The First Temptation


Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread. Matthew 4:3

Jesus Responds

But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:4

Physical Appetite

Satan tempts Jesus with two human weaknesses: doubt and hunger. Matthew 4:2-4; Luke 4:3-4 Jesus had fasted for forty days during this period of preparation. Jesus was hungry and Satan brings the temptation to bear on his human weaknesses. His Messiahship is challenged in the words of Satan, 'If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread, command that these stones be made bread.' Satan was provoking Jesus to use his powers to provide for himself, rather than depend on God who would provide. This incident points to the provision of God in the wilderness when Manna was provided from heaven. In fact Jesus' response was taken from Deuteronomy 8:3 , the time of the Exodus.

The point of Jesus response is that He would not forsake the work of the cross for food. Jesus refused to work a miracle simply to avoid personal hardship. Redemption would come by means of suffering and not through sustenance. There is more to life than merely nourishment of the body, there are higher purposes to be considered. By putting His kingdom first all these other things would find their proper place in God's economy.





The Second Temptation


Satan quotes scripture
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. ( Psalm 91:11-12 )

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
If you are the Son of God, he said, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
Matthew 4:5-6

Jesus Responds

Jesus answered him, It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test. Matthew 4:7

Spiritual Attainment

Satan challenges Jesus faith in God. Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13 Satan gets involved in scripture twisting when he quotes Psalm 91:11-12 and uses it just opposite to its proper meaning. These verses were meant to encourage trust in God, Satan used them to doubt God. Satan invites Jesus to cast Himself down from the high point of the temple which plunges deep into the Kidron Valley and the angels would come to his rescue. But this was nothing more than putting God to the test and not faith at all. Jesus answers again by using Scripture, pointing out that it is not right to test or tempt God. Deuteronomy 6:16 Again Jesus quotes from the period of the Exodus which these temptations reflect.




The Third Temptation


Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. All this I will give you, he said, if you will bow down and worship me. Matthew 4:8-9

Jesus Responds

Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
Matthew 4:10


Worldy Ambition

The third temptation consisted in power and was of the essence of idolatry. Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13 Satan offers Jesus what was not his to offer. Satan characteristically reverses the nature of the universe to suggest that the Son of God would bow down and worship the Devil. It is Christ who has created the earth and everything in it. Christ had already purchased the kingdoms of the world in anticipation of his Atonement. Only God is to be worshipped and anything else that is venerated is falling pray to this temptation and breaking the commandment of God. Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20



Satan's authority

Either Satan possessed this authority, or he was validating his reputation as "the father of lies"

Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. 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. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." John 8:42-47

In either case, Satan's authority was not the issue. He violated the first commandment
"You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3



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