When we study hard, we often think we fully understand the lessons we have learned. But do we? In school, there is usually a way of verifying what we learned. It’s called a TEST! Even though Jesus was God’s Son, He was not permitted to opt out of the test.
Matthew 4:1 records that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. The Spirit was God. Would God allow us to be tempted by satan? Yes! Even in the perfect Garden of Eden, God allowed temptation. Jesus also was allowed to be tempted by satan. The difference? Adam and Eve flunked their test. Jesus passed His test with flying colors!
Satan knew that Jesus had learned the Word of God, so it would be a bit challenging to trick Him. Satan came against Jesus in the same way he comes against us.
Satan’s Technique #1: Cast doubt about whether the opponent is really God’s Child.
Matthew 4:3 records that satan said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Satan casts doubt as to whether we really are God’s children. Have no doubt that you are! Jesus knew He was the Son of God.
Satan’s Technique #2: Quote the Word of God.
Satan knew he would have to up the ante. Matthew 4: 6 records that satan said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command His Angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Once again, satan cast doubt as to Who Jesus was. Then he quoted scripture. What? Can satan use the Word of God? Yes! Satan knows the scriptures very well. But satan quoted the scripture out of context. He was accurate, but deceptive. Don’t take scriptures out of context. Depend upon the Lord to tell you what scripture applies to each situation.
Satan’s Technique #3: Make them an offer they can’t refuse!
Give up on making them believe they are not a child of God. But, make them an offer that looks better than anything God can offer. After you’ve worn them down and they’re tired, they’ll believe anything. (Don’t forget to slip in that they don’t get the prize unless they give up their allegiance to God and give it all to me!)
Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. He told Jesus He could have it all if Jesus would only bow down and worship him.
When satan has come against us repeatedly, and we are tired, we want answers. When we forget the answers we already have in God’s Word, we believe we have no answers. Satan is only too happy to offer answers. Don’t take them! (By the way, satan also lies … the kingdoms of the world were not his to give!)
How did Jesus pass the test? Simple! He refused to say anything except the Words His Father gave Him. He knew Which of His Father’s Words applied and He used them on satan as effectively as a fly swatter to a fly! Matthew 4: 11 records the devil left Jesus and angels came and attended Him. When you have a test, refuse to say anything, but what God says. But remember you have to study ahead of time to have the Word of God ready to use!
For the Word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerning of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
P. S. If you want to check out Jesus’ answer sheet, take a peek!
1. It is written! Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the Mouth of God.
2. It is also written! Do not put the Lord your God to the test.
3. For it is written! Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only!