Jesus’ ministry did not begin until He overcame the major temptations of this world. This temptation in the desert was the major confrontation where He let all of darkness know that He was reclaiming what they had taken from Man. Jesus message to the people was not given until He had made His claim in the spiritual world for what was His.
Jesus’ ministry did not begin until He overcame three major temptations. (the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life – 1 John 2:16). He had to overcome His own flesh, the Evil One and the world before He was released into His earthly ministry. Jesus’ message to the people was not given until He had made His claim in the spiritual world for what was His. We’re going to lay out a foundation of understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven in other posts which will require many different scriptures, so I don’t want to stray from this text here. Suffice it to say that Jesus was bringing a new spiritual reality to earth in His coming and He had to take it from the one who controlled the earth as we will see below
The first basic temptation was food to eat. Jesus was in every way human and he had not had food for 40 days. He was hungry! So this was not an easy thing. But behind this obvious temptation was another more sinister one. Satan was questioning Jesus’ identity. He started these first two tests by saying, “If you are the Son of God…” Jesus was human and these were very real temptations that He had to overcome and so we know there must have been part of Him that said, “I’ll show you I’m the Son of God!”
Jesus had lived in obscurity until this time. He had finally arrived at His moment with God the Father testifying to the crowd of people at His baptism that He was His Son with whom He was well pleased. And now the father of all evil in the world dared to question who He was. Whether it be creating bread in the first question, or commanding angels to obey in the second, Jesus must have felt a great pull to show who He really was!
But that is not what God was calling Him to do. God had called Him to suffer. Yes, God had glory planned for Jesus, but this was not His time. Jesus‘ calling was to suffer in order to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
Do you ever feel like God has bigger things for you, but you wonder whether or not it is true? Do you ever feel like you are enduring great hardship and you are wondering what the point is? God shows us here through the life of Messiah that sometimes we must submit to great hardship in order that He can make us ready for what lies ahead. It is often hard to see the glory He has for you when you are stuck in the desert, but if He has you there, He needs you there growing so that you will be ready for His biggest plans in your life.
Do you know who you are in God’s eyes? Satan will try to convince you you’re someone else entirely. What is God showing you in these verses?
Come back tomorrow for more on the temptations of Christ.