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The Temptation of Jesus

Luke 4:1-15, Andrew Love, February 3, 2019

Sermon Notes:


  • Looking at the Temptation of Jesus
  • Temptation is the work of the evil one
    • He has many demons and powers
    • He puts different temptations before us
      • Examples
    • When we fall for one temptation we are more likely to fall for more temptation
      • We are weakened
      • Our conscience weakens and hardens
    • If you don't know much about temptation - you need to question where you stand before God
  • Jesus' record was perfect
    • None of us can say that
  • This passage records a time where he was bombarded for 40 days
    • Then special temptations - that struck at the heart of His relationship with His Father
    • He became stronger each time He rejected temptation
    • He learned obedience through the things He suffered - Heb 5
    • He returned in the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Temptation was real for Jesus
    • He was fully God but He laid aside many of His attributes when He became a man
    • He knew the weaknesses of humanity - examples
    • He was a real man - not like a super man
    • He humbled Himself and lived a real human life in the power of the Spirit
    • Luke emphasises this by including a genealogy in 3:23-28
  • Overview:
    • When did the temptations occur?
    • Where did the temptations occur?
    • What were the three temptations?
    • How did He overcome?

When did the temptations occur?

  • 3:21 - the Baptism of Christ
  • 4:1 - He returns from the Jordan, having being baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit
    • He is led by the Spirit into the wilderness
  • The temptations occurred right after a time of blessing
    • Jesus is at the beginning of His ministry
    • The devil seeks to bring him down right at the start
  • Application:
    • Pray 'Do not lead us into temptation but delivered us from evil'
    • Temptations are often painful
    • The Lord permits temptation
    • Often temptation comes after seasons of blessing - examples
      • So that we would be proved and strengthened
      • Personal example
  • He was tempted when He was full of the Spirit

Where did the temptations occur?

  • He went into the wilderness
    • Was He not praying and fasting before embarking on His ministry?
  • Application:
    • We may be tempted in the place we least expect
    • Often when we are alone - example of David and Joseph
    • We must never think that the monk in the monestary is free from temptation
    • He can come at any time - so we must be vigilant

What were the three temptations?

  • He was tempted for 40 days
    • He had various temptations before these three specific temptations
    • The temptations came when Jesus was at His weakest
      • Often temptations come when we are weakest
  • Temptation 1: To use His powers for selfish ends
    • To act independently of God but to use His divine powers for His own ends
    • To question God's love
    • An attack on His Sonship
      • "If you are the Son of God" (v3)
      • Luke starts and ends with this same temptation - "If you are the Son of God" (v3,9)
      • The aim of the devil is to cause a breach in the Trinity
  • Temptation 2: To get something quick (by an easy means), to worship the devil and believe that His Father is not Lord of all
    • Maybe a vision
    • To have a crown without a cross, to know Kingship without suffering, to know all gain without pain
    • To challenge the authority of the Father
    • The devil is the prince of the power of the air, but he is not in control of all
    • He is a deceiver and an angel of darkness
  • Temptation 3: To test God
    • It is not helpful to conjecture on how this happened - many supernatural things happened
    • The devil misquoting from Psalm 91
    • Striking at Jesus' relationship with His Father
  • Temptations striking at the heart of Jesus' relationship with His Father

How did He overcome?

  • Recap
  • He resisted the devil by quoting Scripture
    • Deut 6
      • Some Christians find the Old Testament difficult
    • He quotes three times
      • "It is written" (v4,8,12)
    • Jesus quotes words of the Father
      • Do we know the word of God?
        • Do we resist temptation?
        • Do we consider the consequences?
        • Do we not say 'it is written'?
    • Jesus is saying that his life does not just consist of eating and drinking
      • His burden was to do the will of His Father in heaven
      • He lived by every word of God
      • He is saying that He doesn't need that
    • Satan has nothing in Me - John 5
      • Jesus had no propensity to sin
      • We have a sinful nature and there is much that the devil will stir up
  • He resisted by rebuking Satan - "get behind me"
    • These are diabolical words of Satan
      • The same rebuke given to Peter as he spoke of no cross
    • Consider not just the sin and its consequences but most of all how it will affect our Father in heaven
      • We shall worship God alone
  • He resisted by refusing to test His Father
    • The devil (mis)uses Scripture
      • Does he know the Bible better than us?
    • Jesus says He will not test His Father
      • We must not test our Father
      • We must not ask God to miraculously intervene when we are capable of resolving the situation

Closing Remarks

  • We are to overcome by Spirit and prayer
    • We will fail
    • Christ overcame Satan: in the wilderness, in the garden of Gethsemane, on the Cross
    • He overcame and went to heaven
    • We will go to heaven because of His victory
    • Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit, He prays for us, He comforts us
    • The power of sin has been broken
    • Jesus wants us to live holy lives now
  • If you are not in Christ - look to Him

About Andrew Love: Pastor at Tabor Church

Sermon Passage:

Luke 4:1-15

1And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 3And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. 5And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. 8And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 9And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 11And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 13And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. 14And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 15And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. (KJV)

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