Victory Over Temptation

These words by Jesus, and the two other quotations from the Hebrew Bible He used to counter Satan’s wiles, show us how to overcome temptation. Consider: - The nature of temptation: Jesus was hungry, and alone in a barren wilderness. Satan – a real person – suggested that He use His divine powers to provide a meal for Himself. Jesus was unknown, and had come to save Israel. Satan suggested that He pull off a spectacular stunt to propel Himself into instant popularity. As God’s Son, Jesus was heir to the kingdom of God. Satan promised full authority over the earth, if only Jesus would worship him. In each case, the Tempter played upon a privilege that Jesus as Son of God could have invoked for His own immediate benefit. His goal: To distract Jesus from the ministry of humble reliance on God, complete submission to the Father’s will, and the death on the Cross which alone would accomplish the purposes of God in His life. - The way to victory over temptation: Just as Satan assailed the mind, so Jesus used God’s written Word to fortify His thoughts against the devices of the devil. He would not allow circumstances, need, opportunity, or His own personal profit and prominence to divert Him from trust in God’s promises and obedience to His commands. Victory over temptation comes to those whose minds are saturated with the Word of God in such a way that they can deflect sinful thoughts with Scriptures that apply to that particular situation. - The result of Jesus’ victory: Adam and Even fell in a lush garden. Jesus conquered in a trackless wasteland. They had each other. He was alone. They disbelieved God and trusted Satan’s lies. Jesus took the Word of God as truth, and all else as deadly deception. They caused us all to be alienated from God. Jesus brought us near. In His triumph, Jesus began to “save His people from their sins” (1:21). The baneful consequences of the Fall began to be reversed in the blessed conquest of Christ. If we follow His example, we shall vanquish Satan as He did. If we trust in Him and the salvation which he brings, we shall know God’s gracious favor and presence now, and someday see Him face to face in a new garden.