Tempted in the Wilderness

Sterling Franklin


Satan tempts Jesus three times, and Jesus isn't in his full 
strength at that point. He actually had just fasted forty days in the 

Luke 4 gives an account of Satan's tempting of Jesus, as does what we 
have read in Matthew 4. As we go further into the Gospels, a lot of 
harmony and confirmations of miracles (through numerous accounts) are 

Luke 4:2 - Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he 
did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 

      So apparently, Jesus had been tempted during those days by the 
devil as well as at the end. Though tempted, He did not succumb to the 
enticement (ooh, big words!). He didn't give in at any point.

Giving a sneak peek into Hebrews, we will find more information about 
why Jesus is our Perfect atonement (payment) for our sins and went 
through His life on earth spotless and without blemish, even though He 
was tempted in every way we are.

Hebrews 4:15 - For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched 
with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like 
as we are, yet without sin. 

Interesting how the devil tries to attack especially when we are 
weakest. He can try to grab a hold and discourage us, but we are 
commanded to, well, 1 - Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6), and 
2 - Rejoice in everything and take things to prayer (Philippians 4 and I 
Thessalonians 5), and 3 - Don't let the devil even get a foothold!

  Ephesians 4:27 - Neither give place to the devil. 

Reading the Bible, prayer, fellowship, and worship with Christians are EXTREMELY 
good shielding from the darts of the devil.

Ephesians 6:13-18 - "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, 
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, 
to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and 
having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the 
preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of 
faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the 
wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and 
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance 
and supplication for all saints;" 

Jesus was well equipped for the devil's attacks
Parallel to Genesis 3, where Eve is tempted by the serpent (Satan), 
Matthew 4 talks about Satan tempting Jesus.

Genesis 3:6 - And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, 
and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make 
one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto 
her husband with her; and he did eat. 

      Both these passages follow right along with 1 John 2:16.

 1 John 2:16 - For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and 
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but 
is of the world. 

Lust of the Flesh -

Genesis 3 - Tree was good for food. Devil tells her to eat from it.
Eve's response: Mmm! Mmm!

Luke 4 - "And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, 
command this stone that it be made bread." (4:3)
Jesus' response: "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That 
man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (4:4)

The source is more important than the bread! Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 
8:3 in this part of the temptation. That was a big 'no' to the devil!

Lust of the Eyes -

Genesis 3 - Tree was pleasant to the eyes.
Eve's response: Maybe I can disobey <chomp!>

Luke 4 - "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed 
unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the 
devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of 
them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 
If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine." (4:5-7)
Jesus' Response: "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind 
me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and 
him only shalt thou serve." (4:8)

Satan is sometimes called the 'god of this world,' and in Job, we find 
that he wanders to and fro on the earth, but a sick part is that he 
doesn't realize that he's already been defeated by the Blood of the 
Lamb, Jesus will reign over all, and simply, the devil himself won't 

Jesus busted the devil's request by quoting Scripture from Deuteronomy
(chapter 6, verse 23) and ended the request abruptly. There is Power in 
the Word of God!

Pride of Life - 

Genesis 3 - Eating from the tree would make Eve wise.
Eve's Response: Disobedience, turning into her being ashamed and 
guilty of sin.

Luke 4 - "And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of 
the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself 
down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge 
over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, 
lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." (4:9-11)
Jesus' Response: "And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou 
shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." (4:12)

      Satan took his quote from Scripture out of context. Jesus put him 
in order right away. Jesus knew the Scriptures, and even so, He was, 
is, and WILL be the Word of God!

  John 1:1-4 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All 
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was 
made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men." 

We need to be well equipped in the Word of God, meaning read the Bible, 
know it, and live it! The more you know Him and about Him, the more 
AWESOME life is!

Jesus said that we err (make mistakes) because the Word is not in us. 
The Word was certainly in Him, so let's follow in His Footsteps there!

  Psalm 91:1-3 - "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, 
He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he 
shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome 

Notice something about Jesus' Divinity? Even though He was fully God 
while fully man, He never did miracles to improve His Life. He could 
have forced everyone to give Him riches and things of earth, but He 
didn't. Jesus always helped the helpless and the lowly, as well as 
higher authority figures (example: the centurion in Matthew 8)

Jesus could have been huge in His first 'trip to earth,' but He became 
as a lowly servant. He could have blasted the devil off the map if He 
wanted to, and all temptation in the wilderness would not have even 
existed! Jesus even prayed later on for God the Father's Will to be 
done. Jesus could have done a miracle to get down from the cross, but 
He didn't. He was the Son of God who died for the payment of our sins, 
even though He did nothing wrong. He then rose again, conquering death 
and hell (Revelation 1:18) and proving that He is the Son of God!

He will be back, however, and THIS time, He will be King over an 
everlasting Kingdom. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess 
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father (Philippians 
2:10-11). Everyone, willing and unwilling, will do so. Will you be 
joyful and willing, with a life of peace ahead? Will you have life more 
abundantly here on earth?

Jesus came that we would have life, and life more abundantly (John 
10:10), and it's a free gift. If you haven't accepted Jesus Christ as 
your Savior and King, and wish to, pray this prayer to Him: "Jesus, be 
my Savior. Forgive my sins, make my heart clean and new. You are the 
Son of God. Thank You for what You have done for me, and what You are 
doing, and will do, in Jesus' Name, Amen."

God is Good, and that's not just part-time!

  Psalm 145:3 - "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his 
greatness is unsearchable." 

May the Lord bless you this weekend, and set your hearts on things 
above, and trust in Him, because He will lead you into the best path for 
your life!


Study Date: Jan 26, 2002 14:49 PST

Category: Sermon/Bible Study

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