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Behold the King

“The Temptation of the King” Matthew 4:1-11

Date:January 30, 2022
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


Those who teach the Christian life is about health, wealth, and happiness are not only belittling the cross of Christ; they are discounting the countless lives of those who have been martyred for their expressed faith in Jesus as their Savior. 

The evidence a person has been born again is that they are immediately attacked by Satan in ways they never experienced before and from sources they never expected. It is called “spiritual warfare,” a battle that will not end until their physical death. However, as the Apostle Peter said, “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you, but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:12-14)

We will explain this further in our next sermon in this series – “Behold the King: The Temptation of the King.”

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Old Testament Reading: Daniel 1:1-21 – New Testament Reading: James 1:1-16

Behold the King
“The Temptation of the King”
Matthew 4:1-11

   Before a person is born again, Satan’s goal is to keep that person unsaved, cancel the power of the grace of God, and to confirm his decision to rebel against God.

  • Satan is not a monster in a red suit, with big horns, a long tail, red eyes, and carrying a pitchfork.
  • Satan is an “angel of light”; blinding his prey to the truth of God’s Word and the love of God’s heart with his “light” of deception.

When a person is born again, Satan will attack them in ways they never experienced or expected.

  • In 1 Peter 4:12-14, the Apostle said, such “reproach” for the name of Christ is the evidence that the “spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
  • This is totally opposite from the concept of the Christian Faith that is being preached and proclaimed today.

Constant spiritual warfare is the normal Christian life.

  • It is Satan’s way to attempt to tear us down, destroy our faith in God and diminish our witness to others.
  • It is God’s way to build us up and strengthen our faith so He can use us as His witness to others.

“Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James 1:2-4

1. The Preparation for the Lord’s Temptation – Matthew 4:1-3 – “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungered, and when the tempter came to him.”

  • “Then” – immediately after the Lord’s baptism –Jesus’ first step of victory in His plan to pay for our sins.
  • “Jesus was led up of the Spirit” – the Holy Spirit drove Jesus away from the Jordan River into the Judean desert to be tempted by Satan – Jesus’ second step of victory in His plan to deliver us from the power of sin.
  • “Into the wilderness” – the desolate area between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth.
  • “Tempted by the devil” – a personal being with many names, whose only goal is to “steal, kill and to destroy”!
  • Fasted 40 days and 40 nights” – Jesus needed this time alone with God the Father to prove to Himself that He could carry out the assignment the Father had given Him.

“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.”
Hebrews 4:15

2. The Desperation of the Lord’s Temptation – Matthew 4:3-10 – Vs. 3 – “And when the tempter came to him.”

   Satan came to Jesus when He was at His weakest moment physically and tempted Him to use His Spiritual strength for His personal benefit, which would nullify Him as our Savior.

  • Satan tempted Jesus to distrust the Father’s will –
    • Satan said: “Command these stones be made into bread” – Satan used Jesus’ hunger to tempt Him to use His divine powers to satisfy His needs.
    • Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
  • Satan tempted Jesus to presume upon the Father’s will –
    • Satan said: “Cast thyself down and let the angels come and save you” – Satan tempted Jesus to do something “spectacular” to prove He was the Savior God had sent Him to be.
    • Jesus said: “Thou shalt not put the Lord thy God to the test.” (Deuteronomy 6:16)
  • Satan tempted Jesus to achieve the Father’s will, but not according to the Father’s ways
    • Satan said: “All these things I will give thee, if thou wilt worship me” – Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world without having to go to the cross if He would forfeit His Sonship with God and His assignment to be our Savior.
    • Jesus said: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve.” Deuteronomy 10:20.

“Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I will not sin against Thee.”
Psalm 119:11

3. The Validation of Christ’s Temptation – Matthew 4:11 “Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

  • Matthew’s goal is to prove to his readers that Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior sent from God, the King.
  • The reason this time of temptation came upon the heels of Jesus’ baptism was to prove He could not only resist the devil but to conquer the only other king of the only other dominion in the universe.
  • Since Satan was defeated by Jesus Christ, Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, which means those who are “in Christ” have His “authority” to resist Satan, and he will flee. (See 1 John 4:4, Psalm 91:11)

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Matthew 28:18

How Christians can conquer Satan’s temptations:

  • Hebrews 12:1-2
  • “Lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us.”
    • Remove any and all things that tempt us with:
    • “The lust of the flesh” – temporal things that promise to satisfy our fleshly desires but can’t.
    • “The pride of life” – things that draw attention to us and our achievements rather than to Christ.
    • “The lust of the eyes” – things of the world we think will give us admiration, power, and prestige.
  • “Look unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith.”
    • Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace.