The Temptation of Jesus
When reading about the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4: 1-11, we first see that He was obedient to the Father and was baptized not because He needed to be forgiven of sin but to fulfill the scriptures. Then we see God validated Him by declaring He was God’s Son and God was pleased with Him. Then immediately we see that the Spirit LED Him into the wilderness to be tempted for 40 days.
Jesus was in the perfect Will of God and still sent to be tested. He did not eat for 40 days! He was hungry…weak physically and the enemy came to converse with Him. The devil then calls into question what God had previously said…”if you are the Son of God…”. This is the same trick he used in the garden. “Did God really say…?”
The first thing we learn is that the enemy doesn’t come when we are on the mountain. He waits until the opportune time when we are weak, tired, hungry, hurting, lonely or upset and then he calls God into question. How can any good come of this tragedy, heartache, sickness or loss? Does God really have good plans for me? How can anything good come out of this? Does He really want what is best for me? How do I know if what He wants is better than what I want? Can I trust Him to provide, comfort, sustain, and strengthen me? Is He really there always because sometimes I can’t feel Him. Maybe He moved on to someone else? Does He really hear me when I pray? Does He even care what I am going through? Will He really forgive me and forget what I did?
I am sure that if we are honest, every one of us have had these thoughts or even said them out loud. The devil will lead us to worry about our finances, health, relationships and more as if we were supposed eve in control in the first place. The enemy will stop at nothing to try to make God a liar.
But it is written, “God is not man that He should lie“, Numbers 23: 19.
The first thing we should note is Jesus used His sword, the Word to combat Satan. He did not wrestle with him in the flesh. We too when tempted should use our sword, the Word of God. Our flesh is no match for the devil even when we are at our best, much less when he comes at our weakest moments. The enemy will use our flesh against us; he knows our weaknesses better than we do. He will also use our feelings because they are subtle and don’t seem like an attack. But if our feelings don’t align with the Word of God then it is an attack! The enemy whispers all those things in our ears in our own voice so it seems we just thought it up instead of being strategically put there by him.
We don’t have to be defeated because “Greater is He who is In me, than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4: 4. We must stand firm on the Word of God and speak it aloud and believe that there is power in the Word. We will be tempted, tested and tried. We should follow the example of our Savior and spend time with our Father, know His Word and believe in His power over all the forces of evil.