The book of Mark paints the picture that the rest of Jesus’ life was a showdown with the devil. It was not limited to only this one encounter. There are some great lessons to be learned out of the temptation epic of Jesus, so we need to look a little deeper at another passage of scripture that can give us some more detail.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’" Matthew 4:1-5
Jesus was tempted physically.
He was hungry. He had not eaten for 40 days. So Satan brought his greatest physical desire to the front.
Our enemy will always attack at our most vulnerable times.
• Perry Noble talking about praying for pastors on Sunday nights and Monday mornings.
• Decisions I make on Monday will be made out of a sense of fatigue, frustration and failure.
Jesus overcame the temptation with an eternal focus.
“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.”If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: ’He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’" Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’" Matthew 4:6-7
Jesus was tempted with pride.
Satan is trying to get him to test God. It is a manipulation ploy. Acts of manipulation are all about pride. They are actions motivated to get our desires and our way.
“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ’Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’" Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” Matthew 4:8-11
Jesus was tempted materially.
Possessions and fame are all fleeting. They will never stand the test of eternity.
Practical Lessons for our life:
1) Christ understands our weaknesses.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
2) Eternal focus leads to eternal choices.
Jesus was not about the temporary pleasure of the moment. He was not about the fame for himself at this point in his life. He was focused on the understanding that God had called him to bring fame to God.
3) The scriptures are a valuable weapon in our war with Satan.
Satan misused scripture in tempting Jesus. But Jesus used the scripture to rightly point to the eternal truths of God.
You: In what areas are you finding the spiritual battles begin fought in your life? How are you dealing with them? What temptations are you facing that you need to evaluate from an eternal vs. temporary perspective?