Jesus Was Tested as a King
Book of Matthew Chapter 4 Verse 1 through 11
We should remember the numbering of the Chapters and verses in the modern Bible did not exist in the time of Jesus so if we back up to Chapter 3 in the Book of Matthew, we find these verses.
Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
It is this time that the Lord Jesus Christ began His earthly ministry!
The next thing we see is the beginning of our lesson today.
We will find Jesus being tempted of the Devil.
What is temptation? We could say temptation is “enticement”. Enticed to do things that go against the Word of God!
The source of all temptation is Satan and the works of Satan.
Satan can be effective in his works of temptation because we live in the flesh.
We know that God cannot be tempted and neither does He tempt any of His children nor is He the source of temptation to those who are lost.
Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
When we read that Jesus is tempted of Satan, we should understand that it is because Jesus was 100% man still being 100% God.
It was extremely important that Jesus, while in His flesh be sin free, impeccable. After salvation this should be our goal.
We will see that Jesus did not just wander into temptation but the Holy Spirit who drove Christ Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil.
There is no place we can go upon this earth that we will not be exposed to temptation!
The Holy Spirit drove Jesus Christ into the wilderness which may not be far from where Jesus was baptized of John the Baptist.
*Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
We must never understand that this was the only time that our Lord Jesus faced temptation because He was tempted throughout His ministry upon this earth, but He cannot be tempted now that He is back in Heaven as said in the Book of James but also in other places.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
We should understand that if Christ Jesus was so tempted then, while in His flesh, then it could have been possible that He could have sinned if He so chose to.
To be a true man then Jesus was capable of sinning!
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
We should understand as a test of our own goodness, God will allow us to be tempted of Satan.
All human goodness needs the strain of temptation.
We will never have a testimony until we have been tested!
We do not know what form Satan took in his temptation of Christ Jesus, but we do know he took the form of a serpent when he went after Eve.
When we read and study this passage, we know this temptation was terrible enough but the worst of the times of the temptation of Christ came in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Luk 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Heb 12:4 “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin”.
Heb 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Before this temptation began our Lord Jesus first fasted.
*Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Fasting has been in the Church from the beginning and again our example is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fasting has a place in our relationship with the Lord.
Fasting is a means to teach us self-discipline.
Fasting is a means of preparation for beginning a ministry as it seems the Lord Jesus was doing here in this passage.
Fasting is not a means to obtain God’s Grace!
Grace comes by beginning a “sincere” relationship with the Lord by accepting the work He did for our salvation.
All fast are not acceptable to the Lord.
Isa 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Isa 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Isa 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Isa 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
Isa 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Isa 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
Isa 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
We are bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus, making Jesus our new owner. We should hate man-made slavery, but it is a privilege to be a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Fasting is not a substitute for righteousness.
The ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ began with a fast for 40 days and forty nights and there can be little doubt that Jesus was very hungry.
We should understand that Satan (the Tempter) will usually show up when we are in a period of physical and mental weakness.
He will then try to confront us with his lies.
*Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
In this temptation of our Lord we must remember that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. If Jesus in the flesh could not fulfill His ministry without being sustained by His Godly power, then no human would be able to do so.
Jesus had to refrain from using the power of God to sustain Himself. It will obvious He did use some portions of Godly power to help others as we study the Gospels but never for Himself!
These are called miracles which He still does today!
God will help us because we do not have the power within ourselves to do so!
In fact the greatest lesson we will learn in life is, that we cannot help ourselves to obtained salvation, we need the Lord Jesus Christ in a personal relationship to be saved.
The Lord Jesus Christ possesses the only means of salvation. Do not be fooled by naysayers!
By the end of those forty days, Jesus in His flesh had reached a point where it was critical that He get something to eat.
Satan knew this as he had been spying on Jesus all this time.
There is nothing outside God’s creative power except the power to do wrong!
There is hardly anywhere you go in Israel where you will not see stones and many of those stones were round and to the hungry eye, they could appear to be small loaves of bread.
It would have been really easy for the Lord to do this.
In fact John the Baptist said God could just as easily raised up humans from those same stones.
Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Jesus later said if He needed to hear praise He could just as easily gotten praise from those same stones.
Luk 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
Yes, He could have easily changed those stones into bread, but He did have a response to the tempter.
*Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
The message of Satan: Go ahead and trust yourself, you do not need God.
The message of Jesus to Satan: I choose to live by God’s ways!
This must be our answer! We must choose to live according to the Word of God!
Jesus had all the power of God, but it is always best to live by the Word of God!
As humans we may be bound by our human necessities, but when we base our existence on our necessities, then these things will become our standard for living.
God lives upon a greater plain and He knows we have human needs, and it is He, that supplies those needs so, we need much more than life’s necessities.
We need God! We do not need some false god, we need Jehovah God, and we need the truth of life and the truth of Spiritual life!
We have in our possession a Book of Truth. The world can only provide lies with very little truth because higher powers have decided that the public is too ignorant to know the truth.
God on the other hand is not afraid to give us the truth!
Our physical life is but a short period of time, but our Spiritual life is forever!
Jesus quoted part of a passage from the Book of Deuteronomy.
Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; “that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.
Every human being has a spiritual hunger that must be satisfied yet, so many settle with falseness, and they are never really satisfied in this life.
Many reject the need for spiritual things, and this leads them to a miserable life.
Many choose some sort of substitute for the truth and they ruin their bodies and their minds. They are happy one day and miserable for many more days, and livein endless cycles of denial.
We can only be at peace when we have the satisfaction of the Lord Jesus Christ and depend upon the truth of the Scriptures for true life now, and endless life forever.
