Let’s get a hand to these guys one more time for all the work they do. Amen. Thank you guys so much. Hey, we’re in a series on the Ministry of Jesus. This is actually week two of that series where we are talking through the life of Jesus.
Everything he did, every word he said, every person he healed, every interaction he had. And we’re doing it because we believe in this Church that our highest and the most important calling of our lives is to be disciples, which means to be followers or learners, to be people that follow Jesus, who become like Jesus, who are with Christ, who looked like him every day a little bit more than the day before. And so what we decided to do is instead of having a six or seven week series, we’re having a 220, I calculated 229 week series on the Ministry of Jesus. And we’re just going to kind of keep going. I said 229.
It’s actually 129, but Amen, it’s been great. So we’re in week two. Last week we talked about the baptism of Jesus. This week we talked about his temptations in the wilderness with Satan. It’s kind of intense.
We’re going to get there in just a second. If you have a Bible, you can turn over to Luke chapter four. That’s where we’re going to be today. But first, I’d like to introduce you to somebody. This is the clicker antenna I think broke.
So I’ll just let you know. Yeah, I’ll just do this if it doesn’t work, Ignaz Semmelweiss, look at him. Isn’t this do you think that we should go back to the bald head, big mustache thing? I’m kind of in on it. Anyway, this is Dr. Semmelweiss. He was a Hungarian physician who worked out in Vienna in the 1800s. In 1846, he started working at Vienna General Hospital in the maternity clinic. And before long, he became deeply unsettled by the extraordinary high maternal mortality rates in one of the wards. One of the wards had mothers dying at an extraordinarily high rate, and it was the Ward that was staffed by physicians and medical students.
About 18% of all the mothers who gave birth in that Ward died. They were dying of a thing called child bed fever. That’s what they called it. And by comparison, there was another Ward that he oversaw that was staffed primarily by midwives, and only about 2% of the women had died of that same fever. So Semmelweiss started digging.
He scrutinized everything that the hospital was doing. He looked at things like climate and crowds trying to pinpoint the factors that might cause this spike in fever cases at one of the wards and not the other one. But the only behavior that was different was he thought maybe it was that one was staffed by midwives and one was staffed by doctors. Maybe the women have something to do with the fact that there is less death in mothers. It turns out that wasn’t the case.
But he got a little bit of a clue when one of his fellow doctors died of what appeared to be the same child bedside fever. The doctor who died had actually cut himself with a scalpel he had used during an autopsy. That is when Semmelweiss realized that the doctors had been dissecting infected corpses with their bare hands, and then with those same contaminated hands, they were delivering babies. Now, that sounds disgusting, but, because it is disgusting, Amen. But bacteria and germs and the science of all that stuff wasn’t around yet.
So similar eyes believed that the autopsy physicians must have been carrying around kind of these invisible particles all over their hands. And so he made a mandate that, hey, from now on, before you touch a mother, you need to wash your hands, he said, because there are things causing death that we cannot see. When I heard this story, I thought to myself, this is a perfect illustration for the spiritual world and especially for Satan and his demonic forces, because just like the germs in that clinic, there are things that cause death that we cannot see, and we can’t pinpoint or totally understand how they all work. We can’t understand their effects and even the secular theories for why evil is here. People talk about the reason there’s evil is because of lack of education and because of inadequate distribution of wealth.
And there’s Marxist Para analysis. And if people had more money than evil would go away. But there is something that is bigger than all that, that we can’t exactly understand, things that cause evil that are beyond our comprehension. There are toxic pollutants pushed into this world by the Prince of the air, the devil, who is determined to fill the atmosphere of our world with darkness and dread and misery and hatred and pain. And this battle of death and life and truth versus lies is so critical for us if we’re ever going to live the lives that we’re supposed to live, the lives following after Jesus, if we’re ever going to have the life that Jesus promised, which is life to the full.
And so it should be no surprise to us that Jesus went face to face with some of those dark forces. And that’s what we’re going to study out today. Luke, chapter four. Hopefully you’re there with me. You have plenty of time.
Let’s make it happen. Luke, chapter four. Last week we were at the baptism of Jesus. Remember, he came over to John at the Jordan River. John did not want to baptize him because he thought, you are the spotless Lamb of God.
