“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
People seem to be fascinated with fighting. I can remember being in Jr. High School and hearing the word “FIGHT” resonate across the playground. All activities stopped and the whole student body ran in an attempt to get a front row seat to view the scene. Things have not changed; people gather to watch boxing matches, UFC events and even hockey games, all for the thrill of the fight.
Here in Matthew 4 we have a fight for the ages. It is the greatest of fights because it is between the greatest of opponents; the devil and Jesus. It reflects the fight we all face. I notice in this epic battle a few key elements that will help us as we seek to overcome the temptations the devil throws our way.
First, notice how the devil works. Jesus is hungry and weary, and tempted with food. The devil will always attack where we are weakest. We simply need to understand that. When we do, we can build defenses like accountability, to help withstand those attacks.
Second, notice how Jesus responds to the temptation. He quotes the WORD. Daily Bible reading will give you fresh ammunition to counter-attack the devil’s temptations. I am still amazed how, what might seem like an obscure passage while I am reading it, has tremendous impact on my life throughout the day. Keep in the WORD and you will always be prepared for battle.
Third, Jesus understood we cannot put ourselves in a compromising position and expect to come out victorious. It seems to me, when we fail in our walk with the Lord, it is because we were in a place we should not have been. Get off the pinnacle of the Temple! Do not tempt the Lord by putting yourself in a place where all you can expect is failure.
Let’s keep ourselves in the WORD, and our eyes on Jesus, as we press toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Questions for Chapter 4
- How did Jesus get into the wilderness?
- What do you notice about the things Satan used to tempt Jesus?
- What did Jesus use in His response to each of the temptations He faced?
- How will knowing God’s Word help you overcome temptation?
- What was promised to those who lived in darkness?
- What was the message that Jesus began to preach?
- What promise does Jesus give the fishermen if they will follow Him?
- How did the fishermen respond to the invitation of Jesus?