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The Temptation of Jesus
 
Read the Gospels side-by-side
 

Matthew 4:1-11

 

1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

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.

5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

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.

7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

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;

9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

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.

11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

 

Mark 1:12-13

 

12 And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

 

Luke 4:1-13

 

1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

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.

7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:

11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

 

John

 

No reference

 
       
 
 
Study Notes
 

1. Satan's Strategy of Attack

 
A. Attacking personal desires and physical weaknesses
 

Jesus must have been profoundly hungry and physically weak after 40 days of fasting. Satan was fully aware of this and since he has never shown himself to be fair in battle, he targeted Jesus' apparent weakness in order to entice Him to submit to Satan himself. We all have individual weaknesses in our flesh, but we can stand on the knowledge that Jesus' power is perfected in our weakness.

As believers, we must understand that our "fleshly lusts war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11) and the most effective way to conquer our physical weaknesses is by "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) The primary battlefield is our mind. Satan cannot attack us if we cannot "think" it. But the moment we begin to soil ourselves with unwholesome desires, filthy ideas, and unholy thoughts, we plant a seed that will manifest in the words that exit our mouth and the actions that follow.

 
B. Attack by encouraging man's natural desire for power, authority and prestige
 

It is a common desire for man to seek power, authority, fame, recognition and prestige. Satan capitalizes on this by dangling a carrot in front of the nose of an unsuspecting believer. This does not mean that all power and prestige are from Satan, but it does mean that misplaced aspirations for power and authority is dangerous. When a believer harbours wrongful aspirations for recognition and power, it opens doors in the spiritual realm that could place the person under bondage to the evil one. Wrongful desires mean that our hearts are not aligned with God's purposes

 
C. Attack by enticing man to test God
 

Many times, Christians would say, "If this or that happens, then I will know it is God's will", or they would ask God for a "sign" to confirm a specific decision. In other circumstances some might "test" God by telling God to do something in order to prove His existence or His love, such as "If God does this for me, then I will believe."

Satan knows that man is fickle and prone to unbelief. We have numerous examples of men who tested God, or asked of signs to secure their obedience to God's will. Gideon twice set out a fleece. Thomas had to put his fingers in Jesus' wounds before He would believe that Jesus was alive after the crucifixion. But Jesus answered Thomas, "because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

When we are enticed to test God, we should first search out God's Word to find out exactly what His will is in this regard:

Deuteronomy 6:16  “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah." (NKJV)

Jesus quoted this passage as well in response to Satan's enticement. And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” (Luke 4:!2, NKJV)

Even though God in some cases, like Gideon's, allows a believer to test Him or ask for a sign, this is not something He encourages. The fact that the believer is asking for a sign or confirmation might be evidence of a less mature walk with God. Using signs like a form of fortune telling to help you decide a course of action, is not a prudent way of going through life. God's Word is clear that His way is true, that He is just and good. A believer who studies God's Word, walks intimately with Him and KNOWS Him well, will have no need to ask for signs, nor will they need to test God.

 
D. Attack by quoting Scripture
 
Satan knows the Bible better than we do and he has proven himself quite efficient in tossing out half truths to deceive believers. The problem is that Satan tends to twist the Scriptures or omit passages in order to further his cause. A believer who does not know the Scriptures is particularly vulnerable to such deceit.
 
 
 
 
 
Resources
 
Articles
 

The Temptation of Jesus
by Allen Ross (Bible.org)

Dealing with Temptation
by Andrew Wommack

 
Free Audio Teachings
 
How to Deal with Temptation
by Andrew Wommack
 
 
 
Resources for Kids
 
Temptation of Jesus Lesson Pack
The Temptation of Jesus
Lesson, Activities, Worksheets, Games, Copywork, Art, Test and more
 
 
 

 

       
 
 
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Bibliography
 

 

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS USED:

KJV. Scripture taken from the King James Version. Public Domain.
NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
NLT. New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

 

 
 
Last Updated: October 10, 2012