‘Jesus answered, ”It is written: ’Man shall not live on bread alone.’”’ (v4) Luke 4:1–21
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit (v1), enters the wilderness – a barren place incapable of sustaining life, where he fasts for 40 days. In Scripture, 40 represents purification. Noah sailed for 40 days whilst God purified the earth; the people of Israel wandered for 40 years as they were purified in order to enter the Promised Land.
At this point of His purification, Jesus was tested by Satan. His chosen weapon was God’s Word, the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). He refused to enter into disputation but trusted the truth Scripture offers us.
In the wilderness, according to Leviticus 16:22, the scapegoat of the atonement was led and released. It carried the sins of Israel into the desert to wander aimlessly.
Now Jesus confronts and disempowers Satan, revealing His mission to free humanity from sin and all its shame. Where the first Adam sinned and led humanity from a garden into a wilderness, the second Adam, Jesus, reseeds this barren desert with new life and restores the garden of hope (Amos 9:14).
He then returns not simply full of the Spirit but now ‘in the power of the Spirit’ (v14) and swiftly proclaims His earthly and eternal mission (vv18–21); one that lays the foundation.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Lev. 16:1–26; Isa. 51:1–3; Matt. 5:13–16; Eph. 6:10–20.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Put on God’s strength, protection and power to face the challenge of Satan.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to take my stand on your Word every day. Amen.’