What Jesus Did! 'Led to the Test' — Matthew 4:1

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. Jesus was taken there to be tempted by the devil.
— Matthew 4:1
Illustration of Matthew 4:1 — Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. Jesus was taken there to be tempted by the devil.

Key Thought

Most of us hate tests—whether they're school tests, professional tests, or life tests. Spiritual tests are the most difficult of all. Yet in this passage and the verses that follow, Jesus faces tests that the Spirit of God led him to experience. These tests confront Jesus with a choice about the direction of his ministry: Would he take shortcuts or would he pay the full price of redeeming humanity? Jesus chose the long way, the hard way, the way of the cross and suffering. It's said that "The longest distance between two points is a shortcut!" Jesus refuses the shortcut and lives up to God's expectations for him as he is led by the Spirit. He refuses to compromise and chooses to be the obedient Son. There is great comfort for us in this. Because Jesus experienced temptation and was victorious, he can help us in our times of trials and temptations (Heb. 2:18; Heb. 4:15). In addition, his Spirit leads us and molds us into greater strength as we follow him. Let's seek help in overcoming our own temptations, and the result will be victory just as Jesus conquered sin by overcoming all of his temptations!

Today's Prayer

Holy and Righteous Father, thank you for having Jesus face times of temptation. I believe he was perfectly holy, so his life helps me put mine into perspective. Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to help and strengthen me in my times of crisis and trial. Thank you for Jesus who sits at your side interceding for me as I face my temptations. May the testing of my faith—the trials I face and the temptations Satan throws in my way—produce greater character in me. I want people to see you in my character and know that I am seeking to honor you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. Jesus was taken there to be tempted by the devil. Jesus ate nothing for 40 days and nights. After this, he was very hungry. The devil came to Jesus to tempt him. The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread." Jesus answered him, "It is written {in the Scriptures }, 'It is not just bread that keeps people alive. People's lives depend on what God says.'" Then the devil led Jesus to the holy city (Jerusalem). The devil put Jesus on a very high place on the temple. The devil said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off. Why? Because it is written {in the Scriptures }, 'God will command his angels for you, and their hands will catch you, so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.'" Jesus answered him, "It also says {in the Scriptures }, 'You must not test (doubt) the Lord your God.'" Then the devil led Jesus to the top of a very high mountain. The devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, and all the great things that are in those kingdoms. The devil said, "If you will bow down and worship me, I will give you all these things." Jesus said to the devil, "Go away from me, Satan! It is written {in the Scriptures }, 'You must worship the Lord your God. Serve only him!'" So the devil left Jesus. And then some angels came to Jesus and helped him.

Matthew 4:1-11

Related Scripture Readings

We have a great high priest who has gone to live with God in heaven. He is Jesus the Son of God. So let us continue strongly in the faith we have. Jesus, the high priest that we have, is able to understand our weaknesses. When Jesus lived on earth, he was tempted in every way. He was tempted in the same ways that we are tempted, but he never sinned. With Jesus as our high priest we can feel free to come before God's throne where there is grace (forgiveness). There we receive mercy and kindness to help us when we need it.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Forgive the sins we have done, the same as we have forgiven the people that did wrong to us. Don't let us be tempted; but save us from the Evil One.

Matthew 6:12-13

The true children of God are those people that let God's Spirit lead them.

Romans 8:14

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.