Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
We have already seen Jesus’ credentials, the lineage back to Adam and the commissioning of God Himself. Yet, before His public ministry can begin, the adversary, Satan himself, comes to tempt/test this God/Man.
Notice that these three trials are a direct attack on different parts of who Jesus is. First, Satan goes for the human side, hunger. I can’t imagine going without food for forty days. I have fasted before for three days and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. But forty days? That in itself seems an impossibility. No wonder Satan is going for the quick kill so to speak by testing Jesus to use His power to turn stones into bread.
Yet Jesus rebuffs the tempter, reminding the crafty one that man does not live on bread alone.
Then Satan attacks the purpose that Jesus comes, to be King of the world. Satan is offering Jesus something that was to be the goal of Jesus’ coming in the first place. And he was offering it instantly. The only price Jesus had to pay was to worship Satan.
Again Jesus rebuffs the deceiver by reminding him that only God is to be worshiped.
Satan’s third attack is directed at Jesus’ divinity. His logic is good here. If Jesus is truly the Son of God nothing should be able to harm Him. It’s almost like Satan is saying, okay, prove to me and to yourself that you are truly God’s Son.
Jesus once again thwarts Satan’s attack with the words “do not put God to the test.” Interesting approach since that is exactly what Satan is doing with Jesus, putting God to the test.
Of course, the key to this first confrontation is Jesus’ use of Scripture to ward off Satan. When we find ourselves going through times of trial, and we can be guaranteed these times, it is best to go to God and His word to battle Satan. If we try on our own, we will lose. But if we trust God and know His word, we can overcome, just like Jesus did.
This is not the last time Satan will try to disrupt the plan of God. Yet Jesus is ready to start His mission.
How does Satan attack you and me? And are we ready for those attacks, whether they are frontal forays or sneaky encounters from places we would never suspect. Be on our guard by reading His word, praying, and constantly and consistently be with other believers who are fighting the same good fight.
Until next time,
TO THE GLORY OF GOD!