And Jesus said, hey, it’s right for us to do this. And so John conceded and baptized him. And the moment he baptized him, he was risen from the water and the heavens parted, and there was a Dove that came down from heaven and descended on him. And we said that that Dove most likely symbolized sacrifice because he was anointed for death. And then God’s words came over to Jesus, said, this is my son and whom I’m well pleased, meaning, I’ve looked over your life and you are pure and you are good, and you are right to be anointed or rather to be honored as King.
And then Jesus comes out of the Jordan River. He gets on the banks. And the very next part of the story says this, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for 40 days he was tempted by the devil. I want you to note really quickly who sent Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. It says, the Spirit of God.
Now, I don’t understand all of this. God’s will and his ways cannot be contained by my own human conceptions of what good is and what bad is. But it does seem to me like this is something that shouldn’t be done. I just got baptized and you said to me, I am the son in whom you’re well pleased. How come I’m being sent into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan?
Here’s a warning for us, and I think it’s important, and I’m not going to talk much about this, but we have to begin to get it into our minds and build, and it has to be built into our theology that God does cause things to happen in your life that you may believe are bad or you may not understand. Like, there are times when God actually leads you by his Spirit into a place that feels like a wilderness. And you might go, well, why would God do that if he really loved me? Well, it’s because God doesn’t look at the short view of what love and what good is. God is looking at the long view.
And so you have to make it clear. In other words, some of us can think, God would never send me, his child, who loves him so much, to a place of wanting in a barren place in my life. And you go, well, he actually did it to his son. So just be aware, don’t put God in kind of your Instagram box where he only makes flowers come out of the ground and he causes rainbows and bunnies to come. There is a lot more happening than those things.
Instead, you should really build your biblical or your theology from the scriptures, not just from what you think God should be like. So just a little warning there. So anyway, Jesus is sent to engage in a conflict with the devil. And it’s not a conflict that Jesus finds haphazardly. It’s not something that he was in a bad situation.
So he’s led by the Spirit, right to go there. And I like to think of it like this, that Jesus here is going after Satan, that God is saying, hey, here’s my son in whom I’m well pleased. Let’s see how he can conquer you. And he drives him into the wilderness. Then it says, oh, by the way, let me just go back one slide.
It says, Where for 40 days he was tempted by the devil. That means that for the 40 days he was praying and fasting, he was tempted and tempted and tempted. Then it goes on, he ate nothing during those days. During those 40 days of fasting and temptation. And at the end of them, he was hungry.
For 40 days he’s fasting and he’s being tempted. And then at the end of the 40 days, the Bible says, Jesus is hungry. Then in a moment of apparent vulnerability, the devil lays on him some new heavy temptations. I’m going to read them and then we’ll walk through them bit by bit. Let’s just see them all.
The devil said to him, if you are the Son of God, tell the stone to become bread. Jesus answered, It is written, man shall not live on bread alone. The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, I give you all their authority and splendor. It’s been given to me and I can give it to anyone I want to.
If you worship me, it will all be yours. Jesus answered, It is written, Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. If you’re the Son of God, he says, Throw yourself down from here. For it is written, he will command his Angels concerning you to guard you carefully.
They will lift you up in your sorry, they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Jesus answered, it is said, do not put the Lord your God to the test. When the devil had finished all his tempting, he left him until an opportune time. We go from the baptism of Jesus to the wilderness. And you may ask the question, well, why is the timing of these temptations so important?
Maybe you’re looking around and you’re thinking, well, why would Jesus or why would God send his son after being baptized, after this great moment, into the wilderness? Why now? Why would Jesus be sent into the wilderness immediately after this moment of his Coronation? And here’s why. And this is so important.
You see, the Jews knew that Satan had conquered the first sinless man, the sinless Adam back in Genesis three. God gives him a perfect world, and you know how the story ends. And so here’s a question that still lays heavy on the hearts and the minds of every single person. Can a man resist the devil, that terrible serpent? Can anyone resist him?
Our ancestors, the very first one was not able to resist him. So can this next, this new man, Adam, resist him. If Satan conquered the sinless Adam could, he then conquer the sinless Jesus. So here comes the crafty serpent. And the temptations, as you’ll read them, are very similar to the temptations in Genesis, chapter three.
But there’s one major difference, and that major difference is the environment. Adam in Genesis chapter three, was in a perfect environment. He’s in paradise, he’s in Eden. But if Adam was in Eden, Jesus is in the Anti-Eden. George Adam Smith called it the place of devastation and describes what it’s like.
