Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part VII: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Temptation
(Matthew 4:1-11)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus is God's Messiah, He must be without sin for His atonement for sin to be valid, Hebrews 7:26-27.
    2. Satan's temptation of Christ reveals this, and we view that event in Matthew 4:1-11 for its lessons:
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Temptation, Matthew 4:1-11.
    1. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1), so, in this event, God the Father wanted to reveal Christ was sinless in preparation for His work to provide an atonement for sin on the cross while Satan wanted to get Jesus to sin and thus undermine God's whole plan of redemption, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matthew 4:1.
    2. Satan tempted Jesus in the realm of the lust of the flesh, but Jesus overcame the temptation, Matt. 4:2-4:
      1. To make the temptation valid, God the Father left Jesus to go forty days and forty nights without food, leaving Him humanly vulnerable to the temptation to disobey God in acquiring food to eat, Matt. 4:2.
      2. Satan then came to Jesus, assuming that if He was God's Son and thus the Father's equal, he could persuade Jesus to act independent of the Father and use His divine power to turn wilderness stones into bread to satisfy His great hunger, Matthew 4:3; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 26.
      3. Jesus chose to stay under the Father's authority, and cited Deuteronomy 8:3 that directed Him as a man not to live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded from God's mouth, Matthew 4:4.
    3. Satan tempted Jesus in the realm of the lust of the eyes, but Jesus overcame the temptation, Matt. 4:5-7:
      1. The Evil One next tried to appeal to Jesus' human need to look appealing to others, saying that if He was God's Son, to cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, for in Psalm 91:11-12 God had promised to use the holy angels to protect Him lest He dash His foot against a stone, Matthew 4:5-6.
      2. This was a real temptation given the fact that the Hebrews of that era thought that since Malachi 3:1 predicted Messiah would suddenly appear at His temple, He would descend from the sky into the temple, so Satan suggested such an act that Israel would admire so as to trust in Jesus as Messiah, Ibid.
      3. However, this was not God's will, and Satan had omitted the phrase, "in all thy ways" from Psalm 91:11-12, a phrase revealing God would protect Jesus only if He walked in God's ways, so Jesus cited Deuteronomy 6:16 that told Him not to put God to the test by heeding Satan's suggestion, Matt. 4:7!
    4. Satan tempted Jesus in the realm of the pride of life, but Jesus overcame the temptation, Matt. 4:8-10:
      1. Finally, Satan tempted Jesus regarding God's plan, Matt. 4:8-9, Ibid.: he took Him up into a mountain and showed Him all the world's kingdoms and their glory, and told Him he would give all these to Jesus were He to bow down and worship him. This reveals Satan truly rules the world's kingdoms.
      2. This test tempted Jesus to feed His pride by letting Him avoid the humiliation of the cross to gain the Kingdom in violation of the Father's plan for Jesus to face the cross before the crown. Jesus countered Satan, citing Deuteronomy 10:20 (and 6:13) that He was to worship and serve God alone, Matt. 4:10.
    5. Having failed to get Jesus to fall for the same temptation points the rest of us face (Hebrews 4:15), that is, to fall for the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16; Genesis 3:6), Satan left Jesus, and God sent angels to minister to Him, Matthew 4:11. This angelic ministry aided Christ relative to the humanly drained state of His temptation as in the case of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:5-8.
Lesson: Jesus overcame Satan's temptations in all points that we are tempted (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, 1 John 2:16; Genesis 3:6), yet without sin as our able Sin Bearer, Hebrews 4:15. He exampled for us that to overcome Satanic temptation, we must heed Scripture as interpreted in its proper context versus violating the authority of God's Word, 1 John 2:14b.

Application: (1) May we rejoice that Jesus is our Adequate, Sinless Sin Bearer. (2) May we follow His example in overcoming Satanic temptation by heeding Scripture in its proper context, cf. 1 John 2:14b! [In this regard, it is worth noting that Jesus cited only from Deuteronomy in answering Satan, for that book applied specifically to Jews like Him after they entered the Promised Land, Deuteronomy 4:1!]