March 02, 2020

Not Today, Satan

Matthew 4:1-11

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

—  Matthew 4:1

The devil met Jesus. It may seem strange to consider this story in our reflections about people who met Jesus, because the devil is not a human being. But we can learn some things from this encounter between Jesus and the devil.

Three times the devil tried to disguise a temptation as something good. Turning stones to bread would have sounded good to someone who had just fasted for 40 days. Satan also used Scripture, trying to twist its meaning to tempt Jesus. But Jesus stood firm, drawing strength from God’s Word to resist the devil.

Then Satan tried to dazzle Jesus with an offer to give him all the power and authority he deserved. But Jesus turned to the Scriptures again, showing that he and God’s Word are far stronger than Satan and any temptations he can throw at us.

Because the devil tempted Jesus, we know that Jesus is truly human. He truly understands what it is like to struggle as we do. But Jesus did not sin. Because Jesus did not sin, we know that he is truly God and that he is powerful enough to save us. As Hebrews 4:15 says, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one [Jesus] who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving us in your Word what we need to resist temptation. And when we fall, thank you for providing the power that is forever strong enough to save us. Amen.

About the author — Rebecca Jordan Heys

Rebecca Jordan Heys serves as a pastor at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, are the parents of two children.

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