Jesus confronts evil in the wilderness. Satan is not a a Halloween costume but a fallen angel trying to destroy God’s good gifts in our lives.
We can overcome temptation’s lies with the truth of God’s Word and following the Spirit of God within us. The arrogant cannot see God, the humble experience God.
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Jesus is led by the Spirit of God right into a confrontation with spiritual darkness. There is a level of evil we cannot see but we can see it’s results in our world all the time.
The devil or Satan isn’t a Halloween character with a pitchfork like we see in medieval paintings but a fallen angel bent on destroying God’s good gifts. It may be easy to dismiss this kind of evil, but we have all had our own moments when a thought comes to mind that scares us. When we are in a good place we laugh it off or ignore it or replace it. When we aren’t in a good place we go along with that dark thought and even follow it to the destructive action associated with it.
Jesus never gave into temptation. He was fully human so he faced all the temptations we face, but He was fully God and filled with the Spirit of God. Before Jesus, the Spirit came and went as He pleased. Now when we choose to follow Jesus, we are promised the Spirit comes to live within us and can guide us out of temptation when we follow His guidance.
Just like in the garden of Eden, spiritual darkness tempts us with taking something that is not ours – either sooner than God intended or something never intended for us. Giving into temptation is saying with our actions we believe we know better than God knows. Our ways are better than His ways.
Jesus shows us through his fasting and refusal to give in that trusting God is worth the wait and worth the struggle.
Jesus proclaims his mission at a synagogue in his hometown. He was proclaiming a new Kingdom to those with ears to hear it – the poor, the imprisoned, the blind, and the oppressed. He was describing the spiritual condition of those listening and all of us really. His neighbors who knew him as Mary’s son, the carpenter, were offended by this moment and actually forced him out of town with hopes of pushing him off a cliff. Instead he turns and simply walks back through the angry crowd.
Contrast their arrogant response with the people of Capernaum who didn’t want Jesus to leave! Jesus demonstrated his power over evil by casting out demons influencing people and his power over sickness and disease by healing people.
Jesus reiterates his mission to them. “I’m here to proclaim a new Kingdom.”
Are you open to a new way of life?
A life trusting God and His ways rather than your own ways or even the ways of darkness?
What temptations do you want His help to overcome?