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Led by the Spirit to Be Tempted

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., December 2, 2018
Part of the Advent 2018 series.

This coming Lord’s day is the First Sunday of Advent. During this blessed season we are going to be considering a passage from Matthew’s account of the life of our Lord that, upon first glance, may appear to have little if anything to do with Christmas and the celebration of Christ’s Incarnation. However, I believe that as we look carefully at this passage of Holy Scripture, we will soon discover that it really has everything to do with the First Advent of our Lord and Savior. It is in this admittedly mysterious event that we see both our Lord’s perfect divinity and His perfect humanity.

Matthew 4:1-11contains the story of our Lord’s temptation by the devil in the wilderness.This is likely a story that you are familiar with, but you have probably not associated it with a celebration of the Incarnation. But I believe that here there is a vital link to Christmas, and one that will not only help us to come to understand who our Lord was and is, but will also provide us with a profound measure of comfort, assurance, and hope!

Our focus this Sunday morning will be upon the first two verses of Matthew 4 where we read:

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”

Following Sunday’s message, the schedule for our Advent sermons will be:

Sunday December 9—Matthew 4:3-4, “The First Temptation.”
Sunday December 16—Matthew 4:5-7, “The Second Temptation.”
Sunday December 23—Matthew 4:8-10, “The Third Temptation.
Monday December 24—Matthew 4:11, “The Devil’s Departure.”

Matthew 4:1-2

1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (KJV)