Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the
Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted
for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and
afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said
to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become
bread." But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written,
'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'"
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all
the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said
to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory;
for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours."
And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me Satan! For
it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only
you shall serve.'" Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him
on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are
the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written:
'He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You,' and, 'In
their hands they shall bear You up, lest You dash Your foot against
a stone.'" And Jesus answered and said to him, "It has
been said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" Now when
the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until
an opportune time.
There are numerous applications we may make from Luke's account
of Jesus' final three temptations during these forty days. This
article cannot begin to exhaustively detail these lessons, but I
would like to take an opportunity to briefly mention a few of the
First, note that Jesus responded to Satan's temptations with Scripture.
It is profitable for us to think upon Scripture in times of temptation
because the gospel is God's power to salvation (Rom. 1:16) making
us wise for salvation (2 Tim. 3:14-17). And, faith comes from hearing
and hearing from the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Thus, without the
word of God it is impossible to overcome temptation, but with the
word of God we are guided unto salvation.
Second, note Jesus was in all points tempted as we are (Heb. 4:14-16);
therefore, He is our sympathetic High Priest making intercession
for us (Heb. 7:25) as our Advocate (1 Jn. 2:1). And since Jesus
was tempted as we are, He was tempted with the lust of the flesh,
lust of the eye, and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:16).
Third, the word of God must take precedent over fulfilling the
needs of our flesh. Jesus said: "Man shall not live by bread
alone, but by every word of God" (Lk. 4:4). During the sermon
on the Mount, Jesus said that we cannot serve two Masters. We must
seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the
needs of the flesh will be met by God (Matt. 6:24-34).
Fourth, we must worship and serve God. Jesus said: "You shall
worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Lk.
4:8). Paul tells us that covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Thus,
we must not worship Satan nor the things of this life.
Fifth, we must be aware that Satan can tempt us by distorting the
meaning of Scripture. Note that Satan quoted Scripture during his
third temptation of Jesus. Paul tells us that we must be aware of
deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1f). John tells
us that we must test the spirits as to whether they are from God
(1 Jn. 4:1f).
Lastly, we see that Satan departs if we resist him. James said:
"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee
There are other lessons we can learn from the temptations of Jesus
which are beyond the scope of this article. Let us remember that
Satan is real. He is walking about like a roaring lion seeking whom
he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Therefore we must "resist him steadfast
in the faith" (1 Pet. 5:9).