1. In the context of prayer (6:12, 9:18 …. 1 Thess 5:17 )!
2. Filled with the Spirit (Gen 1:2; 8:8-12; Luke 4:16-18)! (I’ve blogged some extra notes on this point here)
Jesus: Endorsed by Father as his Son
1. The Messiah: “my Son” (Ps 2:7; 2 Sam 7:7-16)
2. The loved One: “whom I love” (Gen 22:12, 16; Is 41:8)
3. The servant: “with whom I am pleased (Is 61:1-2)
Garden and Exodus
1. God’s provision? Satan’s argument is that Jesus’ Sonship must mean that God does not want him to die in the desert. Therefore, Jesus should simply turn stone into bread. He can provide for himself. This is not a challenge to be strong, but to be independent. Such independence in the upside down kingdom of God is actually weakness and leads to failure. Jesus’ reply is that life is more than food. The priority in life is doing the will of God. In Deuteronomy 8:3, living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God is to truly live.
2. Loyalty and worship? The second temptation is an invitation to worship Satan and abandon loyalty in the Father. It is a direct challenge to the first commandment (Ex. 20:3). Jesus is presented with all the kingdoms in the world and promised authority over them in return for worship. The temptation is not only to join Satan now, but to avoid all that lies ahead in Jesus’ ministry and death. He can reject the suffering with a shortcut to to power.
There is no doubt that Satan possesses great authority (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2), but he cannot grant this wish. The proposal is a delusion, as are all of Satan’s attempts to get us off track! Going Satan’s way is not the way to gain power but to lose it. There is no quick and easy road to glory or even to survive in a hostile world. Jesus chooses to receive from the Father that which only Father can give. Drawing from a passage of scripture which the Jews repeated daily, (Deut. 6:4-9), Jesus shows us that with worship comes service. And true service means remaining loyalty to God.
3. God’s care?
a. All in the mind? In the third temptation, Jesus is taken, most likely in a vision, to the temple in Jerusalem—probably on the Royal Porch on southeast corner, which looms over a cliff and the Kidron Valley, 450 feet below. Josephus tells us that just looking over the edge made people feel giddy! To jump from such a height and survive would take divine intervention.
b. Twisted Scripture? Satan adds to his twist by quoting Scripture himself, Psalm 91:11-12, a text that promises God’s protection for his own. "If" God protects his own and you are his Son, then you can jump and not if; you can run over the edge and not be crushed." He suggests such protection will enhance Jesus’ unique dependence on God!
c. Avoid testing God! But God has not asked for this test. It would create an artificial need for God to act. We are not to test God like this. And God does not produce a road show of miracles to satisfy our curiosity.