What Jesus Said
The Temptation of Jesus
Sunday, February 11, 2024
Jeremiah 10:6 No one is like you, LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.
Let us all recite together:
Psalm 136: 1-3 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Intro: We are going to move into a series looking at the teachings of Jesus, and it will be called What Jesus Said. We’ll look at the Gospel of Luke. There are a multitude of teachings and stories to draw from as Jesus carried out His ministry.
A great place for us to begin this series is looking at what happened between Jesus and the enemy in the wilderness; the time when Jesus was tempted and overcame every temptation. We’ll take note of what Jesus said, what He was aware of, and where His focus was during the time of tempting so we can learn from Him.
Before we jump into this interaction between Jesus and the enemy I want to take a look at chapter 3 in Luke-remember everything is placed in the Bible for a reason. In this chapter, we read about Jesus’ baptism by John and we see the heavens opened up as Jesus rose out of the water.
and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Luke then shares the genealogy of Jesus starting with his earthly father and going all the way through the lineage to Adam, the son of God. Now you might think well it’s just a long list of names that don’t mean much to me except maybe a few.
But notice the order has it ending with Adam, the son of God. This is the son who failed; who was defeated by the temptations of the enemy and brought sin into the world. He also gave in to temptation when he was living in the Garden of Eden and had plenty-lacking nothing. Adam was made as a reflection of God.
What did God say about Jesus at His baptism? “You are My Son”. Jesus is the true Son of God. Right after this lineage ending with Adam, we read about Jesus’ victorious and triumphant encounter with the enemy and his schemes. Luke was making a dramatic point to show the difference between fallen man and the Son of God who is righteous and the only One equipped to be our Savior-the only One truly able to defeat the enemy. Through Adam, we have sin and death. Through Christ, we have righteousness and eternal life!
Let’s take a look at what happened in this encounter- what tricks the enemy used, and how Jesus responded.
Luke 4: 1-13 NIV
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
- Be Wise to satan’s Schemes.
Some say Jesus was led to the wilderness on purpose to be tempted by the enemy. That might be. But another plausible reason the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for a longer period was to draw close to the heart of the Father, to receive direction, and counsel, and to be strengthened for the great ministry that lay ahead for him. Jesus often went off to pray alone throughout His ministry. It could very well be this was a time He was called to prepare in every way for the great weight of ministry He would soon carry. As He was alone; as He was fasting to hear from God, as He was feeling weakened the enemy saw an opportune time to come in and try to get Jesus to fail.
So, what was his first target? Jesus’ physical hunger. He was so in need of food. The enemy knows exactly who Jesus is and yet uses his identity as a question to try to make Jesus prove He is the Son of God by using divine powers to satisfy His physical needs.
Luke 4: 2-3 He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
He was saying, prove it. Give yourself some food. Much like the people later shouted to Jesus as He hung on the cross-if you’re truly the Son of God, just take yourself down from there. Both would have been for Jesus’ gain and benefit, not for the glory of His Father. So, Jesus resisted and obeyed the Father’s will for Him.
The first tactic didn’t work on Jesus so the enemy said ok, let’s dangle glory and power.
Luke 4: 5-7 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
He said, look here are all the kingdoms of the world he showed him this we don’t know exactly maybe in a vision of sorts-but he said I’ll give you all of it because it’s mine to give to whomever I want to. You won’t have to do all that hard work. You won’t have to suffer. You can have it right now…. Just worship me. That’s not hard.
You see satan will always dangle the pleasure we gain and there is often some immediate or temporary pleasure when we give into sin. He knows this and he talks it up. satan will never mention the cost of your sin. And there is always a cost.
For Jesus he would have become a servant to satan and no longer to the Father. The holy union between the Father and the Son would have been broken. The mission of Him coming to be our Savior would have been ruined because He would have sinned.
We must pay attention and learn the schemes of the enemy. He tempts us in our physical weaknesses and our desire for pleasure, power, and glory. He is not creative. He uses the same tactics over and over again.
