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November 21    Scripture

New Testament: Temptation of Jesus
"And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. " Mark 1:12-13

Jesus Fasts 40 Days and 40 Nights Jesus went into the wilderness and "ate nothing" for 40 days and then the "tempter came to Him" with the main 3 temptations. Luke tells us that Jesus was being tempted throughout the 40 days.

Jesus Led by the Holy Spirit According to the Bible Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The Spirit of God chose to make the very first mission of the Messiah a contest between the king of this world and the real King. The devil could only use the things of this world, the things that all men are enslaved by, the enticing pleasures of sin, to offer Jesus. He was no match for Jesus because sin had no power over Him.

The Angels Came and Ministered to Him The Bible says that after the temptations were over that the devil left and the angels came and ministered to Him. The angels are called "ministering spirits" in the Bible and God sends them to help every man, they cannot be seen unless God allows it.

The Devil The "devil" is an interesting title, it means "slanderer". The word explains very clearly how Satan operates. He slanders and distorts man`s understanding of God. Man CANNOT know God unless God reveals Himself by the Holy Spirit. Many times man`s mind can believe certain things about God and form a belief based on our five senses and the world around us. This is where the devil enters in and slanders. The Bible is the revelation of God and without the Word of God man is in darkness. When God makes a promise it is like a sworn oath, the Bible says it is impossible for God to lie. The hard part is for man to have faith in God`s promises, faith can only come by "hearing the Word of God". The devil uses the 5 senses and the world around us to keep us distracted from hearing the Word of God. This is because, as we will see, the Word of God renders the devil powerless, it is man`s only weapon against his "lies" about God, and just as God spoke His Word and all things were created, so God speaks His Word and the devil must surrender.

The Devil Departed Until an Opportune Time After the devil had ended his assault the Bible says that he departed for a season. The New King James translation says the devil "departed from Him until an opportune time. Satan`s attacks are strategically planned, he looks for a moment of weakness and begins his assault. This time he met the Son of God who commanded him, "Get thee behind me Satan" and the devil had no choice but to submit to His authority.

The First Temptation - DO NOT TRUST GOD Jesus became hungry and He desired bread and there was none. The temptation was to perform a miracle since He was the Son of God and provide bread for Himself, rather than trusting God and waiting for what God would bring Him. The Word of God clearly teaches us that God will provide all of our needs, and we are to trust Him and not worry or fear. Jesus knew this and answered the devil by quoting the Word of God.

The Second Temptation - PUT GOD TO THE TEST The second temptation was for Jesus to jump off the Pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem, which was a very high portion of the Temple overlooking the Kidron Valley perhaps a 700 foot drop. He was to voluntarily expose Himself to a situation that would certainly destroy Him, unless God delivered Him. Jump from the Pinnacle and watch God`s angels catch you. Jesus resisted again by quoting the Word of God.

The Third Temptation - RULE THE WORLD AND BOW TO SATAN The next temptation the devil tempts Jesus with the power and the glory of world domination. Many powerful rulers sought to conquer and rule the world, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar. Jesus could have it all right now, without dying for man`s sins, if he would worship the devil. It is interesting that Jesus did not dispute the fact that the devil was handed all the kingdoms of the world. Who handed them to the devil? The answer is man. God originally gave Adam and Eve dominion over the works of His hands, when Eve was enticed to sin, Adam chose to sin rather than be separated from the woman whom he loved, in essence he handed dominion to the devil, because of his love for the woman. Adam was a type of Christ who would die for His bride as well. Jesus responded to the devil again with the written Word of God.

The Wilderness The Spirit of God chose the barren wilderness as the place where this battle would take place. A place of solitude, a place of contemplation, a place of no worldly comforts and where loneliness and hunger abounds. The cold nights and the heat of the day, with no friends except scorpions and snakes, and the wild beasts, this was the chosen place for the "temptations" of Jesus. Jesus was brought to the ultimate testing of his character, the ultimate testing of his identity, and the ultimate testing of his faithfulness to His Father.

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