“The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.” Mark 1:12-13
Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13
After you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you might expect life to get a lot easier. But most of the time it gets harder. You are living with a renewed mind and perspective so choices that used to be easy for you to make will likely become harder as you wrestle between right and wrong. Temptation is everywhere and there will be times you make the wrong choice, but do not let that discourage you! Remember, even Jesus was tempted.
Immediately following His baptism, while Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, God sent Him to the wilderness to fast for 40 days and nights. During this time, Satan tried as hard as he possibly could to tempt Jesus and cause Him to sin. He tempted Jesus in three ways: 1) He tempted Jesus physically, by turning a stone to bread and tempting Jesus to eat after God had instructed Him to fast. 2) He tested Jesus’ pride, saying if Jesus really was the son of God, He could just jump off a cliff and the angels would protect Him. 3) He tempted Jesus with the promise of power and possessions, saying that he would give all the kingdoms on Earth to Jesus if He would just worship Satan.
Though these things probably sounded good to Jesus at the time, as He was starving, tired and weak from wandering in the desert, Jesus remained strong. He responded to each of Satan’s temptations by reciting scripture, reminding both Him and Satan of the power of the Word of God.
Jesus knows how easy it is for us to be tempted. Satan will do anything to lie and manipulate us into sinning against God. Jesus went through this desert experience so He could relate to us and empathize with our struggle. But we do not have to let temptation overtake us! Jesus models to us how to stay strong in the midst of temptation through this story. Just as He did, we can use God’s Word as a weapon to fight against Satan and stand strong in Christ.
Questions to think about:
- What is Satan’s goal?
- How can we thwart Satan’s plans?
- Why was Jesus tempted?