We've been making our way through the Gospel of Luke together, today we find ourselves in the wilderness with Jesus, and He is being tempted by Satan. I want to draw your attention to a number of things to look for and a few things to bear in mind in this great passage.

First of all, isn't it striking as you read this passage that Jesus answers each temptation from Satan with Scripture? I mean, if ever there was someone who had the right to answer Satan with his own words, it was the Lord Jesus Christ. But He takes Satan to the Bible and He answers Satan by the Bible, and there is a great word of instruction for us in that. If the Lord Jesus takes Satan to the Bible in rebuking Him, surely it is to the Scriptures that we must go as our only rule of faith and life.

Notice also that what is playing out in Luke 4:1-13 is a parallel to Genesis 3. In Genesis 3 Eve and Adam are tempted by the evil one - the devil, Satan in the form of a talking serpent - in the beautiful pristine garden. It is a perfect world in which there is no sin in humanity, and yet this fallen angel in the guise of a talking serpent comes to tempt Eve and Adam. And in contrast, Luke is painting us a very different picture of the place of Jesus' temptation. He is not in a garden, He's in a wilderness; and that in and of itself provides us a very graphic contrast between the unfallen world of Adam and the fallen world in which our Savior lived. This temptation is the temptation, in other words, of the second Adam. Paul will put it this way:

"For through one man's disobedience all died, so also through one man's act of obedience all are made alive."

That is, as we are in Adam, all die; all those who are in Jesus Christ, however, are made alive. So what we have is a contrast between Genesis 3 and Luke 4: the temptation of the first Adam - a temptation which he failed and thus plunged us all into an estate of sin and misery - and the temptation of the second Adam - which He passed and thus opened the doorway of life to all who trust in Him. So it's not a garden but a wilderness that this temptation takes place in. It is a picture of our fallen world.

I. God's Providence

The first thing that Luke wants to draw to our attention is an important truth about God's providence. Did you notice that Luke emphasizes that Jesus is not in the wilderness by accident? The Spirit has led Jesus into the wilderness and it is precisely there that He encounters His great temptation. Jesus is doing exactly what the Father would have Him do. He's led by the Holy Spirit, and it's precisely there that He encounters this great temptation.

Now, friends, that ought to be a word of encouragement to some of you. Some of you have been faithfully trying to serve your Lord and God. You've tried to do exactly what you know He would have you do, according to His word. And yet you have found yourself in deep trials and problems and heartaches and heartbreaks, and you've wondered, "Have I done something wrong? Otherwise, this wouldn't be happening to me right now." And here's the Lord Jesus doing exactly what the Lord would have Him to do, and He is facing the great trial and temptation of the second Adam.

There's a great message of God's providence in this passage that just because you love the Lord Jesus, just because you're following the living God, just because you're trusting in the gospel doesn't mean that you will not have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It doesn't mean that you will not face trials and tribulations and testings. What it does mean is that even when you're there in the valley of the shadow of death, He will be with you.

II. God's Provision For Us in Jesus Christ

There's a second thing that Luke especially wants to draw our attention to here, and that is God's provision for us in Jesus Christ. I want to draw your attention especially to the first temptation because it captures it so well. You understand what Satan is doing when He tells Jesus, who has been fasting for forty days...he tells Jesus, "Look, Jesus. You're hungry. Why don't You just turn that stone into bread and eat?"

What's going on with that temptation? It is a temptation for Jesus to question the love and goodness and provision of God His Father and to take into His own hands the provision of what He needs. It's a temptation for Jesus to contradict everything that He's been doing in the fasting. The fasting is supposed to drive home to anyone who is fasting that it's God who provides for us. And Satan is saying, "Jesus, look, You're hungry. Surely if Your Father loved You, He would have spread a meal for You here in the wilderness! Your Father's forgotten about You. He doesn't care about what You need. Make it yourself!" He's tempting Jesus to question the goodness of God.

Do you understand, my friends, that every time we face the temptation to sin that is the temptation that we're playing out over again? Every time you look to take something that's not yours, you're saying that God hasn't provided me what you need so you're going to take it for yourself. You are playing out again the lie of the evil one who says that God is not good and that He doesn't give what we need. And here's Jesus, and Jesus' response to Satan is this: "I don't live by bread alone. I live by every word that proceeds from My Father's mouth."

Fast forwarding from this moment, towards the end of his ministry, Jesus would turn to His people and He say, "Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you." "God has provided for you, My people, everything that you need, and it's Me. So here; take and eat freely, because your Father has in the goodness of His heart given you the most precious thing in this world. Can you doubt His goodness and love? He has given you Me." Jesus turns those words of temptation into words of salvation by Oh, my friends! When the temptation comes to you to take what Satan says that you need when it is what God says that you must not take, remember your Savior and live in the second Adam, not in the first. And so be found raised to newness of life in the second Adam, instead of condemned to death in the first.