[July 08]--Temptation

Matt. 4:1-11

Wait a minute, didn’t we look at this passage a couple of months ago, when we spent a week on Satan? Yes, we did, but there are a few other lessons which we can glean from this passage, especially in the context.

First, we need to see how crafty our Enemy is. Our Lord was just baptized in obedience to the divine plan, and the Father publicly proclaimed him to be his own Son, with whom he was very pleased. The Spirit came down and anointed him, officially making him the Messiah. After all this spiritual “high,” he was led by the Spirit out into the wilderness for his first confrontation. The Adversary waited until he'd gone through all this exposure to the elements and had deprived himself of basic needs for over 40 days. Our foe is very intelligent and good with strategy, and he always hits at the weakest points in our armor.

Second, notice that he knows Scripture as well. I'd probably be flattering myself if I claimed that I knew God’s word as well as the Devil does. This fact should both humble us and prod us to study God’s word all the more. Not just read it, but study. And please, learn to study it in context. Satan quoted from the Psalms, but he stopped short of the verse which promises that God’s children will tread upon the "lion" and the "cobra," both images which are associated with the Enemy. If we want to actually have the word change us, as opposed to just use it to further our own agenda (like him), we have to learn context. I really don't think I can emphasize this enough.

Third, this should comfort us because we have a sympathizing Savior. Heb 4:14-16 is one of my favorite passages in all the Bible: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 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 he did not sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Politicians, justly or unjustly, always try to present themselves as having the “common touch,” and no one wants to be accused of being “out of touch.” Despite all the claims of earthly politicians, there is One who really is like this. Our Savior, the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords, knows exactly what you’re going through when you’ve been attacked. When you pray, you should always know that you have a sympathetic ear. Why not use this privilege right now?

I suggest we use the passage from Hebrews as our prayer, to make it our own.

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