A Brief Introduction To Jesus’ Temptations
Temptations are all around us. Many times in our lives, there is something or someone that tries to deceive us and move us away from what God wants us to do. This is usually so subtle that we are rarely aware of it. It happens when we least expect it, when we are least prepared for it. And when it does come, we are caught off guard.
C.S Lewis in his book Screw Tape Letters gives us two categories many Christians fall into. One group over emphasizes the work of the devil and makes him the cause of everything that happens. From headaches to fevers, from lying to cheating, all events are the result of the devil’s work. The other group of Christians do not acknowledge the evil one at all. They live their lives as though he does not exist or even if he does, has no relevance in any of their situations. Both categories, Lewis says, are wrong. Wisdom gives us the ability to recognize the work of the evil one and to be able to discern how and why temptations come.
In the temptations of Jesus Christ we see that He is not over-emphasizing the power of the devil, but neither is he negating it completely. He gives adequate responses to each of His temptations and uses scripture to defend against the attacks of the devil.
Many times we trivialize the temptations of Jesus by thinking that since He was God, it shouldn't have been much of a problem. We are under the assumption that because He was God He could do anything very easily. But that is dismissing what Christ has done and reduces him to a mere magician. Whenever we read about the temptations of Jesus in the Gospels, we have to understand that He was a man and faced the temptations as a man. The temptations were very real and extremely difficult to overcome. But our greatest saving hope is that He did overcome them.