In His baptism, Jesus identified with sinners. He does so again in temptation. Jesus was sinless. He doesn’t overcome the devil’s temptation to develop His character, but rather to identify with us and to contrast His holy character with our sinful nature; to show us a better way.
Just after Jesus was publicly declared the beloved Son of God, He is led away to be tempted by the devil. Matthew Henry’s commentary says, “great privileges, and special tokens of Divine favour, will not secure any from being tempted.”
Be alert, friends! I firmly believe the devil pulls out his best moves when we are on the brink of God using us for something big. If you are feeling especially tempted, a huge blessing and calling may be patiently waiting on the other side.
The temptation of Jesus calls out the devil’s strategies, and more importantly, how we can overcome them.
You see, the devil is sneaky, but he is also predictable. Three temptations are thrust upon Jesus. Familiar temptations in the devil’s playbook. 1 John 2:16 sums them up, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” These were the same temptations used against Adam and Eve to thrust sin into the world and give the devil a temporary authority over the world (Genesis 3).
The devil knows our weaknesses…using our gifts for unintended or selfish purposes, needing to prove ourselves, and striving for power and self-glorification.
Adam and Eve failed their temptation by the devil. We do too at times. But Jesus shows us a way to overcome. Jesus doesn’t resort to some supernatural power to combat the devil’s temptations…He uses something available to us too: the Word of God; God’s truth.
God, help us KNOW Your word. Help us not be deceived by the devil’s tried and true tactics. Help us to overcome temptations in Your power.
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