God Knows…When My Life’s a Struggle – Part 3
When Jesus was about 30 years old, word reached Nazareth that a prophet was preaching to many people down at the Jordan River, telling them that they would soon see the Savior. This prophet was John the Baptist. He was making the people ready for Jesus. How could the people get ready? John the Baptist told them, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). He urged the people to feel sorry for their sins and stop doing wrong.
John baptized the people who repented in the Jordan River. One day, Jesus approached John the Baptist and asked to be baptized, as an example to us. Coming up out of the water, Jesus knelt in prayer on the riverbank. Suddenly, above Him, the sky opened. God spoke from heaven, “This is My beloved Son!” The light of the Holy Spirit descended like a dove and rested upon Jesus.
When John the Baptist saw this, he was filled with great wonder. Pointing to Jesus, he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
The Devil Fails
When Jesus left the Jordan River, He went to a wilderness area to be alone, to think about His mission, and to talk with His heavenly Father. But Satan followed Him to the wilderness. Satan saw it as a perfect opportunity to battle with Jesus. Remember, Satan was trying everything in his power to make Jesus sin. Because Jesus had been born as a human, He could have given in to the temptations of Satan.
During 40 days of payer Jesus went without food, and he was surely famished. At this point Satan showed up, disguised as an angel from heaven. “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread,” Satan suggested. He was tempting Jesus to doubt God’s word (God had said Jesus was His Son just after His baptism). If Christ lost faith in His Father, Satan would win.
Jesus did not need to prove His identity to Satan. He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). This was a verse Jesus had learned from Scripture, Deuteronomy 8:3. Satan confronted Jesus with two more fierce temptations. You can read about them in Luke 4:5-12. Each time, Jesus fought back with the Word of God, “It is written.”
After Satan’s third tempting offer, Jesus said, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10). Satan had to leave; he had failed. Jesus had won the battle.
Satan demanded a miracle as a sign that Jesus was the son of God. But Jesus’ firm stand on Scripture was a greater sign. The only thing in our world upon which we can totally rely is the Word of God. When we understand the power of God’s promises and the love in His commands, we will obey His word, and trust His promises. Even if we don’t know where our next meal is coming from. Even if our life is in danger.
Sometimes we hear someone say, “The Devil made me do it.” But the truth is that the Devil CANNOT make us do wrong against our will. Though we cannot win over Satan by ourselves, we CAN win by putting our faith in God and His word. When your life’s a struggle, hang on to God’s hand by trusting His Word. He will see you to victory.
Where to find the story: Matthew 3-4, Mark 1, Luke 2-4, and John 1
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