The greatest temptation
For reading & meditation: Luke 4:1-13
“Jesus ‘ was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” (vv.1-2)
I am often asked the question: What is the greatest temptation a Christian faces? My reply is usually this: the temptation to avoid the way of the cross. It was temptation that constantly faced our Lord Jesus Christ, and it is one that constantly faces us: It is the way the Master went Should not the servant tread it still? There were two outstanding periods in Jesus life when He was greatly tempted to face the sorrow and sin of the world in some way other than the one He took. One such time was the temptation in the desert, and the other was at the coming of the Greeks. As we have already looked at the latter incident – and will briefly examine it once more before we conclude – we shall focus our thinking over the next few days on our Lord’s temptation in the desert. Following His baptism in the River Jordan, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted (or tested) by the devil. He got away from humanity in order to prepare Himself for the ordeal of giving Himself to humanity. In a sense, the temptation began as soon as He entered the desert. What temptation? The testing of His purposes to see whether, being the Son of God, He would also be the Son of Man. For to be the Son of Man would mean that He would take upon Himself all that falls on the sons of men. Yet on that issue, He never wavered. The Son of God willingly accepted all that was involved in becoming the Son of Man, so that the sons of men might become the sons of God.
Lord Jesus, Son of God and also Son of Man, how can I ever sufficiently thank You for aligning Yourself with this sinful human race? I cannot understand it, but yet I stand upon it – and stand upon it for all eternity. Amen.
For further study:
1. Compare the temptations of Jesus and Adam.
2. Why did Adam fail, and Jesus overcome?