Matthew 4:5-7 Jesus And The Pride Of Life

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. General Observations

A. Areas Of Temptation For Mankind

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

1. Pride of life-

a. Strong’s Greek Dictionary- empty, braggart talk
b. Wiersbe- Trying to impress others with your importance
c. New Bible Dictionary- pride- arrogant display, ostentation. (great & deliberate display)

B. Consider Jesus’ Temptations

1. Keep in mind, Jesus never sinned-
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2. Jesus allowed Himself to be tempted, that He might be compassionate towards us
Hebrews 4:15, 16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy & find grace to help in time of need.

C. Our Temptations With The Pride Of Life

1. Wanting to be recognized for someone/something that we are not. (empty, braggart talk)
2. Wanting to be recognized for who we actually are

a. Parent, spouse child, grandparent
b. Employer, inventor, composer, artist, businessman
c. Humanitarian, philanthropist, doctor, giver of relief, minister, financier

3. Motivations for recognition

a. Personal gratification
b. Furtherance of a good & godly cause. Our recognition could help further a good cause

II. Jesus Was Tempted With The Pride Of Life

A. An Emotional Desire

1. Jesus was tempted to be acknowledged as God the Son, Israel’s Messiah, Savior of mankind
2. Jesus acknowledged His deity publicly
He made Himself equal with God’s identifying statement to Moses
Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM:
John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
3. One attribute of divinity is that of desiring to be acknowledged and worshipped.
Exodus 34:14 for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God,

B. Satan’s Method

1. Validation of our emotional desire to be recognized. “You deserve to be recognized”.
2. Satan is an observing adversary. He knows how to temp us regarding the pride of life.
3. Previously- Jesus had resisted Satan’s temptation by quoting God’s word, and by believing God’s word, and standing on the promises and intentions of God.
4. Satan adapts his method. Jesus quoted Scripture to resist, so Satan used it to tempt.
Satan quotes Psalm 91, but quotes it out of context.
Satan knows the Bible and will gladly misquote it to those who believe in it
5. The timing- Jesus is still hungry and weak. Satan is merciless.
The Father’s validation at Jesus’ baptism seems long ago, though only 40 days earlier.
6. Satan chooses a good location-Verse 5 Holy city- Jerusalem:
This was the best place for Messiah to be manifested: the center of the nation.
7. Pinnacle of the Temple- 200 feet high in a very public area. Many worshippers below.
Verse 6-Guzik– Satan is tempting Jesus to “force” the Father into a supernatural event; Satan is appealing to the desire within every man to sense approval from God and to have that approval publicly demonstrated.
8. Add to that- A miraculous rescue such as this would validate Jesus as Messiah & Divine.
9. Satan recognizes who Jesus is. “If” can also be translated “since”.
10. “You have a valid desire, & you have the resources to fulfill this desire of being recognized.
11. “You are justified in acting in the manner that I (Satan) am suggesting.”
12. “If you are the Son of God”- not because he disbelieved Jesus’ divine Sonship, but because he wanted Jesus to violate scripture & force the Father to respond to self centered behavior
13. Satan acknowledged Jesus’ relationship w/the Father; but he tried to redefine it & distort it. “Act of your own accord, independent of the Father”.
14. Satan tries to convince Jesus of the validity of doing this

C. Jesus’ Victorious Response

1. Jesus responds by quoting Psalm 91.
Ps. 91 speaks of the person who makes the Lord His dwelling place. It speaks of a surrendered life which dwells with God, and makes its place with God. Satan corrupts these verses to mean that God is forced to take care of a person who foolishly chooses to live his own life his own way, and who isn’t interested in dwelling in the Lord, but who dares God to rescue him from his foolishness. More than misquoting the passage, Satan corrupts the intention of Psalm 91.
2. Jesus is not insecure with any lack of recognition. He is not desperate to be recognized.
Jesus replies with Scripture, but applied correctly – “forcing” the Father into such a demonstration would be tempting God, which the Scriptures strictly forbid
3. Jesus had received the Father’s “validation” at His baptism, when the Father spoke.

III. Things For Us To Consider

A. Jesus did not act independently of the Father, even though He was not properly recognized.
Jesus would be recognized when the Father’s timing was right.
B. Are we directed through life according to our desire to be recognized?
C. Our lack of recognition may be part of God’s higher plan for us and others
D. Are we comforted that “God knows who we are”, or do we need to sin to prove who we are?
E. Is it more important that people know “who you are”, or that God knows “who you are”?
F. Are you willing to be a person of “no reputation”. That described Jesus
G. Do you realize that pride was the sin that caused Satan to be cast forth from Heaven?