The Second TemptationRev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., December 16, 2018
Part of the Advent 2018 series.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
This coming Lord’s Day is the Third Sunday of Advent! We are continuing our study of the temptation experience of our Lord Jesus in the “wilderness” as found in Matthew 4:1-11.
As we have discovered, this is a strange and mysterious event, that nevertheless reveals our Lord’s deity and true humanity. It shows us how it is that He may be truly called our Great Shepherd, High Priest, King, and Savior! It is here, in the “wilderness” and in the presence of “the tempter,” that Jesus begins to suffer as a man on our behalf. And it is also here that we see Him becoming the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” that the prophet Isaiah had declared Him to be—Isaiah 9:6. And this is why we have come to this place for our sermons on the wonder and glory of Advent!
We remember that the first temptation was for Jesus to meet His physical need, His hunger, in a way that would only serve Himself and not glorify His Father. The devil was tempting our Lord to be unfaithful to His mission, to distrust His Father’s care and provision, and to take matters into His own hands by turning the desert stones into bread in order to alleviate His suffering. And, ultimately, to avoid the cross altogether!
This week will we consider the second of the three temptations in Matthew 4:5-7.
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 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.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6And 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. 7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (KJV)