Today’s Reading: Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-15; John 1:19-2:25
As we continue to read about the life of Jesus we arrive to the beginning of his ministry years (the last three years of his life).
In preparation for the public beginning of his ministry Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit to go on a spiritual retreat of sorts. He goes for a 40 day fast in the desert. Not quite like the retreats you and I might go on in cushy hotels with breakfast buffets, but a retreat none the less.
While there, while tired, while hungry, while alone Jesus is tempted by Satan. Satan directly tempts Jesus three times. Once with a temptation of the flesh, once with a temptation of the eyes and once with a temptation of pride. It is interesting that Satan used these three particular temptations. Later in John’s writings we find this teaching…
1 John 2:15 – 17 (NIV)
15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
With each temptation Jesus responds to the temptations with the Word of God. Each time he responds with scripture that he knew by heart. Each time he was well prepared for what Satan had to throw at him. Look at the temptations and responses from Luke 4
Temptation # 1 – Cravings of sinful man
Satan – 3 Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
Jesus – 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”
Scripture used by Jesus – Deuteronomy 8:3
Temptation #2 – Lust of the eyes
Satan – 5 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7 I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”
Jesus – ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”
Scripture used by Jesus – Deuteronomy 6:13
Temptation # 3 – Boasting of Man
Satan – 9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10 For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.
11 And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’”
Jesus – 12 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”
Scripture used by Jesus – Deuteronomy 6:16
It is important to note that in the 3rd temptation, Satan attempts to quote scripture to tempt Jesus. Satan tries to quote Psalm 91:11 – 12. But he misquoted the verses, he left out the middle (highlighted)…
Psalm 91:11 – 12 (NIV)
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
So you want to learn how to resist the temptations of Satan. Listen to, read, study, meditate on and memorize God’s word – The Bible. Work it into your head, heart and life. Wade in the shallows, dig in deep, bath yourself in the Word. That is the key purpose of this blog – to help you and I gather as much as we can from the Word of God. By doing so we will know more about God, his plan for our lives, and his gift of love.