We all have to go through times of temptation, as no one is immune to temptation. Jesus experienced temptation of every kind and was able to overcome. His example teaches us what we need to know in battling temptation and rising above it in our own lives.
In the first temptation of Jesus (vs. 3-4), one would wonder what was the underlying need Satan was trying to manipulate? Jesus must have been really hungry after 40 days in the wilderness. The need Jesus had, (that we all share) is a need for provision. It was food in Jesus’ case, but it’s also finances, clothes, a home to live in, etc for us today. However, in all these things we look to God most high, the benevolent creator of the cosmos and we trust He will supply all we need.
During this season of Lent, we choose to go without to remind ourselves God is all we need. Giving up the physical desires of the flesh reminds us that the only provision we really need comes from the hand of God.
The second temptation (vs 5-7) of Jesus seems to be focused on inviting Jesus to test God’s protection of His beloved son but He saw no need to do such a foolish thing. In fact, Jesus brings up an important principle, that we should not test the Lord. We just need to trust that God will always protect us and therefore entrust our lives in every situation unto Him.
The third and final temptation (vs.8-11) is for Jesus to worship Satan, and in doing so, He would receive dominion over all the kingdoms of the world. It seems like an easy enough choice, but for some, the temptation for position and power is overwhelming. We are often given a choice to worship something other than God in order to get ahead or receive worldly gain. The significance that comes from worshipping an idol of any kind is temporary and temporal. We too must choose to worship God alone and trust in the significance that can only come from our relationship to Him.
When you find yourself in the most uncertain times or when you are in need, please give some time to prayer. God is faithful to His word:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” - Matthew 6:33
I know that I’m not immune to the temptations of life. God, remind me of how you feel about me. Protect me from the dead-end road of worldly gain and keep my eyes on the eternal reward. Help me to practice patience, delayed gratification, simplicity, and sacrifice that I might experience fully the life you have for me. Amen.
Revd Adam Nyawo