Wednesday, March 1
After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.
Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Not a big ask, just some bread, something to eat after forty days of fasting. The devil is named in an earlier verse, and it seems that the devil wisely begins the temptation of Jesus with something very “human,” food. Later in v.3 the name tempter is used. One of my bibles explains the word tempter as the name of a personal will, actively hostile to God.
Being human, Jesus had to have been weak from hunger, so this first test was right on target. But the devil didn’t figure that being also God, his personal will was one with God, not hostile to God. Jesus made it clear that he would not put his personal needs first.
I have thought of these verses as a warning that temptations will not always be to do acts of immoral or illegal conduct, but also to make quiet, innocuous decisions or do deeds that can go unnoticed.
Each one’s temper will be something different and it can change depending on the circumstances. Jesus shows us how we can fight the “tempter” that is a part of each of us. He uses the Word of God! When we feel that indecision that is filled with thoughts of “I deserve this, just this once, or let someone else take care of this,” go to God’s Word, ask for direction from the Holy Spirit. I have a devotion book that constantly reminds me to walk close to God. Let God take the lead on indecision and keep the tempter at bay.
Dear God, help us to remember the many ways that Jesus shows how to live as His disciples. Guide us to walk close to him to overcome our tempter. In Christ’s name, Amen