UPDATED Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is an updated version of AMI QT Devotional first posted on August 10, 2013.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Three Takeaways from the Temptation of Jesus”
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”9 And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’11 and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
This is a familiar passage in which the devil tempts Jesus in his most vulnerable physical state. What can we learn from this?
First, we learn about the three types of temptations to which we are most vulnerable: 1) Trying to make things happen on our own rather than trusting in God’s provision; 2) Submitting to other things, such as material things, rather than to God; and 3) Putting yourself in a place where you are susceptible to temptation, then expecting God to help you. Out of the three, which one describes your vulnerability? This morning, pray and seek God to strengthen you in the area of your greatest weakness.
Second, note that living in this mortal body, we will be tempted, for no one is free from temptation. And just because we have overcome a particular temptation in the past is no guarantee that we won’t be tempted by the same in the future: “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13). Therefore, we need to continue to rely on Christ, meaning we constantly need to ask the Lord to help us make prudent decisions to avoid placing ourselves in situations where sinning is readily accessible. Pray that you will continue to look to Him for help.
Third, interestingly, the temptation of Jesus is placed immediately after mentioning of the first man Adam (Lk. 3:38). It shows that the devil, who successfully tempted the first Adam in the Garden, is the same entity who was now tempting Jesus, the last Adam. The great difference, however, is that the last Adam, Jesus, did not succumb to the temptation. One benefit of his victory is that Jesus can deliver us “in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Trust and pray to God in the area where you are vulnerable to temptation.
Prayer: Dear God, help me to overcome temptations. With Your constant presence in my life through the Holy Spirit, I shall overcome temptations. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 6-7