From The Water To The Wilderness
I. The Water (Matthew 3:13-17)
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
(This event is also recorded in Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22 & John 1:29-34)
1) Jesus is Introduced to the Masses as the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29)
a. Jesus is 30 years old at the time of His baptism (Lk 3:23)
b. This is the first appearance of Jesus since He was 12 years old (Lk 2:49)
c. Jesus is six months younger than John the Baptist, His cousin (Lk 1:26)
d. John the Baptist attempted to put this event to a halt because he felt unworthy (vs 14)
e. Remember his famous declaration in Jn 3:30 – “He must increase…”
2) Jesus Identifies Himself with Repentance Preaching (vs 15)
a. Repentance was the driving force of John the Baptist’s preaching (Matt 3:2-12)
b. Mankind is no longer obligated to keep the Old Testament law (Jn 1:17; Rom 3:20)
c. Repentance of personal sin is necessary for all people, and mankind must place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, because He is the new and living Way (Heb 10:20; Jn 14:6)
Life Note: Jesus became sin for us, so that we could become righteous (2 Cor 5:21)
3) Jesus’ Baptism Physically Introduces the Trinity (vs 16-17)
This is the first physical manifestation of the Trinity in the entire Bible. The Trinity was introduced in Gen 1:26 – “Let US make man in OUR image”
a. The Son of God – went up straightway out of the water (His water baptism illustrated His physical death, burial and resurrection – Rom 6:3-4)
b. The Holy Spirit – descended “like a dove” upon Jesus (a dove was a common Jewish sacrifice – Matt 21:12)
c. God the Father – proclaimed His satisfaction – He was pleased (appeased) because Jesus had lived a sinless life, He possessed sinless blood, and He was the sinless sacrifice – 1Jn 2:1-2)
II. The Wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11)
Jesus is now driven by the Holy Spirit from His baptism…to the backside of the desert!
Life Note: Great temptations almost always follow great blessings (1Cor 10:12)
Here’s a Scripture passage to help better understand temptation’s causes and effects:
1John 2:15-16 – “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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.”
a. Lust of the flesh = the desire to consume or devour whatever you crave, whatever you think will bring you satisfaction or relief, even though you know it’s only temporary (sexual addictions, drug abuse, alcoholism, entertainment)
b. Lust of the eyes = the desire to posses whatever your eyes gaze upon, no matter the cost (materialism, covetousness)
c. Pride of life = the desire to live “your” life, on “your” terms, in “your” own way (vain imaginations lead to foolish hearts being darkened (Rom 1:21) and depression)
Encouragement for true believers can be found in 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful (trustworthy), who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape (a clearly marked exit), that ye may be able to (be
capable of) bear (enduring) it.”
Life Note: Are you seeking a way out, or a way in?
Now let’s read Matthew 4:1-11:
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (Lust of the flesh) 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Pride of life) 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (Lust of the eyes) 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Life Note: We can use the same thing Jesus used to defeat the devil himself, the Word of God (Col 3:16)
Pause for a minute and ask yourself how this story is even in the Bible. There were no human witnesses there – no disciples were there – no one but the Lord Jesus Christ and satan. Jesus must have told this story to His disciples. And I believe He told them so that they might learn from Him how to be victorious over temptation.
How to Overcome Temptation like the Lord Jesus Christ
In order to overcome temptation, you must have:
1. A Biblical Mind
• Be alert, be watchful, be on the lookout for it (1 Peter 5:8)
• Look for the exit door, God’s escape route (1Cor 10:13)
2. A Determined Will
• Submit to God, and resist the devil (James 4:7) – when is the last time you actively said “NO” to a temptation?
• You don’t have to be a slave to sin (Rom 6:6)
• Instead, obey Rom 13:14 – “But put ye on (sink into the clothing of) the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision (plan for, premeditate) for the flesh (your sensuous nature), to fulfil the lusts (cravings) thereof.”
3. A Love for God and A Love for Others (Matt 22:37-40)
• If you truly love God, then you won’t have room in your heart for your own sin.
• If you truly love others, then you won’t live your life for personal gratification at