Gracious God, shed the light of Your Word in my heart and mind today and help me live it out, too.
Read 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,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels 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 angels came and attended him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow did Jesus turn away Satan’s temptation each time?
This Son of God who had received the blessing of his Father now deliberately goes into the desert. For 40 days he is without human companionship or apparent divine presence. But the devil is there, reminding him of the words his Father has so recently declared, “My own dear Son” (3:17 and 4:3,6). It was Jesus’ relationship and authority as part of the Trinity that Satan tried to call into question.
We should never underestimate Jesus’ human struggle and obedience as he faced these temptations. His ability to disobey God was real; if not, these would not be real temptations. He was being tested. This was also the Father’s will.
Matthew’s account differs from Luke’s (4:1-13) but ends on a stronger note with Jesus’ challenge, as he dismissed Satan, to “worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” Jesus had the authority to command obedience, in contrast with Satan, who ultimately had to obey the Christ. Significantly, Matthew concludes his Gospel with the recognition of Jesus’ supreme authority as he sends his disciples out to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (28:19,20).
What temptations do you struggle with? What can you learn from Jesus’ struggle to help you overcome them?
Lord Jesus, I want to overcome Satan’s temptations, too. Strengthen and enable me to be successful, I pray.
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