The scripture for today is Matthew 4: 1 – 11.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God, through yourself down, for it is written: ‘He will command his angles concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and the angles came and attended him.
The significance of Jesus’ temptations, especially because they occurred at the onset of his public ministry, seems best understood in term of the kind of Messiah he was to be. He would not accomplish his mission by using his supernatural power for his own needs (the first temptation), by using his power to win a large following by miracles or magic (second temptation) or by compromising with Satan (third temptation). Jesus had no inward desire or inclination to sin, for these in themselves are sin. Because he was God he did not sin in any way, whether by actions, or word, or inner desire. Yet Jesus’ temptation was real, not merely symbolic. He was “Tempted in every way just like we are – yet was without sin.” He was confronted by the tempter with a real opportunity to sin. Although Jesus was the Son of God, he defeated Satan by using a weapon that everyone has at his disposal: the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. He met all three temptations with Scriptural truth.
Dear Lord, Help us all to remember how Jesus handled temptation that we may be aware of our own needs to follow in his footsteps. Amen
Prayer Concern: Those who have given into temptation and are paying the price by falling into Satan’s pit of evil. May they repent. Amen