THE LIFE OF CHRIST
Last week, we looked at John the Baptist and ended with Jesus being baptized. After His baptism, the Holy Spirit decended on Him. Tonight, we will begin looking at the temptation of Jesus. There a two full accounts of this in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. Markís account mentions it as well, but itís just brief summary (Mk. 1:12). Mathew and Luke record the same event, but they differ in the order that three recorded temptation are listed. This is not a contridiciton because the events do not have to be any order, they just tell what happened.
I will mainly be using Lukeís account because it has more unique informaton than the other accounts. However, I will point a few unique things from Matthew and Mark along the way. I want to read the account first and then come back and break it down.
Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,† 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.† 3 And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."† 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' "† 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.† 6 And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.† 7 "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours."† 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "† 9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.† 10 "For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,'† 11 "and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "† 12 And Jesus answered and said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' "† 13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Now letís go back to verse 1:
Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,† 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil.
I want to picture this in your mind. Jesus has been baptized and now has the Holy Spirt. It is time for Him to begin His ministry. The first thing that He must endure is this battle with Satan. This would not be battle with Deity part of Christ, but with the human side of Christ. This battle was not an accident, because the Holy Spirit led Jesus to go into the wilderness. We are not told where this was, but some think it may have been the same wilderness that John had been in. Markís account tells us that his companions were the wild beasts.
We only have three of the temptations recorded for us that Jesus endured apparently at after He had fasted for 40 days and nights. However, Lukeís and Markís accounts indicate that He was tested by Satan thoughout the 40 days.†
And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
Jesus fasted from food not water. 40 days is a long time for anyone to go without food. He would have been physically and mentally weak. In fact, I image it was a struggle for Him to even walk. To say that He was hungry is understatement. He would have been ravenous. Hunger has driven many men to do evil things to get some food.† It is a powerful pull on any man because† every ounce of your being wants something to eat. This was a temptation within itself because Jesus had the ability to work miracles, though He had not worked one yet. How tempting would it be to conjur up some food to feed yourself? Very tempting! So, the stage is set for the Satan to have the best chanch at tempting Jesus to sin.
3 And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."†
Put yourself in the shoes of a man who has not eaten for 40 days. Just the mere suggestion of using your power to produce bread would probably make your mouth water. Within this statement is also a challenge to Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God. The devil has had thousands of yeasr to master his crafitiness, and he knows exactly the right moment when you are the weakest. This was not something that Jesusí human side could easily ignore. Yet, this is Jesus response:
But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' "†
Jesus answers back with more Scripture by quoting Deut. 6:16. What this shows us is that we cannot base things off of one Scripture about a topic. Instead, we must look at everything Godís Word says about any given topic. This is an area that has caused many false doctrines to be taught from the Word of God because verses are plucked from context and are isolated from other verses that talk about that topic. Though the devil quoted Scripture to get Jesus to show that He was really the Son of God by allowing God the Father to keep Him from hitting the ground, he was twisting the Scripture.
Jesus corrects him by pointing out that if He threw Himself down to the ground this would not be trusting in the Father to save Him, but it would testing Him. To test God is to show a lack of faith and trust in Him. So, the very think Satan said would show His trust in the Father would have just the opposite effect.