Fighting temptation with some lessons from Jesus!

For today’s lesson I want to focus on Matthew 4:3-11.  However, I will be separating the scripture into the three ways satan tried to tempt Jesus when He went into the wilderness to fast for 40 days and nights.  I want to highlight those situations for each temptations and the fact that satan used the knowledge he had on the scriptures to do so.  Also, how satan tried to tempt Jesus when He was at His weakest.  It is funny how we can all stay strong when fighting temptations, but when we are at our worst is when satan really starts to attack us with his lies.  That is the very reason why I want to focus on Jesus’s replies and actions for each situation and how we can apply them into our lives today.

Matthew 4:3-4

Then the tempter came. “Since you are the Son of God,” he said, “tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘One must not live on bread alone, but on every word coming out of the mouth of God.’”

Jesus was both hungry and weak after fasting for 40 days and nights, however, He did not use His divine gifts to satisfy His need for food.  The act of being hungry and wanting food is not bad at all, but Jesus went to the wilderness to fast and not to eat.  The timing was not right for Him to eat right there and then.  Many times the devil tries to tempt us with normal basic desires, but the timing is not right. One easy example is having premarital relations before marriage.  These feeling of want for your significant other is normal, but the timing is wrong. Many desires are good, but God wants us to do it the right way and at the right time that glorifies Him.

Jesus knew what the devil was trying to do in tempting Him.  The reason why Jesus was able to resist the devil was because He not only knew the scripture, but obeyed them and lived them.  Even though satan knows the scriptures, he does not obey nor follow them.  This shows us an important lesson of knowing God’s word and following it is the difference between following God or the devil.

Matthew 4:5-7

Then the devil took him to the Holy City and had him stand on the highest point of the Temple. 6 He told Jesus, “Since you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, because it is written, ‘God will put his angels in charge of you,’ and, ‘With their hands they will hold you up, so that you will never hit your foot against a rock.’” 7 Jesus responded to him, “It is also written, ‘You must not tempt the Lord your God.’”

The devil wanted to have Jesus jump off the highest point of the temple and used scriptures to assist him in trying to tempt Jesus.  Jesus responded with more scriptures showing that He knew the scriptures as well as understanding its depth.  Jesus knew not to test God.  God is not our personal genie that exist to prove that He is here or loves us. People often try to ask God to prove His love for us and this is very wrong!  Jesus taught a parable about this in 

Luke 16:31.

“Then Abraham told him, ‘If your brothers do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even if someone were to rise from the dead.’”

If you cannot believe what is written in the scriptures, then no matter what happens around you, you will never believe its truth.  To me this scripture is worth more than gold!

In this situation, satan was using scripture to tempt Jesus to sin.  Many times the devil uses our friends or people we know to try to get us to do what is wrong.  Sometimes people even find scriptures to back them on why it is ok just like the devil did.  This is why it is very important to study the scriptures carefully and ensure you understand the proper context of it.  Only when you read the entire bible and study it will you be able to recognize error in the interpretations others take out of it.  Many times people use “isogesis” which is finding scriptures or slightly bending them to prove their point even though it is wrong.  Only when you dive in the scripture and conduct proper “exegesis”, which is finding out the who, what, where, when and relevance on the scripture on a particular subject with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to properly understand the scripture.  This way you can combat someone uses the scriptures incorrectly and doing satans work and it is up to us to humbly correct them out of love. Many times people interpret the scriptures a little incorrectly and share it and it ends up confusing the masses and thus helping satan and not God.  

Matthew 4:9-11

He told Jesus, “I will give you all these things if you will bow down and worship me!” 10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! Because it is written, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” 11 So the devil left him, and angels came and began ministering to him.

In the last temptation, satan wanted Jesus to worship him.  Satan’s power is limited on this earth and he knows it. All he can do is offer temporary measures of power and pleasures, but ultimately they are just temptations. The devil was trying to change Jesus’s perspective to rule the world instead of doing God’s will for Him.

The devil offered the world to Jesus if He would bow down and worship him.  Satan tries to use the world to influence us deeply.  He does this by enticing us with materials and technology and many other things to idolize instead of using our time to worshiping God.  Many times we do not even know what is going on.  If you ever feel like this is happening to you, remember how Jesus handled the situation.  Remember that you are here to worship the Lord and Him alone.  This is an important lesson Jesus is reminding us all about.

When reading Matthew 4:3-11, I love how Jesus handled each temptation the devil throw at Him.  It took full devotion and faith in God’s word to do this.  I pray that everyday I can be more and more like Jesus Christ and less of me.  I know that I will always fall short of His glory, but I fight for satan not to put ay doubt in my mind that I am not loved by Him or that I cannot be forgiven.  I know by holding on to Jesus and learning from Him that I was made a new creation gives me the strength to fight many temptations.  I also understand that the more satan attacks us is for a reason. Either to confuse us into doing the wrong thing or to stop us from falling God’s plan for each and everyone of us.  Studying these scriptures helps me understand this and I pray it does the same for all of you today. I pray that everyone has a blessed day!

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