Saturday, December 30, 2017

Jesus in the Wilderness

We do not want to be like the children of Israel who wandered around the wilderness for 40 years. What should have taken them only days took them way too many years! They also ended up dying in the wilderness, so they still did not come out of the wilderness after all of those years. (See Exodus 13:17-22; Joshua 5:6)

Whereas it took the children of Israel wandering around the wilderness for 40 years and they still did not come out of the wilderness…It only took Jesus 40 days and 40 nights to come out of the wilderness.

In this world we are like Jesus. (1 John 4:17, NIV)

Therefore, let’s now take a look at Jesus’ wilderness experience in God’s word.

Looking back in verse 3…when the devil spoke with Jesus…he said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Then in verse 6, the devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.”

Notice the way the devil said, “If…” in both of those previous verses. “If…” is not a concrete word. When someone uses the word ‘If…’ that person does not believe part or all of their own statement. That particular person doubts and does not believe that their statement is true. So is the case with the devil, he doubted and did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. The devil also tried to make Jesus doubt His own true identity. Satan questioned Jesus’ identity by saying…”If you are the Son of God…” before each of the previous statements.

Jesus knew who He was though. He was the Son of God. Jesus also knew whose He was. He was His Father’s Son. Jesus was strong and firm in His true identity. Therefore, He did not waver in His faith during any of the devil’s temptations.

Jesus answered Satan the first time with “It is written: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (v 4)

The next time, Jesus said, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “ (v 7)

With each of these two answers from Jesus, He told the devil what His Father had told Him to tell the devil. He listened to His Father and obeyed His Father. Jesus’ obedience came from His close relationship with His Father.

With the very last temptation, the devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and the splendor. He told Jesus that He could have it all if He bowed down and worshiped him. (v 8-9)

However, Jesus resisted the devil and told him, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (v 10)

Then, the devil left Jesus and the angels came and took care of Jesus. (v 11)

Did you notice with each temptation from the devil that Jesus resisted the devil and the temptation?

At every single temptation, Jesus resisted the devil. Jesus submitted to His Father and resisted the devil each and every time.

Jesus submitted to God and resisted the devil. Submitted to God and resisted the devil. Submitted to God. Resisted the devil.

[Note: This post is only Part 1.  Please see Part 2 for the continuation of this biblical lesson...Jesus in the Wilderness]

Copyright 2017 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

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