Truths About Temptation Part 2

by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)

Next, we’re told—

8 Then the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their greatness.

This is the third temptation and it takes place on a high mountain. It seems absurd to think that Satan would attempt to give the kingdoms of the world to Jesus, the Messiah, and the King of the universe.

The next 2 verses have Jesus’ response.

10 Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ”
11 Then the Devil left Jesus, and angels came and helped him.

Here, Jesus quotes scripture for the third time. This time He quotes Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20. He responded every time with scripture and that should tell us something. There is a reason why so many of us have a difficult time living the Christian life. It is because we don’t know God’s word. The answers to all of life’s problems are in His book. We need to read it and it would be good to be able to quote some verses.

The Devil wanted to make Jesus a great religious leader, but to do it by missing the cross. He would have Jesus present His credentials through some spectacular miracle, rather than offering His credentials in the manner that God prescribed. The Devil knew scripture and quoted scripture, or rather he misquoted it. He is a liar and will twist scripture to fit his purpose. It’s important that we check every man’s words against the Bible, or at least those who claim to preach the word.

In verse 11, we see that Satan left Him, but in Luke, we find it was only for a season. I don't believe that he left Him alone for very long.

Now, I would like for you to consider The Scope of the Temptation (Matt 4:3-10).

The scope of the temptation includes the human appetite (vv. 3-4), human applause (vv. 3-4), and human assets (vv.8-10). Our text tells us—

3 Then the Devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, order these stones to turn into bread.”
4 But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’ ”

I have only fasted a couple of times in my life and it was for a very short time. So it would be difficult for me to relate to what Jesus went through. It would take a tremendously strong will for Him to deny Himself food for 40 days and it would have had a terrible effect on His physical condition. Remember that Jesus was a man in the physical sense. He didn’t have any advantage over you and me in that respect. The temptation here is to His flesh. Will He choose to satisfy His hunger? Jesus’ reply is to quote Deuteronomy 8:3, “….. That he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.”
Satan has a very low opinion of mankind. He said in Job 2:4, “…..Skin for skin, all that a man has will he give for his life.” He thought that Jesus would give into the temptation to relieve His hunger. But Jesus never gave into temptation and He used the word of God to defeat him.

8 Then the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their greatness.
9 “All this I will give you,” the Devil said, “if you kneel down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ”

Satan took Jesus to the top of a high mountain where He could see all the kingdoms of the world. That would have included the Roman Empire. Christ was on His way to the throne, by way of the cross, but Satan said to Him, “It is foolish to suffer the pain and humiliation of the cross. Take the easy way.” It is foolish today to try to build a kingdom, nation, business or family without Christ because there are only two rulers: Satan and Jesus. If you are not taking the Lord into account, you must be taking the other. The Apostle Paul said, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)

Satan showed Jesus all the nations of the world and all their riches. This was a temptation that would appeal to man’s lust for power. However, the Lord Jesus has “all power in heaven and earth,” should he decide to use it. Jesus responded every time with scripture and that should tell us something.

There is a reason why so many of us have a difficult time living the Christian life. It’s because we are ignorant of God’s word. The answers to all of life’s problems are in His book. We need to read it and it would be good to be able to quote some verses. Jesus has been face-to-face with the devil, but—Now the temptation has ended and Jesus Has the Final Word. (Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:13).

10 Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ”
Why was Jesus Christ tempted? It was to demonstrate that we have a sinless savior. He proved that all power had been given to Him. Satan did not have anything to offer Him. There is a man in heaven today that experienced all aspects of our life so that he could understand us and be our advocate. In 1 John 2:1-2, it says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” We can depend upon the Lord Jesus, no matter what our circumstances in life might be. He is always willing to Help Us When We Come Face-To-Face with Temptation (Matt. 4:10). Now, Jesus had the final word; listen to what He said.

10 Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ”

Two words in Jesus’ reply, “worship” and “serve,” are significant, because each word is connected with the other. Here’s what I mean by that: If Jesus would bow before Satan it would acknowledge the devil’s lordship.

However, such a proposition deserved Christ’s direct reprimand. Jesus repulsed the mightiest blows of Satan not by a thunderbolt from heaven, but by the written word of God, spoken with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, something that is available to all Christians. At this point, Satan must have known he had lost, because in the next verse we are told—Then the devil leaveth him and behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (Matthew 4:11)

Here, we see that Satan left Him, but in Luke, we find it was only for a season. I don’t believe that he left Him alone for very long.


Conclusion

Temptation is real and all of us face it. The temptation of Christ provides an example of how to overcome temptation. We can do what He did; recall what God’s Word has to say about the situation, and ask for the help of the Holy Spirit.

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