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The Third Temptation

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., December 23, 2018
Part of the Advent 2018 series.

This coming Lord’s Day, the final Sunday of Advent 2018, we are continuing our sermon series on the temptation experience of our Lord Jesus Christ in the “wilderness” as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11. Along the way, we have learned that this is how our Lord’s earthly public ministry as the Incarnate Son of God started when He was thirty years old. It was there, in that wilderness experience, that Jesus began both to suffer for the redemption of sinners, and to inaugurate His conquest over the devil, sin, and all of the powers of hell itself!

So far we have examined the first two of the three temptations. The first was for Jesus to turn the desert “stones” into “bread” rather than trusting in the faithful and timely provision of His Father. The second was for Jesus to cast Himself off the “pinnacle of the temple” in a spectacular display of divine power, thereby becoming an impressive Messiah who would attract followers by giving them what they most desired. And, of course, we have seen how in each of the first two temptations Jesus deployed the Word of God in order to defeat the devil’s evil suggestions.

On Sunday, we will consider the last of the three temptations. We read about it in Matthew 4:8-1O:

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 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.’”

I pray that we will all be filled with holy wonder and fervent love for our dear Savior as we consider these inspired Words and hear them proclaimed on Sunday!

Matthew 4:8-10

8Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10Then 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. (KJV)