The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God…”
Do you think the devil’s question got under Jesus’ skin? It is a question he would hear throughout his ministry on earth. One can imagine how he might get sick and tired of being doubted, questioned, and threatened by the very people he came to save. So many were skeptical that he was, in fact, the true Son of God. Along comes Satan, who essentially whispers into his ear three times: ‘prove it.’ “If you are the Son of God.” It is not too difficult to imagine that question pushing Jesus over the edge.
Similar phrases from the devil push us over the edge and right into sin. The devil whispers them into our ears as well: “Just this one time, no one will ever know…,” “Come on, you know it will make you happy…,” “Go ahead, you deserve it.” So often, we allow the devil to plant a suggestion in our ear and push us right into sin.
Thankfully Jesus stood strong. Every time Satan tried to bait him or goad him into sin, Jesus stood his ground. He used God’s Word to shut the temptation down. And Jesus did not just say ‘no’ once or twice. Throughout his entire life, Jesus said no to sin and shut down the devil’s temptations. Then, at the end of that perfect life, Jesus willingly gave his life for you and me as he died on the cross to pay for all the times when you and I have failed to say no to temptation. His sacrifice has paid the price our sins deserve and earned us a free ticket to eternal life in heaven.
And as we wait for the day when Jesus takes us home to heaven, he has given us a powerful tool to defeat temptation—the Word of God. Get to know that tool and ask God to bless you as you fight temptation in your life. The devil is no match for the Word of God. Jesus will be with you and will bless your trust in his Word.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for defeating sin and for being my perfect substitute. Teach me to use God’s Word to fight temptation in my life. Amen.