Jesus Is Tempted
August 4 - Nº 216 Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13
Immediately after his baptism, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness of Judea. God knew that His Son would be confronted by Satan while he was in this dry and lonely place. He was also aware that Satan’s ultimate goal was to keep Jesus from going to the cross. If he could lure Jesus to sin, God’s plan for our salvation would be shattered. But even in his humanity, Jesus was equipped to overcome Satan. When he arrived in the desert, Jesus did not eat anything for 40 days and 40 nights. As you would expect, he became very hungry! And sure enough, Satan showed up when Jesus was physically at his weakest. Although he knew exactly who Jesus was, Satan mockingly challenged him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” Satan wanted Jesus to intervene and override God’s plans. He wanted Jesus to use his own supernatural power rather than wait for God to provide. Jesus responded by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, “God’s word says, ‘Man is not to live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” He knew that God’s words and God’s plans were more important than physical food. Next, Satan took Jesus up to a high mountain and showed him the splendor of the kingdoms of the world. Then Satan said, “I will give you authority over all of these kingdoms, and all the glory that goes with them will be yours—if you will just bow down and worship me!” Ultimately Satan was implying, “You don’t have to go to the cross to rule the world. Right now I am the one in charge. I can give you this power—if you will just worship me!” Once more Jesus quoted from the book of Deuteronomy (6:13), “God’s word says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’” But Satan wasn’t finished. He led Jesus to Jerusalem and took him to the highest part of the Temple. This time hequoted from Scripture as he tempted Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here. It is written: ‘He will command his angels to take care of you. They will not allow you to hit those rocks below. You won’t even stub your toe (Psalm 91:11-12).’” Satan was challenging Jesus, “Prove who you are! If you are too afraid to do this, then maybe you aren’t the Son of God after all!” Jesus replied, “Yes, that is written in the Scripture. But God’s word also says not to test Him.” Once again, Jesus had quoted from the book of Deuteronomy (6:16). Satan tempted Jesus with the same three strategies he had used to lure Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (see #4 - Paradise Lost). He appealed to the lust of his flesh by tempting him to satisfy his own craving for food without waiting for God to supply it. He enticed Jesus with the lust of his eyes by displaying all the kingdoms he could rule without ever having to go to the cross. And he challenged Jesus’ pride by questioning who he was and if God really loved him. Although he unloaded his whole arsenal of weapons on Jesus, Satan failed. So he left Jesus alone—at least for a little while!
Because Jesus was exposed to all of Satan’s temptations, he knows everything we go through. And he wants to help us. In which one of these three areas are you most vulnerable to Satan’s attack: the lust of your flesh, the lust of your eyes, or your own pride? Find one verse that will help you focus on God—not Satan’s lures.