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07 Luke 4.1-13

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The Temptations of Christ

Luke 4:1-13


When the Union-Pacific railroad was under construction, an elabo­rate trestle bridge was built over a certain large canyon in the West as part of the plan to connect St. Louis and California.

Before it was open for commercial use, the construction engineer wanted to test its strength. He loaded a train with extra cars and equipment to double its normal payload. The train was driven out to the middle of the bridge, where it was to remain for an entire day. One worker complained, "Are you trying to break this bridge?" "No," said the engineer. "I'm trying to prove that the bridge is unbreakable."

v    Engineering principle

Ø     A load in motion is half of what it is at rest

§        Thus the engineer was putting 4x the load on the bridge to test it!

v    And that is exactly the principle at work in our text today…

Ø     READ 1 & 2

v    We must remember that these temptations occurred right after Jesus’ baptism

Ø     Directly after His confirmation of who He is

§        Revealing to the public what only Mary, Joseph and a few family members only knew

·        That Jesus was God incarnate

v    RQ: And what does the Holy Spirit do following this declaration?

Ø     The same thing that engineer did…

§        Proves that Jesus is unbreakable

·        Leads Jesus into the desert to be tested with an extraordinarily heavy load

¨     Into the desert

¨     40 days

¨     No food - Fasting & hungry

¨     Tempted by Satan himself!!

§        The Holy Spirit was putting the full load onto Jesus to prove that He was strong

v    And Satan tempts Jesus in three ways

Ø     The first we see in verses 3-4 (READ)

v    Temptation #1 ~ Temptation of Self-Reliance

Ø     I’d like us first to Look at how Satan tempts Jesus

§        With food

·        We must realize what Luke is doing here

¨     We have 2 genealogies in the New Testament

Ø     Matthew’s Goes back to Abraham

Ø     Luke’s goes back to Adam

Ø     Luke is setting up Jesus as the second Adam

§        That’s the point Paul makes in Romans 5:12-21

·        Rom 5:19

¨      For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous

Ø     Jesus came to accomplish what Adam could not!


v    And the same temptation was given to Jesus as was Adam

Ø     The temptation in the Garden those many years ago was…

§        Do you believe that God really cares for you? Do you trust God’s plan? Is God providing for you, really?

·        The serpent in the garden caused Eve to doubt what God said about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

¨     God doesn’t really care for you…He is withholding from you!

¨     Take, eat, it is all right

¨     You have to feed yourself, God will not provide

§        And that is what Satan tempts Jesus with too

·        Your hungry, You haven’t eaten in 40 days

·        Does God really care about you?

·        Seems like He has left you

·        He hasn’t provided for you

¨     Tell this stone to become bread.

Ø     Boy what a temptation that must have been

§        They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

·        And that is just what Satan is trying to get at…Jesus’ heart

¨     And turn it away from His heavenly Father

Ø     You see…

§        To turn that stone into bread and eat would have been an admission that God does not provide

§        It would have been as act of faithlessness

·        But Jesus resisted the temptation by relying on God and trusting that God will provide in due time

Ø     What a lesson for us!

§        When we do not get what we want

·        When we do not have what others do (the Joneses)

¨     That is when Satan comes and tempts us in the same way

Ø     Does God really care about you?

Ø     Seems like He has left you

Ø     He hasn’t provided for you

Ø     He hasn’t given you what you want!

Ø     But we must realize what Jesus did

§        Man does not live by bread alone!

We have to look at how Jesus was tempted and also…

Ø     Listen to what Satan says…

§        “IF you are the son of God”

·        Look also @ V. 9

¨     Twice Satan begins his tempting by questioning who Christ is

Ø     And this right after God the Father confirmed who he is in 3:22

§        “You are my son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased”

Ø     Satan tempts us in the same way

§        He wants us to doubt who we are

·        Eph 1:5 says that we are adopted sons and daughters of God

¨     Yet Satan whispers in our ears all the time

Ø     If you are a Christian, why do you continue to sin

Ø     Are you really sure that you are saved?

Ø     Have you lost your salvation?

Ø     We cannot listen to Satan’s lies as he tries to plant doubt in our minds as to our salvation

§        We must stand on the Word of God

·        And Reply as Jesus did

¨     Dt 8:3 ~ Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God

Ø     And the Word tells us that we are sons and daughters of Christ!

