1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
As Jesus took on a body of flesh, He took on all of the characteristics of humanity. He grew tired even to exhaustion; He was grieved over the apostles lack of faith; He got angry in the Temple when He drove out the money changers; He was sorrowful that those who loved Him thought He let them down; He groaned under the weight of the cross; and in His humanity the Lord Jesus was hungry and weakened after forty days of fasting. Besides being the Man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief, Jesus faced unusual temptations to sin for Satan himself came after the incarnate Lord.
As this is a very familiar passage, we know that Christ resisted Satan with the word of God and that in the end Satan left and angels came and ministered to the Lord Jesus. I want us to focus today on the fact of the temptation of Christ. Satan had been tempting people for thousands of years and one after another fell to his subtle and devious ways. Satan came to the weakened Jesus knowing that he could make this One fall also. Satan came after Christ with both human and divine temptations offering Jesus a way around the Cross if He would worship the Tempter. Satan thought he could make Jesus sin and thus forever destroy God’s eternal plans.
Aren’t you glad today that Jesus in His weakened condition was stronger than Satan at his best? Aren’t you glad that Jesus bested His and our worst enemy? Since Jesus defeated this enemy at this time, we know that when Jesus is in us we too can defeat the enemies of our souls. Since Satan is not omnipresent, I do not think he has ever tempted us. Satan probably sends his lackey demons to bring us down. But when we have Jesus none of the evil one’s crew can defeat us.
I am thankful for Hebrews 4 as this passage lets me know that as Christ defeated all of the enemies of this life I can go to Him and in His strength fight all of my battles. He is familiar with all of my infirmities for He lived in a body just like mine. He was tempted in far greater ways than I have ever been tempted and He defeated every temptation. It is this great Victor that calls me to take up my cross and to follow Him. Hallelujah! What a Savior!