TEMPTATION IN THE DESERT II (MATTHEW
4:1-11; LUKE 4:1-13)
Christ was led by the Holy Spirit
to the desert to be tempted. He did not go on His own, teaching us
not to rush on to temptations. In fact, Christ went to Galilee,
having heard that John was imprisoned, to distance Himself from
Herod. . .as an example for us.
The devil loves attacking man when
he is alone; this seems to give him the upper hand. No one must
enter into this situation unless, like Christ, led by the Holy
Spirit, precisely to do battle against the wicked spirit.
Whenever you enter God's service,
prepare yourself for battle against the evil spirits; life for you
will be an ordeal. Because every wicked man is part of the devil's
body and, thus, will be your enemy.
The devil begins his temptation by
a suggestion, followed by offering delight and, consequently,
getting our consent. Christ, being God, could not take delight nor
give consent. So, in His case, the devil could only suggest. The
trick is to beat the devil in this first step. Victory becomes more
difficult in the second and nearly impossible in the third.
The temptation of Christ is similar
to that of Adam and Eve. It begins with gluttony wherewith the devil
showed Eve the forbidden fruit, as he tempted Christ in turning
stone into bread.
The second is vainglory wherewith
Adam was offered, "You will be like gods," as Christ was
tempted to fly.
The third is avarice, the mere
acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil, in the case of
Christ-- the acquisition of the kingdoms of the world.
Christ, of course, could have
thrown down Satan with a twit of His finger; but He was showing us
how to overcome the evil one. How? By refuting him with the commands
Faced with someone so vicious, we
must not be angered nor take revenge but face them with the commands
of Christ. Christ overcame His enemy, not by destroying him but, by
bearing with him for a short while.