The Temptation of Jesus

Open Your Bible

Luke 3:1-22, Mark 1:1-8, Matthew 3:13-16, Luke 4:1-13

I have a friend who won the conference championship in college football his senior year. He has a game ball signed by his teammates and a beautiful championship ring on display in his house. The thing is, he did not play a single down in that game. In fact, he didn’t play in any conference games that season. He got hurt early in the year and was sidelined for the remaining games. His injury prevented him from competing with his teammates and contributing to the team. But he still got the ball and ring that only the champions got. As part of the team, he got to share in what the team won even though he could not compete on the field. What he could not do, his team did for him, and he got to share in their victory. 

In the passages we read today, we see Jesus in that kind of role in His baptism and temptation. He tells John that He must be baptized “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). We see several times in the Old Testament story that going through the waters signified the people of Israel being set apart as a unique people with a redemptive purpose. Over and again, they failed to live up to their unique identity and fulfill their redemptive purpose. In His baptism, Jesus stood where Israel was supposed to stand, but where they failed, Jesus succeeded. He perfectly represented God and faithfully fulfilled His purpose. What Israel was unable to do, Jesus did for them.

In His temptation, Jesus faces the choice that every human has faced since Genesis 3. Listen to God’s voice or listen to the voice of the enemy. Live depending on yourself and what you can secure; or depend on God, and be sustained by His words. All of us, in some way, have chosen bread alone. Out of our sinful condition, we reject God’s voice, and give in to temptation. In His temptation, Jesus stood in the place all humanity stands, but where we fail, Jesus succeeds. What we are unable to do, Jesus does for us. 

In His life, Jesus is a righteous representative for all of us who, because of sin, cannot be what God intended for us to be. The beauty of Jesus’s life is that He then shares His righteous life with all who, through repentance and faith, belong to Him. As Christians, we get to share in the victory that He alone earned, that through His grace becomes our victory. 

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78 thoughts on "The Temptation of Jesus"

  1. Anri Bouwer says:

    I was thinking this exact thing. So important to be prayerful of everything as the enemy will use all means…

  2. Marnie Bartleet says:

    Amen I love the way you have highlighted this it is so true and powerful for the world can twist the scriptures but we know the truth.

  3. Sarah Hostetler says:

    Something that really made me think today was when Jesus was being tempted. When Satan throws scripture at Jesus he finally feels like he is going to be able to make Jesus stumble, but Jesus then comes back with even more powerful, truthful scripture!! This just showed me that the world can use scripture and twist it up to try and get a point across or even use the twisted up, out of context scripture to justify their sinful actions.

  4. Portia Strange says:

    The Greek word traditionally translated “desert” or “wilderness” is erémos, and it doesn’t mean hot and dry. It means uninhabited, lonely, with no human population.

    -DAVID RENSBERGER

    I never realized how much of the wilderness is mentioned in both John’s ministry & Jesus’ temptation. When I think of the wilderness, I don’t think of it as a place to go before starting or even during any fruitful ministry. I picture a hot, dry, unfruitful place. A place that no one really wants to be. Yet, we see John baptizing people & preaching repentance in the wilderness! People were actually confessing their sins & repenting in the wilderness! Jesus Himself was baptized in the wilderness! We see Jesus’ victory over the enemy in the wilderness! We even see angels ministering to Jesus in the wilderness! Seems to me that, because of God alone, there can be fruitfulness & victory, even in the wilderness. How good & powerful must our God be that even in an uninhabited, lonely place, He can still move mightily!

  5. Samantha Collier says:

    Amen

  6. Ashley Ebersole says:

    What a wonderful goal, praying that you are blessed during what is sure to be a wonderful spiritual journey!

  7. Regina Clinton says:

    Jesus came to show us the way

  8. Jo Wee says:

    The divine exchange that Jesus had with John during his baptism was definitely one of an eye opener that reminded me of His grace. Only Jesus could stand in for our sins. TYJ.