Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
It’s easy for us to be tempted. There are temptations everywhere—within our hearts and coming at us from all sides. Satan provides a master class on temptation in Genesis 3. He begins by suggesting that God is keeping us from enjoying something good. “Did God really say you can’t eat anything in this garden? Poor soul.” And when we feel we are missing out on something, the devil adds, “You can do this. Nothing bad will happen.” Then the thing we want looks good, and we think it will do us good. And we say, “Yes, that’s what I want. I’ll try it. It won’t hurt.”
But it doesn’t work out that way. Right and wrong are really built into the universe. Just as God created limits for the waters and times for light and dark, he also created limits for our moral behavior. The first command—don’t eat the fruit of that one tree, was the initial moral law testing our parents’ obedience. That has since been expanded into God’s law for his people, summarized in Exodus 20, Micah 6:8, Matthew 22:37-40, and other passages. And we are tempted to break all of it. We dishonor God and hurt people. We lust, we envy, we get angry over trivialities. And yielding to these can lead into adultery, theft, and violence.
Thank God that Jesus resisted all of Satan’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11). He represents us in all his perfection before God’s throne.
Father, thank you for sending Jesus and for crediting us with his perfection. Through his finished work we can stand before you. Amen.
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