When people are in the desert for long periods of time, they start to see mirages. They start to get thirsty or hot, and suddenly they imagine they are seeing a lake that they want to cool off in. They are deceived by their very mind. Before Jesus began His ministry, He was baptized and driven out into the desert. When Jesus was in the desert, Satan promised him “all the kingdoms in the world and its splendors”, but isn’t Jesus already the king of all and ruler of the heavens and earth?
Satan was trying to play a mind game with Jesus by offering Him a mirage rather than reality. Satan cannot promise anything other than eternal damnation. Only God can fulfill promises, and what He shows us is not a mirage. Significantly, Jesus responded to all of Satan’s temptations and false promises with scripture. This demonstrated that Jesus stayed true to God the Father.
What Jesus’ temptation did for His ministry was help Him remain faithful to God the Father. Each time that Jesus was tempted by Satan, He responded with scripture. This gives a guideline for people and how they are to respond when seeing mirages in the desert. Satan’s promises are mirages; God’s promises are reality.
How people respond to their temptations in a spiritual desert will determine how they do ministry. Ministry is an opportunity to encourage people to remain faithful to God. This is especially true when they are experiencing mirages. It’s a way to encourage people to respond just as Jesus did: with scripture.
- Brady Pope