1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness
2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.
3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”
8 Jesus answered him,“It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”
9 And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here;
10 for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’
11 and, ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.
Times of great spiritual transformation are often followed by great moments of spiritual temptation.
Right after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River and filled with the Holy Spirit, He was led into a dark valley. He was led into the “wilderness” (v. 1), land that is lonely, wild, and not easily inhabitable.
Given Jesus’ location in the Middle East, the wilderness would have been a dry and barren desert, a place unsuitable for life. Both literally and metaphorically, Jesus was led into a place of scarcity and barrenness.
Temptation often comes when we believe that our environment will not provide for us, so we look to other sources, or idols, to give us life. Satan attempted to capitalizeon Jesus’ susceptibility to discontentment as he pointed out to Jesus all that He was missing out on: food (v. 4), earthly reclaim (v. 5), and heavenly authority (v. 9).
God used this time of temptation as a way to test His Son’s faithfulness.
Much like the Hebrews who wandered through the wilderness and were tested to prove who they really worshiped, the Father tested His Son to reveal His genuine righteousness. Jesus “passed the test,” or proved His faithfulness in no small part through His reliance upon Scripture.
The Word of God is sufficient enough to abate any temptation.
In rapid-fire succession, Jesus combated the temptations of the accuser with the truth of the advocate: “It is written...” For each situation Satan brought, Jesus responded with a way of escape from God’s Word.
The words of 1 Corinthians 10:13 ring true when Paul explained that God “will not allow you to be
tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
The Word of God is inherently powerful to combat the attacks of the enemy. Indeed, the Bible is “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12).
- Its truth pierces through all lies. When we are tempted, may our first thought be to go to Scripture. When we are tempted, may the words immediately out of our mouth be, “It is written...”
- What does Jesus’ reliance upon the Bible in the wake of temptation reveal about His trust in God’s Word? How can you adopt this same trust?
- Think about the temptations you regularly face. What specific Scripture verses can combat those temptations the next time they come around?
Thank God for the power of His Word. Entrust every temptation or lie you face with the truth of God’s Word.