Archive for the ‘Seeing Jesus part 3’ Category

Seeing Jesus part 3

Posted: January 28, 2019 in Seeing Jesus part 3

The temptation of JESUS

 

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Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple,  and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will put his angels in charge of you.’ and, ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don’t dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not test the Lord, your God.’”

Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory.  He said to him, “I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get behind me,Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’”   Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and served him.  Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee. Matthew 4:1-11 WEB

 The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted. Therefore He can empathize with us. He knows what we go through. He knows they power of temptation and how subtle it can be. He knows that we will not  prevail, unless we are supported by the Holy Spirit of God. Only the Christian can triumph over temptation. The unbeliever might beat it at first, but will eventually succumb to its power.

The Devil came to Jesus at this physically low point in His life. Jesus was not weak, but His physical state was not strong after fasting for forty days. Jesus had been spending time away from other people and had been fasting and praying for forty days. At that point the Devil chose the opportunity to try and bring Jesus down.

First temptation

The Devil tempts Jesus at His point of need. The Devil knows Jesus is physically hungry and so tempts Him to do a miracle and turn the stones around on the ground, into bread to meet the need. Jesus is physically hungry, but not spiritually hungry. He rebuffs the enemy with the bread of the Word of God.

But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

 Jesus is not fooled. The need of the physical is not met by mere food. The soul is not sustained by physical food. We are not only physical, but have a deep spiritual need of God, that goes far beyond anything this world can offer. We need the Lord. We always need the Lord. Jesus spends time with His Father, because that is what sustains Him.

If that is true for Jesus, then it is certainly true for us. Without the Word of God dwelling in us RICHLY, we are at the mercy of the enemy of our souls.

When Jesus quoted the Scripture to Satan, he backed off that temptation. He is a coward and runs away at the Word of God.

Second temptation

So Jesus uses the Scripture to thwart the Devil’s plan. Satan changes tack here. He decides to use the Scripture to try another trick.

This is a more subtle temptation. Evil people can twist Scripture to make it fit what they want to do and say and live. Many people are led astray by the false words spoken to them, which are Scripture taken out of context and twisted. The Word of God is manipulated to keep people from entering into a real spiritual life with God. We can hear many words like this on the media today. There are plenty of people who try to make a name for themselves, and get many people to follow them. There are big churches with “ministers” who preach a false gospel and so they lead many people astray.

Satan is doing this here.

He takes Jesus to the very top of religious life and shows Him how popular He could be, how everyone would admire Him is only Jesus would do what the Scripture says.!! Of course in this context it is not what the Scripture says!! It is the devils twisted words…

Satan tells Jesus that God will never let Him be destroyed and will send supernatural powers to sustain Him. Angles will come from heaven and catch Him and everyone will be amazed….

Should Jesus do it?

Why not? The Scripture does say these words…

 ‘He will put his angels in charge of you.’ and, ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don’t dash your foot against a stone.’”

 The ministering angels of God have protected Jesus in His life, as with all His redeemed people. What the devil is saying is true, but the consequences of it would be evil. Jesus must die and rise again. Any deviation for this is evil and against the plan and purpose of God. When Peter suggested he would keep Jesus from dying on the cross, Jesus said, Get behind me Satan!!”

 Also we are warned about tempting God. We must follow God’s ways as is our calling, but not calling down supernatural events to sustain us or justify what we are doing. There are those who name the name of Christ in these days, who also do this.

Jesus mildly replies.  “You shall not test the Lord, your God.’”

 The humility of Jesus. He did not speak lofty words, or argue with Satan, or try to justify His words, but silenced the Tempter with eight words.

“YOU SHALL NOT”

The holy law of God always prevails.

Third temptation

The physical temptation did not work, the religious temptation did not work, so Satan goes for blatant godless power in this world. The Devil takes Jesus to a high mountain and shows Him the power of the accumulation of authority in this world. Not just the present Roman power, but all earthly rule and authority.

“I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me.”

In a moment Satan was able to present Jesus with this illusion. Then Satan says he will give them to Jesus if Jesus will just give Satan recognition and the right to do so…

The illusion is fleeting and the temptation fast, because Jesus is already the Lord of everything. Authority is not Satan’s to give.! The absolute cheek to presume he can trick Jesus. It mirrors the chief sin that brought Satan down in the first place. He wanted to be God.!

This is a powerful temptation in these days of our lives. He continues to tell us we can have anything we like. We can be lord of our own lives, if we just give in to him and enjoy what he has to offer. Satan will do anything to wreck your life. He will promise you anything, even good things and worthwhile things, if only you will do what he says and not what God says.

It is very subtle and we must test our motivations very carefully.

Satan is not in control. 

He has to ask permission of God to do anything… any event recorded in Holy Scripture we see him having to ask God to trouble people. When God permits His people to be troubled, they grown in grace and faith. So even the evil of Satan, does the work of God.!

At this point, Jesus will not tolerate the presumption of the evil one any longer. Jesus will not allow the Devil to continue to grasp for the place of God in this world, or in the lives of people. Jesus speaks with total abhorrence and hatred of Satan’s irreverence in the presence of God.

“Get behind me,Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’” 

 GO AWAY SATAN!

 When Satan troubles us, that is all we need to say.

Worship God alone. Love God alone. Fear God alone.

We see Jesus here in this passage as the all-conquering Saviour and the Lord of every humble soul that trusts in Him.

He alone is worthy.

Let us make sure we belong to Him and are daily seeking His grace and pardon. We must walk worthy of His name and listen to no other voice.

The centrality of the Holy Scriptures in our lives, is absolutely key. Jesus knew the Scriptures and used them as ammunition against the tempter. He did not use complicated reasons or apologetic arguments to counter the temptations, but the straightforward Word of God that every Christian can use.

We must know those Scriptures too…..