Saturday, January 4
Jesus and temptation
Scripture: Genesis 9-11, Luke 4
Hebrews 2:17–18 Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. 18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.
Hebrews 4:15–16 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Jesus successfully faced and resisted temptation—for us. He was tempted when he was weak and tired and hungry—just when I’m most vulnerable! He resisted by using the Scripture. He won the battle over temptation as a man using the same tools that are available to us. And Hebrews promised that “he is able to help us when we are being tested,” and that “he understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do.”
Also, these temptations represented short cuts. In effect, the devil was saying, “You don’t need to do what God has sent you to do. You don’t need to go to the cross and die. There’s an easier way.”
When tempted, I can turn to Jesus for help. Just whisper his name. Call on him and he’ll be there to help. And I can use Scripture as Jesus did to resist the devil. I’m not fighting this battle alone or without weapons!
And I want to beware of short cuts. We want everything to be quick and easy, but most good things take a long time and are hard. A friend used to say to me, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” There are no short cuts to God’s best.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being not only our model but our help in overcoming temptation. You took no short cuts—help me to follow you!