Saturday, May 6, 2017

Forty Days of Hunger

By Mary Vee
Matthew 3
Mark 1
Luke 3

From John the Baptizer's Notes

Photo by Mary Vee - Desert near the Jordan River
Jesus, the Son of the Living God, left the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit. 

John the Baptizer had baptized Jesus, and while doing so, let all the crowds watching know Jesus had come to save people from their sins. He was the Promised One. The Messiah. The Son of God.

Jesus went to the wilderness where wild animals lived. He wandered the area praying to His Holy Father. During this time Jesus didn't take time to eat. He devoted all his time to talking with His Father.

During this time Satan came with the goal to tempt Jesus. Day after day Satan tormented Jesus with temptations. Jesus never once did what Satan said. 

Jesus used words from the Scriptures, God's Word, to stop every attack. 

Forty long days dragged by. Satan never got tired of harassing Jesus. 

The next morning, Jesus woke feeling very hungry. His body was weak. 

But because He had spent the entire forty days talking and praying to His Father while Satan tempted Him, His mind remained alert, tuned in to the words the Father wanted Him to speak at every moment. He stood and walked a short ways.

The tempter stepped onto the path and said "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." 

This was a test. Not a test to see if Jesus could turn the stones to bread. Satan knew Jesus, the Son of God, could do that. The test was to see if Jesus would let His hunger become more important than doing God's will.

We can not obey both God and Satan. Jesus would have to take his attention away from God to turn the stones into bread. For forty days, Jesus had lived on God's Word and He wasn't about to stop now.

Jesus said, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

Satan didn't say another word about eating. Instead he devised a new plan to trick Jesus. "Come with me," he said.

Because Jesus wanted to teach us He allowed Satan to take Him to the Holy City and on up to the highest point of the temple. They stood overlooking all of Jerusalem and beyond. Satan said, "If you are the Son of God throw yourself down to the ground. You know it is written in the Psalms: 'You are in the care of the angels they will catch you when you fall so you won't even stub your toe.' Prove yourself. Prove they will catch you."

Jesus voice became gruff. "It is also written in Deuteronomy, 'You should not test the Lord your God.'"

Satan didn't ay another word about that. He then took Jesus to a high mountain. "Look. See all the kingdoms of the world. You can have them all and all the riches and power that goes with being in charge of them. I will give you all of this if you will bow down and worship me."

Jesus was hungry and wanted to rest. But none of these problems kept him from standing straight and scoffing as this evil one. Satan didn't have the power to give these things to Jesus, God's Son. This was the last straw. 

Jesus said, "Get away from me, Satan! It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and only Him." Those words are written in Deuteronomy.

Satan didn't say another word that morning. He walked away, the loser.

A host of angels came to Jesus with food, water, and took Him to a place to rest.

This was not the only time Jesus would be tempted. 

Satan tempts us, too. The temptations we face are not the sin. Obeying and doing what Satan wants us to do is the sin. When you find yourself wanting to do what Satan says, think of a Bible verse. The Bible tells us in James 4 that if we resist or walk away from Satan by using God's Word, Satan will leave you. This doesn't mean that Satan won't try to trick you again. It does mean he will stop picking on you at that time and every time you use God's Word as your weapon.

Come back for the next story.


*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

*Jewish Virtual

*My research in Israel.

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