Tempted, Tried & TestedSeries: The Glory of Christ
TEMPTED, TRIED & TESTED
Pt.6 - “The Glory Of Christ”
Sermon Outline By Terry Siverd
Cortland Church of Christ / March 01, 2015
Even though the birth of Jesus was extra-ordinary (miraculous), the early life of Jesus was rather ordinary.
On the surface such a statement seems to border on being ludicrous (at best) and blasphemous (at worse).
We seldom think of describing Jesus with the word “ordinary”.
Yet, this seems to be the plan of God - - His only begotten Son condescends to associate with common man.
And it is not just that He associates with man, but Jesus becomes fully incarnate, fully immersed in the human experience.
Paul’s way of expressing this (Philp.2:7) is to say that 7
“(Jesus) EMPTIED Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men”.
We see this “emptying of self” in all manner of early events in the life of Jesus.
¡ In His birth.
Although miraculous in nature it is accompanied by humble human circumstances.
Born to Mary … a pregnancy tainted with “gossip” … no room at the inn … laid in a manger
¡ In His circumcision & dedication as an infant.
¡ In His barmitzvah at the age of twelve.
Even though He sat in the midst of The Rabbis, he returned home to be in subjection to his parents.
¡ We even see this in His baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
Yet, all throughout the ORDINARY, we catch glimpses of the GLORY of Jesus.
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Although His birth is ordinary, it is also exceptional - - the angelic messengers … the star … the wise men.
At His circumcision and dedication, Simeon & Anna make profound declarations.
At His visit to the Temple at the age of 12, the rabbis are amazed by His questions, His understanding & His answers.
At His baptism, a Voice thunders from heaven, “This is My beloved Son…”
This mingling of that which is ordinary with that which is glorious continues in the story of His temptation.
Immediately after His baptism, Jesus is led into the wilderness where He is tested for forty days.
? This is certainly reflective or reminiscent of “Israel’s being tested in the wilderness for forty years”. ?
In this event, Jesus is once again identifying with His people – the nation of Israel.
But even here, even before we witness His responses to Satan’s temptations, we catch a glimpse of His glory.
There is something very special (glorious) about Jesus.
He is a prophet “like unto Moses” (Deut.18:15 & Acts 3:22).
Ex.34:28 tells how Moses was alone with God for 40 days & days, before He brought forth the 10 commandments.
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus’ spends 40 days & nights in the wilderness (Mt.4)
And then comes His sermon on the mount (the presentation of the New Covenant – cf. Mt.5, 6 & 7).
Moses was but a type of Christ - - Jesus was the ultimate Law Giver.
In OT times Elijah was deemed to be a chief among the prophets. Elijah, too, was a type of Christ.
Soon, in our studies, we will travel to the mount of transfiguration (Lk.9:28f).
Two OT characters were there with Jesus. Do you remember who they were? Moses and Elijah.
He is like the prophet Elijah - - 1Kgs.19:8 tells of how Elijah had spent 40 days & nights on Mt. Horeb.
And now we come to the Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.
Open your Bibles to Lk.4:1-13 and Mt.4:1-11
The apostle Paul refers to Jesus as “the last Adam” (1Cor.15:45).
The last Adam is sometimes alluded to as the “second” Adam in contrast to the “first” Adam.
Paul develops this theme more thoroughly by way of contrast in Rom.5:12f.
His summary statement is vs.19 4 “For as through one man’s disobedience the many were
made sinners, even so through the obedience of the ONE the many will be made righteous.”
? ? ?
¡ Adam fell to temptation in the garden of Eden - - paradise: a lush and idyllic place full of beauty and abundance.
Jesus, the second/last Adam refused to yield to temptation in the wilderness - - a deserted, desolate and dreadful place,
noted for its scorpions and snakes. Mk.1:13 states that Jesus was4 “with the wild beasts”.
¡ Adam fell to temptation - - we can assume, well-rested and on a full stomach.
Jesus stood tall against temptation on the heels of a forty-day fast, very likely weak, weary and hungry.
¡ Adam fell to temptation with Eve in the garden with him.
Jesus resisted the temptations of The Devil, alone and by Himself.
Mt.4:11 records that “angels came and ministered to Him”, but this was after Satan had departed.
Now, let’s make a few important observations from the text itself.
Matthew’s account and Luke’s account are basically the same, except for a few minor differences.
One difference is that the order of the temptations #2 & #3 are reversed or flip-flopped.
E Both Matthew and Luke state that Jesus was “led by the Spirit” into the wilderness. D
In other words, it was the will of God that Jesus be TESTED.
It might be helpful here to think in these terms.
God allows us to be tested so that we might grow strong(er) in our faith.
God’s aim is not to cause us to stumble and fall, but to rather to strengthen us so that we might stand even taller.
Two New Testament citations are relevant to our understanding of trials, temptations and testing.
Js.1:13 / “let no man say when He is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’;
for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.”
1Cor.10:13 / “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man;
And God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,
But with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”
Matthew’s gospel also notes that Satan came to Jesus after His forty days & nights of fasting – Mt.4:2.
What was the focus of Jesus’ fast? I’ll write more about this in next week’s FamilyMatters essay.
¡ The tempter/the devil (Mt.4:3) first came to Jesus saying,
“If / since you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”
The stones in the wilderness actually had the appearance of a middle-eastern loaf of bread.
Since you are God, use your power to satisfy your own desires / needs.
Jesus responded with a scripture - - it is written - - “Man shall not live by bread alone,
but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” / Deut.8:3
¡ A second time, the devil tempted Jesus saying in essence,
I’ll give you all the power in the world if you bow the knee to me.
Once again Jesus responded with a quote from the OT law (Deut.6:13) 7
“You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”
¡ A third and last temptation came when Satan tempted saying,
“If / since you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from the temple…”
Surely - - you TRUST God enough…
Here the devil adds to his temptation by quoting scripture himself (Ps.91:11-12) 7
He will give His angels charge concerning You to guard you …
On their hands they will bear You up, lestYou strike your foot against a stone.
Jesus’ response was to counter Satan’s temptation by re-affirming the words of Deut.6:16,
“It is written 4 you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Jesus here provides us with a lesson in hermeneutics - - we must not isolate one text (Ps.91) from the whole of Scripture.
What can we extrapolate from this story of the temptation of Jesus that might apply to us?
WHAT ARE SOME PRACTICAL LESSONS THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS STORY?
(1) Life on earth is filled with temptations.
It is not a matter of “if” we will be tempted, but “when” and “how often”.
1Pet.4:12 says, “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing…”
Note that Lk.4:13 states4 “when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed…until an opportune time.”
In Mt.16:23, Jesus rebukes Peter (“Get behind Me, Satan”) with the same phrase he used in Mt.4:10 (“Begone, Satan!”).
(2) It is not a sin to be tempted, the sin comes when we yield to the temptation.
Adam & Eve would not have been excommunicated from the garden if Adam would have
simply gone back to Eve and said, “Satan, tempted me today to eat the forbidden fruit.”
The SIN came when he failed to walk away, when he failed to resist, when he failed to obey the will of God.
(3) It will help us greatly when we face temptations, to know the will of God by knowing the Word of God.
With every temptation, Jesus responded with, “it is written…”.
The more we treasure God’s Word and Will in our hearts and minds, the stronger we will be to stand against temptation.
(4) Last of all, and perhaps most importantly, we need to know what we are all about.
This is a hint as to why Jesus was fasting.
If we don’t know who we are … if we don’t fully embrace WHOSE we are, we will be prone to falter and fail.
We are Christians - - Christ’s ones - - and we are called to live holy lives.