Daily prompt: Tempted
Yesterday, in my bible reading, I read through Matthew 4:1-11 which tells about how Jesus, after his Baptism, was led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. He fasted there for 40 days and 40 nights.
1 Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After spending forty days and nights without food, Jesus was hungry. 3 Then the Devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, order these stones to turn into bread.” 4 But Jesus answered, “The scripture says, “Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’ ” 5 Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City, set him on the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says, “God will give orders to his angels about you; they will hold you up with their hands, so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.’ “ 7 Jesus answered, “But the scripture also says, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Then the Devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their greatness. 9 “All this I will give you,” the Devil said, “if you kneel down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The scripture says, “Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’ ” 11 Then the Devil left Jesus; and angels came and helped him.
All three times in this passage when the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus responded to the temptation with scripture. While on Earth, Jesus never gave in to the temptations he faced and never sinned. I’ve read this passage many times before but up until yesterday, I never questioned the “whys” of Jesus’ temptation. What was the purpose of Jesus being tempted? Was it so that he could better understand our weaknesses and temptations? Was it to prepare him for His ministry that was soon to follow? Was it to show us humans with all our weaknesses, an example of how we are to respond to temptation?
Every single one of us faces temptation on this earth on a daily basis. God never tempts us but he allows us to be tempted. The Bible says that Satan, the supreme tempter, roams the Earth like a lion, looking for someone to devour. He tries his darndest to turn God’s children against Him. But Satan has ultimately been defeated by the death of Jesus on the cross and by His Resurrection, which overcame the power of sin and death forever. With the help of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and God’s Word, we can fight temptation. These are stronger than anything that Satan can throw our way. God will never let us be tempted beyond what we can bear and He will always provide a way out for us.