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Study to Grow


By Doug Bell


John 4:

1¶Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.2And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.3And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”4But he answered,“It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”5¶Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple6and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”7¶Jesus said to him,“Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.9And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”10Then 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.


******

Here in the temptations of Jesus, we see the “Main Ways” Satan comes to the human race, to tempt each of us!


We read In the book of 1 John 2:

16For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life- is not from the Father but is from the world.”


Note three ways temptation comes to us:

1. The desires of the flesh-


2. The desires of the eyes-


3. The pride of life-


*****

We see the old dragon has not changed his devices since the very beginning! In the book of Genesis 3:6 When he tempts Adam/Eve, we read:


“6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,

[desires of the flesh-]

and that it was a delight to the eyes,

[desires of the eyes-] and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,

[ pride of life-]

she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.“


*****


The devil comes at Jesus FIRST with the Desires of the flesh- “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” Notice how the devil waits until after Jesus had fasted already for 40 days, his hunger would be extreme! Take... Change... Eat! Why deny yourself? It’s right there in front of you! Why wait?


But, Jesus answered the tempter; “It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Jesus’ answer shows us how much more Important the eternal is, against the temporal! Instant gratification is expected in America, but Jesus reminds us that the True Food that satisfies for eternity comes from obedience to God.


*****


The SECOND temptation is The desires of the eyes- (Here I follow the order of the temptations in Luke 4:1-13). ’”8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.9And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” The temptation is trying to get Jesus to go a different way, other than

the cross. Why suffer... why be hurt... why die? Simply(?) worship me, and it’s all yours without the cost!


Jesus was having none of this! So, now:

10Then Jesus said to him,“Be gone, Satan! For it is written,“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”


Jesus knew that Satan was an usurper, Not the ‘real’ god of this earth Jesus would receive this honor after the resurrection (cf. Revelation 1:17-18; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28). We will never find satisfaction trying to circumvent the will of God. Jesus could Never have made salvation for mankind possible without going the Father’s way, I.e., through the Cross!


*****

The THIRD temptation The pride of life- “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”


Another attempt by the deceiver trying to get the Messiah to go a ‘different’ Way. He was saying, Think of the popularity you would have... the accolade... the crowds! Why would you want to go the way of the cross when you could put on a show, and everyone would bow before you?


The final temptation was met once again by Jesus knowing and quoting scripture! 7¶Jesus said to him,“Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” We should Never put God to the test, He is Omniscient, (all knowing) and we are linear, trapped by space, time, and history. God is to be honored, loved, and worshipped!


Jesus Show is ‘How to have victory over temptation;

  • Read and memorize the Bible

  • Put God First and His Righteousness

  • Worship and Love God with all your Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength!


Victory over temptation & sin ’is’ possible!






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