Again, Jesus is seen to be rooted in history (23-28).
The Holy Spirit, who came upon Jesus at His baptism, led Him into ‘’the desert’’ (1). We must understand that God’s Spirit will sometimes guide us into challenging and difficult circumstances. We can expect this, and should not be surprised when it happens. He is the One who will also enable us to come out victorious at the other end of the ‘tunnel’ (4:14).
Times of physical need and weakness are also times of vulnerability, and we should not be surprised if Satan tries to capitalise (2). Every day in the wilderness Jesus was tempted. In (3) you can observe the same tactic employed by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, trying to cast doubt on God’s Word. God had clearly said that Jesus is His Son (3:22).
Note that Jesus did not dispute the devil’s claim to be able to do what he offered in (5-7). Satan is the god of this world; the prince of this world. But Jesus asked on another occasion what profit it was for someone to gain the whole world but lose their own soul. Our Lord would not capitulate in the face of Satan’s subtle wiles and advanced marketing techniques.
How did Jesus resist the devil so that he fled from him? Three times he wielded what Paul calls ‘’the sword of the Spirit’’ in Ephesians 6, i.e. the Word of God. There was so much Scripture in Him. He was steeped in it; immersed in God’s Book, and was able to draw on just the right verses at the critical time of need: ‘’It is written…It is written…For it is written…’’ They all came from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. This raises the question, ‘How much of the Bible is in us? ‘’Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…’’ (Colossians 3:16).
No look at the temptation of Jesus can be complete without there also being reflection on Hebrews 4:14-16. Have a look at it now, if you can. Ask yourself, ‘What does Jesus’ success in temptation mean for me?’ I’m sure you will be encouraged.
Prayer: Thank you Almighty God for the revelation that Jesus, the Overcomer, lives in me, and in Him I never need be a slave to sin again.