A daily dose of God’s touch in a minute…
Jesus? Tempted? Seriously?
Yes. There is a tempter, who always tries to tempt. And even Jesus was not exempted.
The tempter is very subtle; he tempts us mostly in the areas where we are the weakest and prone to attack. His ploy is to make us compromise by sinning so that we lose face with God.
In Mathew chapter 4 Jesus was just done with a 40 day fast. That’s when the enemy got involved and began his temptations. Just when Jesus had completed his fast and was at his weakest, the enemy attacked. He steps in when there’s something significant you are about to do. An important task, a big project, a new job or a new mission. In this case, how else could he have tempted Jesus unless he caught Him when He was hungry? And here he caught Jesus at the threshold of something big. Before Jesus could start his ministry here on earth. Before his first sermon. Before he could perform his first miracle.
‘If you are the son of God….” Satan tried sowing seeds of doubt and provoked Jesus to reconsider His status in God and a compromise on his true character.
Through each of the temptations in Matthew Chapter 4 Jesus responds with just one answer – he used the Word of God against every accusing doubt, against each powerful temptation and against every strong provocation that Satan threw at Him; The result, Satan had to flee away from Jesus in defeat, failed at all attempts to tempt him to sin and fall short of the glory of God. That’s when Angels joined Jesus to comfort and celebrate the success of overcoming temptation.
Matthew chapter 4 narrates challenging and strategic times in the life of Jesus.
First there are the temptations, then the arrest and persecution of John who is imprisoned. But none of it could hinder Jesus from going about His purpose on earth. Through it all, He focused on what He came to do; the 40 day prayer and fasting was his preparation to strengthen himself to handle the temptation, the attacks and the critical decisions of taking action and moving on with His plans.
He withdrew to Galilee, left Nazareth and lived in Capernaum. He handpicked His followers and formed a team. He taught in the synagogue. Urged people to turn from sin and repent. He healed every manner of disease and sickness. Released those possessed by demons. Relieved those in pain, cured the insane, treated the paralyzed and delivered all those who came to Him with any kind of suffering.
What do we learn from this chapter?
Each of us can and will be tempted in different ways. What can be a big temptation to me may not tempt you at all; those who are prone to lose their temper will be provoked to anger. Those who have a craving for food will be tempted with food. The ambitious will be tempted with temptations involving success and money, individuals with a weak marriage will be tempted to misunderstandings and arguments and marital discontent. Then there’s temptations involving drinking alcohol, drug addiction, smoking, lying, lust, cheating and the list can go on.
Jesus too had to experience all kinds of temptations but He used just one method to counter whatever attacks came his way. The Word of God confessed from His mouth made Him a winner, an overcomer, every time.
All we have to do is remember that there is a definite plan God has for each of us. Stay focused. Stay strong. Do not compromise and give in to sin. Do not throw up your hands in despair and defeat. Remain calm. Stay diligent. Persist on doing what has to be done. Once you do your part well, the rest will take care of itself, things will fall into place and the outcome will always be peaceful.
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 shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.9 “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.
Mathew chapter 4