June 10, 2018

We continue with our comment on the ministry of Jesus while on this earth from "Did Jesus Just Happen?"

The next aspect or third is the time of the temptation. One of the most interesting side lights in the study of the temptation of Jesus is the fact that it followed immediately the mountain peak experience of His baptism with its accompanying manifestation of the Spirit in the form of a dove descending and of God's voice which said, "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Jesus went from this awe-inspiring experience into the valley of temptation. But this is typical of life. Our greatest temptations usually come on the heels of some outstanding spiritual experience. Satan seems to know that at this time we are usually most vulnerable. While riding on the crest of a high spiritual hour we are prone to be less conscious and less careful of the impending dangers which lurk around the corner. On the one hand this is the most blessed hour for the Christian, and on the other hand it is a most crucial hour. In the ecstasy of some spiritual enrichment we are less likely to be aware of the devil's approach. When the Christian is at their spiritual best, then the devil is also at his best.. So far as Satan was concerned this was the opportune time to make his bid to break down our Savior's sinless life. Humanly speaking Jesus must have been pleasingly overwhelmed by what He had just seen and heard at His baptism. If there ever was a time when He would have His guard down, it would be at this time. So it is with every Christian. When the Christian is at a low ebb spiritually and morally the devil does not give much attention to him, but when he is on a spiritual mountaintop, then he goes all out to bring him down. And if he can succeed in bringing such an one down to an embarrassing fall, he has won a tremendous victory for his cause. The devil makes his strongest bid for a persons heart when that person is trying to live close to the Lord and in His will. Many times the devil has been all too successful in bringing the unsuspecting Christian to a tragic fall from his high spiritual peak.

The fourth aspect or event is the repetition of the temptation. In the gospel records we are told that Jesus was tempted three times. Let us not suppose for one moment that these were all the temptations Jesus faced. The Holy Spirit has seen fit to describe these three because they are typical of all temptations. We must not conclude that these were all of the temptations even during the forty days in the wilderness. Mark, in his account, makes clear that the temptation was a continuous one throughout the forty days. The use of the present participle, "being tempted", carries the idea of a continuous experience of temptation. Neither are we to suppose that the temptations of Jesus ended when He came out of the wilderness. Luke records the fact that the devil left Him "for a season." From the beginning of His life to the close there was relentless effort on the part of the devil to break down His character and His purpose. The devil may let up on us for a season, but we are never free from his constant approaches until we are taken up to be with Jesus. Life is one trial after another. When we have conquered one temptation we are immediately plunged into another. There is no place or time for relaxation in the warfare against the wiles of Satan .

Wayne McDoanld, Pastor
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