Lent – Day 8: Thursday, 25 February
3 The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’4 Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”’
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendour; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.’8 Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”’
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully;11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’12 Jesus answered, ‘It is said: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
Jesus spent forty days without food – he’d have died if he’d drunk no water. His growing hunger was the first weakness Satan sought to attack.
People describe Satan as a cunning deceiver, which he is. His first question, however, is designed to weaken the truth that Satan knows for certain and cannot deny, that this man Jesus actually is the Son of God – there’s no “if” about it – Satan is talking to and trying to test God’s son. But it might be possible to break the man, because here is a man, after all, a very hungry and weak man.
Jesus could indeed turn stones into bread. He turned water into wine. He turned corpses into revived beings. But here Jesus relied on the Scriptures and God’s promises, refuting Satan’s advances through the word. Satan tried a number of tricks to break Jesus, but Jesus remained faithful to his calling. His reliance on the Scriptures is an example to us all. In the final temptation Satan is rebuked most firmly – Jesus finally speaks to Satan as his Lord God. Jesus claims the “it is said” as his own, and kicks Satan into the long grass, if there were indeed long grass in the wilderness.
Satan promises Jesus the kingdoms of the earth if Jesus would only bend the knee before him. Was Satan’s offer genuine?
Do you see Jesus as the Lord your God?
What verses from the Bible do you use for assurance and protection?
Father God, your Son Jesus disappeared from view for over a month for the purpose of encountering and dealing with Satan. Would you lead me by your Holy Spirit to times and places not only of quiet, reflection and growth, but also to spiritual battle and victory? Amen.