Now when the tempter came to Him, he said,
“If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
– Matthew 4:3
Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, yet He never sinned (Heb. 4:15). Jesus began His public ministry with His baptism. As John the Baptist raised Him from the water, Jesus heard His Father’s affirmation, “Well done!” Immediately afterward, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the wilderness. There, Satan met Him and presented three temptations.
First, Satan enticed Jesus to use His divine power to transform stones into bread. It seemed like a logical thing to do. Jesus was hungry, but He had a much greater need to follow His Father’s leading. The Father had led Him to fast; Satan sought to persuade Him to eat.
Next, Satan tried to convince Jesus to use Satan’s means to accomplish the Father’s ends. “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down” (Matt. 4:6). Jesus understood that this would be presumption, not faith. It would be attempting God’s work in the world’s way. The world looks for spectacular displays; God uses a holy life.
The final temptation Satan proposed for Jesus to achieve God’s will was by worshiping Satan (Matt. 4:8-9). In return, Satan offered to give Him all the kingdoms of the world. By compromising, Jesus could gain a powerful ally, and achieve His mission without suffering the cross. Jesus knew that only God was to be worshiped and to do this would not bring instant success, as Satan promised, but devastating failure.
As you seek to follow God, temptations will inevitably come. Sometimes they will come to you immediately after a spiritual victory. Jesus relied on God’s Word to see Him through the temptations that could have destroyed Him and thwarted God’s plan. He has modeled the way for you to meet every temptation.
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.