BIBLE READING: MATTHEW 4
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
We are all familiar with the story. Satan is desperate in his attempt to gain leverage over Jesus and to manipulate a situation by temptation. You and I will probably never fully understand the difficulty and task that Jesus faced at these moments. Let me give just a couple reminders today about how Satan works against us.
SATAN ALWAYS TEMPTS YOU WHEN YOU ARE WEAK
The Bible tells us that Jesus had just fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. He was hungry, tired, weak, and both spiritually and physically exhausted. Sure enough, that’s when Satan shows up. Do not be fooled today. Satan knows your weaknesses. Satan knows the areas that you struggle in. Satan also knows when you are weak, frustrated, tired, and fragile. Satan likes to jump on us when we are down.
SATAN TRIES TO MAKE US DOUBT
Although we are only discussing a couple of these verses, throughout this entire experience of Satan tempting Jesus, Satan continues to make the statement, “if thou be the Son of God”. It reminds me of how he came to Eve in the garden and said, “hath God said”. Satan always wants to put a question mark in our head. He wants us to doubt God’s Word, doubt God‘s power, doubt God‘s promises, and just doubt God in general.
SATAN TRIES TO GET US TO OBEY HIM
It is interesting to me, what Satan specifically asked Jesus to do was not sinful. It wasn’t sinful to make bread out of a piece of stone. Now there are many other reasons why Satan asked him to do this, but the point here is that It wasn’t really the act that would have been the problem, it would be the fact that Jesus would follow Satan’s instructions. Do you know often Satan begins tearing our lives apart, not by asking us to do wrong, but by making us to simply follow his instructions. He knows if we will obey him in doing something right, very soon we will obey him in doing something wrong. That’s why the Bible says it is so important to be led of the Spirit. No, we do not have time to deal with all the points in this passage but let me just finish with this. The way Jesus responded to Satan’s temptation, was with the very Word of God. The other thing I want you to notice, all the way back in the first verse, the Holy Spirit is always with us. We might go through temptation in the wilderness, but we do not go through it alone. As the Sprit was with Jesus, the Spirit is now “in” us. Are you weak today? Be careful!