When… Jesus was tempted
“When the devil that finished every test, he departed from Jesus until an opportune time.” Luke 4:13
These are ominous words. “Until an opportune time.” The devil was actually not finished with Jesus even though wilderness temptations had come to an end.
+ Was there a temptation to despair when people didn’t understand what Jesus was teaching and when they began to turn away and reject Him?
+ Was there a temptation to raging anger when Jesus confronted injustice and cruelty between people?
+ Was there a temptation to turn off His path when the betrayal, abandonment and denial of His friends and closest followers was coming near?
+ Was there a temptation to try another way when Jesus visualized the cup of suffering that He had to drink?
+ Was there a temptation to call fire down from heaven when they drove the nails into His hands and feet?
The devil departed from Jesus “until a more opportune time.” But it seems to me the devil found many opportunities. In the same way there are many opportunities for temptation found within our day to day lives and decisions and relationships. All the more important than is the resource of our identity in baptism, our faith and trust in Jesus’ saving grace and the promise, “The Word of God is near you.” (Romans 10:8; Deuteronomy 30:14)
When we are tempted to despair, to raging anger, to turn off the path of discipleship, call down judgment and fire from heaven, let’s turn back to the Word that defines us, surrounds us, protects us, leads us, forgives us and keeps us steadfast in God’s amazing grace.