Matthew 4:1-11 “Jesus’ Temptation and Response”

Posted on October 16, 2008. Filed under: Redeemer Sermons Matthew |

Thursday, October 16, 2008–I have fallen seriously behind in my blogging Pastor Tim’s sermons, and everything else, because my computer has been down for a couple of weeks. I am currently using Jeremy’s computer but all my files are on the other…I am such the stone age guy with all this computer stuff! Anyway, here are my notes from a sermon about 3 weeks ago.

Matthew 4:1-11 “Jesus’ Temptation and Response”

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’


“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

This is a mysterious passage, How could Jesus really be tempted? Jesus never sinned. How could someone without sin really be tempted? We desire to be without sin but struggle with sin and temptation. Romans 7 Paul tells us of his struggles. The conflict of desires in our hearts was unknown in Christ. He had no desire to sin! “Temptation + occassion put nothing into man, but only draws out what is already in the man” (John Owen)

I. The Context- this is the field of battle for our experience of God’s grace. Jesus meets Satan face to face and wins where the first Adam fell. Jesus was hungry after 40 days of fasting. This temptation comes after the glorious baptism and God’s announcement of His pleasure in Christ. Immediately Jesus is led by the Spirit to the Wilderness. After great honor we must expect great humbling. Yesterday’s obedience guarantees nothing for today.

Temptation is a testing and is not itself a sin. This temptation comes from outside Jesus. v.5 Satan took him; v.8 Satan took him. When you and I are tempted we are assailed from within and without. James 1:14. Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit to THIS point; it is not an accident or coincidence- it is part of the Father’s plan. We pray “Lead us not into temptation” but Jesus was led into temptation. If the Son relies on the Word,then we must rely on the Word.

Our Lord fasted for 40 days like Moses and Elijah and he engaged Satan in a more difficult field than Adam. Adam lived in a garden of fruit- Christ was fasting in a wilderness. Jesus could have commanded the stones to become bread. He was tempted to rely on the first part of God’s blessing “This is my beloved Son” while ignoring the second part, the cross and suffering.

II. The Character of the Tempter- vss.3,5,8,10 there are 3 names for Tempter, Devil, Satan.

vs.3- The Tempter, the one who entices you to partake of the fruits of destruction by showing you that part which is good, desirable and delightful. He entices then accuses.

v.10 Satan the adversary. He presents himself as an angel of light but is the enemy of our souls. Evil is not merely psychological it is personal. He is a roaring lion seeking to devour you. If God merely hated sin in the abstract he would send sin to hell. God hates every worker of iniquity.

III. Content- He attacks our Lord’s trust in the Father’s providence. Sin is unbelief. He wants you to mistrust God’s providence. Satan knows who Christ is. Since you are the Christ, why don’t you do this? Perhaps the Father won’t provide for you- “just turn the stones to bread.” vs5-6 Throw yourself down from the Temple to prove who you are to all. Satan knows the Scriptures and Psalm 91 against Jesus.

He tempts Jesus to disobey the 1st Commandment and worship the devil. Satan’s grand strategy is deceptive. He wouldn’t produce what he promised. If any one calls you to the cross but promises you no suffering they are offering you a false gospel.

IV. Response of Our Lord- vss.4,7,10- He answers from the Book. He relies on Scripture. We accept the Bible’s authority out of devotion to the God of the Bible. He shows obedience because he wanted to please the Father. Jesus quotes Deut. 6, 8 What we need vs. what we think we need. Satan and his trinkets. We beomce satisfied with trinkets rather than the treasures of Christ. The Tempter can only be met with thewhole armor of God in Eph.6 and Heb.4:16 If Scripture is not Lord of our mind then Jesus is not Lord of our hearts-JI Packer.


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