The Wilderness Temptation

Q. Why did Jesus need to be tempted by the devil in Matthew chapter four? What was the purpose?

A. I believe one reason this happened was to show us how to deal with the enemy’s temptations when it’s our turn to withstand an attack. Jesus didn’t debate with Satan, or try to drive Him away. He didn’t even raise His voice. He quoted God’s Word and with that alone He bested man’s greatest enemy (Matt. 4:1-10).

The writer of Hebrews said the word of God is powerful, sharper than any two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). The account of the Lord’s temptation shows us how important it is to have this weapon at our command and ready for use.

Attacks from the enemy can come without warning, often when we’re at our weakest. (Remember, Satan confronted Jesus at the end of a 40 day fast.) If we aren’t prepared we could find ourselves in trouble fast.

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:3-4).

Paul compared God’s word to a supernatural weapon capable of demolishing strongholds. The Greek word for stronghold also means castle or fortress. With His word we can blast through the walls of the enemy’s fortress, destroy his ability to attack us, and put him to flight (James 4:7).

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