The devil comes after us from all angles
After fasting 40 days and 40 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.'”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 . . . Jesus answered him,”It is also written:’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
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.'”–Matthew 4:2-6a, 7-10.
Scripture is our witness that evil is prevalent in our world. Jesus’wilderness experience confirms that to us. Satan tries to disguise his evil intent as good, and pretends to be our friend. He is not a friend of human kind. He is particularly the enemy of the baptized.
Following His baptism, Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray. After 40 days, when he was most vulnerable, hungry, thirsty, and weak, Satan visited Him. Satan used this wilderness experience to prey upon Jesus and destroy mankind’s redemption.
The devil comes to us during our most desperate state and places doubt in our minds. He tried to perpetrate this trick on Jesus. He made three futile attempts at tempting him.
In his first attempt, he approached Jesus in a negative way,”If you are the Son of God . . .”
With these words, he intended to create doubt in Jesus. Were the words at his baptism real when the voice said,”This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
“Command that these stones be made bread.”Since Jesus was thirsty and hungry, he thought he could subtly trick Jesus. But Jesus did not have anything to prove. He is the Son of God.
As Christians, we are children of God. Do not give in to the devil. He seeks to destroy you.
When Satan could not get Jesus to yield to temptation, he shifted his mode of attack but continued in his effort to create doubt in Jesus. The weapon of doubt is one, which he had used successfully against our fore parents, Adam and Eve.
In his second temptation, he enticed Jesus to prove his office and God’s power by jumping off the highest point of the temple. He even quoted scripture to assure Jesus that He would not perish if He jumped. He is quite conversant in Scripture. Jesus did not have to prove anything to the devil. He was the servant of God and he waited upon the Lord.”Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
In his third attempt, when Satan saw that he could not succeed with his negative assumptions, he shifted his approach. He moved to the common human weakness, our desire for the world and its content. Jesus, even in his weakened state, did not give in to Satan. Even though Satan offered Him the world, it was not his to give.”Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”
These temptations, which Satan put to Jesus, he puts to us on a daily basis. The devil comes after us from all angles, through our family, our friends, strangers, and our own ego. He visits us when there is illness in the family, or we ourselves are ill. He comes after us when we have family setbacks, or job issues, and the likes. Satan tries to take advantage of our vulnerability.
The devil tempted Jesus when He was most vulnerable, during His wilderness experience. During this Lenten season, we are in the wilderness of our lives. Let us stay close to God and in His word. Scripture tells us in I Corinthians 10:13,”No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”Amen
Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone 323-4107; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org: Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.