The Temptations of Christ and Man

The Temptations of Christ and Man

 

© 2008 by Mark A. Landis, MD

 

Heb 4:14-15 (NKJV) 14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

 

Jesus, Himself was tempted.  He was tempted in the same ways we are tempted.  The difference is He did not give in to that temptation.  He did not sin.

 

In what ways are we tempted?

 

1 Cor 10:13 (NKJV) No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

 

Temptation happens to everyone.  God does protect Christians from it by not allowing us to be tempted beyond what we are able.  He provides a way of escape from that temptation.

 

1 John 2:15-16 (NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.

 

Three types of temptation.

 

Examples:

 

1. Garden of Eden

 

Gen 3:6 (NKJV) So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

 

Note that Satan used the three basic temptations on Eve.

 

Lust of the flesh – good for food

Lust of the eyes – pleasant to the eyes

Pride of life – desirable to make one wise.

 

Ask yourself when you are tempted, which of these three ways are tempting you.  It will be one or more than one of them.  Then remind yourself who is tempting you.  Think about how Christ dealt with the same temptations.  How did he deal with the temptations?  Let’s look and see.

 

We will see that

1.  Satan used the same three basic categories of temptations on Jesus. 

2.  Jesus used one basic response to fight off all three of those types of temptations.

 

2. Jesus’ Temptations

 

Lust of the flesh

 

Luke 4:1-4 (NKJV)1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' "

 

Satan uses the urges of our body to tempt us.  He uses our basic drives to try and get us to sin.  He even did this to Jesus.  How did Jesus resist?  He knew and He used the scripture.  He fought off temptation by using the Bible!  Are you giving in to temptation on a regular basis and wish you weren’t?  Then you need to study more and meditate more on the word of God!

 

It’s like a man I once knew who told me an important story in his life.  You see he regularly gave in to the lust of the flesh.  He was an alcoholic.  One day his wife sat his liquor on one side of the table.  She sat his child and herself on the other side of the table and said “choose”.  He chose the good side of that table.  He used the word of God to fight off temptation.  He turned to the Lord.  He told me he was still tempted even years later every single day, but it had been decades since his last drink.  He followed the word.  That man was an elder in the church.  He was a pillar in the community.  To look at him and his life you never would have guessed the temptation he had overcome.  He was a man I looked up to and respected.  I had to respect him even more after hearing his true story.  He had learned to overcome.

 

Lust of the eyes

 

Luke 4:5-8 (NKJV) 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 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. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "

 

How did Satan tempt Jesus this time?  He tempted Jesus with his own eyes.  He showed Him something tempting.  He used the lust of the eyes.  He made it look good.  Jesus fought off the temptation with scripture.

 

Visual temptation is something Satan and his followers use every day.  Are you prepared to fight it with the word of God?  People trying to get us to do or buy things use this temptation on us all the time.  What tempts you visually?  Is it beautiful jewelry or clothing.  Beautiful people?  Beautiful cars or houses?  There are many things that tempt the eyes in life.  Little children often have the right idea about this.  They see something tempting that they know could get them in trouble and what do they do?  They put their hands over their eyes to avoid looking.

 

Pride of Life

 

Luke 4:9-12 (NKJV) 9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,' 11 "and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' " 12 And Jesus answered and said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' "

 

Here Satan tempts Jesus with pride.  Notice that he used Jesus own method of temptation avoidance against him.  He used the word of God.  Of course, he twisted the word.  He still gets his followers and the ignorant to twist the word of God today.  It’s a powerful weapon he uses against us.  How did Jesus fight it?  He fought it with his knowledge and ability to correctly use the scripture.  He knew the scripture too well to be fooled by the twisting of it.

 

2 Peter 3:16 (NKJV) as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

 

We have to fight pride.  The more we have to be proud of the more we have to fight it.  Jesus had a lot to be proud of.  He was the son of God and He knew it.  The father of our country had a lot to be proud of.

 

George Washington had lead the fight for independence for our country.  He was elected the first president of the United States.  Democracies were not a common thing.  Some people wanted him to be a king.  He was asked what he should be called.  Some wanted to call him by title such as “your majesty”.  His answer was one of humility.  It started a tradition that helps our nation to this day.  He answered them simply and humbly.  “You can call me “Mr. President”, he said.

 

Scriptures that can help us fight each aspect of sin today:

 

Lust of the flesh

 

Romans 13:14 (NKJV) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

 

Lust of the eyes

 

Prov 27:20 (NKJV) Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.

 

Pride of life

 

James 4:16 (NKJV) But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

 

Has temptation caused sin to take over your life?  Have you been being ruled by sin?

 

Romans 6:12-13 (NKJV) 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

 




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