Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Jesus grew up in the little village of Nazareth in the northern part of Israel called Galilee. He learned carpentry from His earthly father, Joseph. It is possible that both worked in Galilee’s capital of Sepphoris, located three miles northwest of Nazareth. It was being rebuilt during this period of history. When Jesus was thirty years old He headed south to begin His public ministry. After He was baptized a series of severe temptations followed.
Satan did not lure Jesus into the desert. It was the Holy Spirit who escorted Him into battle. This showdown was a planned part of Jesus’ human training. While Jesus told about three encounters that we will consider over the next days, the battle seems to have taken place during the entire forty days. As if the clashes weren’t intense enough, Jesus endured the conflict while growing weaker each day from fasting.
The Father took away every human advantage from His Son. Hungry, weakened, and alone, Jesus took on temptation in its most powerful form. Holding back the power to wipe Satan off the face of the earth, Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). He was tempted in every way, yet He never sinned. Jesus understands the power of temptation. Take your temptations to Jesus and allow Him to give you the power to resist.
Father, when I face temptation on my own, I fail every time. Remind me that I can take my temptation to You and receive Your strength to resist. Help me not give in to the things that entice me. Help me look to You for the needed strength and victory in the battle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.