Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; TEMPTATION OF JESUS
Various scripture versions indicate that the Holy Spirit "drove Him out,"sent Him out," "pushed Jesus out," and "made Jesus go" into the wilderness. No time was wasted after Jesus's baptism. It was immediate. As a man, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit during his baptism. The Holy Spirit not only spoke to Jesus through his conscience, but forcefully moved him. The Holy Spirit sometimes nudges us and sometimes moves us. The Holy Spirit does not always lead us to peaceful streams and beside still waters.
John the Baptist was already in the wilderness when he baptized Jesus. The wilderness was dry (John had to live off of locust and wild honey), so Jesus went deeper into the desert. Jesus was in the desert 40 days being tempted by Satan. Wild animals were present, as well as angels attending to Jesus. In Matthew we read that the angels attended Jesus after the 3 temptations.
Other uses of 40 are Noah and the ark (40 days, 40 nights of rain) and the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. Moses kept sheep in the wilderness for 40 years. In these instances, God was transitioning from the old ways (by testing and through judgment) of the sinner to the new. In Noah's story, God wiped out all of humanity. In the Israelites story, God kept them in the desert until the original generation had passed away. In Jesus's temptation story, the transition begin from old covenant to the new covenant.
Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (in Matthew) and he was hungry. It does not say Jesus was thirsty. A man can go without food much longer than he can without water. Man is more vulnerable when hungry because we do not think straight. It was very hot during the day in the desert and very cold at night. This would be an opportune time for Satan to show up. Jesus was hungry, but full of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I am full in the belly, but thirsty for the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was tempted by satan, a fallen angel, but did not give in to sin. So there was both a fallen angel and a heavenly angel present at the temptation of Jesus. Jesus, as man, experienced what it is like for me to be tempted.
TEMPTATION 1 . "If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread." "You can do this, is no big deal for You." Jesus is challenged to prove himself, but Jesus does not need to prove himself to anyone, especially satan. Jesus is tempted with a thing of creation, bread for hunger. Jesus is God who created everything and owns everything, so to be tempted with His own creation is silly. How do you tempt God with anything? However, Jesus was God as fully man. Jesus rebuked satan with God's Word from Deuteronomy 8:3.
TEMPTATION 2 (in Matthew; 3 in Luke). Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the holy city, to the highest point of the temple and tempted Him "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down." and quoting Psalm 91:11,12 indicating that angels will protect him. The devil also knows scripture and manipulates and twists it to confuse us. Again, Jesus is being tempted with a thing of creation, the use of angels for protection. Jesus rebuked satan with God's Word from Deuteronomy 6:16.
TEMPTATION 3 (in Matthew; 2 in Luke). Devil took Jesus to a high mountain where he could see all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and tempted Him "All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me. The devil wants Jesus to worship him, "if you just worship me, I will give you all these things." How stupid because all these things already belong to Jesus. Jesus rebuked satan with God's Word from Deuteronomy 6:13.
Jesus used God's Word in Deuteronomy to rebuke satan during Moses's time of giving all the laws on Mount Sinai to the Israelites in the desert. In the same way, knowing and memorizing God's Word, as well as obeying God's Word, is a powerful weapon against satan. When I feel tempted, I can open God's Word and begin reading to find direction from God through temptations. I should put on God's armor (Ephesians 6:17). Jesus talks directly to satan "Get behind me, satan," and we could see that as an example for us to talk to satan; however, that is a dangerous door to open. Jesus is our mediator and the better choice would be to talk directly to Jesus and ask Him to tell satan to go away. This is how we can follow James 4:7 "resist the devil and he will flee from you."
In Luke it says the devil departed until an opportune time. So the hunger and heat and cold was not opportune enough for Jesus to be persuaded to fall for temptations. The devil will tempt us when the moment is right. When we are at our weakest, we may be tempted more. The devil will not waste his limited resources where he cannot be effective. This gives me encouragement to continue resisting the devil because he will eventually leave me alone.
The devil tempts me in similar ways to Jesus (1 John 2:15-16 references these three sins.)
1. Physical needs and desires (hunger)
2. Possessions and power (all the kingdoms of the earth and authority over them)
3. Pride of life (status?) (throw yourself down, take your own life; not taking help from God & angels)