Jesus was tempted in every respect as we are yet without sin. Heb 4:15
Matthew records Jesus’ encounter with Satan in the desert. Jesus overcame the temptation and left us an example.
1. Satan waited to tempt Jesus when He was hungry (and presumably weak). His temptation was fitted to Jesus’ situation. “…command these stones to become loaves of bread.” Matthew 4:3
Jesus responded with a Scripture that specifically addresses the temptation. Jesus was prepared with the appropriate weapon to combat the specific temptation.
Lesson #1: Be ready. Memorize Scripture. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 What weapons do you have in your arsenal to combat the temptation of Satan?
2. The second ploy, a tactic of Satan, is the use of Scripture in an attempt to mislead or confuse Jesus. Christ’s response was to counter this misappropriated Scripture Satan used with a larger principle of truth. We need to keep the big picture of God’s Word in focus. “…for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:27
Lesson #2: Be wise. It is important to know the whole counsel of God’s Word rather than just a handful of Scriptures so that we may not be easily misled. Be wise. Be discerning. Check your thinking with the entirety of God’s Word.
3. The third temptation, in fact in response to all three temptations – Christ responds: It is written… He speaks with authority and assurance. After the third temptation Christ says, “Be gone, Satan!”
Lesson #3: Be sure. We can be sure that Satan’s temptations will not succeed in the face of God’s truth spoken and believed. Both are necessary to pack a one-two punch to overcome temptation in your life.
Be ready. Be sure. Be wise.
Diane Hunt is a Biblical Counselor, Women’s conference and retreat speaker and author. She serves as the Director of Partner Care and Director of Women’s Ministries at America’s Keswick. She and her husband John have two married children and four grandchildren. She loves reveling in warm sunny climates and playing with her grandchildren.