- Sermon Notes
Intro: Navigating a maze.
This morning we are going to study in Matthew chapter 4, where Jesus is led into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the enemy. It is here where we see Jesus display for us that though temptation will come, there is a way out. If you have ever wondered how to remove yourself from temptation, or the best exit strategy, follow Jesus’ model, though tempted in every way, He has overcome.
Read: Matthew 4:1-11
- After fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, Jesus was no doubt hungry. Entering into this world as God in the flesh, Jesus was fully God and fully man. The effects on His physical body after that time period without food, are similar to what would take place in you or me, in other words, Jesus was starving. He had said no to the appetite of His body, denying the physical, concentrating on the spiritual.
- It is at that moment, a moment of dire physical hunger, that Satan shows up to temp Jesus. Jesus was led into certain temptation, and just as He had identified with man in His being baptized by John, He would also identify with man in His being tempted.
- In our lives there will be times where we are tempted. As need or want increases, the enemy will seize the opportunity to point you toward the things of this world, the temporary things, and to distract you from trusting in the will of the Lord. But there is a way out.
I. Let the Lord Lead You in Victory
- Jesus had been baptized 40 days earlier. Though He was sinless, He went to be baptized by John in order to identify with sinful man.
- After being baptized, Jesus was immediately led into the wilderness where He fasted was tempted by Satan himself.
- Here we see that Jesus endured extreme temptation and can identify with us when we are tempted in our lives.
Hebrews 4:14-15, Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One Who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin.
- Jesus can relate with us in our weakness, and we identify with Him when we overcome.
- While our Savior understands being tempted in every way, He also shows us the way to resist temptation, and overcome.
- In order for the Lord to lead us in victory, we must be certain that we are on His side, trusting His instruction, and His word.
Illus. Heading toward Jericho.
- Like Joshua, it is critical that we keep God’s will and way ahead of our own. That we willingly trust and follow His leading.
- When tempted it is tempting to devise our own plan of attack, but God has a better way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
A.Wait for His provision
- In verse three, the tempter came to Jesus and said, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”
- Jesus had been baptized 40 days earlier, and in a powerful way, God the Father spoke, saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
- Now, Satan comes to Him questioning the very words God had spoken. “If you are the Son of God, do something, change your situation.”
- If you are the Son of God, why are you hungry? Why is this happening?
- The same is true in your life and mine when the enemy comes and says, “If you are a child of God, why the difficulty? Why are you lacking?”
- Where is the Fathers provision? “Do something about it in your own power. Change your situation right now, aren’t you a child of God?”
- When questions of God’s provision come, know that God will supply what you need.
Philippians 4:19, And my God shall supply your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- The Lord would say, be patient. I am working. I am preparing. I am faithful and true, I am working in your waiting.
- In our lives, there are situations where God wants to do exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all we could as or think (Eph. 3:20), but it’s going to be in His timing.
Illus. More Milk!
- While bread in and of itself is not bad, Jesus was being called to fast. Later, the Lord would provide for Him, but at this moment, it was not the right time.
- Though hungry, and tempted, Jesus did not take matters into His own hands, He would wait for God to provide what He needed.
Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
- Jesus responded by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. What is found in God’s word, is much more important than bread.
- More important than physical food, or the physical realm, is trusting that God will supply all your needs. Wait for His provision.
- After his first try at tempting Jesus was unsuccessful, Satan tries another avenue.
- He took Jesus and had Him stand at the top of the temple, this time, questioning God’s protection.
Matthew 4:6, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, He will command His angels concerning you, they will save you so that you do not strike your foot against a stone.”
- Do you believe your Father will protect you? Prove it! Prove it to me, prove it to yourself!
- Jesus is being tempted to put himself in an artificially created crisis in order to prove something.
- Go to the top of the pinnacle and jump off the ledge, doesn’t scripture say that God will protect you?
- Here Psalm 91:11-12 is quoted, but there are parts of that Scripture left out.
Psalm 91:11-13, For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and serpent you will trample down.
- To test God in this way was not the way of Jesus; it was not the way of the Messiah.
- Jesus’ way was to lay down His life, to let go of His will. God would surely guard Him in all His ways – not in acting on Satan’s temptations.
- Satan borrowed the Lord’s weapon, the Word, the sword of the Spirit, but he did not use it lawfully. He did not quote it correctly and left out necessary words.
- It has been said, “We can prove almost anything from the Bible, if we isolate text from context.”
- If context is taken out, if scripture is misquoted, a person can try to make it say or mean whatever they would like. Compare scripture with scripture.
- Jesus does just that, quoting Deuteronomy 6:16 in response.
Matthew 4:7, “On the other hand it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
- Jesus was not willing to prove that God would protect, He was not going to test Him.
Illus. A blind drive.
- “You shall not put the Lord to test,” This warns us against demanding something spectacular from God to prove His love or concern for us. He has already given the ultimate demonstration of His love.
Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
- In our lives God will protect as well, it is best to not test the limits, or see how far we can go without getting hurt.
Illus. Jumping in!
- There are times we jump into our own will, giving in to temptation, getting closer and closer to the edge until we jump, and then wonder why we hit rock bottom.
- Jesus was not willing to put God to the test. He said, “I am not going to test My Father, I know He is with Me. I know He will protect me. I don’t have to prove it or question it.”
- The word “imitate” in the Greek is “mimic.”
A.Stand on God’s promises
Hebrews 6:19, This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.
- Standing on the promises found in God’s word will be an anchor to your soul. No matter what storms or temptation comes your way.
- In verse 8, we see the enemy then takes Jesus to a high mountain, showing him all the kingdoms of the world and all their glory. He offered it all to Jesus, if Jesus would only worship him.
- Originally, God gave man dominion over the earth, but when Adam gave into the temptation of the enemy in the Garden of Eden, Satan became the god of this world. Even the apostle Paul referred to him as such (1 Cor. 4:4).
- He certainly holds influence and may have temporary power, but ultimately all things are under God's authority.
- Jesus is told that He would be given the whole world, right then and there if He would simply fall down and worship Satan.
- In other words, He is being encouraged to take a shortcut. “The promise of the Father? When will that take place? Dying on the cross, why? You can have it all now.”
- What is being questioned is God’s promise, and in your life, those same questions may be posed to you.
Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
- What Satan would say to you is, “why delight yourself in the Lord? Hungry, why wait?”
- Trust in God’s promises, don’t rob your future of what He will give.
Matthew 4:10, “Go Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord you God, and serve Him only.’”
James 4:7, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.