Today’s Gospel is about Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness after He was baptized. We read about it with a devotion from the Arch Book Jesus and the Stranger.
The Bible tells of a man from Nazareth called Jesus who is also the Son of God. As God’s Son He was without sin. But as a man He faced the same temptation every other human being faces, the temptation to not accept God at His word.
When Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptizer, baptized Him, God declared Jesus to be the one and only Son of God, who would crush the head of Satan—and would suffer the consequences: death. It is this declaration of God that Satan attempts to undermine when he tempts Jesus. In effect, Satan asks, “Are You really God’s Son? Or just a man? If You think You are God’s Son, consider Your future. Do You really want to suffer and die? Wouldn’t You rather avoid that?”
The questions Jesus faced are similar to those every Christian faces. “Who are you to claim you are God’s child? You sin too much for God to love you. If you think you are God’s child, do you really want to give up all the fun of sin? Besides, human beings must follow Satan’s orders.” And when we do follow him, Satan laughs and starts all over. “See? I told you. You sin too much. You can’t really be God’s child.”
The account of Jesus’ temptation shows we don’t have to follow Satan. Our ruler is Jesus, not Satan. Jesus beat the devil, both in this temptation and through His death and resurrection. Neither Satan nor hell nor death itself can stop the power of God’s love and forgiveness through Jesus.
Devotional reading is from the Arch Book Jesus and the Stranger, page 32 © 1975 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.