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Jesus Tempted by Satan Pt. 1 Luke 4:1 - 13

January 27, 2019 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel According to Luke

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Luke 4:1–4:13

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      1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”

      5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 “Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”

      9 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand 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,

11 and,
            ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

      13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

Luke is going to tell us the story of Jesus.  He's getting there.  But it's as if before he finally gets down to the business of spending days with Jesus during His ministry, the day by day story out on the ground, with Jesus, Luke wants to convince us beyond a shadow of a doubt about who this Jesus is.

It's like he's presenting evidence in a court room.  Evidence that Jesus is in fact the promised Messiah.  Layer after layer of evidence.  He's laying it down like 27 coats of hand rubbed laquer.  Layer upon layer upon layer.  Let's review for just a moment or two.  3 very long chapters of evidence that proves this Jesus is the promised Messiah.

First there is the silence.  400+ years of deafening silence.  Like God had died or moved on to some other solar system and forgot about Israel.  Dreadful silence.  The darkness before the dawn.

Then in stark contrast to the silence, angels are appearing and miracles are happening.  Something is UP.  The angel Gabriel visits Zacharias and Elizabeth.  They will have a son that is a miracle birth.  Then Gabriel visits Mary.  

She will have a Son by virgin birth.  No earthly father.  The Holy Spirit will overshadow her and the Holy seed will be growing in her womb.

The baby arrives and angels are glorifying God in fields where shepherds receive their message.  They go to Bethlehem and find the newborn Messiah and announce the angelic revelation.

In the temple two ancient saints who are full of the Holy Spirit who have waited for the Messiah recognize that Jesus is the one and pronounce blessings.

By the time He is 12 Jesus knows who He is and startles all of the most respected scholars in Israel with His knowledge.  He knows the temple is His Father's house.

Then John the forerunner gets the command to begin his ministry of reconciling sinning Israel with their promised Messiah.  He is baptizing people who are repenting of their sins in the Jordan river and preaching that the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is imminent.

Then Jesus under the control of the Holy Spirit arrives for His baptism by John and the heavens open and God the Father speaks audibly.  This IS My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.  At the same time the Holy Spirit descends out of the heavens in bodily form and rests on Jesus.

Overwhelming evidence that Jesus IS the Son of God, IS the Messiah of Israel.  Astonishing evidence.  Incontrovertible evidence!

Then Luke gives us the credentials of the geneology of Jesus.  He IS son of David, son of Abraham, son of Adam, Son of God  Incontrovertable evidence.  Just one of those items should have us prostrate on the ground in worship.  Luke gives us a mountain of evidence.

But one final thing to consider.  Can Satan do to this Son what He did to Adam.  Jesus is here to reverse the curse that Adam's failure and rebellion caused.  Will Satan be able to do to Jesus what he so easily accomplished with Adam?

Everything rides on that question.  Because we need a victory and a victor, not another failure.  We need a perfect sinless righteous life to be imputed to our accounts, and we need our mountain of sin to be accounted to Him.  We can't survive the punishment.  Our only hope is a sinless saviour.

All of the other evidence tells us beyond a shadow of any doubt, this is the promised Messiah.  But who will win?  Satan is a fearsome opponent.  He blew Adam down like a feather in a hurricane.  Will Jesus be able to stand victorious against Satan's assault?

That's the final piece of evidence we need to know.  That's the final piece in this puzzle of a person who can offer a substitutional death in my place to remove my sin and impute unto my account His righteousness.

To be quite honest, the story of Jesus is kind of a let down to the jews.  Not what they were expecting at all.  These next 20 chapters are not going to be filled with heavens wrath and fury against sin and sinful rebellers and haters of God.

No signs from heaven.  No skies rolled up like scrolls, except for the baptism.  None of the fire and brimstone and vapor of smoke and skies splitting open and thick darkness before glorious blinding illumination.

None of the things their prophets foretold, like mountains melting like candle wax and islands being flattened and vanishing in the sea.  No routing the Romans and setting up His kingdom on earth in Jerusalem.

Frankly, the story Luke is going to tell is polar opposite of what the jews were expecting.  So before he begins with the day to day ministry of Jesus, Luke is going to pile on about a thousand times more evidence for who this Jesus is than any courtroom could ever dream of requiring.

Angels and miracles and saints and forerunners and baptisms and voices from heaven and the Holy Spirit resting on Him and the miraculous lineage, and this final piece of evidence this morning.  He's going to crush Satan, against every possible odds.

Then with that all in place, He's going to embark on a ministry that the jews are going to think is weird.  So odd that even the great prophet himself, John, is going to ask, are you the one, or did we make a mistake?  Do we look for someone else?  Did I get hasty?  This isn't adding up how we expected.

A mountain of incontrovertible evidence and then they stumble over Jesus, the stumbling stone.  The Rock of offense.  It's a fascinating tale, and I can't wait to get up to our eyeballs in it.  But first, the devil gets to take a crack at Him.

      1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness

Mark says He was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness.  We thought they walked everywhere, but Mark says He was driven.

