I loved this week’s scripture reading so much. We learned about Jesus’ birth, His family, His childhood, and His early days of ministry. Reflecting on Jesus’ humanness makes me feel closer to Him, and more thankful for His sacrifice on the cross. To think that Jesus came to Earth as a baby (just like each of us), and that Jesus passed through every normal stage of physical development as He grew into adulthood, is just amazing.
Scripture – Many passages had an impact on me this week, but after being reminded that Jesus was fully human, Luke 4:1-4 really captured my attention:
“Then Jesus returned from the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over, He was hungry. The Devil said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’
But Jesus answered him, ‘It is written: Man must not live on bread alone.’”
Observation – Although I have read this passage before, it blows me away that the Spirit led Jesus to this place for the specific purpose of being tempted by Satan.
Application – As a follower of Jesus, I’ve willingly chosen to give up many of the former bad habits that were a part of my pre-Jesus life, but I still struggle nearly every day with some form of temptation. Luke 4:1-2 reminds me that temptation can be allowed for the sole purpose of strengthening my faith. What if in each moment of temptation, I thought back to this passage and remembered that Jesus was able to resist Satan when He was physically weaker than I have ever been? What if I allowed God’s word to truly provide the sweet sustenance my soul needs instead of looking to be satiated by the false promises of this world? What if I looked at resisting temptation as a way to grow closer to the Lord? When Jesus was exhausted and beyond famished in the wilderness, He could have felt self-pity. He could have wondered why He had to struggle in this way, but instead He provided the perfect example for us of how to combat earthly temptation.
Prayer – Jesus, thank You for humbling Yourself enough to come to Earth as a baby and allowing Yourself to face temptation, just like we do. Thank You for providing us with a perfect example of how we can escape that temptation – through the memorization of and reliance on God’s word. Please help us to have the strength to remain true to the calling on each of our lives, just as You did. And most of all, thank You for welcoming us into Your family and Your Kingdom! Amen.