Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13 record the story of Satan tempting Christ. These passages show us the three temptations of Jesus (Yahshua). It is the greatest battle ever fought in human history. The battle decides who will be the ultimate ruler of this earth.
For this reason, it is important that we learn significant lessons from the three temptations of Jesus. It is also crucial for us to take a look at how we can overcome Satan through these lessons.
Matthew 4:1-11: Satan tempts Jesus Christ
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Lessons from the story of Satan tempting Christ
From these verses, we can obtain significant life lessons that we should apply in our Christian walk. Here is a list of these lessons.
Lesson no. 1: We need to be full of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the power of God. It is given to us upon baptism. With God’s power living in us, we can have the spiritual help that we desperately need to overcome our human nature. We read:
“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1-3).
We can see Jesus here as full of the Holy Spirit. It is worth noting that we can only obtain the Holy Spirit from God. Therefore, the closer we are to God, the more Holy Spirit we receive. Thus, it must be pointed out that we need to constantly have a close and intimate relationship with God so we can have a full measure of God’s Spirit.
Lesson no. 2: Fasting is an important spiritual tool for our growth
Though not popularly done by most Christians today, fasting is a highly powerful tool that we can use to strengthen our relationship with God. Fasting, abstaining from food and drink, demonstrates our nothingness without God and how we are dependent on His blessings and divine providence.
“And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred (Matthew 4:2).
“Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered” (Luke 4:2).
Fasting is our humble act in asking God’s will to be done in our lives. With fasting, it allows us to refocus our minds on God and the spiritual matters in our lives rather than just the physical things such as food.
As Christians, we must fast at least once a month and make it a habit. Though fasting can be difficult, it has tremendous rewards that we can reap during this life and the life to come.
Lesson no. 3: Satan will take advantage of our human weaknesses
“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread” (Matthew 4:3).
“And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread” (Luke 4:3).
Imagine fasting for forty days and not having anything to eat. In this time, Jesus was extremely hunger and Satan knew that. It is worth noting as well that Satan did not just tempt Jesus on the fortieth day. But we read that Jesus was tempted by Satan for forty days (Luke 4:2)!
With this in mind, we need to remember one of the evil strategies of Satan for us to commit a sin. He will take advantage of our human weaknesses. In this case, Christ’s weakness was food. Satan tried to capitalize on that and utterly fail.
Lesson no. 4: Satan uses pride to lead us to sin
Satan started his temptation with the words, “If you are the Son of God.” Now that’s a very clever way to tempt someone. Satan tried to play with our tendency to be boastful. He wants to take advantage of our “pride of life.”
Notice, there’s no doubt that Jesus is truly the Son of God and He has nothing to prove to Satan. However, that didn’t get in Jesus’ head but rather focused on the greatness of God.
Lesson no. 5: We need to keep our spiritual sword sharp
We read that the Word of God is likened to a sword (Ephesians 6:17). In the spiritual battle between Christ and Satan, we can see how important it is for us to keep our spiritual sword in good condition.
Jesus immediately took out His spiritual sword to battle Satan. He quoted a passage from the Old Testament. Notice how Christ did not try to reason with Satan in other ways, but He used God’s word to defeat His enemy.
In the same way, we all must study God’s word often and ensure that we keep His words hidden in our hearts (Psalms 119:11). Peter instructed us to be always ready to give a defense of the hope within us (I Peter 3:15), and we can only do this if we regularly read the Bible.
This post originally appeared on BecomingChristians.com and was republished with permission. The article was written by Joshua Infantado.