We see that Jesus was tempted in three ways. This significance of this is shown in two scriptures:
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Jesus was tempted in all ways like we are and they all fall into three broad categories: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, the pride of life.Any temptation that comes to us falls into one of these three categories. This goes all the way to our first parents, Adam and Eve.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
- Lust of the Flesh: She saw it was good for food.
- Lust of the Eyes: It was pleasant to the eyes.
- The Pride of Life: She desired to be wise, to be like God.
And this is where she fell, being tempted turned to sin, and she gave to her husband (who was with her…so why wasn’t he PROTECTING her! but that is another sermon…) and he did eat. BUT where the first Adam failed us, the Last Adam was victorious.
- The lust of the flesh: He had been fasting fourty days and was HUNGRY and the devil tempted Jesus to make stones into bread. OK, your hungry, make these stones bread, what is wrong with that? Well the devil was asking for proof that Jesus is the Son of God, the coming Messiah, he was seeking a sign and Jesus was not about giving signs, especially to those who were not seeking Him.
- The Pride of Life: Go ahead jump! God will protect you! The devil even quotes, or wrather misquotes scripture.
- The Lust of the Eyes: the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and offered them to Jesus, if Jesus would just worship him! the devil was offering Jesus the kingdom without the cross! You can have it all, and not suffer one bit, just worship the devil!
- The weapon of our combat is the same as the weapon that Jesus used: the Word of God! Jesus quoted Deut. 8:3 (man shall not live by bread alone), Deut 6:16 (thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God in response to the devil’s misuse and abuse of the Bible. We need to remember that the devil knows the Bible as well as we do if not better and we can be deceived by a lie of the devil who is misusing scripture or telling us what we want to hear. A simple example: I leave late for work, so I pray “God I need to get to work on time so please bless me as I go 90 MPH on the interstate to make up the time. Well, I get pulled over and a ticket with the fines and points associated with it. We cry out “Why did you let this happen God? I prayed for you to bless this trip!” but God commands us to obey the powers that be in Romans 13, so God cannot bless when we are disobedient.Well the other drivers got away with it. So what? We all must give an account of our own actions to God, we will not be able to blame others for our own faults or shortcomings.) and on the third temptation Jesus quoted Deut 6:13 (You shall worship the Lord God and Him only shall you serve).
- We notice that the weapon we ready and at hand. Jesus did not have to find the scroll containing Deuteronomy and then find the passages and read them to the devil. We need to try to imitate Jesus in this reguard. The Bible says Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. That is the reason we memorize scripture. Not for rewards (like staying up late for football) but to give us a ready answer when temptation comes knocking.