“and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” – Mark 1:13
Last Wednesday was officially the start of Lent Season. Now, as we read our verse today, it is just a small part of the version of Mark about the temptation of Jesus. However, it is by knowledge that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan. In the account of Matthew, we can read the full version of Jesus’ temptation and how He said no to those temptations.
However, we can then ask: how come Jesus was tempted? Did He sin? Did He jump off the cliff just like what we usually do every time we are tempted? He is human too, therefore He longed to sin too? Well, the answer for those questions are all NO. Jesus did not sin, He did not jump off the cliff and He is not only human but He is also God so He does not delight in evilness. So, before we dig deeper and reflect on the application of this in our lives, let us remember what we reflected the other day.
We reflected about putting on the full armor of God because it is our weapon against the schemes of the evil one. It is for us to stand firm into the faith that we profess and it is our shield to the attacks of the devil. Thus, in the story of Jesus today too, we can say that He displayed a very good example for us. Although on the account of Mark, he did not list it one by one, but on the account of Matthew (Matthew 4:1-11) we can know how Jesus defeated Satan. So, as Satan was tempting Jesus, He was able to counterfeit all of those attacks by quoting verses on the Holy Scriptures.
When Satan tempted Him to turn the stone into bread, which clearly shows that Satan is targeting His human nature. For we all know that as humans, we are slaves of our stomach. Hunger is such a big dilemma for us. So, Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days already and had not eaten anything. Thus, Satan tempted Him to turn stone into bread so He can eat and also to prove if He is truly the Son of God. Both hunger and pride was Satan’s target but unfortunately for Satan, Jesus is wise and He answered him that man does not live by bread alone but in every Word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).
Satan then took Jesus to the highest point of the temple and told Him to jump. Satan even quoted a verse on the bible from Psalms that God will command His angels concerning Him, that they will not let His foot strike against a stone (Psalm 91:11-12; Matthew 4:6) but again, Jesus answered Satan with a verse to not put the Lord your God to the test (Matthew 4:7; Deuteronomy 6:16). Lastly, Satan took Jesus to the highest mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms and its splendor. He told Jesus that he will give all of those to Jesus if He will bow down to him. Then Jesus rebuked Satan and told him to get away from Him because it is written, “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” (Matthew 4:10; Deuteronomy 6:13) Then Satan left Him and the angels attended to Jesus and comfort Him.
As we can see, during His temptation, Jesus’ answers to the devil were all coming from the Holy Scriptures. Indeed that the Word of God is alive and active. It is indeed our shield and our weapon against the evil one. If Jesus was tempted by the devil, how much more he will try to tempt us? How can we refuse those desiring temptations just like Jesus did? — We can only refuse from those temptations through the Word of God also. Just like what Jesus did, every time the day of the evil one comes, we have the shield and weapon against it, which is the Word of God. That is why God commands us to meditate on it day and night so that we will know what to say to the devil when he comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Also, we have to understand that the devil knows his game. He even had the audacity to quote a verse from the Scripture to try his way to Jesus. He was trying to deceive Jesus by also quoting a verse from Psalms but fortunately, Jesus knew better. So, we also have to prepare ourselves because the devil knows the Word of God also. He will also try to do the same and if we are not standing firm on our ground of faith, we will really be swayed. However, if we are immersed in the Word of God and know what God wants us to do and what He commands us not to do, we will be able to say no to the devil.
We have to understand that God loves us so much and He even came to the world to save us from our sins. He will not just leave us defenseless against the devil, so that is why He has given us His Word so we can have a weapon against him. Hopefully, we will use it so that we will be ready always and we should meditate on it day and night. May we always remember to immerse ourselves in the Word so that we will have anything to say against the devil every time he will try to deceive us.
Also, God will never leave us. He even sent His angels to comfort Jesus after the temptation, He will also too send His angels to comfort us and to attend to us because He knows that spiritual battles are not just battles but it will drain us physically, mentally and emotionally. Therefore, let us always ask God for His guidance and for His grace to protect us against the evil one and to grace us with strength to fight our inner battles everyday.
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