The Temptation of Jesus

  1. Satan comes after Jesus when He is weakened in the flesh. It didn’t matter. Jesus was strong in the Spirit.
  2. The first temptation is to prove He is the Son of God by turning stones into bread. I feel pretty confident that Jesus was thinking of this event when in the Sermon on the Mount He says that a good Father wouldn’t give His child a stone when he asked for bread or a serpent when he asked for fish.
  3. The Scriptures just say that Jesus was hungry, not that He asked for specific food, but it’s not a stretch to imagine Him doing so. He knew His Father. He wouldn’t send a serpent with some stones in response to His request.
  4. Jesus doesn’t take the bait. He is meek. He is completely empty of self-reliance and completely reliant on God. He wasn’t going to go outside of God’s provision to try and get something for Himself. He knew what was really needful and it wasn’t bread, and it certainly wasn’t proving Himself. He had His approval and identity from God, and His Father would meet His every need.
  5. Satan again tries to provoke Him to prove He’s the Son of God, to go outside God’s boundaries and take things into His own hands.
  6. Satan is tempting Jesus to wield His own sword, in particular Psalm 91. Where Ephesians talks about the armor of God, it says the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, but then it doesn’t say to quote Scripture, make declarations. It says to pray. It says to pray lots and all sorts of prayers. God is the one who saves. We’re not given armor so we can then save ourselves. We’re always to turn to God!
  7. Read the Psalms to be encouraged that the Lord fights for you. You are not to rely on your weapons. Psalm 44:3 says that the Israelites didn’t win the land by their own sword. We’re not to go around quoting Scripture like it’s a magic wand that can make things happen. That’s wielding our own sword.
  8. The final temptation is to go outside God’s boundaries to gain the kingdoms of earth. They were Jesus’ to get. He is the ruler of the universe. He will reign over every nation and kingdom. But He doesn’t just go and take it for Himself. He will submit to the Father’s ways to bring it about.
  9. We don’t save ourselves. We don’t wield our own sword. We are not gods. We aren’t to act in our own power, even to get what we know God has for us. We leave it all in God’s hands, submitted to Him and His will and His purposes and His timing. It’s His work. We’re just His instruments, the lump of clay He can form to use however He chooses for His purposes.