We are all tempted and often fail. Only Jesus has been perfectly obedient.
Stephen G. Helwig
Have you ever fasted 40 days and 40 nights out in the wilderness? Have you ever been taken to the highest point of the temple with no safety net, just you and the devil, 450 feet above a ravine? Have you ever stood on top of a mountain with a panoramic view of all the kingdoms of the world and been told that they could all be yours, free, painless, quick—just get down on a knee in front of me? Ever been tempted like that? No, of course not.
But do you even find those temptations all that tempting? Are they really all that hard to resist? Turn stones into bread? You’re hungry! What’s the harm in that? Jump off the temple? Who would stand on the ledge of a tall building and then jump off? Angels or no angels, is that all that big of a temptation? Worship the devil? Bend a knee to Satan? For what? Something that doesn’t even belong to him in the first place. Like he’d really follow through on his end of the bargain anyway!
At first glance, these temptations might not be all that difficult to resist. But let’s be honest, it wasn’t really about eating or jumping or worshiping Satan. What was Satan really up to? Understanding those things will give us a greater appreciation of who Jesus is and what he did to save us. When we understand that, it will open our eyes to the temptations that Satan places before us. That will help us appreciate our righteous robe and Jesus’ sinless sacrifice. It will also empower us to fight against the temptations that we face every day.
Want to read more? The full text of this article is available via subscription. For a limited time, sample the digital issue of Forward in Christ for free and access all the content of March’s Forward in Christ magazine.