Temptation 3. PRESUMPTION

March 6, 2020 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Temptation

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Luke 4:1–13, Exodus 17:2–7

Home Group Study

Sermon Date: 6 March 2020

Text: Luke 4:1-13

Opening Discussion: We have all had moments when we presumed something would happen and it didn’t, like the time when you opened a closed bathroom door, presuming no one was inside, only to discover that it was indeed occupied. Share your story. 


Throwing Himself off the pinnacle of the temple and trusting God to spare Him from injury sounds like a great display of faith, which is a good thing. But actually Jesus was being tempted to presume upon the care of the Lord, which was sin.

Satan’s goal in all three temptations was to get Jesus to act independently of the Father rather than to submit to the will of God, which included the cross. It would have been a tempting shortcut to gain the glory of ruling all the kingdoms of this world without the agony of the cross. But the Bible is clear that anything we do apart from faith and obedience is sin (Rom. 14:23). 

Jesus in the first two temptations responded to Satan by quoting God’s word to him. Satan now in this third temptation (v.9-13), very subtly quoted God’s word to Jesus (from Psalm 91:11-12). But Jesus immediately knew that Satan’s hermeneutic of Scripture was flawed. Satan twisted Scripture against itself. So Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test’ ” (4:12).

In other words, Jesus said to Satan, “I am not allowed to put God to the test. Instead, God is testing me. He wants to see me pass the test where Adam failed.” There is a sense in which what Jesus did was unique. He was, after all, the second Adam, the federal representative of the elect. By believing and obeying God and his word completely, not only during these temptations, but also throughout his entire life, he was able to secure salvation for sinners like us.

Nevertheless, his example is instructive for every one of us. Jesus was able to combat the temptations of Satan by knowing, believing, and applying the word of God to each temptation. If we want to be like Jesus, we will be eager to learn from Him how He resisted the devil. This account of Jesus’ temptation must have come down to the disciples and to us from Jesus Himself, since it was a private encounter. Luke uses the incident both to confirm Jesus as the righteous Son of God at the outset of His public ministry and to teach us how to follow Him in obedience to the Father.

Investigation & Interpretation:

  • Read: Luke 4:1-13
  1. What new approach does Satan take to tempt Jesus? v.9-11
  2. What was Satan asking Jesus to do? Was he biblically correct (Psalm 91:11-12)?
  3. How did Jesus respond to this temptation? v.12-13 ( c.f. Deuteronomy 6:16; Acts 17:10-11)
  4. From verse 13, was the devil finished with his temptations? What does ‘opportune time’ mean?

Application - How must I change?

  • Is there a Truth to be believed?

What is the essence of the third temptation, to throw oneself down from the temple? (v.9-11) How do we face this temptation today?

  • Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

Romans 14:23 clearly says that anything we do apart from faith and obedience is sin. This means that we have to be careful not only to pursue godly goals, but also to use biblical means of attaining those goals. What are some ways we can be tempted to sin by cutting corners in order to achieve our goals?

  • Is there a Behavior to be changed?

We can win a victory today over temptation, but the enemy will bide his time and return another day, especially when we are most vulnerable. What are some practical ways we can resist temptation and stand firm in the evil day?


Charles Swindoll describes temptation like a fisherman using bait to lure his fish.  He says, “Temptation ends with the response. Either we resist or yield; swim away or swallow it whole. Anyone who has resisted knows the feeling of freedom that decision brings. On the other hand, anyone who has yielded knows the feeling of emptiness that follows and the pain of the hook in your cheek.” Man frequently presumes to act, teach, and promote beyond what the Lord has written. How often have you heard the following presumptions offered to justify man's action, soothe his own conscience, and silence the inner plea to submit to God’s Word?

  • God is our Heavenly Father. He loves me! Does He not want me to be happy? I know my Father wants me to have this, because it will make me happy!
  • God may have been strict in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament we are under a system of grace. Therefore, we are not in bondage to worry about keeping every law perfectly. We do not have to worry about tedious, detailed observances of any kind.
  • Do you really think God would send me to hell just for doing this? Will God really condemn me for this one sin?
  • What's so bad about doing this, I am not hurting anyone?

These common questions embody the very spirit of presumption, because they set aside what God has actually said in favor of man's rationalization. The true servant of God will move as close as possible to what God has written. The more one struggles to move away from the clear writing of Scripture, the more he betrays his own heart's secrets.

True, God is our heavenly Father, and He dearly loves us; however, He seeks our best interest, which is not always what we want, what satisfies for the moment, or what makes us happy in this instant. Despite the temptation to think we know better than God, we must be faithful to our Lord God and what he has written in His word. Trust that He knows best. There is no shortcut to glory.

More in Temptation

February 28, 2020

Temptation 2. IDOLATRY

February 21, 2020

Temptation 1. UNBELIEF