Matthew 4:1–11 ‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.’ (v1)

Right at the start of His ministry, Jesus had an encounter with the devil – the adversary.

This was a real encounter with a living, spiritual being, who tried to destroy Jesus’ ministry before it had even begun.

He had tried, through Herod’s murderous acts (Matt. 2:16), to rid the world of Jesus when he was born, but now, he changed tack and tried to stop the work of God through temptation.

Jesus stoically counters all Satan’s attacks, using the Word of God. He wields it as a sword (Eph. 6:17) and defeats the foe.

Interestingly, Satan also uses Scripture – but twists it, as we see in verses 5 and 6.

There are many so-called Christian groups that tend to twist Scripture, which is why we really need to know the Word ourselves – so we can counter anything we know does not line up with the Bible.

When faced with temptation, we must know the Word just like Jesus did.

It is only when we are familiar with the truth that we can truly challenge error.

In our own lives, we can often be tempted to go off course; we may know something is wrong, that we shouldn’t get involved or take a certain course of action.

And yet we do, often to our own harm and the harm of others.

Jesus forgives us when we get it wrong, but there can be damage and consequences that are far- reaching for ourselves and other people.

Better to stand firm in the face of temptation and nip it in the bud, using the Word of God, prayer, and the support of fellow believers.

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A Prayer To Make:
‘Thank You, Jesus, that You are with me even when I get things wrong. Strengthen me when I am tempted to walk away from You. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Are you being tempted to stray from God’s path right now?
If so, what measures can you put in place to avoid temptation today?

Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 51:1–19; Jer. 15:11–19; Matt. 26:36–41; 1 John 1:5–10

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.