In 1971 I had the privilege of visiting Jerusalem.  And we drove on a good highway down through some of this area down down down to Jericho.

Most of us have a better perspective of what the Bible calls wilderness than people in other places do.  This wilderness area down the steep slope from Jerusalem heading toward the dead sea is comparable to much of what we call Death Valley.

If you've ever stood at Zabriski point and peered down into all of those empty craggy canyons full of nothing but scorpions and snakes and vermin, nothing grows, that's what we're talking about with the biblical term, wilderness.

It's a land of nothing.  Millions of acres of nothing.  Not a blade of grass, nothing.  We've got pictures of the surface of the moon now.  Some people think that's all a hoax.  Well if it is, they took the pictures we look at on the web in this same wilderness that Jesus has been taken into by the Spirit.

Nothing to eat.  Nothing to drink.  Nothing to do.  No place to go instead.  The only thing we might compare these 40 days to that we can maybe imagine is in a prison in solitary confinement.

So what did He do for 40 days?  Vs. 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil.

Solitary confinement, except, Satan is there tempting you.  Tormenting you.

Physiologically, 40 days is about the human limit.  That's about the time, if somehow you had something to drink, 40 days is about the limit of what a strong human can live on physical bodily reserves as you grow weaker and weaker, as the reserves get used up.

And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.

Understated perhaps.  He was probably hungry the whole time, but He's at a point in that hunger where there's nothing left.  This hunger is a physically spent condition.

Matthew tells us when this was over, the angels had to come in and minister to Him.  You would be physically too spent to walk out of there at this point.  He is in a weakened state.

I want to take a few moments to do a comparison of the first Adam and the second Adam, which is Christ.  

Paul makes this distinction in 2 of his letters.  Adam and Christ.  In Romans 5 Paul says; 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Adam is a type.  A picture for us of messiah, but not in a good way.  Adam brought death and sin to all men.  Jesus delivers us from Adam's curse.   Adam brought universal death, Jesus brought life for those who will accept it.  Paul uses this idea of one man affecting the entire human race in his letter to the christians at Corinth.

1Cor. 15: 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.  45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

The argument comes, how can Jesus perfect life, His death for sin and His resurrection be imputed to everybody.  I can see how one life might be a trade for one life, but how come one man can give His holy righteousness to all men.

And Paul says, one man Adam killed everybody, so one perfect life can likewise redeem all who will believe.  So then, let's compare the first Adam to the last Adam.  

The first Adam was living in paradise with everything anyone could want at his disposal.  Jesus is in the most opposite place from Eden possible on earth.  The desolation is what this area is called.  Adam was also sinless.  He lived in a sinless environment.  Jesus has lived in the midst of a sinful world for 30 years.  All of the effects of sin.  Disease and weakness are characteristics of Jesus world.  Adam was in the perfect strength of a perfect creature without sin.  Jesus is in a weakened condition having had no food for 40 days.

Adam was full, Jesus the creator is empty.  Adam ruled the world.  Jesus is the rightful King and has nothing.  No place to lay his head.  No home.

And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

You know who never questions the deity of Jesus?  The Mormons do, the Jehovah's witnesses do, the Liberal christians do, the evangelicals who reject this book do, . . . they all dis-believe the deity of Jesus, but the devil and the demons never do.

That sentence can be just as well translated; Since you are the Son of God.  Satan doesn't deny that.  And the demon's at the beginning of His ministry are blowing His cover all the time saying they know who He is, the Son of the most High, and He has to tell them to shut up.

3“Since You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Time's up Jesus.  What good is a dead Son of God?  You've been waiting for God to supply all your needs, and you're going to be dead.  Tell this stone to become bread.

Where's the sin.  Jesus told some fish to be thousands of fish and He told some loaves to be enough loaves to feed 5000 and that wasn't sin.  Where's the sin in a hungry weak near death Jesus telling a stone to be bread?  

Here's the problem, and we need to understand what's really going on here behind the obvious.

When Jesus, the second person of the triune God came to earth to be a man, He emptied Himself of His heavenly state and became dependent totally on the Spirit to accomplish all of His needs.  

Jesus didn't wander off into the wilderness for 40 days because His human brain said this'll be a great idea.  He is dependent on the Spirit of God to direct Him into His Father's will, and His Father's will is for the Spirit to lead Him into this barren empty desert and let Satan have at it.

So what Satan is really selling is the same thing he sold Eve in the garden.  Look, the Father doesn't love you, you're about to die from starvation, He's abandoned you, He has better He could give you and He's withholding good things from you.  It's up to you to take them.  He isn't going to supply you.  

He told Eve, God doesn't love you.  There's better stuff to be had, God's holding things back.  Why if you eat that apple, you'll actually be just like God, and He doesn't want that because He wants the power, He doesn't want you to be like Him.  He's keeping that from you.

God doesn't love you and He's not giving you what you should have.  So take it anyways.  Turn that stone into bread.

