I have frequently heard teachings about how, in the wilderness, Satan tempted Jesus in all the same categories as we get tested and Jesus passed the test, and the implication I received from those sermons was that Jesus was never tested again.
As I was reading Luke 4 recently, it suddenly struck me that the temptation report ends with, ‘Satan left him until the next opportunity’ or some translations read, ‘until an opportune time’. Then I remembered Hebrews 4:15, which says Jesus was tempted in every way, just as we are.
Previously, I had assumed this meant during his testing time in the wilderness. But Satan doesn’t just tempt us one time and, if we pass, then he leaves us alone. He watches for the next opportunity. And so, as Jesus was tempted in every way as we are, therefore He must have also been tested again and we just aren’t told the details.
This is encouraging news! Because, in our lives, sometimes we are tempted, and we resist, and we feel proud of ourselves for resisting. Then the temptation comes again, and our resolve weakens, and we feel we can’t resist, and we give in to the temptation.
Subconsciously, we may think Jesus never had to battle temptation as much as we do. But we can see Him battling temptation again in the garden when He cried out to the Father, “If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken from me. Yet not my will but your will be done” (Matthew 26:39). He prayed this way multiple times. Can you see that the temptation was there for Him to avoid the coming suffering? Yet, He took the temptation straight to His Father and surrendered His will to the Father’s will.
Jesus is our example for everything in our lives. When we are tempted, let’s remember to go running to the Father, just as Jesus did, and surrender our will to His.
Prayer: Father, I thank You that You see and know everything. Thank You that Jesus can be my model for living in every aspect of my life. Help me to remember to run to You when temptation comes, that I don’t need to fight it on my own, but I simply need to give it to You and surrender my will to Yours. Amen.
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