Sermon: The Second Adam (Luke 4:1-13)

Click Here for Audio Luke 4-1-13

The Second Adam

We learned from the passage of Scripture last week that Jesus is fully God and fully man.  Today, we’ll look at a conflict between Satan and Jesus when Satan goes right for Jesus’ most vulnerable side, His humanity.

Our Lord is called by the Apostle Paul, The Second Adam.  When he calls Him this, Paul is making a point.  His point is that everyone in the first Adam is plagued by the fall and sin and death.  Everyone in the Second Adam is made alive, that’s why he uses the phrase, in Christ, so often.

Luke reports this testing of Jesus, the Second Adam, and shows us that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God and that Satan is no match for our Lord.  Jesus on His worst day is victorious over Satan’s tactics.  Believe me, this is one of His worst days.

Let’s look at the situation in general, making some comparisons between the first Adam and the Second Adam and then we’ll march down through the text.

-Adam met his temptation in the Garden of Eden, the perfect setting, while Jesus, the Second Adam, met Satan in the desert wilderness.

-Adam was tempted in a pre fallen world while Jesus, the Second Adam, met His temptations in a sinful fallen world.

-Adam did not go without food but feasted in a garden that was not tainted by the curse.  He had anything to eat that he could have possible wanted.  Jesus was hungry.

-Adam yielded to the first temptation while Jesus was victorious over multiple temptations.

-Adam’s actions resulted in death for all in Adam while Jesus’ actions result in life for all in Him. (John MacArthur’s Commentary on Luke)

On a physical level Adam had every reason not to sin yet he fell and Christ had every reason to sin and He overcame.

Another thing we want to avoid is the age-old debate about whether Jesus could have sinned or not.  This is clearly not the point of the passage.  We’re not told one way or the other.  So, we have to avoid speculating on this because we will get sidetracked and miss what it is that God has for us.  Some folks want to argue…could Jesus have fallen?  If no then were these real temptations?

Luke’s main point is to prove that Jesus was victorious where Adam failed.  Another sub point is to show us that the only way we can be victorious over the devil and his tactics is to be in Christ.  Adam was no idiot.  He lived in a perfect sinless environment and if he fell the first time tempted why in the world would we ever think we could overcome Satan?  Those who walk around “doing battle with the devil” and think they’re victorious are gravely mistaken.  Only in Christ will we ever have victory over the devil because Christ beat him for us.

The section for today, called the Temptation of Christ unfolds in three acts.  Luke reports three specific temptations but we must realize that in this encounter with Satan, there were probably more than three…[13] And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Luke 4:1-13 (ESV)

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness  [2] for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.  [3] The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  [4] And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ ”  [5] And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,  [6] and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.  [7] If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”  [8] And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

” ‘You shall worship the Lord your God,

and him only shall you serve.’ “

[9] And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,  [10] for it is written,

” ‘He will command his angels concerning you,

to guard you,’

[11] and

” ‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ “

[12] And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”  [13] And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

1. Can God Be Trusted to Provide? (4:3-4)

[3] The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  [4] And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’ “

I believe that when Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, Satan was watching.  I believe he heard God’s voice and I believe he saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus.  The reason I believe this is because of what Satan says here… If you are the Son of God.

Satan believes the truth about the person of Christ…he’s no liberal.  He believes that Jesus is who God declared Him to be, he’s no atheist.

What he is attempting to do is to get Jesus to doubt God’s provision and care for Him, to distrust God and take matters into His own hands.

With Adam and Eve…

Genesis 3:1 (ESV)

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Satan was trying to get Eve to doubt God’s provision.  He wanted her to begin to think that God was being restrictive and not caring.  To Eve, it was as if he was saying, you mean to tell me that God won’t let you eat the fruit off this tree?  That sounds absurd.  God is being restrictive not loving and kind to you.

Satan is the father of half-truths and lies.  God did say not to eat of the one tree, but what Satan twisted was the fact that they had thousands of trees in which they could eat.

Now, looking at the situation with Jesus, it wasn’t necessarily wrong for Him to turn the stones into bread, after all He was hungry and hadn’t eaten for forty days.  But Jesus never went outside of God’s will for Him.  He always trusted in what God supplied not what He could manipulate.  There’s no doubt Satan understood that Jesus had the power to turn the stones into bread.  Whether He could do it or not wasn’t the issue.  The issue was whether He should do it.  Rather than taking matters into His own hands, He trusted in His heavenly Father and overcame.

Sometimes, just because we can do something doesn’t always mean we should.  The easy way was for Jesus to do what Satan said.  He would immediately have been filled and no longer hungry.  Just because something is easy doesn’t always mean it’s God’s will either.  Sometimes, following the Lord is easy and sometimes it is very difficult but whether something is the will of God or not should never be judged based on whether it’s easy or difficult.

How did Jesus do battle?  He took His sword out of its sheath and battled the devil on God’s terms not on the devil’s terms.

Ephes. 6:17-18 (ESV)

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Can God really be trusted to provide?  We have proof…

Matthew 4:11 (ESV)

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

If you’re ever in a situation that causes you to doubt whether God will provide for you, read Psalm 37.

For the righteous one…

Psalm 37:25-26 (ESV)

I have been young, and now am old,

yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken

or his children begging for bread.

[26] He is ever lending generously,

and his children become a blessing.

