Three short lessons from the temptation of Jesus.
1. Matthew 4:3–4 (ESV) And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
Lesson: There is more to “life” than physical existence. One may die and yet live (John 11:25), and remain living, while dead to the life of God. The power of the temptation is in the threat of the loss of immediate and temporal life while obscuring the real danger – the loss of spiritual life.
2. Matthew 4:5–7 (ESV) Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
Lesson: Nothing is more demonstrative of our faithlessness, as when we yield to trying to get Him to prove His love and care for us above the reality of His nature, and His Word.
3. Matthew 4:8–10 (ESV) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ”
Lesson: When we value anything God gives or promises above He Himself, we have become idolaters.