Godly living and His word
For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’... Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” Matthew 4:2-4, 7,10 From the text, the Lord Jesus Christ provided an example to those who call Him Lord and Savior. He just came from the height of excitement getting baptized and hearing His Father’s affirmation, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Now, after He descended to the wilderness spending forty days and forty nights of fasting, there Satan met Him. It was not an accident that the temptation came about after Jesus Christ just had great spiritual experiences. The reality of His temptation should not be diminished by the fact that He did not sin and will not sin. He experienced the strength of the temptations and had to resist evil until Satan relented. Satan took advantage of Jesus’ physical hunger and isolation since He was in the wilderness. In the first temptation, Satan lured Jesus to use His divine power to transform stones into bread. This seemed to be logical; to turn stone into bread. But there was more pressing need at the moment and that was to be in the will of the Father. In the next temptation, Satan wanted Jesus to be presumptuous by calling on the angels for they were with Him to protect Him. The world looks for spectacular display of power yet God was more concerned in godly living. In the third temptation, Satan wanted Jesus to take on a shortcut by compromising the mission He was set out to do; His sacrifice and death on the cross. The compromise involved worshipping Satan and this would result to an instant success, to obtain “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” All that Satan promised will result to devastating failure if Jesus gave in to the temptations presented. Yet Jesus’ resource for facing Satan’s assaults is the Word of God. Temptations are inevitable in the life of every believer. They will come in our most vulnerable situation such as isolation and hunger. Sometimes they come immediately after great spiritual experiences. Yet, just like Jesus we can send Satan away when we reach for wisdom found in God’s word. Jesus’ example of relying on God’s word should be followed by every believer in order to overcome Satan’s temptations. Giving in to temptation will prevent us to be obedient in living out God’s plan for our lives. We should not be mastered by anything or anyone else except the faith we have in the One true God.
Noel De Guzman