Jesus – A Friend in Time of Temptation
Text: Luke 4:1-13
Thesis: To show how Jesus, using Scripture, overcame the temptations faced by all of us
day by day – the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
(1) Daily, we face temptations.
(2) Peter told us: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
(3) Let us note some lessons that we can learn from Jesus about how to handle temptations:
I. The Story (Luke 4:1-13):
A. After Jesus was baptized by John, He goes into the wilderness.
1. “Tradition locates the place as Quarantania, a mountain just west of Jericho” (Herschel H. Hobbs).
2. William Barclay describes the wilderness as:
“The hills were like dust heaps; the limestone looked blistered and peeling; the rocks were bare and jagged; the ground sounded hollow to the horses’ hooves; it glowed with heat like a vast furnace and ran out to the Dead Sea. It was in that awesome devastation that Jesus was tempted” (43).
3. Here, Jesus spent time in fasting and praying.
B. After fasting 40 days and 40 nights, Satan tempted Jesus 3 times.
1. In the 1st temptation, Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread (Luke 4:1-4).
a. “The temptation was for Christ to provide his own needs apart from the will of the Father” (Hughes 1:29).
(1) “Satan knows when and how to attack us. He finds us at our weakest moments and at times when we are more vulnerable” (Lambert V.B.S. material).
(2) Satan wanted Jesus to put on a show for him, to show him His power.
b. Jesus responded by basically saying: “It is better to starve than to be fed apart from the will of the Father. As his Son I cannot act independently of my Father. I must live by my Father’s Word!” (Hughes 1:30). [cf. Luke 4:4; cf. Deut. 8:3]
2. In the 2nd temptation, Jesus was tempted to bow down and receive the world (Luke 4:5-8).
a. Christ “could win the world without pain – no weeping over Jerusalem, no crucifixion … the temptation was to take the easy way to kingship, apart from God’s will, to be a ‘shortcut savior’” (Hughes 1:31).
b. Jesus responded by saying that one is worship God alone (Luke 4:8; cf. Deut. 6:13).
3. In the 3rd temptation, Jesus was tempted to throw himself down and let angels catch him (Luke 4:9-12).
a. Satan misquoted Psalm 91:11-12 to say that God would take care of His own in everything.
(1) The verse originally meant that God would be with His own in the righteous things.
(2) Satan was basically saying: You trust God to feed you, trust Him to catch you.
b. Jesus responded by saying that one is not to test God (Luke 4:12; cf. Deut. 6:16).
C. After Jesus had successfully withstood Satan’s temptations, Satan departed and God sent angels to minister to Jesus (Luke 4:13; cf. Matt. 4:11).
II. The Application:
A. Temptation is a fact of life.
1. Satan is the tempter, not God (cf. James 1:13).
2. Temptation, in and of itself, is not sin.
3. The 3 types of sin that we face are (cf. 1 John 2:15-17):
a. Lust of the flesh
b. Lust of the eyes
c. Pride of life
4. The process is (James 1:13-15):
a. Inward desire
b. Outward action
c. Sinful consequence
B. Jesus has walked where we walk; therefore, He understands.
1. “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:14-16).
2. “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb 2:18).
C. We can overcome temptation.
1. “It is important to realize that in confronting Satan in the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus did not use any miraculous power. He met and overcame those temptations using only what is available to us – the word of God. If He could successfully meet and overcome temptation, then we can too” (Lambert V.B.S. material).
2. Paul wrote: “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 the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).
a. God will not permit Satan to tempt us in ways that are too much for us to take (e.g., Job).
b. God has ensured us that there is always a way to overcome any temptation that comes our way.
(1) The way that Jesus overcome temptation was that He loved His Father and wanted to do only what would make His Father happy.
(2) We must likewise love God and strive to do His will.
(a) Like David, we must place God’s word in our hearts in order not to sin against God (cf. Psa. 119:11).
(b) We must not “give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27).
1) Instead, we should be drawing nearer to God (James 4:8).
2) We should do our best to eliminate possible temptations.
(c) We must resist Satan and he will flee from us (James 4:7).
(d) We must “endure temptation” (James 1:12).
D. When we do give into temptation, we must remember that God still loves us.
(1) Yes, temptation is a reality that we must face.
(2) However, we must know that “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations” (2 Pet. 2:9).