In no way would Jesus ever beg for food from the devil…

Jesus responds to Satan’s temptation with a passage of Scripture.  In particular, the verse He quotes from Deuteronomy 8:3, a text taken from the account of the wilderness wandering where Moses was reminding the people of God’s provisions.  This is a very fitting passage for Jesus to quote.  Sometimes in the struggle of our faith we need to look back at the times in the Bible and in our own experiences when God provided.

When God’s people had no bread to eat, what did God do?  He rained manna down from heaven.  That’s the God we serve.  He cared for Christ much the same way and He cares for us.

2. Can God’s Plan be Trusted? (4:5-8)

[5] And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,  [6] and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.  [7] If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”  [8] And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

” ‘You shall worship the Lord your God,

and him only shall you serve.’ “

In this second recorded temptation, Satan was offering Jesus another short cut.  Jesus could have all the kingdoms of the earth without the cross if He would only worship the devil rather than God.

We must again look at the scene…Jesus is hungry, weak and poor, basically having only the shirt on his back.  So Satan tempts Him with what He thinks may just entice Jesus to give in.  Satan offers Jesus the Kingdoms of the world, authority over them, the glory of them if Jesus would just do things Satan’s way.

The devil had overlooked a couple of important points.

*First, these things were God’s to give and not his to give.

Jesus knew that the devil is nothing but a liar.  Satan is the prince of this world and controls the evil realm of this planet but it is not in His possession.  Only God owns the earth and controls it.

John 8:44 (ESV)

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

*Second, Jesus was going to receive these things and more from the Father.  He had to remain true to the Father’s will.  Redemption of a people was the Father’s will for His Son.  Jesus would have an inheritance of nations only after He paid the penalty for their sins.

Psalm 2:7-8 (ESV)

I will tell of the decree:

The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;

today I have begotten you.

[8] Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.

Again, Satan’s proposition was to have Jesus bypass God’s will and take the easy way out.  If Jesus would only fall down and worship him, according to the devil, all the world would be His.  Satan has always lusted after worship.  His downfall was that he wanted to be like God.

Satan was once a beautiful angel but then his longing for power and worship sent him down to the pit.

Isaiah 14:13-14 (ESV)

You said in your heart,

‘I will ascend to heaven;

above the stars of God

I will set my throne on high;

I will sit on the mount of assembly

in the far reaches of the north;

[14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;

I will make myself like the Most High.’

Our Lord overcame.  He was not willing to take a satanic shortcut.  He would not step outside of God’s plan…even if it cost Him His life.

He again answers the devil with a quote from Deuteronomy…

It is written,

” ‘You shall worship the Lord your God,

and him only shall you serve.’ “

This brings us to the third recorded temptation.

3. Can Scripture be Trusted? (4:9-12)

[9] And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,  [10] for it is written,

” ‘He will command his angels concerning you,

to guard you,’

[11] and

” ‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ “

[12] And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “

Having been unsuccessful with the other attempts to get Jesus to things the devil’s way, he now quotes Scripture to Jesus.

The devil knows the Bible.  He is a full inspirationalist.  Satan is a Bible believer.

What he tries to Get Jesus to do here is to back God in a corner and force Him to act.  The text he quotes is a Messianic Psalm (Psalm 91) in which God promises that He will protect the Messiah.

Just the devil is the father of lies and half truths, he also is the father of half quotes.  He only quotes have the verse and takes it completely out of context.

Psalm 91:9-12 (ESV)

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—

the Most High, who is my refuge—

[10] no evil shall be allowed to befall you,

no plague come near your tent.

[11] For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways.

[12] On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.

If Jesus jumps, Satan wins.  Either He hits the ground and dies short of the cross or God is forced to act outside of His timing.  If God acts then now Jesus is working on Satan’s time schedule and not on God’s.

Jesus doesn’t jump.  He does not presume on God or back Him into a corner to force Him to act but rather draws His sword the third time and quotes another passage… It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.

In the wilderness, the Israelites had risen up against Moses and were about to stone him because they did not believe in God’s plan and timing.  They were going to stone Moses if God didn’t act…in other words, they were forcing God’s hand or making God act.

We must not ever try and force God to do something by twisting His Word.

We can manipulate and twist Scripture like Satan did if we’re not careful.

Here’s the type of thinking that’s behind this test of God…

A person may ask God to save his soul but doesn’t read Scripture, pray, attend worship, or partake of the sacraments.  This is presuming on God.

A person may remind God that He promises to meet our daily needs but then refuses to work.

Never presume on God or try to manipulate things by using Scripture the wrong way.

At the end of the day, what we need to ultimately take home from this encounter is that Jesus beat Satan very badly.  Satan seemed to have all the advantages.  Jesus had His faith and trust in the Father and in the Word of God.  Jesus beat Satan in a way that we could never accomplish.

If we were standing before Satan we would fall just like the first Adam fell.  But thanks to the Second Adam, He overcame.  For all who are in Christ, overcame as well.

1 Cor. 15:54-57 (ESV)

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

[55] “O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

[56] The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  [57] But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

What should our tactics be when confronted with temptations?

Trust God…

Trust His love, provision, and plan…

Always look to Scripture in context…

Be patient and wait on God’s timing…

And finally,

James 4:7 (ESV)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Satan wanted to get Jesus to bypass God’s plan to go to the cross.  He used every means possible.  Our Lord was steadfast and immovable.  Salvation was going to happen and Jesus came to make it a reality.

Could Jesus have failed?…NO!

Were they real temptations?…YES!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: