[After his baptism,]
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
— Matthew 4:1 NIV
We sometimes miss part of the significance of this verse because some of the wording is different from Mark and Luke. Notice carefully that Jesus was LED INTO the wilderness TO BE TEMPTED by the devil. Jesus' temptations were no accident. Clearly, the evil one wanted to derail Jesus' ministry before it began. But Jesus defeating the devil in his temptations was part of God's plan just as Jesus' crucifixion was part of God's plan (Acts 2:23). In both situations — Jesus' temptations and his crucifixion — the evil one was involved, and in both, even the devil was beaten.
Jesus was tempted like we are so that we can be assured that God knows what it is like to be tempted. Yes, God knows all things. Nevertheless, for our sake, he chose to experience things in Jesus so that we can be sure he knows what it is like to be hungry, alone, abandoned, betrayed, tempted, belittled, mocked, ridiculed, denied, treated unfairly, and even murdered. We know that God not only knows, but that he also felt, what it was like to be in our world and face these horrors. Thus, we can go to him knowing we will receive grace, help, and a sympathetic ear in our times of trouble (Hebrews 2:14-18; Hebrews 4:14-16).
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us [— please, O Lord God, deliver us —] from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Forever! Amen."
About This Devotional
God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.