And I want to show you a quick map. This is the whole land of Israel. This is where we were last week. Last week in our study, we started on the banks of the Jordan River. We don’t know exactly where, but somewhere around there.
And this week we are moving Jesus into the wilderness. This place over here is Rocky, precipitous, dangerous area. It’s barren, dry, desolate. And that’s where we find Jesus. Adam and Eve had the Garden of Eden, and they were with God himself.
Jesus is in the wilderness with Satan. Adam had everything, every meal he could ever want, every bit of food he could ever desire. He had every Kingdom spread across the world. He was in charge of it. Adam has or rather, Jesus has the exact opposite.
No food, no possessions, nothing. So the question stands. If Adam was vulnerable, Jesus then is certainly more vulnerable. If Adam collapsed in the first temptation, maybe the second man, Adam, as one Corinthians 15 calls him, will collapse at this temptation. This is a pivotal moment, and the question hangs in the air.
Can anyone conquer Satan? And then we get a snapshot of these temptations, verse three. The devil said to him, if you are the son of God, tell this stone to become bread. The Greek construction of this phrase is called a first class conditional. It indicates that the devil is not doubting that Jesus was the son of God.
If you are the son of God, question Mark. This verse can be paraphrased like, since you are the son of God. In fact, one Greek language that I read said that a better translation might be in view of the fact that you are the son of God, tell this stone to become bread. And this is just an aside, but much of these presentations and lessons are just curation of commentators.
And I try to make relevant applications for us. But it’s instances like studying out this particular set of scriptures that I’ve just become so grateful for the hundreds and thousands of years of wisdom that Bible interpreters have. Man, people have given their entire lives to the study of the book that we read on Sundays. And hopefully you read every other day like people have given their whole lives to learn the original language, to understand the geography. It’s kind of amazing and so I want you to know that everything we’re talking about, nothing here is new.
If you ever hear something new, there’s an old little preaching phrase. If it’s new, it’s not true. And that’s probably true. And it’s still just as relevant as it was 2000 years ago. So in view of the fact that you are the Son of God, that’s what we’re getting.
In view the fact that you are the Son of God, then tell the stone to become bread. So I’m reading this and I’m thinking about this translation. I’m reading some of these commentaries, and I’m like, I don’t understand why making bread is sin. Here’s a question. What’s the temptation?
He’s making bread? Making bread is not a temptation. In fact, my wife is making bread right now, and I assume that it’s not a temptation or a lot of sin. I mean, I would think it’s not. Maybe someone can correct me.
John Brush? Anyway, and there’s nothing wrong with eating bread as far as I know, especially if you haven’t eaten bread for 40 days. Also, we know it’s not sin to just miraculously create bread because Jesus will do it later in John chapter six and other places in the Scriptures, with the bread, with the fish and the loaves. It can’t be a temptation about showing off because there was no one there. So what’s the temptation? Again, these commentators, so helpful.
These people studied the Scriptures so helpful. There’s a thing called kenosis. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this. It’s what theologians explain as this idea of emptying yourself. Jesus went through his kenosis, his emptying of himself.
And the majority of this kenosis was empty of self of his Godlikeess. Though he is God in the flesh, he’s also fully and completely man. Fully and completely man. And in this specific temptation, there’s a couple of ways that it hits. But the most important way it hits is that Satan is tempting him to betray his identity as a man.
He’s telling him, you are God, you’re not a man. Go ahead and make some bread. Men are the people that need to be hungry or the beings that need to be hungry. Men are the people who need to be in desperation with their Father in heaven who sends down Manna from heaven. God and gods don’t have to deal with that problem.
You’re not a man. Be God and make yourself bread. Now, you might think like that doesn’t really matter. This question that he’s asking Jesus, can you be human? Like, this question may not seem like it matters all that much, but if you really think about this plan of Salvation, Jesus becoming man is critical to you being saved.
It’s also critical for you living life to the full because it’s Jesus’s example that we follow. It’s Jesus that we follow. And if he’s just God who can make bread, and he never deals with hunger, he never deals with the temptation of sin. And he never deals with heartbreak. And he never has to deal with tears or sorrow or brokenness.
