Reading from the Gospel according to the Evangelist Luke (Luke 4:1-13), is a power account of good versus evil. Jesus went into the desert to be closer to God the Father. He was led by the Holy Spirit (Third person of the Trinity) into the desert and fasted for forty days. The number forty is very significant here, because in the Old Testament Numbers 32:13 “And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was consumed.” The people of Israel disobeyed the Lord their God and caused a great evil in his sight, when they built and worshipped a golden calf, while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments from Almighty God. Jesus, who came as the Incarnate Word, had to restore the people of Israel. Just as Adam fell from grace and disobeyed God, Christ who is the New Adam, came to redeem the entire human race. Satan’s first temptation was to attack the body of Jesus. Because he fasted from food for forty days, he directly challenges him by asking to make these “stone into bread”. Christ, who is The Living Word of God, rebuked him saying that “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the Mouth of God.” Christ is that life-giving bread. He is the Source of Life as he says in John 6:35 “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” Satan then tried to attack the mental faculties of Jesus by offering him the world, if he bowed down and worshipped him. Jesus rebukes the devil, “you shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve” God is the creator of the universe. Who alone can be like God? God is outside of time and he has the power to give life and the power to take it away. How can us as fallen creatures, think of anything less about God? He is the Source of life, he is the nourishment that feeds our bodies and minds daily. The final temptation of the devil is to challenge the emotional faculties of Christ. He says to Jesus “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you, and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Satan is trying to use scripture against Jesus, but he rebuked him once more and said “You shall not put the Lord your God to the Test.” He was trying to tempt Jesus with the same rebellious tone that he and his fallen angels did. God is in control of everything and anything. We have a hard time of letting go and letting God do what he needs to do with us. It’s very hard to surrender to God in that area, but brethren, once we do, we are freer than anyone. We receive a peace from Christ himself. He has just given us a model to follow. Let us not dwell on past sins. Hebrews 10:17 “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” The devil is always trying to bring us down to his level. He will attack the body in ways of worldly pleasures. He will attack the mind and try to change your ways of thinking and he will attack you emotionally, causing you to lose focus and fall into despair. We must not stand idle. We must resist him and fight back. Our eternal Salvation depends on our choices. We can’t blame the devil on our personal judgment day, when it was us who willingly gave into the temptation and chose to sin. Let us model Jesus here and take up our cross and follow him.
God Bless you