“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Full text: Matthew 4:1-11
There are three specific ways that Satan tried to tempt Jesus…
- He challenged His desire for food…the lust of the flesh
- He challenged His desire to display power…the pride of life
- He challenged His desire to have what He could see…the lust of the eyes
In the third instance, he was tempting Jesus to bypass the cross.
The devil was willing to give us all back to Jesus, if only Jesus would worship him instead of God. Skip the suffering, save the people, deny God, do it the easy way.
For each response, Jesus used Scripture, the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17), to resist the Devil.
These temptations occurred immediately after Jesus’ baptism….immediately after His public declaration of faith.
When we openly profess God, the Devil…knowing our greatness…steps in immediately to offer us an easy out, in the hope that if we take it we will never fulfill who we really are in Christ.
Many great men and women…leaders in our societies…have failed God and failed man by falling to temptation and taking the easy out.
Our only way out is to arm ourselves with His Sword (the Word) so that no matter what temptation we face, we will overcome it. This way, we will not only become, but remain the people God intended us to be.
Gracious God, I’m grateful that You know what it is like to be tempted in all the ways that I am tempted. I thank you that You have also shown me how to resist such temptation. I pray that as I navigate the temptations of my life, You will strengthen me and grant me the grace to resist taking the easy way out…in order that I may come into the fullness of who You want me to be. I ask this in Your Son’s name. Amen!