First, it was just after the wonderful experience of Jesus' baptism that He was led by the Spirit into this battle. Interesting how a spiritual "high" is followed by a spiritual struggle.
Second, there is the question of what is the purpose for Jesus to face these temptations. Was it to exhibit Jesus' sinlessness and power in the Spirit? Was it for our encouragement in His relating to our struggles and showing us how to have victory?
Third, the question arises as to whether Jesus could have yielded and sinned. If that was not possible - were the temptations truly tempting? Either way one sees it, we know that He did NOT sin! AMEN!
Fourth, we see the 3 temptations Jesus faced as classic examples of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16 KJV). Some see these 3 temptations as invitations to selfishness, sensationalism, and an unscriptural shortcut!
Fifth and finally, we learn of the power of God's Pronouncement = the Word of God that can give victory over temptation in spiritual warfare. We learn that the Bible is a directive, a defense, and a deterrent vs. sinful temptation.
See you Sunday!
1. Why do you think the Spirit would lead Jesus to do battle with Satan? Matthew 4:1
2. Compare the first temptation with the first temptation. Matthew 4:3; Genesis 3:1-6
3. In the second temptation the devil actually quotes Scripture to Jesus to bolster his temptation. Matthew 4:6: Psalm 91:11-12 Can you think of any ways the Scripture can be misused?
4. Why do you think the devil said "If you are the Son of God..." (Matthew 4:3.6)? Is it to make Jesus doubt or to tempt Him to "prove it'? Do we ever give way to doubt or the pride of "proving it"?
5. Jesus came to benefit the world. (John 3:16) Some see the third temptation as an attempt on Satan's part to give Jesus the chance to help the world without going to the cross. (Matthew 4:9-10)Would that truly have helped the people of the world?
6. Three times Jesus wins the victory by declaring "It is written...” and quoting Scripture. (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10 Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:13, 6:16) How can you and I make the Bible a real weapon of victory in our lives when fighting temptation?