Bible Reading: Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13 (One more time!)

Here we are in the third installment of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Tuesday, we looked at the first temptation: Who Is He? He Does Not Yield to Temptation Part 1. Wednesday, we looked at the second temptation: Who Is He? He Does Not Yield to Temptation Part 2. Today, we look at the third temptation.

Matthew 4:8–11 (ESV)

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.’ ”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Unlike the first two temptations, the devil in his third temptation does not challenge the identity of Christ. Before he said, “If you are the Son of God….”, now he leaves that out. At Christ’s baptism, the Father told him, “You are my beloved Son.” In the previous temptations, he never doubted what the Father said of him. He trusted God and he trusted His Word. This third temptation is different.

How is this temptation different from the others? Well, besides dropping the, “If you are the Son of God”, the devil tempts Jesus with something that truly is supposed to be his. Satan flaunts the promise of Christ’s inheritance before him as they stand on a high mountain.

In Isaiah, the Servant of the LORD, who we have previously identified as the Christ, will inherit the earth and rule over it.

Isaiah 11:1–12 (ESV)

11 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,

and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,

the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and might,

the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see,

or decide disputes by what his ears hear,

but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,

and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;

and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,

and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,

and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,

and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,

and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;

and a little child shall lead them.

The cow and the bear shall graze;

their young shall lie down together;

and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,

and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.

They shall not hurt or destroy

in all my holy mountain;

for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord

as the waters cover the sea.

10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

11 In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.

12  He will raise a signal for the nations

and will assemble the banished of Israel,

and gather the dispersed of Judah

from the four corners of the earth.

You can cross reference this passage with Isa. 42; 52:13-53:1-12 (and I am sure many others that I am not mentioning!).

Jesus is already promised the Earth. The devil’s tempting offer is that Christ should bow the knee to him and not to God. “If you would but fall down and worship me all of this could be yours! I will even give you its glory!”

Jesus would not yield. There was but one way to come into this inheritance. The way was not by bowing down to worship Satan as a god. The only way to receive this inheritance was through the cross. He would not humbly bow for Satan, but he would die in humiliation on a cross in obedience to his Father.

Satan only had the world to offer Christ. But, Christ is to be given much more than the whole world.

“It is worth reflecting that, while Satan offered Jesus sovereignty over all the earth if he would but worship him, Jesus worshipped God only and all power in heaven and on earth was given him.”

Morris, L. (1992). The Gospel according to Matthew (p. 78). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press.

Again, Jesus fights temptation with the Word of God. Deuteronomy 6:13 to be exact.

“ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.’ ”

With these words, the devil goes away from him. Jesus was victorious over these temptations in the wilderness, but there will be more temptations to come. We will see Jesus later in Gethsemane tempted to forsake his mission and he was victorious over that temptation as well. We will see him hanging on the cross facing taunts and loud calls to come down from his suffering if he were really the Son of God. The temptations in the wilderness were over, but more will be thrown at him.

Through the proper understanding and application of the Bible, Jesus trusts God for deliverance. He will feed on the words that come from God’s mouth. He will not put God to the test. He will worship the Lord his God and serve him only. He remained faithful, even when it was hard.

What a High Priest we have! Think of the level of temptation that he faced! Temptation does not get easier the longer you resist. More often than not, the level of temptation has heightened the longer you resist. Jesus never gave in. He obeyed God. Perfect submission. So, yes, he can sympathize with our weaknesses, because he was tempted in all points as we are, yet he never sinned. Where we are unfaithful at times, he remains faithful.

He does not yield to temptation.

2 thoughts on “Who Is He? He Does Not Yield to Temptation Part 3

  1. The devil is a sneak and he uses devious tactics. That’s why we need to stay in the Word constantly, so we’re prepared for him. Keep up the good work, Jon😊

    Liked by 1 person

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