Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need
Hebrews 4:14-16 and Matthew 4:1-11
Today’s reflection is about temptation and how Jesus dealt with it. It always struck me as odd that Jesus would even entertain a discussion with the evil one. Jesus knew him, yet he engaged Satan, and allowed the tempter to talk with him.
I have come to conclude that Jesus did this solely for our benefit, so that we could see how he was tempted- that he was not above it, because he had allowed himself to come into the world as a man. He allowed it to be an example to us of how to deal with temptation when it comes. Jesus sent the tempter away with the words of God handed to us in Scripture. Jesus was confident that his Father would take care of him in times of trouble. Finally, when Jesus was finished with Satan, he summarily dismissed him. Jesus had been able to use the experience for our instruction, so he then sent Satan away in no uncertain terms.
Temptation comes in many forms, and it comes every day. I am not one who credits Satan for all the temptations or situations that can cause us trouble. We have a natural tendency to be self-serving and self-indulgent, so we can get ourselves in plenty of trouble without the presence of an evil being. However, we need to know the remedy of how to approach those critical situations we encounter with confidence- that “God has got this”.
Jesus approached the situation with confidence- not pride, confidence. Confidence is the assurance that God has our best interest at stake, that he will never leave us nor forsake us. Therefore, we can take on any situation, knowing that God is FOR us, not against us. We also need to have confidence that God is “faithful and just to forgive our sins” (I John 1:9) when we do falter. That too is confidence.
Jesus showed us how to combat Satan, and he used the very word of God to thwart Satan’s attacks. We can do no less than that in our own struggles with temptation.
Prayer: Father, thank you that we can approach your throne for help in time of need, and that we can have confidence in you- we do not need to rely on our own strength! Amen