Then really, you are so far away from righteousness that it’s impossible for you to ever get near to where God wants you to be. Instead, Jesus gives us an example and he gives us the example as a man. The stuff you deal with is the stuff Jesus dealt with. And at every point he was proven worthy of not only being like God, but also being like men. And here’s the great encouragement that I take from all that. You don’t have to be God to beat Satan.
Because here we have a man, a man who was able to conquer him. A man. There’s also another piece of this which is really challenging to even conceptualize. But one of the issues with being a man is that you aren’t reliant on yourself for anything. Really, you can’t rely on yourself for food because tomorrow there could be a famine. And then you can go to buy Wonder Bread in Walmart and it’s all gone. And you’re like, Well, I don’t eat Wonder Bread anyway. Well, all the bread will be gone. So there you go.
Who knows, right? Like, all the trucks could stop shipping stuff and all the workers go on strike. And then we have nothing. So none of us are really, we’re all reliant on God at some level for everything.
And so here’s another piece of this temptation that is just so vile. Another question that could be being proposed during this discussion between Jesus and Satan is, hey, since you’re the son of God, you can take life in your own hands, certainly. But also, why isn’t God giving you any food? Now, you can relate to this. This is a divisive, manipulative spirit that all of us can deal with.
Hey, I’ve been a Christian for so long. Why isn’t God given anybody to love me and to marry? Hey, I love Jesus. And yet God hasn’t provided for me during my sickness. God didn’t really help my kids.
All of us can kind of deal with this, right? He hasn’t broken addictions or I’m still disappointed and fearful. This temptation hits in two ways. Hey, maybe it’s this.
Yeah. How could you be God’s son if you’re hungry? How come? Okay. God just said to you, this is Satan speaking, right?
God just said to you, you are my son in you I’m well pleased. But he hasn’t taken care of you. He hasn’t fed you.
You waited all the time in Nazareth. You had your moment in the sun down to the Jordan River. And now you’ve been out of this God forsaken place for 40 days, not eating and being tempted by me. If God really loved you, he would have gotten you out of this situation. Maybe God doesn’t love you as much as you think he loves you.
If he really loved you, you wouldn’t be hungry. You wouldn’t suffer. You wouldn’t be going through this. You’re the Son of God. Didn’t God give food to those terrible Israelites who are wandering in the desert?
He rained down Manna from heaven. And you are the Son of God. He doesn’t give you anything. They were sinful, they were idolatrous. They were complaining.
Where’s your Mana? Look at you, starving to death in the wilderness. Does God really love you? And by the way, Satan was very good with the scriptures. He could have quoted Isaiah.
Doesn’t Isaiah say that God’s people will never go hungry? Doesn’t the Psalmist say in Psalm 107 that God always fills the hungry with good food? Doesn’t the Psalmist say that he’ll never seen his people begging for bread? Even Moses was able to call down Manna from heaven. Are you not his equal?
Are you less than? This is the temptation man. It’s so terrible. But all of us experience this right in the moments of our weakest moments, we’re sitting there. Does God truly love me? Could he actually care about me if I’m going through what I’m currently going through?
See, as a man, Jesus had to lean just like all of us on God. Jesus had to trust his faithfulness to believe that what God was doing was good and that his timing was good. And so I think Jesus just snaps back. I think it’s like he finishes a sentence and then Jesus is right on it. And he says, this Jesus answered, is written, man shall not live on bread alone.
He instantly quotes Deuteronomy. And in another gospel, there’s an extension of the quote, which is the full quote from Deuteronomy, man should not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. And what does this mean? Jesus is saying, I am a man.
And as a man, I fully and completely understand that man cannot be fully satisfied by food because the preeminent need of mankind is God’s word. In other words, the bread is good. But what I really need are the words, the Wills and the ways of God.
So maybe God is not giving me food right now, but that’s fine. He’s still giving me his word. And Jesus is making it clear that man, his greatest need, isn’t physical. It’s a spiritual connection to his father. And I just want to share with you the context of the verse that we just read in Deuteronomy, chapter eight, because I just think it’s so good.
So God gives the law, and then God gives the law to the people. And then he says, basically, if you follow it, good things are going to happen to you. If you follow it, good things are going to happen to you. So Deuteronomy, chapter eight, this is Moses, God speaking through Moses, but he says, he humbled you. This is God speaking to the Israelites, causing you to hunger.
