Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jesus, Led By The Spirit Into The Wilderness - Matthew 4:1 Bible Commentary

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1)
When John raised Jesus out of the Jordan River, Jesus' ministry began. There was the voice from the Father in heaven, and there was the Spirit, descending like a dove. What happened next, however, isn't necessarily what would be expected. After this magnificent revelation of all three Persons of the the Godhead, Jesus was led by the Spirit, not to the shepherdless people of Israel, but into the wilderness.

There, Jesus' obedience to the Father was put to the test— a trial that was dwarfed only by the blood-filled anguish of Gethsemane. In this trial, Jesus was tempted by the head of the kingdom of darkness, Satan. Long ago, Satan had rebelled against the Lord, taking many of the angels with Him. Now, in the wilderness, the serpent had the opportunity to battle the Second Adam face to face.

This Second Adam, the Messiah, the incarnate Son of God— He is the very one who was prophesied in Genesis 3:15. He is the seed of the woman that would bruise the head of the serpent.

In this encounter between Satan and Jesus Christ, we can learn how we ought to battle temptation. Each of Jesus' three temptations show us the importance of knowing Scripture and keeping our eyes fixed on God.

As is evident from this first verse, a glorious moment is no sign that a trial isn't just around the corner. Jesus heard the Father's voice, and the Spirit descended upon Him. But then the Spirit immediately drove Him into the wilderness to be tempted. Take warning, then, from this event in our Saviour's history. Just because you are enjoying sweet communion with the Father today doesn't mean you will not face the severest of trials tomorrow.

While you are on this earth, you will be tempted to let your guard down when you experience a "glorious moment". Resist this temptation. Keep your eyes fixed on God, not on yourself. For though the Spirit Himself may lead you into a trial, it is for your benefit. It is so that you might look only to God for your strength— the one who provides for all your needs— the one who is your protector, who alone is worthy of worship, even in the midst of the hardest of tests.

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