In Matthew 4:1-11 we read that after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights that the tempter (devil) came and tempted Jesus. It is notable that He was tempted in the same ways as each of us: the lust of the flesh-“command that these stones be made bread” (vs 3), the lust of the eyes – “all these things I will give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (vs 9), the pride of life – “if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down” (vs 6). So often in this life we too are tempted. Jesus told us that if we are truly seeking heaven, we are on a “narrow way” (Matthew 7:13-14) and that along that way “the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The wonderful thing that we find in Matthew 4 is that Jesus, who “was in all points tempted, like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15), gives us the means to defeat the temptations which abound. Each time the devil tempted Jesus, He responded with the correctly quoted and applied Word! He responded by proclaiming “It is written…” (Matthew 4, 7,10). Isn’t it great that we can know that Word that is able to make us free (John 8:32). When we realize this, maybe we will labor to do as the Psalmist: “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). If I am constantly struggling and losing the battle against sin, perhaps I need to examine myself and see what I have been putting in there!
Jack H. Williams