Think about this. Hunger causes us to be humbled. So Jesus even looks at this. He knows his verse. He’s like, I know my hunger is good for me.
It brings humility and then feeding you with Manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known to teach you that, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. If you want to live, this is the idea, you got to learn that I cause men to hunger, and then I feed them in order to remind them that man does not live by the sustenance that comes from food. They really live by the will and the words of God Almighty.
It’s kind of amazing, right? Jesus in such a vulnerable moment, thinking about food because the Bible does say he’s hungry, is quick to respond and go, you know what I actually don’t need that what I really need is a connection to my father. It’s kind of amazing. Next temptation, the rest will be rather quick.
The devil led him up to the highest place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, I will give you all their authority and splendor. It has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours. Satan tries a different scheme.
I wonder if this would have been the same fight or this would have been the same temptation if the women, if Adam and Eve had denied the first temptation, but they couldn’t even get past one. So this is the second one, right? The one about food. And now the second one, Satan is offering the kingdoms of the air, everything. And this one really confused me, because the more I studied it, the more I thought, doesn’t Jesus get everything?
Philippians chapter two tells me that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. So this is confusing to me. And then as I read more, I kind of was like, oh, I see what’s happening here. I understand. Satan, he’s tempting Jesus with a shortcut.
I’ll give you the world. I’ll give you everything that’s yours at the very end. And here’s the best part of the plan. There will be no suffering, no betrayal, no persecution. Jesus, you’re not going to need to raise up twelve disciples and have them all abandon you in your moment of need.
There’s going to be no need to wait until the end of time to come back and redeem the world. No Crown of thorns on your head, no nails piercing your wrists, no beatings, no slaps, no persecution by the religious leaders, no betrayal at all. You get all you want. The temptation here is expedience or something like that. You can have it all, but here’s the only thing you can have it all.
You don’t have to do it the Father’s way. Do it my way. It’ll be super quick. You’ll get exactly what God has planned for your life always.
Jesus, you’ll have everything you ever wanted, and it’ll be super easy. See, the second thing that I see Satan doing to us and to me is that he tries to persuade us. He tries to persuade us that Satan will try to get you to pursue the good things of God on your own terms.
Think of how intense this would be for Jesus. Jesus, you could save the world. You know how you’re going to save the world at the end. I know you are. Everyone knows you are.
It’s going to be great. All you need to do is worship me. You can have everything you’ve ever wanted. You can have everything, and you don’t have to deal with the trouble. Man, I think all of us can really struggle with this.
I actually think the Church can be a really difficult atmosphere or environment for this type of temptation. What if we just lowered our expectations of what a disciple was? Maybe we could just save thousands of people. Isn’t it the goal of God to save thousands of people? What if we just teach people it’s okay to live in sin and be a Christian, and no one will ever leave? Those people that struggle with their faith and go, you know what? But I want to experiment in the world. No, it’s fine. As long as you come on Sunday, you’re a full Christian. No big deal.
God will send you to heaven. Everything will be fine. We can have so many more seats filled if we would just upgrade the gospel to a more progressive version of the gospel. There’s no judgment. You stay out of my life, I stay out of your life, and you stay exactly as you came.
And everything will be perfect. No need to be refined by fire. No need to be refined through the gospel. No need. And we’ll grow the Church, and it’ll be amazing.
Look, this temptation is terrible. It’s insidious, it lives in everything. And it’s the exact temptation that Jesus had there. And look, we face it all the time. You can get all the good things of God.
You just have to cut them out of the process. I want a boyfriend, and I can’t find one that loves Jesus. So I’m just going to cut God out of the whole process, and I’m just going to do whatever I want to do. Sure.
Look, we can talk about it forever. I want the peace of God, but I don’t want to go through the trials that forge me into a man that would find peace. So instead, what I want is I want to just figure out how to make as much money as possible. So then I can just dull all my pains and I will feel like I have peace. I want the good things of God, but I just want to cut him out of the process.
And for the sake of time, I’m just going to read you Jesus response because it’s just right on point. Jesus is a master. It is written, worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Hey, I’m not only in it for the end result. I follow God from the very beginning and the middle.
Every step of the process, God is over. In other words, I’m 100% committed to the way and the will of God. I’m 100% committed to the way of God, not just the outcomes of God. I don’t worship those things. I don’t worship success.
