Lent Series: Jesus’ Temptation

After the day I was baptised and saw Jesus for the first time, I hadn’t heard or seen Jesus for over a month. I was beginning to wonder if all of it was a dream. One day I was walking into town and I overheard a conversation between what sounded like Jesus’ voice and several men. I crept a little closer to have a listen.
 
I’m not really eavesdropping, well, yes I am.
 
I’m only doing it because I want to know more about this Jesus. That’s a good enough reason, isn’t it? Well?
I was so excited because it was indeed Jesus!
 
Jesus was talking to these men and I wanted to know why He was gone for so long. He began to tell them, so I listened in.
 
Jesus told the men that He was out in the desert for 40 days and nights with no food or water!
midbar-yehuda-scenery-judean-desert
 
What?
 
Wow, that’s a long time to go without anything to eat or drink. I am usually hungry after a couple of hours and my stomach definitely growls a lot when we have Yom Kippur a time of fasting and repenting. I could not imagine 40 days and nights!
 
During this time He was tempted by the enemy, we call him the adversary, Satan. To be tempted means a positive test as in it’s a challenge from Satan to test God’s sovereignty and plan in someone’s life. Does that mean it’s a positive thing when I am tempted to eat leavened bread on Shabbat instead of the unleavened bread? Yes and no. Being tempted tests our faith and obedience to God.
 
Jesus goes on to share three temptations He was tempted with. First of all, Satan attacked Jesus during His time of extreme hunger. He told Jesus to tell the stones to turn into bread. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, this temptation may have been a hard one to avoid, especially with being so hungry. However, Jesus stood up to Satan and told him we don’t live by bread alone but by the Word that comes from God.
Oh my, I was convicted to my core. Here I am worrying about food and Jesus reminds me to remember we are fed by God’s Word. God’s Word that has been passed down through the ages through my family, the priests and the scrolls that were read out in the synagogue. How in the world is this supposed to fill me when I am physically hungry? I should focus on God and His teachings in my life instead of the physical. My physical body will not live forever but God’s Word will and will accomplish what God set it out to do (Isaiah 55:11).
 
Jesus then tells us that Satan took him to the Holy City, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the temple. Satan even quotes scripture from the book of Psalm chapter 91. He asks Jesus to jump “For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone” (Psalm 91:11). Jesus simply replies “You must not test the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 6:15). I was shocked. I didn’t realise that the adversary knows our scriptures. I don’t even know them that well.
 
There is one more temptation Jesus shares with us (well the men who were around Him and me in the background eavesdropping). He said Satan took Him to the peak of a high mountain and said to Him “I will give you all that you see around you, it is mine and I can give it to anyone I wish, if you kneel and worship me.”
 
Why in the world would Jesus want to bow down to our ultimate enemy? What nerve!
 
Jesus told Satan to “Get out of here! You must worship the LORD your God and serve Him only!”
 
After this, the devil left Jesus until the next opportunity came. Then the angels came and attended Him and He then came back into the town, thus the reason I saw Him today.
 
Phew! I am so glad Jesus overcame the enemy. Satan is the one who was in the Garden of Eden tempting our first parents but sadly they gave in and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why couldn’t they have obeyed and listened to God? I have never understood why Eve took that first bite and why Adam joined her. But at least Jesus obeyed.
 
I am so glad to have heard Him speak. I hope to see Him more and follow Him. One of these days I will be in His “in group.” I can hope, can’t I?
 
Notes:
*There were 3 temptations-
1. Physical pleasure
2. Material Wealth
3. Pride
 
*Satan took Jesus up to the Holy City to solicit Messianic proof. Jesus proved His holiness by replying to the devil that we are not to test the Lord our God.
*Even though the devil is the “ruler” of this world, he “had no power over us” (John 14:30), his kingdom will be “thrown down” (Revelation 12:10) and he has no control over God’s people (1 John 4:4)!
 
For further study:
Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13
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