Jesus’ Baptism & Temptation – Matthew 3:13-4:11

MATTHEW 3:13 – 4:11                          JESUS’ BAPTISM & TEMPTATION                                                       Day 22

After fleeing from Herod to Egypt, Joseph & Mary took baby Jesus to Nazareth. We know little of him until he was 30, except for one incident in the Temple at age 12. There, he was about his Father’s business, asking and answering questions, amazing the scholars of the Law.

But God was moving in Israel. John began preaching in the wilderness. People recognized his prophetic voice and began coming to hear him in large numbers. His message was “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” because “the kingdom of God is near.” When the Jewish leaders asked if he were the Messiah, he denied it; “If not, then who are you?,” they continued. He replied, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ’Prepare the way of the Lord’” quoting Isaiah 40:3.

Jesus came to Jordan to be baptized by John. Why? That’s what John wanted to know also, saying that he needed to be baptized by Jesus instead. He had already told people that one coming was greater than he, for he was before me and he who would baptize in the Holy Spirit, not merely in water. Yet Jesus insisted on being baptized by John “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).

When Jesus was baptized, a voice from Heaven announced, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” reflecting Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1. In keeping with the later, the Holy Spirit descended on him as a dove.

Then the Spirit drove him into the wilderness where he fasted 40 days and was tempted by Satan. It was necessary for the Son of God to suffer temptation,For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect was tempted as we are, yet without sin”(Hebrews 4:15).

In his baptism, though he was without sin, he took his place alongside sinners. In temptation, he identified himself with mankind. He was truly man, suffering all that we suffer; ultimately, he suffered more than we. Hence, we can go to him in every distress, knowing he understands.

What were his temptations? How did he overcome without sin?

·         If you are the Son of God, make these stones bread….  Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God.

·         If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from the pinnacle of the Temple…. You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

·         I will give you all the kingdoms of the world if you will bow down and worship me…. You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.

In every temptation – using God’s gifts for self and personal comfort, exhibiting magical powers to gain a following, and accepting a crown without a cross by denying God – Jesus relied on God’s Word to beat back the onslaught of Satan. In this, he followed the Psalmist: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). Would that we would do the same!

After tempting Jesus, the Devil “departed from him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). He had not given up on Jesus any more than he gives up on you. He would still do all in his power to turn Jesus from serving God.

After defeating Satan’s temptations, Jesus “returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee.” There he began his ministry (Luke 4:14). We also need the Spirit to serve God successfully.