Matthew 4:8-11 Jesus And The Lust Of The Eyes

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. General Observations

A. Temptation

1. Tempted- peirazō; pi-rad’-zo To test, to scrutinize, assay, examine, to prove, to try.
2. Root word- peira; pi’-rah. To test through the idea of piercing.
3. To be tempted doesn’t mean that one is sinning.

a. Jesus was tempted, and yet was without sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21a)
b. To give in to temptation is to sin
c. God tests us to show what us what we are made of.
d. Satan tempts us in order to disqualify us and make us fail

B. The Timing Of Jesus’ Temptations

1. Jesus had just been baptized by John. (Matthew 3:13-17)
2. The Holy Spirit had come upon (epi) Jesus at His baptism. (Matthew 3:16)
3. Jesus begins His public ministry as a man filled with the Holy Spirit.
4. The 1st thing the Holy Spirit does is to lead Jesus into a spiritual battle with Satan.
5. Mark 1:12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. (cast forth)
6. Jesus will resist these temptations as a man filled with the Holy Spirit, not as God.
7. He is still weak from 40 days of fasting. Our will is weakened when our bodies are weak

C. The Purpose Of The Temptations

1. 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.

D. Satan’s Different Approaches In These Temptations

1. “Change these stones into bread”- what Jesus could have done for Himself
2. “He will give His angels charge over you- how Jesus could have tempted the Father
3. “All these things I will give you”- What Satan could do for Jesus

E. Satan’s Offer To Jesus 4:9

1. Luke 4:6, 7 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
2. Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world, and all their glory.
3. Jesus did not dispute Satan’s ability to deliver on this offer
4. If Jesus knew that Satan couldn’t deliver, then it would not have been a temptation
5. Glory- splendor, brightness, magnificence, excellence, a glorious condition, exalted state
6. 2 Corinthians 4:4 Satan is called “the god of this age”.
7. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11 Jesus called Satan “the ruler of this world”.
8. Satan has temporary “ownership” of Earth, until Jesus returns to reclaim it.
9. To Satan, worship from Jesus was more important than retaining ownership of Earth

II. Jesus Was Tempted With The Lust Of The Eyes-Possessions

A. It Was A Heart Desire

1. 1 John 2:15, 16 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.

a. Love– agapao- to be fond of, to love dearly. Word used of God’s love for us
b. Lust-passionate craving, extreme desire.

2. The lust of the eyes speaks of having a passionate craving towards possessions
3. Jesus was offered instant ownership and rule over the kingdoms of the world

B. What Would Have Been “Gained”

1. Jesus would have instantly become King of the Earth
2. He would have been a good, benevolent, and loving King
3. Jesus came to win the earth back to God; to bring salvation
4. He would have enjoyed rule over His own creation.

a. Didn’t He deserve to enjoy what He had created?
b. It wasn’t Jesus’ fault that Satan was in control of Planet Earth
c. Adam sinned, and Satan took control of Planet Earth
d. Why should Jesus be penalized & not be able to enjoy ownership of His creation?

5. Jesus would have enjoyed the recognition that was due to Him
6. Planet Earth would have enjoyed 35-50 years of its most Benevolent Ruler

C. What Would Have Been Lost

1. Jesus would have immediately sinned, & would be unqualified as the sacrifice for our sins
2. There would have been no cross, no salvation, no resurrection, no Pentecost, no Heaven
3. Jesus would have only been able to bless them throughout the course of His natural life
4. Jesus would have forfeited fellowship w/ His Father in order to attain ownership of Earth
5. Ownership would have come by transfer of devotion away from the Father to Satan
6. Gain the world, but lose fellowship with God. Gain what is “good”, lose what is best.
7. Jesus could have repented of that, but His mission of redemption would have been lost

D. Applications For Us

1. We lust after possessions, imagining all the good we can accomplish with them
2. We forfeit God’s plan by chasing after possessions, ostensibly which will be used for God
3. We forfeit deep fellowship w/ God & obedience to Him in order to gain “stuff”
4. It isn’t that the “stuff” is bad; it’s just that we sometimes forfeit worshipping God to get it.
5. It isn’t that we “worship Satan”, it’s that we don’t really “worship God” as we chase stuff

III. How Jesus Gained The Victory

A. Submit To God; Resist The Devil

James 4:7, 8a 7Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

B. He Was Willing To Delay Gratification Read Psalm 2:1-9
C. He Gained Victory As He Was In Close Communion With The Father
D. After The Victory, Relief Came 4:11
E. Emerging From Temptation

Luke 4:13-15 13Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. 14Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.