I am totally committed to God’s path for my life. And if that means I need to die to save the world, that means I need to be abandoned to save the world. I’ll do that because that way is probably right because God designed it that way. What’s the relevant application here? And I’m sure you’re putting it together, but I just want to warn you here, when you live like the ends justify the means, you actually become a tool in the hands of the enemy without even knowing it.
Don’t live that way. Every step of the process, every step of the process should be something that God that you are fully committed to God’s way on and with. Next temptation, the devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. If you’re the Son of God, he said, throw yourself down from here. For it is written, he will command his Angels concerning you to guard you carefully. And then he explains the rest of the passage so that he doesn’t strike a foot on the stone.
Now Satan says, okay, fine, you trust God, right? You know God’s Word, you trust him, you want to obey him, fine, jump off the temple, 400ft or whatever in the air. Just dive off. And here Satan is quoting scripture, Psalm 91, verse eleven and twelve. You can look at it for your own reference.
Oh, you want to go by the Bible? I have a Bible passage for you. Jump off a cliff. I have a good one for you. Just jump down and things will be fine.
I read some thoughts trying to figure this out. And one commentator I read said this. He says, there’s a quote. Now remember, Jesus is a man. And so he cannot survive such a fall.
He wouldn’t survive the cross. Once he had lost his blood, he was dead. What Satan wants to do here, his wicked purpose is to kill Christ.
Now, I’m not sure that’s exactly what’s happening here. I don’t know. But man, think about it. I can’t get you to abandon your identity as a man. I can’t get you to abandon your relationship with your father.
And so what I’m going to do now is I’m just going to kill you. Kill yourself. How many people have heard that voice whisper in their ears, kill yourself. Just get it over with. Just get it over with.
We also experience that in dreams and ideas, right? Like, I have a Ministry I’m starting. I want to try something. Just kill it. You’re never going to be able to do it.
Just kill it. Kill yourself. Kill it. Jesus answered and said, do not put the Lord your God to the test. I love that he’s like, If I jump off the cliff, I don’t know, I may die.
I may not die, but I’m not going to test it. I’m not going to test him.
Who am I to sit in judgment of what God would do if I jumped off the top of the temple? And really, I think that’s where this temptation becomes really relevant for us. Like, it has so much more to do because some of us are tempted to do a terrible act, but there’s other bits of it that are just tempted to judge God and to live in a place where we’re just testing him all the time. And maybe that’s your temptation. You just sit in judgment of God.
Judge him because you’re addicted. Judge him because you’re single. Judge him because you’re afraid. Judge him because he hasn’t given you what you wanted. Judge him and judge him.
If I was God, I wouldn’t do that. Well, sure, certainly you wouldn’t. Sit in judgment of God. And Jesus, I just love this. I’m not going to test God. I’m not going to judge God.
I am not willing to try something. My life is focused on God’s plan and Satan, you might ask me to do stupid things. I’m just not going to do it. Jesus is so humble to the will of the Father.
He will not sway to the right or to the left, away from the purposes of God for his life. Then it says, when the devil had finished all his tempting, I like that. All his tempting. Then it says, he left him until in opportune time.
The thing is, the Bible does tell us that Satan does come back. He does come back in the form of Peter trying to stop Christ from killing himself or stop Christ from going to the cross. He does come back in the form of the abandoned crowds. He comes back in the words of the Pharisees. He comes back in the words of theologians trying to take him off his course.
He comes back in the hands of the mob. He comes back in the form of the blows and the strikes of the religious leaders. He comes back in the garden, when Jesus is tempted to let go of the will of the Father, he comes back. He comes back and he comes back.
He comes back. When the disciples decide that they no longer want to follow him. In John chapter six, he comes back when he realizes that one of his own is the devil. As Jesus says, he comes back and he comes back and he comes back. And at every single point, Jesus wins.
And at every single point, Jesus is victorious. And at every single point, he pushes back away and pushes back the pollutants of the devil with a fresh, beautiful truth of God’s Word. He wins and he wins. And he wins. And he wins and he won, and he still wins.
And the awesome truth is that Church, you can win too.
You don’t have to sin all the time. I know all of us sin. I get that. That makes sense. You don’t have to, though.
