(Part 1 of 2)
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 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.”-Luke 4:1-2.
One would expect that after Jesus’ baptism, once he had been filled with the Spirit and recognized as the Son of God that he would immediately launch out into his earthly ministry. However, all three gospel writers confirm that before Jesus taught his first sermon or worked his first miracle, the Spirit of God led him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Luke 4:2 states that he fasted (eating nothing) for forty days and in the end he hungered. It is at this moment when Jesus was physically at his weakest that Satan came and tempted Him. The serpent of old, which caused Adam and Eve to fall into sin, now stood before the last Adam with the same intentions.
This encounter with Satan is tremendously helpful when it comes to living out our own faith. There are three important observations that can be made from their encounter. First, if Satan was willing to tempt Jesus, you can be certain that he will tempt you. Jesus had just been baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, and recognized from heaven as being the Son of God. Satan waited until Jesus had been publically recognized before tempting him. Satan reasoned that with all the speculation and expectation surrounding Jesus, if he were to fall to temptation it would have been a decisive victory for him. This is why Satan is continually at work tempting born-again, Spirit-filled men and women of God as it brings him great satisfaction to see God’s handiwork fall into temptation.
The second thing we learn from Jesus’ temptation is that Satan’s methods have not changed. 2 Corinthians 2:11 reminds us that we are not to ignorant of his devices:
“In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
Satan is not a creative being. He counterfeits and perverts the things that God has created. This is evidenced by the fact that he continues to use the same three avenues to lead people into temptation: the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Nevertheless, these methods have proven effective for thousands of years to corrupt the people of God.
“For everything in the world-the cravings of the sinful man (lust of the flesh), the lust of the eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does (pride of life) comes not from the Father but from the world.”-1 John 2:16.
Finally the last thing we glean from Jesus’ encounter with Satan is that he overcame temptation with the Word of God; establishing a model for us in overcoming Satan’s tactics.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church