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December 17, 2018, 1:00 PM

The Temptation of Jesus

Mark 1:12-13

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. 

It is vital that we pause and make observations of this brief passage.

  • “Immediately” was frequently used by Mark giving a fast paced look at Jesus’ life and ministry. 
  • “The Holy Spirit drove” could also be translated as “impelled” or “compelled.” The Holy Spirit sent Jesus into the wilderness where the Christ would be tempted by Satan. In order to identify with us in our weaknesses and temptations, Jesus had to be tempted in every way respect way tempted as we are. Yet, unlike us, Jesus did not yield to the devil’s pleas; instead he resisted using the authority of God’s Word to counter the serpent’s cunning arguments. See Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13 and Hebrews 4:15. 
  • “And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.” Jesus was sent to a desolate place, a forsaken region where he would endure the deceptive temptations of Satan. How different this place was from the garden where the devil lured Adam and Eve to rebel and disobey God’s expressed command! All of our first parents’ needs were abundantly supplied by God in a garden of paradise: companionship, delicious food, unspoiled creation, animals of all kinds and most importantly: the enjoyment of knowing God face to face. Even with all of this, Adam and Eve chose to pursue their own desires over the trustworthy, loving goodness of their Creator God. 

We’re told in Matthew and Luke’s accounts that Jesus was without food or water for forty days. And Jesus endured and withstood Satan’s appeals to give in to his wants. Jesus loved and trusted the Father to provide and ultimately vindicate him. 

How about you?

  • Believer, is your life controlled and led by the Holy Spirit? (NOTE: The Holy Spirit will not lead you to be tempted to sin against God. Instead, the Holy Spirit will instruct and enable you to actively fight and resist temptations so that you can live holy, set apart for God.) I Corinthians 10:13; Galatians 5:16-25; Titus 2:11-12.
  • Is God’s Word a weapon in your fight agains temptation and sin? Jesus relied on the Word of God. God’s Word will help you to be holy. Psalm 119:9-11.  How? By reading, study, listening, memorizing and meditating on the Word of God. Do you have a plan for Bible reading, study and Scripture memorization?
  • Here’s a promise to seize upon: I Corinthians 10:13. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”  The issue is not how strong you think you are or close to the line you can get. Instead, it is about acknowledging your own weaknesses and keeping yourself away from things that would cause you to stumble. The Holy Spirit, God’s Word, prayer and the fellowship/support of your church family can help you fight against temptation.

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