Today marks 9 days of complete surrender to God. By now we are feeling some pressure. The cravings for certain things we used to indulge in are growing, but God is still good. The Holy Spirit led me to really study and dissect the verses in Luke 4:1-13 which talk about the devil tempting Jesus. At first glance, one would think there must be a mistake that the devil would dare tempt Jesus! The Son of the Most High God! The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords to be tempted like you and I????
Not even Jesus was immune to Satan’s testing. Although Jesus was 100% Spirit, He was also 100% human at the same time. So let’s look together at these verses and learn how Jesus was able to pass the tests of the devil which will help us do the same.
Starting at verse 1:
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…”
Before Jesus left for the wilderness, guess what He was doing? He was baptized by John and God publicly declared Him to be His Son (in whom He was well pleased). All of this was done before Jesus began His ministry on Earth.
Now that Jesus’ identity has been confirmed, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Not only was He led by the Spirit away from all distractions and family and friends, but Luke also notes that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit.
Wait? Jesus, who was 100% man and 100% Spirit also needed the Holy Spirit and was led by the Holy Spirit! If Jesus needed the Holy Spirit and obeyed the Holy Spirit’s guidance, then how much more do we, being only 100% human, need the Holy Spirit?! (Just let that sink in)
In verse 2 Jesus was in the wilderness:
“where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.”
For 40 long days Jesus ate absolutely nothing! Luke even says that He was hungry. Well duh! Who wouldn’t be hungry! I am sure Jesus was famished!!! Many of us (including me) can barely go for a few hours without eating before we become Oscar the Grouch! But I think it is important that Luke noted Jesus was hungry, because when you are hungry you become physically and mentally weak. You are in such a vulnerable and desperate state that someone could probably offer you a plate full of insects and you may be tempted to indulge.
So this is how Satan found Jesus. Physically and mentally weak (remember Jesus is 100% man) and in such a vulnerable and desperate state. So what does Satan come to do: tempt Jesus! Guess what? Satan does the same with us. Very rarely does he strike when we are full of worldly things and distracted with filth, but the moment we remove all of those things and people we are also more open to his testing.
The first test for Jesus comes in verse 3 which says:
“The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Satan starts his prodding with questioning Jesus’ identity. This is right after God publically declared Jesus to be the Son of God. Wow! Satan does not wait around. Satan also plays with Jesus’ weakness and fact that He is very hungry. If Jesus really is the Son of God, then why doesn’t he turn this rock into bread to quickly satisfy His hunger.
We are not immune to this type of testing. Satan plays with our identity in God during our weak moments. He says things like, “If you are really God’s child then it won’t matter that you commit that little sin. God will forgive you. There is grace for you.” Sound familiar?
Then Jesus being the “G” that He is responded to Satan with scripture saying:
“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.”
This scripture is from Deuteronomy 8:3 and Jesus is basically saying that God is the only one in control and can satisfy us. God is the one who allows us to be hungry and then He is also the one to provide food for us. We must understand that worldly things are not everything we need for survival, but what we need most is God’s word. If God wanted Jesus to eat then He would provide because God is Jesus’ Father (identity!).
Satan comes again to tempt Jesus. In verses 5-7 says:
“ The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Satan showed Jesus all of the things of this Earth that He could have. Satan was offering it all! All the power and authority could belong to Jesus. At this time Satan was the ruler of the Earth. He received this at the time of the fall (Adam and Eve). But what Satan failed to realize was that Jesus would have dominion over all the Earth but not in this way.
Satan does the same with us. He offers us lots of money, fame, attention, and things that we greatly desire. He dangles the carrot in front of our faces, basically places it in our hands.
But there is a condition to receiving those things! The condition: worship Satan.
That is all Jesus had to do to receive all authority and power on Earth. He wouldn’t have to go to Calvary and die on a cross (the hard way), but instead He could take the “easy” way out. Many times Satan offers us the “easy” way to power and authority and riches and glory. But in doing that we have to turn our backs on God.
How does Jesus respond: with scripture! In verse 8 Jesus says:
“It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
This scripture comes from Deuteronomy 6:13 which means we are to love God above everything and everyone on this Earth. There is nothing greater than God. The glory, money, fame, things, etc. don’t matter if we don’t have God. We are to worship and serve Him only. So we must stop making those worldly things idols in our life!
Satan tries one final time to tempt Jesus. In verse 9-11 it says:
“he devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
Again Satan questions Jesus’ identity, but this time the testing is a little different. This time Satan uses scripture to tempt Jesus. Satan uses a scripture in Psalm 91:11, 12 to trip Jesus up. If Jesus is really the Son of God then He could jump off of the temple and the angels will be there to rescue Him.
We must also be careful, because Satan also knows the Bible! This is why we too must know the word in order to use it to defeat the enemy.
Jesus answers Satan again using scripture in verse 12 saying:
“Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Jesus shuts Satan down by commanding him not to test God! You can’t trip up God! It will never work!
Finally in verse 13 Satan realizes he will not win the battle today.
“When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”
Today he may have lost the battle, but Satan doesn’t give up that easily. It says that he left Jesus until an opportune time. Satan comes when we are weak and vulnerable. It is not a question of if you will be tempted but when. But we must not falter but guard our hearts with scripture and the Holy Spirit. We must be ready by studying God’s word and allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us and lead us.