Jesus’ temptation by Satan is another example of His power over darkness. In yesterday’s devo, we saw Jesus exorcise demons that were tormenting two men. Few of us would ever be around such an event, much less involved, making it difficult to fully relate. But Jesus’ victory over Satan’s dark motives through temptation is something we can understand. As Jesus was tempted, the crafty deceitfulness of Satan was on full display. But also on full display was how Jesus revealed Satan’s game plan and showed us how to respond.
Jesus, vulnerable from fasting, was tempted to turn rocks into bread, disown His Father in exchange for power, and test God. Satan had used this approach before—both the temptation of Eve in the garden and Jesus in the wilderness portray God as somehow “holding out” on us. If God truly loved us, He would want us to have what we desired! You could characterize each of Jesus’ temptations as being either personal (in this case hunger), political (misuse of power), or spiritual (not trusting God). We could probably put most temptations in one or more of these categories. All of these have kept humans divided and empty from the beginning.
I once heard a preacher say that we should consider temptation a gift because it’s through temptation we can learn to trust God and grow closer to Him as we use the power He’s given us to overcome.
The Bible tells us that Satan left Jesus after tempting Him. Clearly, Jesus was of no use to him as He remained faithful. When we’re tempted, we must remember that one of two things will happen: God will use it to grow us and glorify Himself if we resist, or Satan will use it to bring us down. There is no in-between.
Consider what it might mean to welcome temptation as a way to strengthen your faith and grow your love for the Father.