The Forty: Day One
The Temptation of Christ
Scripture Reading: Luke 4:1-15
The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness has plenty to teach us. It shows us the importance of fasting. It reveals the importance of not simply knowing Scripture, but having the wisdom to rightly apply it to our lives. It points to the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit. While these are all meaningful lessons, there is one of superior importance.
The temptation of Christ reveals how He chose to live His life fully surrendered to God’s will.
The first temptation the Devil presents Jesus, after having fasted for forty days, is a challenge to His identity. The Devil says, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” At first glance, this seems like a legitimate request. After all, Jesus had just fasted for forty days. Does he not deserve a great meal? Or, at the very least, a piece of bread?
Jesus’ response tells us why the Devil’s suggestion was so subtly dangerous and cunning. Jesus replies, “Man shall not live by bread alone.” He was referencing a familiar Scripture found in Deuteronomy 8:3. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
In effect, Jesus said, “Unless the LORD tells me to, I will do nothing.” Even though Jesus was hungry. Even though His actions would not have harmed anyone. Even though no one else would have known what He did. Jesus purposed in His heart to do nothing without being prompted by His Father.
Jesus did not see His hunger as an excuse to usurp God’s authority. Jesus saw it as an opportunity to express His desire to submit all things to His Father’s will. Instead of following His own plan to satisfy His hunger, Jesus’ found it to be satisfied by following the will of Him who sent Him (John 4:32).
This is what it means to live a fully surrendered life unto God. It is surrendering our plans to Him, even when we have real and pressing needs. We must be careful not to trade the future God has planned for us tomorrow to satisfy the temporary “hunger” we feel today.
- Are you willing to submit your plans to God?
- Will you commit to following His leading even if your “hunger” tries to lead you in a different direction?
*Devotional contributed by Paul Grodell