When Jesus “was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil” (Luke 4:1-2), Satan tried to tempt Him to break His fast (v3), to seize the Kingdom early in exchange for worshiping Satan (v6-7), and to test God’s love for Him (v9-10). Jesus could have simply just destroyed Satan. Demons fear God, as they should. But instead, Jesus quoted Scripture to Satan:
- “Man shall not live by bread alone.” (v4)
- “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.” (v8)
- “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” (v12)
Jesus experienced temptation like this in order to be that High Priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, “One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). And it was His sinlessness that made Him a worthy sacrifice for the sins of many.
It’s notable that Jesus overcame Satan’s temptations in this way. Jesus was the very Word of God Himself (John 1:1,14). And it is a great reminder for the Christian fighting temptation that our greatest weapon against the enemy is the Bible. It is “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). If the Captain of our salvation used Scripture to overcome temptation, what makes us think we should try to do otherwise?
The people of God need to voraciously feed on the Word of God. As our Savior says in this very passage, “Man shall not live by bread alone“, but by every word of God. Study the Scriptures. Feast on it. Delight in it. Ask that the Holy Spirit would help us to remember it in times of trouble and temptation.
- Psalm 6
- Genesis 7
- 1 Chronicles 7
- Luke 3:23-4:13