In Good Company
September 18, 2012
We are going through “The Story” which is a curriculum made to go through the major themes of the Bible in 31 weeks. This week during the youth group lesson we focused on Jesus being tempted in the wilderness found in Matt and Luke 4.
Here we find Jesus, right after His baptism being led into the wilderness, by the Spirit. He is tempted by Satan while He is there. We are given 3 of these temptations. One is to turn stones into bread (Jesus had not eaten for 40 days). The second listed is to worship Satan and then Satan would give Jesus rule of all the earthly Kingdoms. The last one we are told of is for Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple. For this one Satan even quotes Scripture to try and coerce Jesus to jump, because angels would come to protect Him.
There are a few points that stick out to me in this account.
This happened right after Jesus was baptized. Jesus was coming out of a spiritually high moment. God said a few words, and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. There is no doubt Jesus felt close to the Father. This is when Satan decided to attack.
Satan attacks who Jesus is. For the first and third temptation, Satan says to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…” It’s like Satan is saying, prove to me that you are who you think you are. I need some proof. Satan pulled no punches and when straight for Jesus’ identity.
Jesus quotes Scripture each time He is faced with a temptation. Jesus knows His Scripture so well, that when He is presented with a situation that would take Him out of the will of the Father, He quotes Scripture. He does not sit back and whimper. We are not even told that Jesus prays to God to take the temptation away. He quotes Scripture and Satan moves on.
Satan leaves until “an opportune time.” Verse 13 lets me know that this is not the only time when Jesus was tempted. Satan planned on coming back to try to get Jesus off track again. It was not just a one time deal and once Jesus beat Satan, the deceiver never tried again. Satan would be back.
When I study this text I am always left encouraged. I think about the times when I am tempted. It is often after a major spiritual high. Great things are happening, youth group has been “successful,” my family has had a great day, I’ve just experienced a week of CIY or camp, or any number of events. Then I get hit with one of so many temptations and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.
I may actually be doing something right. This is exactly when Satan came to tempt Jesus.
Satan likes to attack who we are. When we become Christians, we have often left a life of sin. The temptation is usually there to believe we are not actually a new creation. We are just fooling ourselves and everyone around us. Even though Jesus never sinned, He was faced with that temptation as well.
It is so encouraging for me to see that Jesus went through temptations to fall away or to pursue His own will, and He overcame. Jesus is not asking me to go through anything that He didn’t face. I’m in great company when temptation comes knocking!
I am so blessed to be in the company of the Son of God. Jesus faced temptations and so do I. How awesome! That encourages me to be like Him in those moments of struggle.
Jesus quoted Scripture in those moments. I need to know my Bible so well that when I am tempted I am able to quote Scripture to battle it! God has provided a way out, and it is found in His word. Jesus knew that, so I need to follow His example.
Its also important for me to remember that temptation is not a one time deal. I will be tempted over and over, but each time I have what it takes to overcome because I find myself in the will of the Father and in the company of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit.
Remember that when you are tempted, you are in great company, and like that company, you too can overcome!