When we get to Heaven, we will be more alive than we can ever obtain here upon this earth.
The Devil did not like the response of the Lord, so he took the Lord to Jerusalem.
*Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
As there was not a designated pinnacle upon the roof of the Temple, the Greek word used here means the highest point of the roof of the Temple. The apex of the building.
The word pinnacle in architecture, is a term used for a wing-like projection and was most probably one of the Temple porches that overlooked the Kedron Valley that is between the Mount of Olives and Mount Moriah which adds to its height.
We should understand that the city of Jerusalem also sits upon a hill and at this time of Jesus, Jerusalem was probably the highest capitol city in the ancient world.
In the Gospels only Matthew describes Jerusalem as the Holy City.
Again the Devil quotes Scripture. We must understand that Satan has read every bit of Scripture and he can understand it as much as any lost person can, but without the Holy Spirit he cannot understand the truth of the message of God.
Here, the Devil quotes from the Book of Psalms.
Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Of course God could get safely off the top of any high peak, but in the flesh the Lord would have perished.
The angels would have certainly rushed to His rescue.
We must remember that Satan was trying to get Jesus to use His godly powers to save Himself.
He did not have to prove Himself to Satan. Satan knew exactly who the Lord Jesus was.
Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
If Jesus was a human Messiah, then certainly God the Father would have not allowed Him to be injured.
The Lord Jesus gives us a great understanding of the truth of God!
No matter our relationship with our Heavenly Father we must never tempt God.
God will do exactly what He says He will do and in most cases He will go far beyond what He says, but we must never test God just to see if He is telling the truth.
What our Heavenly Father says is the truth without question! God is not to be tested! God is to be trusted!
Faith is the greatest key to our relationship with our Heavenly Father!
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The Lord Jesus replies sternly to Satan.
*Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
We must clearly understand, the only way we can obtain the glory of the Lord is by obedience!
God gave us His Word so we could know the truth and decide ourselves who to believe!
This is where Adam failed and this in the one thing we must overcome!
Again Jesus quotes from the Old Testament, the New Testament had not been written.
Deu 6:16 “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God”, as ye tempted him in Massah.
At Massah, Moses and Aaron had displayed distrust in Jehovah when they tried to glorify themselves with a miracle of God.
Num 20:7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
Num 20:9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
Num 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
Num 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
We should understand this as the one thing that kept Moses from leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land.
We as the Church understand that it is by “obedience” to the Word of God that we enter into God’s true Promised Land, the New Heaven.
We must never tempt our Heavenly Father!
We must always obey the written Word of God!
The Lord Jesus Christ in His flesh could never misuse the true power He had while He was upon this Earth!
Again, Satan was defeated but Satan will never stop until the Lord is through with him, but he can only tempt us, he cannot force us to sin if you are one of God’s children by Jesus Christ.
We sin when we choose to go against the Word of God!
*Mat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
What is the greatest sin we do as Christians today? We compromise our ministry and our mission in the work of Christ with this evil and wicked world!
We lose our testimony and are all but useless in the work the Lord has given us to do!
It is not important to know if there is such a mountain in this world.
It is important to know that as powerful as Satan maybe, he does not have absolute power on this earth and he never has had that power.
It would have only been important to Satan if he could convince the flesh side of the Messiah that he did have this power.
In these three temptations we have seen the truth of the temptations of the Devil.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Our Lord Jesus was tempted in these three things.
Satan maybe the prince of this world but he will be judged and spend eternity in Hell just like every other non-believer!
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Joh 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
He is also called the prince of the power of the air:
Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
We should clearly understand that Satan only has limited power, and that limited power is under the control of Jehovah God!
Many a national leader has fallen under the trap of that same offer Satan made to the Lord Jesus Christ.
We see it every day in the USA, the craving for power.
Eventually the Antichrist will step upon the scene and he will crave for worldly power.
Luke wrote it like this:
Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Luk 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Satan is indeed the ruler of darkness, but darkness is always overruled by Light.
Shine a light into a dark room and you will see darkness flee to its limited places to hide where darkness becomes shadows that move about as the light moves about always hiding from the light.
Jesus gives Satan His greatest rebuke.
*Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
We must understand that though Satan is powerful, he does not have the power of God.
God will never lead us into temptation, but this is Satan’s favorite game!
We are to put on the armor of God and take our stand even if we are facing the Devil!
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
We must know who has the greatest power!
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Satan cannot overcome the child of God unless we allow it to happen.
We are to worship only the Lord our God and He only are we to serve! It is just that simple!
The Devil gave up for a moment, but he tempted Jesus all the days he was upon the Earth.
*Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
The Lord Jesus Christ describes to us actual scenes. We do not know what form the Devil used and it is not important.
These were not dreams that the Lord had but a reality, and it will be the same for each of us that love Him.
Satan just does not give up!
If Satan is bold enough to tempt the Lord, knowing who He was then, why should we think he will not come after us.
Now he may not come himself. Remember Satan can only be in one place at a time, but he will send one of his demons.
Satan will do his very best to ruin our Christian testimony, but without his temptations, we would not have a testimony to begin with.
We have the power within us to resist the Devil, the Tempter, Satan, the Deceiver, or whatever you want to call him!
It begins with Scripture.
Many Churches today listen to preachers who twist the truth because they have sold out to Satan.
They preach from perverted text with intent to deceive because they are already sold out to the Devil.
If you know the Scriptures then run them out of the pulpits of America, and you will witness the greatest change this nation has ever had!
The angels did come to minister to the Lord for no doubt he was weak, which is another lesson for us.
Even in His weakness, the Lord easily overcame the full power of Satan with His flesh side!
Jesus Christ is our example in everything we do for the Lord God!