Last time I had been pondering how Jesus could truly relate to the things I go through. The first fact I know about Jesus is that He is not only totally God but that He is also totally human. Being totally human, He experienced ALL of the things a human experiences, while he was on this earth. The only difference between Jesus and me is He NEVER sinned!
Today we will look at Jesus’ first temptation in the wilderness. I hope you can see once again how Jesus feels and knows exactly what you are dealing with when any sort of temptation is set in front of you.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (ESV)
After Jesus was baptized, by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. Before Satan came to Him, Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness. During which time He fasted. Usually when the Bible talks about fasting it is in conjunction with prayer and preparation for a major event to come. This is so the person or persons involved are prepared, mentally and spiritually for the event. I believe this was no exception.
Jesus’ temptation is the first place that I have truly been able to see how Jesus understands what we go through. Several years ago (we won’t say HOW long ago….ehhem, my children weren’t in school yet….hehehe) Kris Minefee was my pastor and dear friend. I remember Kris preaching on this very subject one time. I believe that was when the humanness of Jesus became real to me, and I truly felt He understood how I feel when life is not perfect.
Kris talked about how Jesus’ temptations touched the 3 parts of human beings, our mind, body and soul. Because it has been so long ago, I also did some research on this subject and found some commentaries and blogs on the subject, to help refresh my memory.
1. Body-Jesus Knows Our Physical Needs
As Jesus is in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting, both Matthew and Luke are clear to point out that He was hungry. So when Satan appears to Him, Satan appeals to what he thinks Jesus would fall for the easiest. I mean wouldn’t you? Satan knows that humans give in to the “desires of the flesh” or the BODY probably before the other two (Mind or Soul). Think about this, Jesus is tempted with the one thing that He actually needs, nourishment! He has been in the desert for 40 days and nights with nothing to eat! Remember, He is living in a human body. That body gets weak, and tired. It needs the vitamins, nourishment and strength that a good meal would give it. So when Satan tempts Jesus with that ONE thing, what does He do? Jesus realizes just like we have to, that this is nothing but a lust of the flesh. If Jesus gives in to Satan, He would be selling his birthright just like Esau did, for food. Wow! How many times do I sellout for something as temporary as food, a temporary pleasure, a little white lie, a prideful feeling, or so many other fleshly lusts? Instead, Jesus looks at Satan and quotes, Deuteronomy 8:3.
Matthew 4:4 …4“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”(ESV)
In Deuteronomy, Moses is reminding the people of Israel of the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness and how they had a physical need, hunger, and God used supernatural means to provide for them. He supplied manna from heaven.
Deuteronomy 8:3 3And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.(ESV)
Jesus knew that God could and would provide for His physical need if He relied on God. The same thing goes for me, if I am faithful to God, and rely on Him, He will provide for me.
By the first temptation of Jesus I have learned two powerful things.
1. Jesus totally gets what it feels like to live in a human body!
2. When I resist temptation by relying on God, He WILL provide for me!
Living in Grace,
Temptation of Jesus: Links to the commentaries and blogs I used-
This one you will have to scroll down to the 5 blogs titled Temptation of Jesus Part I- Temptation of Jesus Part V