The Scripture used by Whitefield: Matthew 4:1-11
“4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You’;
‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” 11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.”
To summarize what are the temptations of Christ?
To doubt He is the Son of God.
Turn the stone into bread – rely on earthly sustenance.
Jump off the Temple – rely on worldly wisdom and therefore ignore the consequences.
To receive all the Kingdoms of the world from by worshipping the Devil – thereby vesting their hope in the powers of this world.
What are the implications?
Of course Christ like us if He doubts He is the Son of God then He will not keep God’s Word and consequently follow the Devil’s word. The Devil is attempting to lead Jesus to rely on physical or earthly food, wisdom and power instead of the food, wisdom and power of God.
Whitefield makes the case that if the Savior was tried and tested even after His public baptism and His Father declaring He is His Son then we too should prepare for temptations. If the Savior was ministered to by Angels then we should receive their ministry too.
Whitefield says our power is the same as the Savior’s and that is the Word of God and that to expect these temptations in our own life.
As application – what is our response? To know and keep God’s Word.