§        Jn 10:28 ~ Whom I have in my hand no man can pluck out!

v    But Satan does not give up yet…

Ø     Satan then tempts Jesus a second time

§        READ 4:5-8

v    Temptation #2 ~ Temptation of False Worship

Ø     Satan knew Jesus’ mission

§        To bring the kingdom of God to earth

§        Jesus is constantly talking about this throughout His ministry

·        84x in the Gospels

¨     In this same chapter a little further we see Jesus talking about it…

Ø     Luke 4:43 ~ After Jesus has healed many, the people want Jesus to stay among them, but Jesus says to them

§        “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”

·        The spiritual Kingdom of God is here, in people’s hearts and minds

¨     But the physical is not

Ø     That is why there is sickness, pain, divorce, suffering

§        But when Christ returns a second time, He will usher in an age described in Rev 7:16-17

·        Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

v    Satan knows this mission…

Ø     So he was tempting Jesus to take another path besides the mission He was given

Ø     Satan was offering a shortcut, an easy way, a path of least resistance

·        Satan’s temptation to Jesus was…

¨     Do you need to go through the agony of the cross?

Ø     And all Jesus had to do was to worship Satan

§        V. 7 ~ If you worship me, it will all be yours

·        If you worship me, I will give it to you


v    He is offering the crown without the cross

v    How tempting that is for all of us, too!

Ø     Diet pills

§        We want to lose weigh without changing our eating

·        The Crown without the Cross

Ø     In Sports ~ Steroids

§        Germany woman who won the Hawaii Ironman triathlon admitted to using EPO, an endurance enhancing drug

·        Rampant Steroids use in all sports

¨     The Crown without the Cross

Ø     In Business

§        “How to succeed in business without really trying”

·        The Crown without the Cross

Ø     Spiritual growth

§        We want to be spiritually mature

·        Without the pain that comes along with it…without the Cross

¨     The Cross of discipline

Ø     The discipline of worship

Ø     The discipline of Prayer

Ø     The discipline of Devotions

¨     The Cross of tests and trials

Shortly after the death of their daughter Robin, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans met a pale little boy. He had been abandoned in a Kentucky motel, and was physically and mentally disabled.

Roy and Dale adopted him, calling him Sandy in honor of his hair. He was bright-eyed and good-natured. During a Billy Graham Crusade, Sandy became a Christian.

Roy and Dale enrolled him in military school and he loved it. At seventeen, he enlisted in the army'.' Sandy worked hard and won respect. He was sent to Germany, then volunteered for Vietnam. "Put your faith in the Lord," he wrote home, "because he's always around when you need him. All he asks in return is your devotion:'

Then one day Dale Evans, returning from a trip, was met at the airport. "It's Sandy, Mom. He's dead:' Sandy had returned from 26 days of maneuvers. His buddies had taken him out for the night, needling him to "prove you're a man:' Sandy, who couldn't tolerate alcohol, had given in. They fed him hard liquor until he collapsed. He was found next morning dead in his bunk.

Dale Evans survived the sorrow only by drawing strength from Scripture, partic­ularly from Job 13:15. "Tragedy in a Christian's life is a refiner," she wrote. "God has not promised an easy way, but peace at the center of the hard way. The clouds of sorrow have been heavy, but I have reached the point of no return in my Christian experience, and with Job I can cry, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust him:"

v    I’m sorry to be the one to inform you, but…

Ø     Christ promises each and every one of us a cross!

§        Mk 8:34

·        “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

v    Christ promises us a life that is not easy

Ø     If they persecuted me, they will persecute you

v    Christ promises us a difficult path in this life

Ø     Jn 16:35 ~ In this world you will have trouble

v    But…

Ø     We are promised a crown by way of bearing our own cross!

v    And Jesus understood this and did not take the easy way

Ø     He chooses the way of the cross by following His heavenly Father

§        Look at V. 8

v    Jesus is saying

Ø     I do not choose an easy way false worship full of instant gratification…

§        I choose the hard way of true worship and the promise of eternal salvation

·        And that should be our choice as well!

v    Jesus faced the temptations of Self-reliance and False worship

Ø     But now the Devil comes at him with perhaps the most alluring temptation…

v    Temptation #3 ~ Temptation of Popularity

Ø     READ 4:9-12

Ø     Satan takes Jesus to Jerusalem to the highest point of the temple (450’ to the Kidron Valley)

§        And says….

