What Jesus Did! 'I Won't Play Your Game' — Matthew 4:5-7

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

[Continuing the temptations,] the devil took [Jesus] to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,
'He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.'"

Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, 'You must not test the Lord your God.'"

— Matthew 4:5-7 NLT

Key Thought

Is Jesus really sure God is with him? Is he truly Immanuel, "God with us"? One sure place to know and to show this is the Temple. Throughout the Old Testament, the Tabernacle and later the Temple represented God's presence and protection for his people. Once again, Satan tempts Jesus like he tempted the Israelite — to make God's protection and care the condition on which loyalty is to be established. Jesus does not play Satan's game! Jesus is committed to honor his Father and to be faithful to him even though it means the path of suffering and death. The reason these early temptations of Jesus are so important is that they reveal that Jesus will not choose ANY shortcut to obedience! Whether Satan realizes it or not, when Jesus walks out of the desert victorious over him and his temptations, Jesus is demonstrating that Satan's doom is assured. Jesus chooses God's plan even though it means suffering, death, and personal ridicule on a cross. What is the cost of my following God? Will I choose faithfulness over ... ?

Today's Prayer

Almighty Deliverer and Faithful God, in light of your centuries of faithfulness to your people, your preservation of them in the face of great calamity and struggle, I recognize my inconsistency and weakness. Give me a heart to recognize the long-term consequences of my decisions about Satan's challenges, both large and small. Please empower me to choose faithfulness. I believe you are my rock and my salvation, so I rest my hope in you. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 91:1-2
  • Deuteronomy 6:16-18
  • Psalm 95:8-9

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 4:5-7 NLT — "If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say,

'He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands
so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.'"

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.