Listen:  114.1

There are so many lessons for us in this portion.  We see that the Lord was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  We see that the Lord went forty days without food.  While Christ was, and is, fully God, He is also fully man.  After these forty days of temptation and starvation, the Lord was certainly in a state of physical and emotional weakness.   It is Mark, chapter 1 that tells us this took place immediately after the Lord Jesus was baptized.  Let’s look briefly at the temptations the Lord endured as we are told here in Matthew.

Matthew 4:3 shows us that Satan said to the Lord, “…if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”  We read in Matthew 3:17, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  At the Lord’s baptism, the Father had proclaimed that He was indeed the Son of God.  Satan’s first temptation was that if Christ was truly the Son of God, then He should prove it by turning stones into bread.  Surely as a man, Christ was very hungry.  Why not just use His power to provide Himself some food?  The Lord answered Satan by using the Word of God as we read in Matthew 4:4, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

In Satan’s second temptation, he also used the scriptures.  Matthew 4:5-6 tells us, “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”  Yes, Satan used the written Word of God to tempt the living Word of God.  Does it surprise you to see Satan quoting the scriptures to entangle the Lord Jesus?  You can be assured that Satan continues to use that tactic today.  2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that, “…Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”  Satan will often come in the guise of one who professes to be a Christian; one who seems to have our interests and the Lord’s glory at heart, when in reality he is simply trying to draw us away from our blessed redeemer.  Let’s read Psalms 91:11-12, which is the portion that Satan is quoting here.  That says, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”  Did you notice the phrase that Satan left out when talking to the Lord?  He left out the phrase, “to keep thee in all thy ways.”  It is when we are acting in service to the Lord that He guarantees His watchful eye over us.  Such a subtle omission, but it truly changes the character of the scripture.  As with the first temptation, the Lord answers by correctly using the Word of God as we read in Matthew 4:7, “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

In the last temptation, Satan finally exposes his real intent; he wants to be worshipped.  Matthew 4:8-9  tells us, “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”  Satan wants us to worship and serve him.  He may promise great things to those who will bow to him, but the eternal cost is so great.  One more time, we see Christ answering Satan’s temptation by using the Word of God.  We read in Matthew 4:10, “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”  The lesson for us in this is obvious; we need the proper application of the Word of God to overcome Satan’s temptations.  It is so important that we learn our Bibles, and learn how to properly use our Bibles.

In closing, let’s be very clear about this one important point.  Satan’s temptations were not to see if Christ would sin, they are given to us to show us that Christ could not sin.  There was no sinful nature in Christ for Satan to appeal to.  The Lord Jesus said in John 14:30, “…the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”  We learn of Christ in Hebrews 7:26, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”  (114.1)