There’s something you can overcome. You can overcome. And so you ask the question, well, how did he defeat Satan? And look, every time this sermon is preached, a sermon like this on this topic is preached. Everyone gives the exact same point for an application.
And I’m going to tell you, too, because it’s not old and it’s not bad, and it is right. Jesus was committed to obedience. Jesus was committed to the words of God. When Satan challenged his loyalty, Jesus built his confidence in God’s Word.
When he challenged Jesus willingness to follow God’s will, Jesus remained anchored in God’s word. And when Satan tried to kill Christ, Jesus remained anchored in the truth of the words that came from his father. He was anchored. And I wonder, is your knowledge of God’s Word strong enough to help you overcome Satan and his temptations in your life?
You can read a self help book. How do I quit whatever? Sure, that might be helpful. But unless you go back to the scriptures and figure out how to fight Satan at the place where he lies with the truths of God, I doubt that you will ever have real success with overcoming Satan.
So I want to give you a practice. It’s a practice that you should imitate, a practice of Jesus. And it’s the practice of scripture memory. There’s many ways to do it. There’s an app called Verse that I really like.
It’s like $4 or whatever. You can get indexed cards which cost you nothing. You can do whatever. But at this point in your life, if you aren’t committed to scripture memory, I want to invite you to do it.
Get back to looking at passages and putting them in your heart. Figure out, what does God have to say about the lies that I’m hearing from Satan? What does he have to say? Find them. Write them.
Tattoo them on your heart. You want to tattoo them on your arm? I guess you can. I don’t know, actually. Don’t say that.
You can do whatever you want. I don’t know. I’m confused about whether or not that’s good. But you can do whatever you want. Just make it so that you know it.
Make it so that you know it. Know the scriptures, memorize the scriptures. And I also want to invite you, and this is kind of a second spiritual discipline, but Jesus prepared for this battle in a time of fasting. And so I want to invite you to a time of fasting. We’re going to have a day of fasting on January 15.
January 15 ends on the 15th of every single month in the year of 2022. So January 15, February 15, so on and so forth. And the way we’re going to do it is this is a fast from Food. This is not your fake. I’m fasting from Twitter.
This is not that. Real fast. And what we’re trying to do, prepare for it is on browardchurch.org there’s a place you can just click this thing called the hub. And at the hub, you’ll see there’s a place that says public prayer requests. If anybody has a prayer request, anything.
Hey, there’s something I want the community to pray for me. Just put it there and we’ll pray for you. On the 15th, the community will be fasting, and we’ll be praying for you. This is a spiritual discipline that we should follow. I want to invite you to this, and I really think it’s going to be just something that brings us closer to the spiritual discipline that Jesus did and also closer to God’s will and his ways.
Scripture memory. Learn to fast. Next week. Next week, Jesus leaves the wilderness and truly begins his Ministry. We’re going to see him interact with his very first disciples. And as we pick apart this story, I think there’ll be lots of relevant truths that will impact your life.
Let’s go to God in prayer. We’re going to pray for Communion as we also sing a song here. Father, we come before you, and we know that, Lord, you were the master. God, you’re so just incredible at everything. And I look at your son, and I just think about the fact that he emptied himself, that he was willing to become like me so that he could show me how to live.
Father, it’s incredible. I’m inspired by him every single day. And I pray that I will have the confidence that I can overcome Satan and the lies that he tells me and the stuff that he whispers in my ears, that I can respond with the truth that comes from your scriptures, that I could fight him with a thing that is right, with a disinfectant that takes his power away in my life. God, I pray for the struggles of the brothers and sisters in our Church, those who are dealing with things that they’ve been dealing with for years. I pray that 2022 and this next season will be a season of breakthrough for them.
God, I pray for a miracle for people in our Church that are struggling with the addiction to pornography. I pray for a miracle for people in our Church who are struggling with an addiction to alcoholism. I pray for a miracle in our Church that people overcome their chronic anxiety in this Church. God, I pray for a miracle that those of us who are fighting the temptations of greed and selfishness will find a breakthrough this year. God, we desperately need it.
God, I pray that you help us to understand how to overcome Satan and his schemes that we put in the work that it takes to be like Jesus so that we could be found as he was blameless at the very end of our day. God, I ask you at this time as we take the bread that represents your body and the juice that represents your blood, just give us confidence that we too can overcome Satan because we have a man in Jesus we have an amazing person.