March 10, 2024

Jesus Passes the Test for Us

Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

—  Matthew 4:1

Since the beginning, human beings have failed God’s test. In Eden, Satan asked, “Did God say . . . ?” and then misquoted God’s words. Adam and Eve responded by questioning the word of God and then doing what seemed right in their own eyes. So do we. Jesus, the Son of God, came to live among us as a human being. And, in his case, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. There Satan made some suggestions that sounded rather reasonable—“have something to eat; show your power; fall into the arms of God.” Jesus responded to each temptation with a quote from the Scriptures. Rather than twisting God’s words, he said, in effect, “No, I live by the Word of God.” This is still our challenge as well. Will we live by God’s Word, or will we do what seems right in our own eyes? Like Adam and Eve, we are experts at twisting God’s words to suit our own purposes. We lie, we lust, we get angry, we are greedy, we gossip—and so on. Rarely does a day pass in which we don’t yield to some temptation.

We need to rely on the only one who passed the test. Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15). What’s more, Jesus also laid down his life to pay the price for our sin—so that we can live forever with God. What a Savior!

Father, forgive us, for Jesus’ sake, when we fail to live your way when we are tempted. Lord Jesus, thank you for living faithfully and giving your life for our sake. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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