WEEK 25 : The Three Temptations of Yeshua

1. SCRIPTURE

Matt. 4:1-11; Mark 1:12,13; Luke 4:1-13

Lk. 4:1 Then Yeshua, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. (Mt. 4:1; Mk. 1:12)
Lk. 4:2 Being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
(Mt. 4:2; Mk. 1:13a)
Lk. 4:3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” (Mt. 4:3)
Lk. 4:4 But Yeshua answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Mt. 4:4)
Lk. 4:5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (Mt. 4:8)
Lk. 4:6 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.”
Lk. 4:7 “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
(Mt. 4:9)
Lk. 4:8 And Yeshua answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’” (Mt. 4:10)
Lk. 4:9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the Temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.” (Mt. 4:5,6a)
Lk. 4:10 “For it is written, ‘He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You.’” (Mt. 4:6b)
Lk. 4:11 “And, ‘In their hands, they shall bear You up, lest You dash Your foot against a stone.’” (Mt. 4:6c)
Lk. 4:12 And Yeshua answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” (Mt. 4:7)
Lk. 4:13 Now when the devil had ended eery temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. (Mt. 4:11; Mk. 1:13b)

Luke 4:1-13 (NKJV) Other versions ...


2. COMMENTARY

Lk. 4:1: The temptation of Yeshua follows the Spirit’s descent at His baptism. After the high spiritual experience at the waters of the Jordan River, Yeshua comes into direct conflict with the power of evil. Satan dramatically appears on the scene and presents Yeshua with an opportunity to achieve the higher purpose of redemption without the pain of the cross.

Lk. 4:4: The first temptation denied God’s provision. God had sustained Yeshua during His fast . To accept Satan’s challenge would have been a confession that God’s provision was insufficient. Yeshua responded with Scripture: “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Deut. 8:3). Similar circumstances prevailed when the people of Israel wandered through the desert relying upon God to provide them with manna.

Lk. 4:6: Satan’s authority is limited (Job 1:9-12). According to the Jewish concept of God’s sovereignty, such a claim by Satan was based on a false supposition. Satan cannot give what belongs to God. Hence the real nature of this test was to deny the Lordship of God and to enter into idolatrous worship of the devil.

Lk. 4:7: Satan is asking Yeshua to worship him and recognize his power. Such an act would defy the teachings of the Torah. The Lord is One and God alone is worthy of worship and total trust. The basis of the test was to acknowledge just who God is. The Lord is God, And God alone is to be worshiped. This is the deeper significance of the three tests. The second temptation involved the sovereignty of God. The devil showed Yeshua the kingdoms of the world. He promised to place them under Yeshua’s authority and give Him the glory of such power on the condition that Yeshua worshiped him. According to Daniel 7:13 only God has the authority over His creation.

Lk. 4:9: A Jewish Midrash — though of a later date — describes the activities of the Messiah in the Temple: “Our teachers taught that, at the time of King Messiah would appear, He will come and stand upon the roof of the Temple. He will proclaim to Israel and will say, ‘The time of your redemption has arrived! If you do not believe — behold My light which shines upon you .....’” (Peshita Rabbati 36).

If this tradition, or a similar one, was in place it would clarify the place and the nature of Satan’s test. It suggests that the temptation really centered on the nature of the Messianic task. Satan was asking Yeshua to reveal Himself as the Messiah by appearing in supernatural power in the Temple where all would recognize the nature and purpose of His mission. Jerusalem is called th “Holy City,” which is a common Rabbinic term for the city (Babylonian Baba Kamma 97b; Sanhedrin 107b)

Lk. 4:12: The third temptation in the Temple is the culmination of this decisive episode in the career of Yeshua. Standing on the wing, or kanaf, of the Temple the deceiver now quotes Scripture (Psalms 91:11,12), attempting to entice Yeshua into accepting the easy way to success.”Wing of the Temple” more literally translates the more familiar term pinnacle of the Temple. Christian legend locates the site of Yeshua’s second temptation upon the so-called pinnacle of the Temple on the southeastern corner of Herod’s retaining wall. Archaeologists discovered what is called “the place of the trumpeting” in excavations there. This tradition is disputed by some scholars. In the minds of the Gospel writers, the wing of the Temple must have been more centrally located. Perhaps Yeshua was situated upon the height of the Sanctuary, which would have provided greater visibility. While no archaeological evidence has suggested the point, some identifiable part of the architecture may have depicted the wings of the Divine Presence surrounding the Temple and protecting it. In all events, the visibility of the spot may have been greater if the temptation was staged in the inner Sanctuary, which towered above the city some 150 feet. Also, the Jewish people never really accepted the Herodian retaining wall as part of the Temple.

Lk. 4:13: Another thing we should note in the temptation of Yeshua is that Yeshua plays a representative role in two ways. First, He plays a representative role with Israel. The aim here is to show that where Israel failed, Yeshua succeeds. Notice the similarities: (1) the mention of the Son of God; In Exodus 4:22,23 and Hosea 11:1, Israel is called the Son of God. Here, Yeshua is called the Son of God. (2) Both were tested in the wilderness. Israel was tested in the wilderness according to I Corin. 10:1-13, and now Yeshua is being tested in the wilderness. (3) The figure 40 — for Israel 40 years; for Yeshua 40 days. (4) The presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was present with Israel in the wilderness according to Isaiah 63:7-14. The presence of the Holy Spirit was made evident in the first verse of each of the synoptic Gospels. (5) When Yeshua was with Satan, He quotes Scriptures and all the quotations are from the book of Deuteronomy.

Secondly, Yeshua plays a representative role of mankind. According to Hebrews 4:15, Yeshua was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. This does not mean that He suffered every temptation that we do, anymore than we suffer every type of temptation that He did. The word “points” simply means areas, and He suffered temptations in all areas that we do. According to I John 2;16 there are three areas of temptation: (1) the lust of the flesh; (2) the lust of the eyes; and (3) the pride of life. When Yeshua wa tempted to turn the stones into bread to satisfy His hunger, He was being tempted in the area of the lust of the flesh. When He was taken to the pinnacle of the Temple and asked to throw Himself down to prove that He was the Messiah, this was a temptation in the area of pride of life. When He was shown visibly all the kingdoms of th world and offered authority over all of them, that was a temptation in the area of the lust of the eyes. Every temptation fits into one of these three categories.

3. DISCUSSIONS

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