Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan (where he had been baptized) and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil…9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ 11 and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ” 12 Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Jesus was tempted… by whom? By Satan. The bible repeatedly references one who is opposed to God and all things holy. He is called Satan, the devil, Beelzebub, the accuser, and other names. And the reason for this, dear brothers and sisters, is because Satan is relentless in his attempts to come between us and our God. This is particularly true when we are vulnerable. When are we vulnerable?
We are vulnerable when we are tired or under stress. Doing the right thing often takes more energy, not less. Also, we tend to make poor decisions under stress, returning to bad habits we thought were behind us. We are vulnerable when there is tension in an important relationship. If I’m feeling distant from my significant other, I’m more inclined to be seduced by someone else. We are vulnerable when we are separated from key family and friends – leaving us with little accountability or support for our actions. The list goes on.
13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from (Jesus) until an opportune time.
Are you vulnerable right now? Are you tired? Are you overly stressed? Are you and your significant other struggling through a rough patch in your relationship? Find yourself isolated from family and friends while traveling for work or some other reason? Be alert dear sisters and brother, and call upon the Lord to give you strength to resist the temptations of the devil.
Heavenly Father, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. Amen.