The Temptation of the Christ

Continuing on through our Christology, we arrive this week at the Temptation of the Christ.  This event reveals Christ’s holiness.  He was set apart, and while he was fully God, he was full man, and he never sinned.

In his 33 years of life, he never rolled his eyes behind his mother’s back.  He never kept more money than he should.  Never had one lustful thought concerning a woman.  Never used his words to demean another.

After his baptism by John, Scripture teaches that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the Devil himself.  It also seems a test like Job’s in that God is leading Christ to the wilderness to prove to Satan his undeniable holiness.  What’s interesting is that while Satan is a worthy adversary, his tricks have not really changed.  He’s not the most creative of sorts.  His temptation to Christ was the same as the temptation in the Garden of Eden: “Are you sure God’s Word says…”

He still uses it today, doesn’t he?

Here are some things to note:

  • Matthew and Luke cover this story both in chapter 4.
  • Satan tempts Jesus with “every temptation” (Luke 4:13), but these Gospel writers share 3 of the main temptations.
  • We are unaware if Satan knew that Jesus’ goal was the cross, but he was attempting to get Jesus to sin against God.
  • Jesus has fasted for 40 days (and he was hungry), which shows his humanness and also reveals that his flesh was weak; how many of you are extra grumpy or more prone to sin if you just miss one meal or a few hours of sleep?  Imagine how he felt.
  • Jesus doesn’t argue with Satan, he just simply quotes Scripture to him.  The phrase, “it is written” is used 3 times to reveal Christ’s resolve for obedience.  If it was in God’s Word, he would be obedient to it.  No question.
  • Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy.  When was the last time you quoted from Deuteronomy?
  • Satan also quotes Scripture but misinterprets it.  His quotation of Psalm 91 is an attempt to make God’s Word say what he wanted to.  He still does this today when you hear someone use a verse out of context to fit what they want to do.
  • Satan, in defeat, leaves but comes back at an “opportune time.”  Interesting phrasing there, isn’t it?  Check out Eph. 4:26-27 to see similarities.
  • Satan knows God’s Word better than we do.  We must be a student of the Bible.
  • What areas in your life are you prone to mess up?  Find some verses to combat the Devil on those moments by memorizing them (Ps. 119:11; Eph. 6:17).