What Do You Say?How does Jesus’ response to Satan’s temptations teach us to deal with our own temptations?
Between chapters 2 and 3 of Matthew, there is an interval of about
A. 28 years
Between chapters 2 and 3 there is an interval of about twenty-eight
years. These were the years our Lord spent in Nazareth preparing
Himself for the work that lay ahead
The kingdom of heaven is
C. The sphere in which God’s rule is acknowledged
The kingdom of heaven is the sphere in which God’s rule is
acknowledged. The word heaven is used figuratively for God Himself; this
is clearly shown in Daniel 4:25 and 26
The kingdom of heaven
B. Is not the same as the church
One final point is that the kingdom is not the same as the church. The
kingdom began when Christ entered on His public ministry; the church
began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). The kingdom will continue on earth
till the earth is destroyed; the church continues on earth till the rapture,
then it will return with Christ at His second advent to reign with Him as
His bride. At the present time the people who are in the kingdom in its true,
inner reality are also in the churc
The people who were baptized by John were indicating
B. They were ready to give allegiance and obedience to the King
Yet people flocked out to
hear him from Jerusalem, Judea, and the trans-Jordan area (v. 5). A godly
remnant of Israelites responded to his message and were baptized by him
in the Jordan. They were saying in effect that they were ready to give full
allegiance and obedience to the coming King.
With the Pharisees and Sadducees it was a different story. When they
stepped forward to be baptized, John knew that they were not sincere.
While the Pharisees professed great devotion to the law, they were inwardly
corrupt, sectarian, hypocritical, and self-righteous.
John’s reference to the Messiah baptizing “with fire” meant
The second main proof that the baptism with fire represents judgment
is that immediately following the reference to this baptism, John gave the
explanation found in verse 12 (see also Luke 3:17). Here the Lord is pictured
using a winnowing fork to toss the threshed grain up into the wind. The
wheat (true believers) falls directly to the ground; from there it is carried
into His garner (the kingdom). The chaff (unbelievers) is carried a short
distance away by the wind; from there it is taken away to be burned “with
unquenchable fire.” The fire here in verse 12 obviously means judgment.
Since verse 12 amplifies verse 11, it is reasonable to conclude that the
baptism with fire is a baptism of judgment.
In being baptized Jesus was identifying Himself with
D. Godly Israelites
It was a true instinct that led the Baptist
to suggest that the proper order would be
for him to be baptized by Jesus. The Lord
did not deny this; He simply repeated His request for baptism as a fitting
way in which to fulfill all righteousness. It was appropriate that in baptism
He should identify Himself with those godly Israelites who were coming
forward to be baptized by John unto repentance.
The Holy Spirit led Jesus to be tempted by the devil
D. To demonstrate His moral fitness for His work
At first, it may seem strange to us that Jesus should be led by the
Spirit to be tempted by the devil (v. 1). The reason is that it was necessary
to demonstrate Christ’s moral fitness for the work to which He had been
called. The first Adam proved his unfitness for dominion when he met the
adversary in the garden of Eden. Here, the last Adam meets the devil in a
head-on confrontation in the wilderness and emerges unscathed.
From Jesus’ temptation we learn we should
A. Use Scripture to resist the devil
From the temptation of Jesus we learn that the devil attacks those who
are filled with the Holy Spirit, but that he is powerless against those who
resist him with the Word of God.
The most important thing for successful service is
B. Holiness of life and true spirituality
These may be very convincing,
and may even seem to produce results, but
the fact remains that there is no substitute for holiness of life or for true
spirituality. We must begin here, for that is where God begins.
The way of salvation
D. Has been the same throughout all history
Basically, the gospel is the good news of salvation
from the penalty of sin. In every age of the world’s history there has been,
is, and will be only one gospel; there is only one way of salvation.
As to its basis, salvation is through the
work of Christ on Calvary’s cross (1 Cor.
15:1-4). There the Savior fulfilled all the claims
of divine justice and made it possible for God
to justify sinners in a righteous way and still
be just in doing so. Old Testament believers
were saved through the work of Christ,
though it was still in their future. They did not know much about it, but God
did—and He reckoned the value of Christ’s work to their account (Rom.
3:25). In a sense they were saved “on credit.” We too are saved through the
work of Christ, but in our case the work has already been finished.