We have come to the section in Matthew when Jesus is tempted by the devil in the desert, Matthew 4:1-11. Haven’t you ever applied for a job and had to take an aptitude test first? I guess you could compare this to a Messiah test instead of an aptitude.
I believe this test was to show us how qualified Jesus is to be our Messiah. (We, humans, seem to need proof of everything, even from our Messiah.) And to let us know that Jesus understands our struggle with evil. He even gives us examples for spiritual combat.
Now, Jesus has spent forty days and nights in the desert fasting. He is at a very weak and low point physically; and probably emotionally and mentally. Exhaustion along with starvation can kill the normal human body. And isn’t it just like the devil to show up when you are at your worst in life. He is one sneaky snake of evil.
I bet the devil has been in training all these years while waiting on Jesus’ arrival. Knowing to defeat Jesus would be his victory in domination. So, the devil expertly takes God’s words and twist then around to use them against Jesus. And, he tries the same tactics on us. But, Jesus turns it around and uses the exact words of God from Deuteronomy as His rebuttal.
We can too.
Let’s take a look…
The first temptation, the devil wants Jesus to tell the stones to become bread. Satan figures Jesus is hungry and weak in body, so why not use the desire of food against Him.
Jesus answers, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Maybe Jesus is not weak in the Spirit, so Satan probably strokes his chin and circles Jesus (my imagery.) Then he takes Jesus to the highest point on the temple and tells Jesus to throw himself down. Because God will command the angels to stop Jesus from being hurt.
Jesus answers again, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Now Satan decides to try one last effort and takes Jesus to a very high mountain. Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Then, Satan tells Jesus that if He will bow down and worship him, Satan will give it all to Jesus.
Jesus final answer to Satan was, “Away from me Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”
Satan left and the angels came to attend to Jesus.
You see we had to be shown that not only can Jesus resist the devil, but we also have tools to resist the devil…God’s words! God makes sure we know that Jesus has no inward desire to sin; unlike us. For Jesus was born without sin. If He was not, Jesus might have considered Satan’s offers. Because who wants to be nailed to a cross?
Test passed! A+++ and so on. We are about to have our lousy selves saved from the sting of death.
So, what do you do when the devil comes calling at your door? For me, I pray and ask God to show me what to do. I rely on prayer for every situation, emotion, and basically daily life. And I have the real weapon…God’s words. My study bible in the back has a section of bible verses relating to life struggles, too.
And, these days you can Google, “What does the bible say concerning…?” Instant answer. Just make sure they are quoting the bible.
Well, I don’t know about you, but forty days in the desert makes me tired. 😉
Until next time!
God Bless You!
And God Bless America!