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Satan Stalked Him

Judaean Desert

He faced all of the same temptations we do. — Hebrews 4:15

You and I know what it is like to endure a moment of temptation or an hour of temptation, even a day of temptation.

But forty days? That is what Jesus faced.

The Spirit led Jesus into the desert where the devil tempted Jesus for forty days. — Luke 4:1-2

We imagine the wilderness temptation as three isolated events scattered over a forty-day period. Would that it had been. In reality, Jesus’ time of testing was nonstop; “the devil tempted Jesus for forty days.”

Satan got on Jesus like a shirt and refused to leave. Every step, whispering in His ear.

Every turn of the path, sowing doubt. Was Jesus impacted by the devil? Apparently so. Luke doesn’t say that Satan tried to tempt Jesus. No, the passage is clear: “the devil tempted Jesus.”

Jesus was tempted; He was tested.

Tempted to change sides? Tempted to go home? Tempted to settle for a kingdom on earth? I don’t know, but I know He was tempted. A war raged within. Stress stormed without.

Like Jesus we are tempted. Like Jesus we are accused. But unlike Jesus, we give up. We give out. We sit down. How can our hearts have the endurance Jesus had? By focusing where Jesus focused: on “the joy that God put before Him” (Hebrews 12:2). He lifted His eyes beyond the horizon and saw the table. He focused on the feast. And what He saw gave Him strength to finish — and finish strong.

Such a moment awaits us. In an hour that has no end, we will rest. Surrounded by saints and engulfed by Jesus himself, the work will, indeed, be finished. The final harvest will have been gathered, we will be seated, and Christ will christen the meal with these words:

Well done, good and faithful servant. — Matthew 25:23

Excerpted from 3:16: The Numbers of Hope by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.

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Your Turn

Satan is so good at his job. First he tempts us as he did Jesus, and then he condemns us for being tempted! He stalked Jesus’ identity and he stalks us. Thank the Lord we have Jesus’ example to follow. Let’s ask the Lord to help us fix our eyes on the joy set before us when we are tempted. Come join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear your comments about Jesus’ temptation and your own temptation. ~ Devotionals Daily