Everybody faces temptation.
And on some level, everybody has fallen to it. Everybody but Jesus.
I have walked in the wilderness where Satan tempted Jesus.
Good grief, what a place. As far as my eye could see, it was empty, dry, and depressing. I tried to imagine the solitude and struggle Jesus would have endured for over a month. But I could not.
How did Jesus resist temptation here?
Temptation Comes in Moments of Need
We can barely stand to fast for a day or two. Can you imagine fasting 40 days? Jesus did so in preparation for temptation—and became desperately hungry and needy. And in His moment of need, the devil slipped in. (Satan waits for moments like these.)
“If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” (Luke 4:3)
In a moment of vulnerability, Satan tempted Jesus to satisfy His legitimate need for food in an illegitimate way. It’s as if Satan said: “Turn this stone to bread—use your power to gratify your need.”
What a cheap shot. Every stone would then become a temptation. And believe me, the wilderness of Judea has plenty of stones! Jesus’ reply shows that—though He was physically hungry—He was spiritually full:
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” (Luke 4:4)
How Jesus Prepared for Temptation
What had Jesus, the meek and mild carpenter, been doing all those silent years growing up in Nazareth? We just saw it. His first words revealed it to us.
“It is written.”
Jesus grew up with a hammer in one hand and a scroll in the other. He prepared for three-and-a-half years of ministry by spending about three-and-a-half decades memorizing portions of the Word of God.
4 Ways to Resist Temptation Like Jesus
Jesus’ attention to the Word of God gave Him a spiritual reservoir to draw from in time of temptation. The Scriptures can do the same for us.
Here are some actions you can take to resist temptation like Jesus:
4 Resources to Help in Temptation
Here are some resources you may find helpful:
Jesus’ knowledge of the Word of God remains a model for us of faithfulness under fire.
Like Jesus, we can resist temptation.
Question: What verses have been most helpful for you in temptation? Please leave a comment.
Photo • Tyler Olson, via Vivozoom