Temptation

Matthew 4:1-11 Temptation of Jesus

4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “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.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

 


Often this passage is used as a model for living the Christian life: resist the devil, memorize Scripture in order to better fight temptation, etc. These things are true and good, but this passage is primarily about Jesus’s victory. The whole of Scripture points to our inability to overcome Satan and temptation; the Good News about Jesus is not that He came to say, “Hey, I did it, now try harder.” Rather the Good News is that He overcame Satan and the world so that through Him we might be victors as well. Consider areas of your life where you fall to sin. Think carefully if you really desire to be free of that sin and if you really believe that life in Jesus is better than life with that sin present. If so, ask Him to give you victory in His power and not yours.

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