…And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil…(Luke 4:1-2a)
When Satan first squared off against humanity he tripped up our parents in the Garden of Eden, with his cunningly twisted words. They disobeyed God’s Word, ate the forbidden fruit, and plunged our world into death and destruction. Now Satan squares off against our Savior.
For 40 days Jesus ate no food as our enemy unleashed a devastating torrent of deceitful temptations. Luke records three final devious traps Satan set for Jesus.
First, he appeals to Jesus’ great hunger: “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” It sounds innocent enough, but Jesus sees the trap. Following Satan’s advice will show He doesn’t trust God to provide for His needs. Jesus answers, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'”
The tempter next offers to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He will worship him. Jesus answers, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.'” He came to walk His Father’s difficult saving path-not Satan’s shortcut.
In one final temptation Jesus is placed on the pinnacle of the temple. Satan challenges Him to jump, appealing to God’s promise in the Psalm, “He will command His angels to guard you … lest you strike your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11a, 12b).
If Jesus won’t jump, it looks like He doesn’t trust God’s promise. But Jesus sees through it. He doesn’t have to prove His faith to Satan. He replies, “It is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
Having no success in his temptations, Satan departs from Jesus, waiting a more opportune time.
THE PRAYER Almighty God, where Adam and Eve fell to Satan’s lies, Your Son stood firm. Thank You for His salvation. Help me trust You as He did and cling to Your Word alone. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.