It feels like it has been a while since we have returned after the baptism of Jesus because last week instead of focusing on the New Testament I continued 2 Samuel. (Also, I had the last three posts of this section already written so…it’s been awhile for me.) Easter is approaching the next few weeks and though we will not be covering His death and resurrection, there are some things to take away from Christ’s temptation.
Today’s Reading- Matthew 4:01-06, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:01-04
Was Christ Tempted For Forty Days Or Was He Fasting For Forty Days?
There is a little bit of a difference in scripture, so let’s start with what a lot of people know. Immediately after Christ was baptized He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:01, Mark 1:12, and Luke 4:01)
The book of Matthew is the only one that states Christ fasted for forty days before being tempted by the devil. (Matt. 4:02)
The book of Mark is vague saying Christ was in the wilderness for forty days tempted by Satan (fasting is not mentioned). Although, in addition to being in the wilderness, verse 13 mentions Christ was with the wild beasts as well. (Mark 1:12-13)
The book of Luke states Christ was being tempted (or tested) for forty days by the devil, and after those forty days, He was hungry. (Luke 4:02)
Fasting is not specifically mentioned, but this does not mean He didn’t fast either.
The First Temptation – Hunger & Proof
From this point onward we will be following Matthew and Luke’s account until the very end.
After forty days, Christ was hungry.
Satan, known as the devil/tempter came to Christ and said, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones become bread.”
Let it be pointed out, he was accusing Christ of not being the Son of God and he also was encouraging Him to show off His power.
There are a couple of temptations here. Christ was asked to prove Himself to be the Son of God, and it further was strengthened by Christ’s intense hunger.
Christ answers him with scripture, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:02-04 and Luke 4:02-04)
I’m going to stop here because I like these post summaries to be shorter, we will follow up with the rest next time. 🙂
What To Take Away: Vulnerabilities encourage us to fall in temptation. Christ was hungry so Satan not only played on, “Well, prove to me that You’re God’s Son.” He knew Christ was hungry and therefore he specifically and strategically tried to encourage Christ with His human weakness. I can imagine he casted a side glance to the stones, “You’re hungry, right? Turn these stones to bread, and I’ll believe You.”
Satan knew when Christ was hungry. Do not be fooled that Satan will not know your own weaknesses. He prowls this earth like a lion, ready to strike. His only mission is to steal, kill, and destroy. He is not lukewarm in his decision to kill. He’s adamant.
We must not be lukewarm in our weaknesses and allow them to pull us down. When we are weak that is when excuses get pulled out. “Oh, I can do this because I’ve struggled for so long, and I’ll try again next time. This is what I know to do. Others do it, so can I.” Remember we are here to serve the Lord, not ourselves. Don’t let shame overrule you, but when you repent LEAVE IT AT HIS FEET!
It is through Christ who gives us strength! May we NOT rely on ourselves, our excuses, or our weak sense of “comfort” and “control.” Christ focused on what God wanted Him to do. Not His body, not His feelings, and not what others were encouraging Him to do.
Resistance comes through walking away and self-control is grown ONLY by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. ❤
How does Christ’s temptation speak to you?
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) 2 Corinthians 4:02, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”
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