The Temptation of Jesus (part 2)

God the Father sent His Son to earth on a mission. That mission was announced by John the Baptist the forerunner of Jesus whose message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is a hand!” The King whose way John was preparing would establish the kingdom of God upon the earth. The people must repent of their sins and believe in Jesus in order to enter it, or face His judgment (Mat.3:5-12). When Jesus arrived on the scene, He preached the same message (Mat.4:17), and also sent His disciples to preach that message, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat.10:5).
The devil tempted Jesus in order to disqualify Him as God’s Son, the One with whom the Father was well pleased (Mat.3:17). By contrast, God the Father purposed the temptation of Jesus in order to show that He was qualified to be Israel’s Messiah-King, the Son of God.
God the Father would provide for and preserve His Son throughout the mission. In the first temptation, the devil tempted to Jesus to provide food for Himself by commanding stones to become bread in order to satisfy His hunger (4:3-4). In the second temptation, the devil tempted Jesus to throw Himself off the pinnacle of the temple since God would preserve Him (4:5-7). In the third temptation, the devil tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world which he would give Him if He fell down and worshipped him (Mat.4:8-10). Jesus met each temptation with Scripture, and so must we.
Jesus would finish the mission according to God’s will, trusting His Father to provide for His needs and preserve His life. The nations would one day be His as King, but He would receive them from His Father’s hand (Psa.2:6-9). Israel was looking for a Messiah to conquer the nations, and rule over them from David’s throne. They missed the truth that their Messiah must die for their sins before ruling over them in His glorious kingdom. Jesus spoke to this when He said, “Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luke 24:26). In the third temptation, the devil offered Jesus the kingdom without the cross!