Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." 4 But he answered, "It is
written, "' Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, "' He will command his angels concerning you,' and "'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "' You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. (Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.)
Jesus gave us three general ways the devil tempts people.
1. Satan tempts us to fulfill physical needs in an ungodly way (i.e. fulfill sexual need some other way than with one’s marriage partner). Vss. 1-3
2. Satan tempts us to do something outside of God’s will by misusing scripture (i.e. claim an expensive car for ourselves when we simply can’t afford it and don’t need it using Romans 4:17). Vss. 5-6
3. Satan tempts us to gain power and pleasure by worshiping him (1 Corinthian 10:20 instructs us that idolatry is worshiping demons, of whom Satan is the leader. Ephesians 5:5 tells us covetousness or greed is idolatry, which is worshiping demons). Vss 8-9
Jesus left us an example to follow of how to overcome Satan’s tempting. He correctly used the Word of God each time Satan tempted Him. Vss. 4, 7, 10.
Jesus warned us that Satan tempts at opportune times. Luke 4:13
1. When we are weak. (Jesus was weak from 40 days of fasting)
2. When we are alone. (Jesus was alone in the wilderness)
3. When we are in transition. (Jesus was transitioning to public ministry from a private home
Practical lessons we can learn from this passage of Scripture.
1. We will be tempted at opportune times. We need to be on the alert.
2. We need to learn God’s word so we can overcome temptation by Satan.
3. We need to be aware of the general ways Satan tempts us so we can guard ourselves.