TBSTuesday Night Bible Study
We are now in the third temptation of Jesus that is recorded in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. And in this temptation, Satan drops all pretense and allows his true nature to emerge. He no longer tries to get Jesus to move outside of God’s will by either meeting His own needs (turning stones into bread) or trying to force God’s hand (jumping off the pinnacle of the Temple). Instead, Satan now suggests he can offer Jesus exactly what His Father has promised Him, a kingdom, but he can get it to Him quicker and without any suffering. Look at how this temptation unfolds:
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9)
Luke’s account adds a few more details:
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)
Which raises a few questions.
Today we’ll take a look at Satan’s second temptation of Jesus where he tries to chide Him into putting His Father to the test. And in this, Satan ups the ante. He now quotes Scripture in a veiled and useless attempt to entice Jesus to sin, and tries to make it sound spiritual, or Scriptural, or not all that bad. In his temptation, Satan justifies the evil behind it by quoting from Psalms 91:11-12.
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If (or, since, because) You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:5-6).
This is classic bait and switch.
As with the first temptation, Satan is working hard to get Jesus to distrust God’s perfect plan for His life and take an easy road out. After all, if Jesus wouldn’t take it upon Himself to turn stones into bread because He was dissatisfied with the Father’s timing of meeting His needs, then let’s put the Father in a situation where He has to respond to Jesus’ demand or violate His own Word.
It sounds like a good idea. But it won’t work. Jesus is always one step, actually light years, ahead of the deceiver.
Let’s look at this exchange together.
Join us today as we look into Satan’s first shot at Jesus, tempting Him to turn stones into bread (Matt. 4:2-3). On the surface, this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But as you will discover, this temptation of Jesus is so effective against each of us today. In fact, I think you’ll see how easily we all fail and turn our own stones into bread.
And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If (since, because) You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (Matthew 4:2-3)
Intrigued? Good. Then let’s look at this incredible event together.
Today we look into what it means when it says Jesus was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matt. 4:1). And Mark describes this event as “the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness” (Mark 1:12). For many, the idea of being led is like a parent leading a child to a place he needs to go. But “drove Him” gives us the impression of a cowboy driving cattle against their will.
In fact, there are three different Greek words used to describe the same event.
Then Jesus was led (anagō) up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Mathew 4:1)
Immediately the Spirit drove (ekballō) Him into the wilderness. (Mark 1:12)
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led (agō) by the Spirit into the wilderness. (Luke 4:1)
So what is happening here? Let’s find out together.