Have you ever gone grocery shopping hungry? Do you then come home and, as you begin to put your purchases away wonder how on earth you came home with all those extra items?
Temptation is a tricky thing. We skip one meal and suddenly our cupboards are full of cookies and chips. In Luke 4, Jesus went on forty days without food. I think I’d be tempted to buy an entire farm by that point.
But Jesus taking off into the wilderness wasn’t a whim. It wasn’t an act of being out and about and suddenly realising that you need to pick up a few things on your way home.
Now Jesus, full of [and in perfect communication with] the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they ended, He was hungry.
Luke 4:1-2 (AMP)
When I think about this account, I tend to imagine that Jesus had been wandering alone for forty days and then the devil shows up. But if you read the verse, there is a strong indication that the devil was there the whole time. For forty days, Jesus resisted the devil. For four minutes, I’m not able to resist a chocolate bar. Or a bag of chips. Or that pepperoni stick. Snack foods are so trivial and it goes to show just how much Jesus was able to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit when he was tempted with the thought of bread or authority over all the kingdoms of the earth.
If you take anything from this passage (aside from a hankering for some munchies), think about the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus went into the desert right after being baptised. Right after the Holy Spirit had descended upon him and God spoke from heaven claiming Jesus as His Son. He didn’t go around touting this fact. He went off by himself to be proven.
I believe that, aside from His death and resurrection, this is one of Jesus’ greatest acts. What about the miracles? Sorcerers and magicians were able to perform similar feats (I am in no way making light of the incredible things Jesus did). But no one else was able to stand up in the face of the devil and say, no. Miracles came easy. Resisting temptation did not.
Daily Bible reading: Joshua 11-13, Luke 4:1-32