TEMPTATIONS OF JESUS #3
By David J. Riggs
A. Eph. 4:27 says, "Neither give place to the devil." "Do not give
the devil an opportunity." (NASV). "Do not give the devil a
foothold." (NIV). "Do not give the devil a way to defeat you."
1. If we learn Satan's devices, we can better withstand him.
B. When some view the temptations of Jesus, they conclude that
they were very strange and could have no bearing on us.
1. However, as we have seen, a close examination yields many
C. Let us read Luke 4:9-13, the third temptation of Jesus.
1. Again, let us consider some lessons.
I. FIRST OF ALL, QUOTING SCRIPTURE DOESN'T NECESSARILY MAKE IT RIGHT.
A. Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12.
1. Let's consider the context. Psalm 91:9-13
a. Thus, in this passage God promises protection to the
one who puts his trust in Him.
2. Satan was forcing something from the passage which was
a. It was written to encourage faith, not to test God. Thus,
Satan made mis-application of the Scripture.
3. The quotation given by Jesus qualifies and interprets the
one given by Satan.
a. The word of God must harmonize in all of its
b. God protects; but, to throw onself into unnecessary
danger in order to see if God would help is to test God.
Such testing of God is sinful.
B. Consider some lessons for us.
1. A great many people feel that any preacher who quotes
Scripture must be teaching the truth; however, Satan quoted
a. We must ask: Is it quoted correctly? Is it applied
properly? Are other principles violated?
b. There's lots of Scripture quoted nowadays that really
doesn't prove what the teacher is trying to establish.
c. The old gospel preacher, A.G. Freed, said that one can
prove anything by the Bible.
(1) A young man said, "Brother Freed, I don't really
believe that one can prove anything by the Bible."
(2) Brother Freed said, "Let's just see, what do you
want me to prove?"
(3) The young man said, "Prove to me that it's wrong
to split wood."
(4) With only a moment's hesitation, Brother Freed
replied, "Whatsoever God has joined together, let
not man put asunder."
d. When taken out of context, you can prove anything. For
example, in Mormon writings, a Mormon taught from
Matt. 25 that the various talents which were given
represent several wives which are given to men.
2. Jesus showed that another divine principle would be violated
if He would cast Himself down as Satan suggested.
a. That principle was: "You shall not tempt the Lord your
God." In other words, one can't do something in order
to force God to act.
b. Let's look at this principle in view of prayer. Here are
some prayers said to be prayed by various college
(1) "Father, if you want me to take this class, let me
know this week."
(2) "Father, if you'll give me a job tomorrow, I'll
know it's really because of you." Notice the subtle
test. God cannot answer a day later, because if He
does, the petitioner threatens to believe He was
(3) "Father, if you would help me pass this test, I will
go to church the following Sunday."
c. The answer to these kinds of prayers is obvious; that is,
"No human being is in position to bargain with God."
(1) Eccl. 5:2; Psalm 50:21
(2) Also, swearing and oath making is not part of the
New Testament order. Matt. 5:33-37; James 5:12
II. JESUS REJECTED THE FEATURES OF A MATERIAL KINGDOM.
A. For Jesus to make a miraculous decent from the top of the
temple with the aid of angels would have been a marvelous way
to introduce His kingdom; that is, from a human standpoint.
B. The Jews expected a spectacular Messiah.
1. H.E. Dana, in his book, New Testament World, on pages
133-134 says, "By far the most popular view of the Messiah
was a warrior king, who would appear as a political
champion and military hero to rally Jews from every nation,
and lead them in a victorious onslaught against their
enemies. Heathen oppressors would be annihilated and God's
elect would become the world's conquerors."
2. This view was rooted in references to David's throne, and
his outstanding ability as a warrior. They also expected an
economic kingdom of peace and prosperity.
a. The view is reflected in the Jew's effort to make Jesus
king after He fed the multitudes with the loaves and
fish. John 6:15
(1) The crowds were eager to obtain the benefits
(physical ones) of the new kingdom. Luke 16:16
(2) They would have violently set up the new
kingdom. Matt. 11:12
3. In meeting His temptations, Jesus rejected this major
feature of the Jewish expectations.
a. He refused to test His powers by changing stones into
b. He refused the political kingdoms offered Him by Satan.
c. He refused miraculous descent from the pinnacle of the
Temple in the arms of angels.
III. SATAN TEMPTS EVERYONE BY THE SAME MEANS.
A. The apostle John lists three avenues of "all that is in the
world." 1 John 2:15-17
B. Consider Jesus' temptations.
1. Being extremely hungry; to change stones into bread was a
temptation of the flesh. Luke 4:1-3
2. To see all the kingdoms of the world and to acquire them
was a temptation to fulfill the lust of the eyes. Luke 4:5-7
3. To exercise His power as a Divine person was an appeal to
His pride. Luke 4:9-13
C. Consider the same avenues in Eve's temptation. Gen. 3:6
1. "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food
(the lust of the flesh), that it was pleasant to the eyes
(the lust of the eyes), and a tree desirable to make one
wise (the pride of life), she took of its fruit and ate."
D. Through these three same avenues, sin is glamorized and made
attractive to us today.
IV. JESUS COMBATS HIS TEMPTATIONS BY QUOTING SCRIPTURE.
A. We need to also meet temptations with Scripture.
1. In the "whole armor" that the Christian is to put on, God's
word is mentioned four times: truth, gospel of peace, sword
of the Spirit, and the word of God. Eph. 6:10-17
a. Thus, the Scriptures, along with our own faith and
endurance, will give us the strength we need in
b. One will not be able to do it without the whole armor of
B. Furthermore, by the Scriptures we learn of Satan's devices and
how to defeat him.
1. We have examples of those who patiently endured. Job 1:8-
12a; James 5:10-11
2. Job said, "When He has tested me, I shall come forth as
3. During the depression, a good man lost his job, exhausted
his savings, and forfeited his home. His grief was
multiplied by the sudden death of his precious wife. The
only thing he had left was his faith and it as weakening.
One day he was combing the neighborhood, looking for work.
He stopped to watch some men who were doing some stone work
on a church building. One of the men was skillfully
chiseling a triangular piece of rock. Not seeing a spot
where it would fit, he asked "Where are you going to put
that?" The man pointed toward the top of the building and
said, "See that little opening up there near the spire?
That's where it goes. I'm shaping it down here so it will
fit in up there." Tears filled this good man's eyes as he
walked away and thought of how the words "Shaping it down
here so it will fit in up there" applied to his life and
C. Let us make the example of Jesus real in our lives - use
Scripture to combat and endure temptations.
1. The word of God is living and powerful.
A. Satan is a very real enemy that we need to take serious.
1. He would love to take any of us captive to do his will.
2. If we follow his enticements, we will perish with him.
B. Let us follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
1. Let us be strong in Him and in the power of His might.
2. He certainly did not give place to the Devil, and by His
help neither will we.