“Temptations Come to All, Even Jesus”
As Herod’s story showed us, evil never gives up without a fight. Even Jesus, as He prepared for His public ministry, faced times of testing, which challenged His spirit and at the same time prepared Him for the ministry to which God had called Him.
The temptations Jesus faced were all designed to have Him question God’s calling. Each was prefaced with the phrase, “If you are God’s Son.” Satan no doubt wanted to sow seeds of mistrust in Jesus’ heart, but Jesus was able to reject them by appealing to Scripture and the promise that God would return Jesus’ faithfulness with His own.
We may think that life would be easier if we didn’t have to encounter temptation, and perhaps it would. But Jesus’ temptations formed Him for the work God had called Him to do and His obedience to each of them made Him spiritually stronger. The same could happen for us if we too would cling to the promises of God’s Word. Then instead of being seasons of distress that weaken our spirits, they could become opportunities for us to join Jesus in growing our faith so that we too might be more ready for the work God has for us to do.
Matthew 4:1-11 (ESV):
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.