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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

When Temptation Comes (Matthew 4)

There's a lot we can learn from Jesus' temptation. Of course there are those who will try to dismiss it and say, "Jesus is God, so He couldn't be tempted." completely missing what Scripture tells us. Or, we can lean in and learn how to defeat temptation through Jesus.

The first thing we see is that Satan didn't come to tempt Jesus until He became hungry:

Matthew 4:2-3 And after He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He then became hungry. [3] And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

Notice Satan didn't come to tempt Jesus to turn the stones to bread on day 39. He waited until day 40, when Jesus became hungry. Satan is not like God. He cannot read our thoughts. But he can tell what our weaknesses are by our actions. He was watching Jesus and could tell when He became hungry.

Satan will tempt us where and when we are weak. But notice how Jesus responds in His weakness. As Satan tries to tempt Jesus with taking Scripture out of context, Jesus responds with Scripture in context:

Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”

Jesus didn't defeat Satan in His deity. He defeated Satan in His humanity by relying on the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit. Jesus' knew the Word of God so well, He knew how to use it to protect Himself.

Do we?

Do we know God's Word well enough to be able to identify what is false even when others twist Scripture to say what they want it to say to trip us up?

Do we know Scripture well enough to be able to rely on it to defend and protect us from the evil one who knows our weaknesses, who knows when we get hungry?

Dear Lord, I've been going through a time of weakness, a time when the thorn in my side is making it hard to accomplish the work You have put before me. I have no doubt that Satan has brought this on to take my eyes off of You. But Lord, once again, Your Word has strengthened me for the battle:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. [10] Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Thank you Lord, for the constant strength and encouragement I get for the battles I face through Your Word. Thank you for the reminder that Jesus also was strengthened to fight temptation and weakness through Your Word. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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