“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.”
Jesus was incredibly human. We can never overlook this, or minimize this fact. Jesus has just experienced the presence of God in a bone-shaking way after his baptism. And instead of building on what has happened, he gets turned and directed to leave and go into the wilderness.
The Holy Spirit has initiated this. The Spirit is leading, directing Jesus to the solitary places. He has an appointment, and He must keep it. Satan, the evil prince wants to test Jesus, to put Him on trial. I believe these examinations are real and substantial. Because of Jesus’ humanity, He is vulnerable.
Jesus fasted, “and became very hungry”. His physical defenses were at their very lowest. He simply could not maintain His walls in this level. He will need to rely on the Word of God, exclusively. And perhaps this is the lesson that the Holy Spirit intends to convey.
Jesus overcame each “real” temptation with a promise. It was His only defense as His enemy subtly and malevolently adapted to take down Jesus. The Word has become a powerful weapon, and Jesus wields it deftly and precisely. It was his escape hatch.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Cor. 10:13).
On the other hand, most people who want to be delivered from temptation, would still like to keep in touch. We will send it our forwarding address. This is tragic.
Why are church leaders so committed to the study of the Bible? Because it is the modus operandi for believers in every time and every place. The promises are truth wrapped in words. Disciples from every age and theology have found the Bible to be a razor-sharp spiritual weapon.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”