Mark D. Roberts

Excerpt from Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Matthew 4:1

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Dear Lord, the basic truth of this story is Your temptation. You were tempted. It couldn’t be much clearer. But, I confess that for much of my life I never quite believed it. Oh, I believed the basic facts of this narrative. But I didn’t really think that You were truly tempted, that You actually felt a magnetic pull to do that which is wrong. Your temptation always seemed to be in form only, not in substance or in heart. Forgive me, Lord, for shortchanging Your humanness, for underestimating what it meant for You to become a human being in every way, except that You never gave in to temptation.
Today, though I’m still amazed at the fact of Your temptation, I rejoice in its reality. Because You know how temptation really feels, You are there to help when I am tempted. I don’t have to feel ashamed when my heart is drawn to sin. I can turn to You, confident that You understand, and assured that You will help me overcome temptation.
Thanks be to You, dear Lord, for facing and defeating temptation.
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
We all know that Jesus came to help the descendants of Abraham, not to help the angels. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.
Hebrews 2:14-18 (NLT)
But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

Paolo Veronese, “Baptism and Temptation of Christ,” 16th century.

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