07 January 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
The very first thing that happened after Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit was that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil! Jesus fasted alone in the wilderness and was (appropriately) very hungry. The devil came to him and, taking advantage of Jesus’ physical hunger and weakness, tempted him to use the Holy Spirit’s power to satisfy his own needs. Jesus refused him.
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem and tempted him to jump from the peak of the Temple to prove he had supernatural power (and also to create a spectacle that would draw attention to himself). Jesus refused him again. Finally the devil (perhaps in a vision) took him to a place where he could see all the world’s kingdoms and wealth and offered it to him if he would worship the devil. (This must have been a legitimate offer or it wouldn’t qualify as a temptation!). Jesus refused him yet again, and the devil gave up and angels came and took care of Jesus.
Jesus had his Father’s full approval and acceptance. He was doing the right things. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. But he still faced all the temptations the devil could throw at him. Jesus overcame the temptations for us:
• So he could completely understand what we face:This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NLT).
• And so he could show us the way through:The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT)
Is there a particular temptation you struggle with? Know that Jesus understands and will help you if you ask. Know what’s right and wrong. Jesus used God’s truth to battle Satan’s temptations. Find a truly trusted friend you can honestly share your struggle with. Ask them to pray with you and to hold you accountable.
Father, Please help my friends and me to overcome the temptations that would hurt us and others. Help us to draw on the strength you provide and not to struggle alone. We want to live as you want us to live and fulfill the purpose you have for our lives. Amen!