How Jesus Met Temptation

J. D. Conley
February 5, 2017

Temptation to commit sin surrounds us. It’s not a sin to be tempted, for our Lord was "tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Sin occurs when the temptation to sin is yielded to. Be assured that Satan, "the tempter" (Matthew 4:3; 1Thessalonians 3:5), will do all he can to bring about a sinful topple in our lives. He tried as best he could to do this with the Lord, but to no avail. Therefore, since Christ is our sinless example (1 Peter 2:21-22), it behooves us to understand how He met and overcame the temptations Satan put before Him. Consider the ff:

He Lived Close To His Father. He declared, "land my Father are one" (John 10:30). He was "the express image of his person," (Hebrews 1:3). He told Philip, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). Jesus overcame the temptation to sin by being in close proximity to His Father. Nearness to our Heavenly Father is a strong deterrent for us to be victorious over temptation, knowing that sin separates us from Him, (Isaiah 59:1-2).

He Prayed Without Ceasing. Persistent prayers were of immeasurable help in making it possible for Jesus to live a sinless life. His life was punctuated with a plethora of prayers, (cf., Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12, 18:1, 22:17,19; John 17:1-26, etc.). Being habitual in our prayer life will fortify our spirits against temptation. Constant communication with our Father in heaven will insulate us from the tempter’s allurements on earth.

He Handled Satan With A Firm Refusal. The Lord handled him, not the other way round. Satan is given into far too easily. All we have to do is "resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). Satan is not looking for a fight, rather a pushover. He is a bully who is a coward at heart. He has neither the fortitude nor the desire for prolonged conflict. He is always looking for the easy way out, for the soft touch, for the spiritual pacifist, for the gullible. Jesus proved that when Satan is withstood, he leaves, (Matthew 4:11). Essentially the Lord issued a flat out ”no” to Satan. He did not have to think about what His refusal would be, nor did He need to pray about it. He said, "Get thee hence Satan," that was enough!

He Knew His Father’s Will. Thrice, Jesus simply declared, "It is written," (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). He did not meet temptation with logic, with reason or with philosophy. He met temptation with God's Word! So should we, (Psalm 119:11; Galatians 5:16).

He Knew Who Satan Was And Why He Came To Him. He never saw him as a misguided friend. Instead, He saw him for who he was "Satan." So many in both the world and the church can't see Satan for the vile person he is, therefore they don't recognize him. This is inexcusable, (2 Corinthians 2:11). Let us ever be on guard!

"...the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour."