“The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days.”
Was Jesus really tempted in every area that we are? The temptation in the wilderness shows three specific areas in which He was tempted. Were these things really temptations for Jesus or were they just for show? I think that it is easy to dismiss this time of testing without really thinking through the implications. As God, Jesus would not be affected by the temptations of Satan. As a man, however, He would be subject to temptation just like any other man. If we only concentrate on Jesus’ divinity, we will miss out on one of the most important reasons for the Incarnation.
Before talking about the three temptations themselves, notice that Satan prefaced two of the temptations by saying, “If you are the Son of God…” Was this a question that Jesus was pondering during His time in the wilderness? Was He wondering, “Am I really the Son of God? Does God really love me? Am I really the fulfillment of the prophecies of Scripture?”
If Jesus struggled with His identity at the begining of His ministry, I should not be surprised that the enemy attacks me in the same area. “Are you really a child of God? Has God really called you? Does God really love you? Do you think that God is going to forgive you again?”
The enemy starts his temptation of Jesus by trying to make Him doubt His identity. Once we doubt our relationship with God, His love or His forgiveness, we become easy prey for the enemy’s more powerful attacks.
Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever find yourself doubting God’s love, forgiveness, or purpose for your life?
Annie and I are serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches. Please consider a gift to help us as we help others. Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!