Are You That Witness Series – Matthew 4:1-11
Intro: Every other week for a couple of years now I have had allergy shots, this of course is done to help me to deal with my allergies; at one time I was allergic to everything including couch roaches, so I was told. After every shot I have to wait 20 minutes to make sure I don’t swell, and the nurse tells me; whatever you do don’t scratch your arms, well you know what I do next? That’s right! “Scratch my arm’s” If you tell a young-in not to do something or touch something that is an invitation to do exactly what you told them not to do. Temptation is a lot like that, we know that we shouldn’t do that, say that, see that and yet we do it anyway, and it goes from a temptation to a sin. So this is the big question, WHY? Why do we do the thing we know we’re not supposed to do?
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Text: Matthew 4:1-11 (NKJV)
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' " 5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, 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 shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' " 7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' " 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " 11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”
Application - Man’s responsibility is the same as Christ's was: to trust God and to seek the things of God as he walks day by day throughout life.
Personal Preparation: Once Jesus had worked out the plan necessary to launch His ministry, and once He had received the necessary strength to go forth, His personal preparation lacked only one more thing: confronting the temptations that would face Him in the upcoming years. Conquering the onslaught of temptations that lay ahead would complete His preparation. “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
The first temptation: Vs. 2-4
“And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
Jesus was tempted immediately after His baptism. He had just had a mountaintop experience, a very special experience with God. Then, immediately, Satan attacked Him. The devil knows just where to tempt a person.
Christ was hungry He had not eaten for forty days. The devil tempted Him to create bread and feed Himself. Bread is a necessity of life. Jesus could have proven that He was the Son of God by using His supernatural power to create bread; He could have secured the loyalty of men by feeding them, that is, by meeting their physical needs. But He would have failed He would have failed in meeting the spiritual needs of man and He would have failed by teaching error—the error that the physical is more important than the spiritual, and that receiving is more important than giving. There is a spiritual hunger that is just not met by bread. Man's responsibility is the same as Christ's was: to trust God and to seek the things of God as he walks day by day throughout life. Man needs more than bread. He needs more than physical life and physical needs being met. Man needs God's life. He needs eternal life and he needs his spiritual needs met. Satan appealed to the body, the desires of the flesh. There was no sin in being hungry. Feeding the inner spiritual person is far more important than feeding the physical. God tests us and proves us in the ordinary things of life, like eating and drinking. Jesus lived under the authority of God’s Word; so should we. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!’ Psalm 119:11
This is the temptation that appeals to the lust of the flesh. “This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." John 6:50-51
The second temptation: Vs. 5-7
“Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, 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 shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' "
The second temptation of Christ was to prove His deity by the spectacular. The devil tempted Christ to prove that He was the Son of God. Christ was tempted to test God. He was to jump off the towering pinnacle of the temple and let God send His angels to catch Him in mid-air and lift Him gently to the ground. Since He was God's only Son, God would certainly bear Him up (so the devil reasoned). The worshippers at the temple, seeing such a spectacular event, would accept and proclaim Him to be the Son of God. God is not to be tested or tried; God is to be trusted. His will and His Word are to be trusted and obeyed just as they are laid down; all things are to be done exactly as He says. God wants men to believe Him because they love Him as their Father, not because of events and happenings, whether they be spectacular or commonplace. The temple or house of worship is a place of special interest to the devil. It is the place where the worship of God is centered. Therefore, to cause some diversion, pride, or false teaching—anything that detracts and leads people away from God—defeats God's purposes and ruins people's lives, sometimes eternally.
Christ would have failed if He had given in to this temptation. He would have tempted God to misuse His power, He would have placed Himself in a threatening position and risked His life, expecting God to save Him. This act would have abused God's will and misused what God had promised. This act would have centered people's attention on the spectacular. The mission of Christ was to focus people's attention on faith in God—in particular, their desperate need for God and His eternal kingdom: remember be that witness.
On the pinnacle: when a person is before multitudes. This is the temptation that appeals to pride—the pride of life (fame).
How do you overcome this temptation? Live with God moment by moment, live in His Word and be stirred more by God’s love then Satan’s temptation. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
The third temptation: Vs. 8-10
“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "
The third temptation of Christ was to prove His deity by compromise. Christ was tempted to compromise His ministry and His mission. He was tempted to secure the world without the cross, without paying the price. He was tempted to choose another way instead of God's way—to achieve His purpose by another route. He was attracted to use the wrong means for reaching the end of universal sovereignty. If He bowed down and worshipped the devil, the kingdoms of the world and the loyalty of men were to be His. Compromise with the devil and the world is not God's way. God's way is to conquer the corruption and death of this world. God alone is to be worshipped, not the devil nor the world and its power.
A believer is often tempted to compromise both his life and his work or ministry. The tempter, Satan, wants a person to live for the world only, to ignore his spirit that is destined to live forever. He wants a person's attention and energy and effort. He wants a person given over to this world and to this life only. Satan deceives and lies. Temptation must be resisted immediately. Jesus did not hesitate a moment in resisting temptation. This is the temptation that appeals to the lust of the eyes.
Christ resisted the temptation the only way He could: by doing exactly what the Word of God said. He simply obeyed God; therefore, He never got out of the will of God. The devil was defeated and temptation and sin were conquered. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
Conclusion: God allows man to be tempted for the same reasons He led Christ to be tempted. God allows man to be tempted to prove and demonstrate his faith, to strengthen and prepare him for heavier responsibility and to demonstrate the mercy, grace, and power of God in a human life. “Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.” James 1:13
The more a person seeks to serve God, the more he can expect to be tempted. The more a person seeks to serve God, the more he needs communion with God. Time alone with God is essential. A quiet time in God's Word—meditating, communing, and worshipping—is an absolute essential for the believer. Spiritual strength and maturity do not exempt a person from temptation. Everyone is tempted, even the Son of God Himself. Christ met temptation by doing three things. He spent time alone with God. He made sure He was led by the Spirit. He relied upon the Scripture.
Vs 11. “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.” After a long race (Marathon) it is always encouraging for me to see those volunteers who stand in the finish shoot to cheer you on and help you if you need it. The Angels where in that shoot when the Devil left Jesus.
witness will be tempted but as Christ was able so are you: “God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,” “Are You That
In : Sermon
Tags: "are you that witness series" "book of matthew"
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