Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
In order to fully understand this passage, we must back up just a bit and read Matthew 3:16-17, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'”
After this mountaintop revelation and spiritual experience, Jesus was then led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. As the reader, you almost want to look up from the Bible, tilt your head, and simply contemplate the sequencing of events between these verses…in turn, you really want to say, “Huh? What just happened here?” In one sense, there is pure joy, celebration, and affirmation. Then in the blink of an eye, there is trial, tribulation, and pain. What I truly love about this Biblical application is how familiar this sounds to our everyday lives. This just might sound like your life too. How many times have you gone from mountaintop moments to deep valley difficulties within a blink of an eye? See, you can relate! This is why God is a personable Father! He can relate to absolutely every one of life’s moments! The common denominator is that Jesus experiences VICTORY in both mountaintop moments and deep valley difficulties. We can most certainly learn from Him and we must lean on Him daily.
First, there is victory in God the Father affirming the identity and mission of His Son, Jesus Christ, as we witness the trinity converge during Jesus’ baptism. Secondly, there is victory in trials as Jesus used the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, to successfully defeat the devil despite being physically weakened from hunger. We are taught in Ephesians chapter 10 to put on the full armor of God. Most of the armor is defensive in nature: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, gospel of peace fitted over your feet, shield of faith, helmet of salvation. Yet, there appears to be one offensive tool: sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Why is there only one offensive measure? Because you only need one to defeat the devil! The word of God is that powerful! Yes and amen! The most amazing thing is that devil knows it too! Do not stand for his lies. He cannot control you when you are under the authority of Jesus Christ. James 4:7 clearly states, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” AMEN!
Question: How can you learn to achieve victory in life’s mountaintop moments and deep valley difficulties?