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 an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Matthew 4:1-6
The first thing we want to notice here, is the parallel similarities between Jesus being in the wilderness for 40 days and Moses leading the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. The number 40 in the Bible is typically symbolic for a time of testing or trial. However a common theme we see throughout Jesus ministry is Christ is the greater Moses. While Moses led the Israelties from slavery, Jesus freed us from slavery of sin and death. While Moses parted the Red Sea, Jesus walked on water, while Moses struck the rock in the wilderness for water, Jesus is the Living Water. All these things in the Old Testament are a foreshadow of Christ to come
Now we see a battle between Jesus and Satan, good vs evil, we have to remember Jesus was not only fully God but also fully human (Philippians 2) Satan knew this and decided to try and take advantage by tempting his flesh. Satan challenges Jesus to demonstrate his deity by turning the stones into bread. Jesus makes the statement “Man can’t live on bread alone” We could write a sermon just on this statement, but the point is there’s more to life than just our physical needs. We have to feed our souls with the bread of life, the living word of God.
Then Satan challenged Jesus deity again by saying if you are the Son of God then let the angels save you. (Psalm 91) Notice how Satan will quote the Word of God to use against Jesus. Don’t be tricked, many false prophets and false teachers will try to use the Word of God to deceive you also! (Matthew 7)
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Matthew 4:7-11
Satan tried to use his final temptation, “Worship me and I’ll give you the world” isn’t this the same blasphemous message Satan is still using today to get people to worship him? As Jesus said “Worship The Lord your God only” This is the Shema from the Old Testament, and should still be our motto for Christianity, Worship The Lord your God only and not anything of this world. As Jesus also said “What does it profit you to gain the whole world and lose your soul” (Mark 8:36)
Jesus defeated Satan that day in the wilderness, even though he was fully human and was vulnerable from fasting , he still overcame Satan. Jesus eventually finished his work at the cross (John 19:30) and defeated Satan, sin , and death forever Amen!