 40 days on Mt. Sinai (Jesus: High place & Height of Temple)
- Moses & Elijah meet with Jesus on the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’
- Devil / Lucifer tries to get Jesus to use His power selfishly (Just like he did!)
- Life’s not a material / natural thing but rather it flows from a supernatural God
- The temptation to fulfill physical needs and desires in ‘Inappropriate’ ways
- We are called to trust God enough to let Him decide how and when our physical needs and wants will be met.
5 Then the devil took Him up and revealed to Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7 I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” 8 Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’”
- Some high place, the assumption is a mountain top
- The offer is ‘Earthly’ authority and power if you worship the Devil
- This must be the same offer Lucifer made to the Angels who fell with him
- The devil wants Jesus to be divided in His loyalty
- He doesn’t ask Jesus to not worship God, but to worship him as well as God
- Jesus answer is our example: A relationship with God must be exclusive!
9 Then the devil took Him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10 For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. 11 And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” 12 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
- The Devil wanted Christ to prove who is was to God and as God
- It was a temptation to use His divinity to get personal attention
- Jesus models the principle of letting God set the agenda, so He gets the glory
- This is the temptation to do ‘Show Ministry’ (Stealing God’s Glory)
13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
- It is possible that there were other temptations in the course of the 40 days
- Tempted and found sinless (It is no sin to be tempted, giving in is the sin)
- This was not the end of the temptations Jesus would face
Summary of the temptations (how we can relate them to our lives)
1st: Temptation to pursue our physical needs (lusts of the flesh) Spirit – Control
2nd: Temptation to misdirect our worship or trust to various Idols Commitment
3rd: Temptation to assume God’s will & ‘show off spiritually’ Humility
How we are to fight:
Jesus’ weapon against all three temptations is ‘The Scripture’: it is an example to us!
But you cannot use a weapon you do not know and are not familiar with (David)
That means not just knowing Scripture… (the devil knows Scripture)
You have to practically apply it and live it, building emotional / relational experience
The foundation of an identity as a ‘Disciple’ of Jesus Christ: Scripture Application
None of this works without our surrender to The Biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ!
What have you learned or grown in during seasons of testing or preparation in your life?
What physical areas of ‘Inappropriate Enjoyment’ are you tempted by and struggle with?
What things (including yourself) do you at times put more trust in than Jesus Christ?
Have you ever recognized in yourself a desire to show off spiritually in order to get attention or validation?