Listen, the 2nd person of the trinity spoke everything that is into being.  He could turn Satan into a loaf of bread if He wanted to.  But the point is, not what He wants, but what His Father wants.  If Jesus acts independently from the Spirit and the Father, it's the same sin as Eve and Adam and this whole deal is finished.  Just like that.  Over.

Jesus life is dependent on His obedience to His Father's will, not His.  We will learn from His answer.  But first, let's digress just a bit and talk about His method.  This is a battle.  Jesus has a battle plan He will use over and over.

Jesus is the living example for us of what Paul described to the Ephesians in Ch. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Satan's throwing all this stuff at Jesus and Jesus has all this armor on, that's all defensive but the one weapon that actually fights back and gains ground against Satan the one offensive weapon that gains ground that he was holding, is the word of God.

Now everything that comes out of the mouth of Jesus is the Word of God, but Jesus doesn't do it that way.  Every time He answers Satan He goes to the book and He says the same thing again and again.  It Is Written.

The one offensive weapon against Satan is what the words of this book say.  And if you don't know what this book says, you're lunch meat for satan.  You're a tasty morsel.  Snackee food for the devil.  

That's what we're trying to do this morning, and every morning we meet, is to open this book and understand what it says.  Exactly.  Because we'll see later that Satan will twist it up and make it say something it doesn't say.  35 minutes a week isn't going to be enough.  Better than nothing, but not enough.  

If you're serious about God using you to make offensive gains in Satan's territory, you need to get very serious about understanding this book.  Read it daily.  Write down your questions and your thoughts.  We can talk.  I check my emails all day long.  I can help you find other good sources.  

So what does Jesus tell the Devil?  4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”

And Matthew adds in his account in Mt. 4:4, it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Bread is good.  Bread is important.  But if Jesus acts independently of His Father's will and the Spirit's care;  will He live, or will He die?

If we look those words up in Deuteronomy where they came from and get the context it will help us understand what Jesus tells the Devil from the Word.

Deut. 8:1 You must carefully follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and multiply, and enter and possess the land the LORD swore to your fathers.

Obedience brings thriving.  Obedience brings God's blessing and His promises.

2 Remember that these forty years the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commandments.

These 40 days of Jesus in this barren wilderness are a type, a picture of what God did with Israel in the wilderness of Canaan.  Israel failed.  Jesus is victorious.  When these temptations are finished we will see clearly what is in Jesus heart.

3 He humbled you, and in your hunger gave you manna to eat, which neither you nor your fathers had known, so that you might understand that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

What is it in that first verse that leads to life and prospering?  Carefully following every command.  God's word trumps bread.  Bread can fill your belly but it has nothing to do with prospering.  God's commands, God's word and obedience to what it says brings life, not bread.

John 4:34, Jesus said "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me."

If Jesus were to do what the Devil has suggested it is the sin of saying, "I've waited long enough for God to fill this need of mine, and he hasn't, and I'm going to take care of it myself.  He doesn't love me.  He isn't supplying me.  I'm going rogue.  I waited long enough for Him to do it His way, now I'm going to do it my way."  Remember that song;  I did it MY way.  You just elevated yourself to be god.  

Jesus has submitted Himself, live or die, to the Holy Spirit's supplying God's perfect will in God's perfect time.  Obedience brings life.  Going rogue brings death.

Adam went rogue on God.  Adam believed a lie about God, that God was holding back His love for Adam and that there was more to be had if you stepped outside the will of God and took for yourself what God had said was out of bounds.

The rest of the book, after that event, is the story of the devastation of man without God.  Sin entered and seperation from God was the result.  For every man born of Adam's seed.  Except one.

Jesus is fully human.  We traced his geneology back to Adam.  But that was through his mother, not His Father.  He is fully man and He is fully God.  God is His Father, not Adam.  

There is no one else like Him who can live a sinless life, has a perfect righteousness and can reverse the curse of Adam for every man who will believe and by faith ask for forgiveness in Him.

We'll finish looking at Jesus victorious time in the wilderness over Satan next week.  But for this morning, let's consider a couple of things.  Parallels that we can learn and apply.

The sin Satan offered was the sin of owning yourself.  Going rogue and supplying your needs outside of God's control.

So perhaps we can ask ourselves this question.  Who owns the life I am living?  Especially in America, the idea that someone else has dominion over you is taboo.  This is MY life and I need to live it to the fullest.

Oh?  That's sort of the same thing Satan tried to sell Jesus.  Who made you?  Who supplies every subsequent breath and every heart beat while you take those breaths?  Who created you to bring glory to Himself?

In the new testament we've often talked about the word the early church fathers used over and over.  Doulos.  Slave.  It was like a constant reminder to them that their lives and breaths were not there own.  Slave is the logical word to define the relationship with the other word that gets thrown around today and means nothing.  Lord.

Jesus in His humiliation in that wilderness was under the ownership and dependence on His Father and the Holy Spirit to supply every need.  He has made up His mind, even if I die in this wilderness and the angels have to carry me out of here, I will not act independently of My Father's will.

We need to reconsider our lives.  If we are christians, we belong totally to the Lord.  Our lives and breaths and heartbeats belong to His will.  Not ours, independent of Him.