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

Monday, January 25, 2021

[After his baptism,] Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.
— Matthew 4:1 NLT

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 choices about the direction of his ministry: Would he take shortcuts or would he pay the full price and redeem humanity? Jesus chooses 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 the Father'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 his choices. Because Jesus experiences temptation and is victorious, he can help us in our times of trials and temptations (Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 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 for us 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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Matthew 6:12-13
  • Romans 8:14


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Illustration of Matthew 4:1 NLT — [After his baptism,] Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.