by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:1-11]
A. While it is good to reflect on the hour Jesus spent in Gethsemane and the six hours on Calvary, let us not forget the forty trying days that He spent in the Judean wilderness.
B. At this moment, Jesus is experiencing a tremendous burden, and He is taking this opportunity to seek time alone with the Father in fasting and prayer.
I. This may have been Satan’s best chance at victory over man.
A. While it is unclear how much Satan knew, it seems likely that he knew Who Jesus was (Matthew 4:3; 3:17).
B. God had never been temptable (James 1:13), but now He would know every temptation known to man (Hebrews 4:15).
II. In the wilderness Jesus was tempted in every way that we are.
A. There are three basic ways that Satan tempts man (1 John 2:16; cf. Genesis 3:6).
B. During the forty-day temptation, Satan used every one of these tactics on Jesus without success (Matthew 4:3,6,9).
III. No one has ever been tempted as strongly as Jesus was.
A. No other man ever was equal to Jesus in spiritual fortitude (Hebrews 4:15; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13).
B. Jesus showed tremendous inner strength even when He stood to gain so little and lose so much.
A. Our Savior’s sacrifice extends far beyond the hours on the cross.
B. Because of Jesus’ perfection, we can be justified in spite of our repeated failures if we will only look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).