·        Read V. 9b

¨     And Satan uses Scripture to back it up!

Ø     RQ: What is the temptation here?


v    Satan is saying…

Ø     You have the power, the ability to wow the people

§        To draw people to yourself

§        To gain notoriety

§        To attract a following by performing miracles

§        To be accepted by the world

§        Use it!

Ø     This was to be a continual temptation throughout Jesus’ ministry

§        Always being asked for a sign

§        Look what happened after the miracle of feeding the 5,000, the people wanted to make him king (Jn 6:15)

·        But instead he gave a hard teaching about faith and discipleship

¨     And it says later in on Chapter 6…

Ø     Jn 6:66 ~ From this time on many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him

Ø     Jesus refused to be tempted by popularity

§        He refused to allow His message to be dictated by the crowd

·        Because that is what can happen when you seek the world’s acceptance over God’s

¨     That was the temptation

v    And that is temptation for every one of us here

Ø     Myself included!

§        My temptation in this regard is found in the back left corner of this church

·        It’s a little piece of paper which records the attendance on Sunday mornings

¨     I am always tempted each week as I come in here to pray to go and look at the number written

Ø     The bigger the number…the more I am encouraged

Ø     The smaller…the more I am discouraged

§        The temptation is…

·        How am I being accepted by the world?

¨     Are they coming? Do they want to come and hear Blake

Ø     Am I popular?

§        And that pursuit of worldly acceptance will take me down the wrong roads

v    To seek God’s acceptance requires us to forfeit worldly popularity

Ø     Hanity & Colmes - James Dobson & Gay marriage

§        Colmes gave Dobson the statistic that close to 75% of America wants some sort of gay marriage of civil union

·        I’m sure there was a temptation on the national stage to acquiesce and agree

¨     But Dobson refused and stood for what was right

v    To seek God’s acceptance requires us to forfeit worldly popularity

Ø     And that is exactly what Jesus chooses…

§        The acceptance of His heavenly father

v    The crowd is always calling to us to follow…

Ø     The question is…

§        Which voice will you choose?

v    Notes:

v    Temptation plays on doubt

Ø     Satan playing on Jesus’ doubt

§        3 “if” statements

v    But there many be some here who think they do not have a bag on their back at all

Ø     But the genealogy tells us different

§        Look at v. 38

·        The son of Adam

v    We all have the baggage of original sin on our backs

Ø     And the only way to remove it is through faith in Jesus Christ

§        For the second Adam, Christ, came to fulfill what the first Adam could not

·        Complete obedience to God

Bondage to sin came by birth; deliverance from sin comes by death. But if we die, then what good is it to be delivered? There is another way to die and yet live. For example, consider a small piece of paper that is placed into a book. The paper has an identity all its own, separate from the book, but now it is in the book and shares something with the book. Let's say that the book is then mailed to another person. The paper was not mailed, but it had been put into the book. So where is the paper? Obviously, whatever the book goes through the paper will go through as well, for it is still there in the book. When Christ was crucified, we who are "in him," died and received all that he went through, including deliverance from the bondage of sin

Ø     We all come from sinful stock

Ø     We all have the original sin of Adam running in our veins

§        They say that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it

·        In our case we may know our history, but we are still doomed to repeat it

¨     Because there is nothing that we can do about our own sin

v    But there is one who can…And that is the point that the genealogy is trying to make!

Ø     Luke takes Jesus’ lineage back to Adam

§        He does this for one purpose…

·        To show that Jesus will do what Adam could not

v    Rom 5:18-19

Ø     Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

v    And through Jesus you too can break the sin that is in your life

§        I have to remember that that is just part of the audience

·        FW Boreman writes about the invisible congregation that is here each week

¨     Has not every preacher an invisible congregation?  At every service there is a dim, unseen, listening throng.  The angels, saints and Christ Himself!

Ø     Heb 12:1 ~ We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses

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