Key Text: Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13
Jesus went straight into war after His baptism, and Satan knew who he was up against. Messengers of Satan are defeated and used against Paul, 2Cor. 12:7ff. Sometimes when it seems like Satan has the advantage in our life, remember God has allowed it, only to show His power through us, which is a privilege! WHY BE TEMPTED? God wanted Jesus to be proved, Ezk 40:2, he was forced by the Spirit, just as Ezekiel was taken by the Spirit. God led him to be tempted but didn’t do the tempting, Jas. 1:13. We can benefit by overcoming and being exposed to temptation ICr 10:13, we should pray that we do not FALL into temptation, Mt 6:13. Jesus wanted to show us and give us the power to resist even when we are capable of falling, Hb 2:17‑18, 4:15‑16.
40 is in connection with sin and responsibility for strength to overcome it.
Noah, 40 nights & days of rain because of sin, Gen. 7:4,12.
Moses (Ex.34:28) because of his leadership against sin in mediating the 10 commandments, 40 days Moses intercedes in prayer for sinning Israel, Dt 9:25. 40 years of wilderness wanderings for sin, Num.14:33. 40 stripes sinning offenders were to be beaten Dt.25:3.
Elijah, (IKg19:1-8) because of his fight in killing false prophets and trying to protect Israel, he finished running from his enemy Jezebel and fasted 40 days. He also appeared with Moses in the transfiguration (Mt 17:3).
Ezekiel, 40 days Ezekiel bears Judah’s transgressions, Ezk 4:6.
Jonah, 40 days Ninevites proclaim a fast, Jon 3:4.
Jesus, Jesus wants us to know that he was tempted to the degree that he takes on the battle against our sinful state and puts himself in it. 40 stands in connection with sin. He made fasting to be from our own volition and was to help us, not harm us, Mat. 6:16-18, to be closer to God or when we feel the strength of Jesus isn’t in our life. When we want to be active and closer to him again, it can be used as an act of preparation for a ministry. Jesus actually wants us to fast and said so, Mat. 9:15. The church used prayer and fasting to prepare themselves for service, Acts 13:1-3, 14:23, it was an obvious attempt to show God, not man, that they were serious about relying on Him for their strength to do the job. Faith is powerful, IJn 5:4. We need to be humble enough to say we need stronger faith, so that what we need done can be done or provided for.
The fact of weak faith in the church today is because of the lack of prayer and fasting in our lives, Mk 9:23‑29. Faith comes from Gods word, Rom 10:17, but if Gods word is spoken to us all day and night, it will not increase the faith given unless we pray in the Spirit! Jude 20-21, Eph. 6:18. Prayer and fasting to increase our faith is just as important as the Bible in providing faith in the first place. Never forget the father of the sick child came kneeling, Mt 17:14-21. We must mix faith with the word so that we can profit, Heb. 4:2. Satan left Jesus for a time, until another opportunity came, Lk 4:13, Satan didn’t give up even on the cross, Lk 23:39ff. Satan will not give up on us, and as long as we have Christ as our goal, we won’t lose.