Jesus for the Win
We’ve been talking about the fall in Genesis chapter 3. Today we are going to ff to an event in the life of Jesus in Matthew 4.
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
This scene in the gospel story of Jesus’ life is a clear call back to the temptation narrative of Genesis chapter 3. Where Adam and Eve failed, Jesus succeeds. They lost, Jesus wins. This event is painting Jesus as the new Adam, the promised seed of the woman from Gen. 3:15 who will crush the head of the serpent.
Jesus triumphs in a few significant ways for our study today:
First, he is in the wilderness, the resulting location of Adam and Eve’s first sin. Adam and Eve were in the garden where they had plenty of God’s blessing to eat from and be satisfied. Jesus was in a much more precarious position. He is in the wilderness and he is hungry—an easy target for Satan’s temptation. In this vein, just as Eve was tempted by the fruit that was appealing to the eye, I’m sure bread would have been incredibly appealing to Jesus’ eye when he was hungry. Yet he still managed to resist Satan’s temptation
Second, Jesus knows the word of God better than Satan. Satan attempts the same deception on Jesus as he did on Eve—he attempts to manipulate God’s word and God’s good plan and intentions for Jesus. But Jesus is victorious because he knows the word of God better than Satan. Where Eve failed in distorting key components of God’s commands Jesus succeeded in knowing God’s word well enough to know that he was being deceived. He even recognized Satan’s attempts to take the words of God out of context.
Third, Adam and Eve were tempted to worship themselves and usurp God’s authority by becoming like God and knowing good and evil for themselves, instead of trusting God. In the same way Jesus is tempted to worship Satan and take the easy way of gaining power and authority instead of following God’s way, which would be much more painful and difficult.
Again, this is the beginning of the gospel of Matthew and it demonstrates Jesus’ cosmic mission to be the one from Gen. 3:15 who would finally crush the head of the serpent and defeat the power of evil. This event is the counter to the fall of Genesis 3.
Skye Jethani preached a sermon at LifeBridge last yea. Check it out again. It’s really good stuff.
Jesus is pretty awesome. He is the perfect human who defeated the temptation of Satan. where we fail, he succeeded. Just spend a few moments thanking Jesus for his work on the cross to redeem us from our sin and redeem our worship and for being the perfect human to resist the temptations of Satan and give us hope to be like him and resist temptation as well.