SOAP – Through the Gospels
Matthew 4:1,2 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days & forty nights, He was hungry.
Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, & led Him into the wilderness for 40 days of fasting…AND to be tempted by the devil. He was LED to the confrontation & temptation by the Spirit of God. And He took on every temptation the devil could throw His way after 40 days (& nights!) of going without food.
Sometimes in reading through the gospels, I almost forget that Jesus was a man… fully God, yes, the Word Incarnate (John 1:1)… At the same time, paradoxically, He was at the same time 100% human – a man: flesh & blood –just like the rest of us (Hebrews 4:15). It’s easier for me to remember the God part; maybe its because of the miracles, maybe it’s the distance of 2000+ years, maybe its because its hard for me to see myself doing what we see Jesus doing in the gospels. Especially here.
That’s why it is significant to me to see that Jesus didn’t address the devil (the adversary, the accuser) in Christ’s exalted glory (see Revelation 1 for a description). Instead, He stood His ground as a man, firmly rooted in the rightly applied Word of God, answering satan’s every temptation & twist of Scripture with an appropriate & powerful response: “It is written…”
Where Adam had failed to withstand his test of temptation in the Garden of Eden, the 2nd Adam (Christ) came through His test with flying colors (Romans 5:12-21) – & He did it in a way that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US could do – submitted to God, led by the Holy Spirit, firmly grounded in Scripture. And after 40 days of constant, directed, oh-so-tempting temptation, satan was stymied & had no choice but to leave (James 4:6,7). Christ didn’t play the “God” card – He stood as one of “us” – a human being, filled with & led by the Holy Spirit- & He won, thereby paving OUR pathway to a God-following life.
LORD – I pray You fill me with Your Holy Spirit – & make my heart humble, so I can & will be directed & led by Your Spirit – wherever You want me to go, whatever You want me to do. Write Your Word on my heart; may it live there & grow fruitful, transforming my heart & mind to be like Yours. Thank You that You will give me everything I need to obey & follow You.