IT AIN’T EASY – THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.  And the tempter came”  Matthew 4:1-3

Jesus showed us how we would be tested if we choose to follow Him, that is after becoming a Christian. He has shown us the way to resist the devil and to overcome his testing and temptations. There is nothing easy here.

The word “Temptation” as used here describes a “trial,  a testing, a proving trial.

It is the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy;  the enticement to sin, arising from personal desires or from the outward circumstances;

In this case, it is the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand; It is also the way the devil will attempt to divert you, and it AIN’T EASY!

It also shows the condition of a person, a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness;

It comes from adversity, affliction, trouble, sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness.

Jesus set the example and showed us why God sends trials and temptations our way.  He tested His own son to show us what to expect and how we are to react.  Notice:

1. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit – God initiates the trials.

2. Into the wilderness – No food, no water, no resources, no earthly help for 40 days.

3. To be tempted by the devil – In a weakened state, alone.

This part of the Judean desert or wilderness could be arid, fiercely hot and waterless.  There were predatory animals prowling and roving bands of thieves.  Imagine how the dangers of geography, climate and the barren landscape could affect and test your body, mind and spirit.

This actually happened. It also serves as a type of metaphor for you, today: There will be ‘predatory animals’ prowling and roving bands of thieves lying in wait for you.  Imagine how the dangers of geography, climate and the barren landscape will affect and test your body, mind and spirit. IT AIN’T EASY, Brothers and Sisters!

Then, “after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came”  Matthew 4:1-3

This is the condition, and these are the type of circumstances which will truly prove a disciple.  Jesus deliberately and willingly followed The Spirit into a hostile wasteland to be tested. This is also a choice you will have to make to follow Jesus.

In a desperate physical condition, Jesus was tempted by Satan, first with His physical need of food.

Next, His soul was tempted with pride of life.

Finally, His Spirit was tempted with glory and honor.

Jesus was tried, tempted and tested, and He overcame the temptations of the Body, the Soul and the Spirit.  He has shown us the way! (Matthew 4:1-11).

We would do well to study this and commit it to memory so that anytime you are tested and tempted you will say,

1. ‘I SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”

2. ‘I SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD MY GOD TO THE TEST.’”

3. ‘I SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD MY GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”

And then, and only then, the devil will leave you; and even the angels will come and minister to you.  (Matthew 4:11).

If someone told you about an “easy salvation” or some kind of “cheap grace”, don’t believe it. This is tough. But, have you ever found anything in life that is cheap or easy that had any lasting value?

Are you getting the idea that being saved is not easy, and it is not supposed to be easy?  Following Jesus is not easy, but there is no adventure like it. Rather than a temporary pleasure on earth, then an eternity in darkness and fire, you will find both purpose in life now and then eternal peace with God; things the eye has not seen, and the ear has not heard — the things God has prepared for those who love him!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

COMING NEXT:  IT AIN’T EASY – MAKING DISCIPLES

Previous: IT AIN’T EASY – THE PREACHING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

PS: Please stay with me. This ends really well! You have to see this at the end!

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