In this famous passage, we find Jesus alone in the wilderness, confronted by the devil who seeks to tempt him into abandoning his position as Savior. The scene is not unfamiliar - we’ve seen similar stories in Adam, who gives way to the devil’s temptation in the garden, and also in the Israelites in the wilderness, failing to put their trust in God and instead turning to false idols. But now, with Jesus, we see the second Adam, facing these terrible trials and temptations, hunger and suffering, and he is yet able to stay true to his Father and resist the evil one.
From this story, we learn a few things about our own lives. First, that facing trials and temptations is a common experience in life. We see here that if our Savior endured such things, why would expect to be excused from such experiences? The second thing we learn is that the devil is actively working in our lives. He may not be standing before us trying to make us bad, but he comes to us and he tempts us with seemingly good things. He offers us bread, our calling, relationships, thing we desire, and distorts them so we make ourselves God instead of turning to the one God who made us.
Lastly, from this passage, we see triumph. Jesus has done here what Adam and the Israelites could not do. He has triumphed over evil and he has done it for us. And now, by trusting in him, being one with him, and being filled with the same Spirit as Christ, we too can resist and triumph over evil.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
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 splendor; 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.