We are here to consider, first the preparation that the Devil makes, by taking him up to a high hill, to make the offer ver. 8. Secondly, the temptation itself, vers. 9. Thirdly, our Savior’s answer, and the shield he opposes to it, verse 10. Fourthly, the issue of the conflict, the victory, vers. 11. In the first we are to consider, first the Devil’s method: secondly, the place and ground: thirdly, his policy, in not only telling what he would give; but in shewing thereof: fourthly, the things themselves which he offers, which are two; the kingdom of the earth, and the glory thereof.

I.  The Devil’s Method

First, of his method Eph. 4. 14[1]: we are warned not to be wavering, & caried about with every wind of doctrine, by the deceit and craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

Craftiness and deception, be the instruments which the Devil uses; he brings Christ from the wilderness to the Temple, and from the Temple to the mountain, to destroy the Temple, which mountain is prosperity. So in adversity we vow to God, that we will serve him; but after help, we break it.


We are told to watch out for the craftiness and deceitfulness of men. (Eph. 4:14) If these are the methods of wicked men, then they are the methods of the Devil.

Notice how the Devil uses his craft in the attempt to trap Christ: He finds in the wilderness, but that does not work. He takes him to the Temple. And when that does not work, he takes him to a mountain and offers prosperity.

While these tricks do not work upon Christ, they do work upon us. He finds us in difficulty; and if we do not fall into sin there, we call out to God. But what then happens? We vow that we will reform, that we will follow as he has called us. But as soon the pressure is relieved and the danger is lifted, we forget our promise and return to our sin.

This is as the Devil tried Christ. Here: things are good. There is no need to worry. If you just compromise a little bit here, how much better everything else will seem.

[1] Ephesians 4:11–15 (ESV)

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,