1 Peter 5: 8-9 NLT 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
We are not alone in our temptations. We are ALL tempted. So we should not hide it or try to cover it up or go it alone is exactly what the enemy wants us to do. We should share it with someone we trust; we bring it into the light and say this is where he is hitting me hard right now. I know you understand this and I need some extra strength.
Let’s remember that part of becoming wise to the enemy’s schemes is to know who he is. Jesus tells us.
John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
All three temptations dangled in front of Jesus were focused on getting Jesus to act independently of the Father-which is exactly what he does to you and me also. How did Jesus respond?
- Speak the Word of Truth.
Luke 4: 3-4 . 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
What was Jesus referencing? The Law was given to the Israelites through Moses.
Deuteronomy 8:3 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Luke 4:7-8. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The truth is satan only had temporary power that had been granted to him by God. He couldn’t give the kingdoms to Jesus because they belonged to God-so he was twisting the truth. It is God alone who sets kings on thrones and grants authority. Going back to the original Law the Israelites were instructed to worship only God and have no other gods before Him.
Deuteronomy 6:13 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.
The final way satan tempted Jesus during this time was to have Jesus purposely test the Word of God by having Him put Himself in harm to see if God’s angels would come down and rescue Him.
Luke 4: 9-11 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
What we have to see is satan will use God’s Word against us. He knows it better than you and I do. There will be some truth and it will be mixed in with error. You might recognize this Scripture is from Psalm 91 that satan is referencing but we should not intentionally do something to harm ourselves or others to see how God will rescue us.
Jesus went back to the Law and brought in the full truth and context:
Luke 4:12 12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Deuteronomy 6:16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.
This is what we are to do also. You may not perfectly know His Word, but we should read it often so it becomes sealed in our hearts more and more, and we should get counsel so we understand what is right and true when we are tempted. Because the enemy will include some truth but it will also be sandwiched in error. The Word is a powerful weapon of truth against the enemy’s lies when we ask the Holy Spirit to show us what is right.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
So we must learn to be wise to the enemy’s schemes and respond as Jesus did using the Word of Truth. To keep the enemy at bay, we must purposefully put on the armor of God every day.
Ephesians 6: 11-12, 14 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
- Be Filled with the Holy Spirit.
I want to have us notice how this Scripture started.
Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Jesus did not go into the wilderness depleted or on his own. He was filled with the Holy Spirit first so when the enemy came against Him, He was ready for battle. Do you hear this? We must be filled with the Holy Spirit daily so we can stand firm against the enemy. Remember Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
It’s the Spirit of Truth who will bring clarity and light to whatever lies the enemy is trying to tempt you with. It is the Spirit of Truth who will remind you of the promises of God and give you the confidence to resist and stay standing in faith as Jesus did.
John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
So we too must submit our hearts to God daily, ask the Holy Spirit to fill us, and actively resist the devil.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
This is the process of victory and being triumphant over the enemy’s schemes. We must look to Jesus and follow His example, for in Him we are victorious!
I also want to note how this Scripture ended:
Luke 4:13 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
The enemy was not finished with Jesus for good. He left for a while…until an opportune time presented itself again. This is how the enemy works. We can have victory in one battle when we walk with Jesus and actively resist the devil; he will flee in that moment. And he will also keep watch for you to be in a weakened state again-he’s patiently waiting for the opportune time to strike while you’re down. Praise be to God, through His Son, our Savior, we can overcome every scheme, every lie, and every attack when we are prepared for battle. So be of good cheer for you are on the winning team! Stay near to Christ!
Conclusion: Jesus, our Savior, is the righteous Son of God who is triumphant over the evil one. He was tempted but did not sin. He held fast to the Father, submitted to His will, and relied on the truth of the Scriptures to defeat satan’s efforts to misapply them. We must remain vigilant and follow Jesus’ example of how to resist the schemes of the enemy.
Offering: Food pantry mission focus this month
Small groups underway-still a lot more to cover with What Was Paul Really Saying? Wed’s 6:30. Hearing God’s Voice will begin Feb. 19th-Monday at 6 pm.
Final Blessing: 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.