Tuesday, November 16, 2021
4 1-3 Next, Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
5-6 For the second test, the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.”
-Matthew 4:1-6 The Message
The Temptation of Jesus
4 Verse 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Verse 1 study: The devil is doing what he can to show that he can outdo Jesus, outpower him. But what Satan tries to do shows that Jesus is the Son of God since he can overcome Satan’s way of tempting him. You will learn that a person hasn’t demonstrated true obedience if you never had the opportunity to disobey. Deuteronomy 8:2 talks about God leading Israel into the wilderness and testing them. God tests people to see if they will obey or not. But you won’t know when which is why it is crucial to be alert and prepared. Your convictions are strong only if they hold up under pressure.
Satan was successful in tempting Eve in the Garden of Eden. Out in the wilderness, Jesus is being tempted. Satan is the fallen angel. Be reminded that he is not real, not symbolic, and always fighting against those who follow God and obey him. But what is real is Satan’s way of tempting you, and he is always trying to find a way to get us to live his way or our way and not God’s way. Jesus will reign over all creations, but Satan keeps butting in and tries to force his hand and get him to declare kingship prematurely. If Jesus had given in, his mission on earth, to die for our sins and allow us to have eternal life, would have been lost. When sin comes and is strong, think about why it is happening. It can be Satan blocking you from God’s purposes in your life or for someone else’s life.
The temptation by the devil shows that Jesus is human. It also showed that Jesus had the opportunity to reaffirm God’s plan for his ministry. This is a true example of how to answer when we are tempted. This is the sinlessness of Jesus; he faced temptation but would not give in. Above all else, he didn’t sin! You may feel dirty after being tempted, but it is not a sin to be tempted. It’s only a sin when acting on it. Read Jesus’ temptation as a reminder of how to respond if we find it hard.
Jesus was tempted in one of the most vulnerable spots of all. He wasn’t tempted at the temple or baptism. He was tempted in the wilderness, alone, tired, hungry, and again, vulnerable. Does this show that Satan knew what he was doing? Taking advantage of Jesus, or trying to because he was alone and tired. Vulnerability can be physical or emotional such as lonely, tired, making big decisions, faced with uncertainty. Satan also likes to get us through our strengths because of our pride. The goal is to guard against those attacks at all times.
Verses 1-10 studies: There are three areas Satan’s temptations focus on:
- Physical needs and desires.
- Possessions and power.
- Pride (1 John 2:15-16).
Jesus didn’t give in. Hebrews 4:15; “Jesus has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” He knows what we go through, our experiences, and he wants to help in our battles. So when you are tempted, turn to Jesus for strength.
Verse 2: And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
Verse 3: And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
Verse 4: But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.'”
Verses 3-4 studies: Jesus went forty days of being weak and hungry. He divided his divine power to satisfy his natural desire for food. It is okay to be hungry; it was just the wrong timing since he was fasting in the wilderness. His purpose was not to eat, only fast. Jesus gave up his unlimited, independent use of his power to experience humanity fully; he did not change stone to bread using his power. We may have times to satisfy a normal desire in the wrong way and wrong time. Like sex before marriage or stealing food, we do these things in the wrong way. God wants you to do it right and at the right time.
Jesus resisted the temptation because he knew scripture, and he obeyed it. Ephesians 6:17 say that God’s Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat. Learning Bible verses help us resist Satan’s attacks, but we should obey the Bible. Satan memorized scriptures but didn’t obey them. Knowing and obeying the Bible helps us resist and follow God’s desires rather than the devil’s.
Verse 5: Then the devil *took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,
Verse 6: and he *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written:
‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’;
‘On their hands, they will lift You up,
So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.'”
Verse 5 study: The temple was the religious center of the Jewish nation and where the people expected the Messiah to arrive (Malichi 3:1). Herod renovated the temple in hopes of gaining the Jews’ confidence. The temple was the tallest building in the area, and the pinnacle was probably the corner wall that jutted out of the hillside, overlooking the valley below. At this spot, Jesus saw all of Jerusalem behind him and the country for miles in front of him.
Verses 5-7 studies: God is not our magician in the sky ready to perform our requests. Jesus told Satan not to put God to the test (Deuteronomy 6:16). Instead, ask God to do something to prove his existence or his love for you. Jesus taught the parable that people who don’t believe what is written in the Bible wouldn’t believe even if someone were to come back from the dead to warn them (Luke 16:31). God tells us to live by faith, not by magic. Don’t try to manipulate God by asking for signs.
Verse 6 study: The Devil used scripture to convince Jesus to sin. Friends and associates will present attractive, convincing reasons to do something you know isn’t right. They will find Bible verses to support those reasons or viewpoints. Make sure to continue to study the Bible, especially in a broader context of specific verses, to understand God’s principles for living and what he wants for your life. If you understood the whole Bible, you could see the interpretation errors when people take verses out of context and twist them to say what they want.
Father, there is a lot on the teaching of temptation. Thank you for giving us the lesson of temptation through Jesus. If there is anybody we should learn from, it is from Jesus. Let us use the lessons and apply them to our lives today. In Jesus’ name. Amen!