Facing the Devil

This week marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. Revelers will live it up on Tuesday during the celebration of Mardi Gras as they consider the sacrifice of Jesus on Wednesday. The contrast in behavior does not make sense. God does not intend for us to give in to every imaginable temptation on Tuesday so that we can live in holiness on Wednesday. Many protestants have witnessed such hypocrisy and have given up on the season of Lent. However, there is much value in walking toward the Cross and considering Jesus’ experience as he carried out his mission of dying for the sins of the world.

This Sunday, we will consider the Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus doesn’t give in one day so that He can follow the Father’s will the next. He stands strong in the light of extraordinary circumstances. While this encounter takes place early on in Jesus’ ministry, the presence and continual attacks of the evil one follow Jesus all the way to the Cross. Yet shortly after his baptism, the Scripture tells us,

(Luke 4:1 NIV) Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Do you find it strange that the Holy Spirit leads Jesus toward this encounter with the Devil? (We will talk more about this on Sunday) At the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus is faced with intense temptation. In fact, it goes on for forty days.

(Luke 4:2 NIV) where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.

At the end of forty days, the temptation reaches its max and we are told of three specific confrontations. Join us on Sunday as we walk through Luke 4:1-13. This text is a wonderful way to begin the Lenten season. Jesus’ suffering in the face of temptation aids us in our own temptation. His strength in light of vigorous attack is a model for us as we seek to follow His direction in every situation.