Tempted of the Devil

The baptism of Jesus was followed immediately by his temptation: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matthew 4:11). Here was the immediate inevitable clash between the two natures in the Son of God. The phrases “led of the Spirit” and “tempted of the devil” use the same preposition, as though emphasizing these two natures in him.

Difficult as the idea may seem, this was the first conscious guidance the Holy Spirit provided. Mark’s word is very strong: “Immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.” It may perhaps imply some reluctance on the part of Jesus (as in Gethsemane), because he knew already how strenuous the test would prove to be.

Following baptism every other child of God faces a similar, though less exacting, challenge. There comes at such a time the need to take a long cool look at the future and decide attitudes to life, if there is to be a full and complete self-dedication to the service of the Lord. It is only from this point of view that the records of the temptation of Jesus make sense.

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Author: Harry Whittaker

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Bible reference(s): Psa 91:12, Matthew 4:1-11, , Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2-13, James 1:14

Source: Studies in the Gospels.

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