|Temptation picture illustration only.|
“Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus. (Matthew 4:10-11, NLT)
“When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came”
(Luke 4:13, NLT).
During the entire wilderness episode, Jesus endured Satan’ unrelenting temptation. He held strong, defeating Satan at every point. But when Jesus told the devil to leave, Satan “went away.” Because Jesus became human, he can be tempted. Because Jesus is God’s Son, he is greater, much greater than Satan. Jesus is Satan’s superior. Satan must do as Jesus commands.
But then the Gospel of Luke adds this ominous phrase, “[Satan] left him until the next opportunity came.” This wilderness experience was just the first of many encounters Jesus would have with Satan and his power. Jesus’ personal victory over the devil at the very beginning of his public ministry set the stage for his command over demons throughout his life on earth, but it did not keep Satan from continuing to try to sabotage Jesus’ mission. In other words, Jesus’ defeat of the devil at this time was decisive but not final. Throughout the next three years, Jesus would confront Satan in many other ways and circumstances. Satan is relentless and always looks for opportunities to exploit.
Without question, Satan is also powerful. Jesus called him “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). So we should take Satan seriously and never fool around with occult practises and spiritual practises of false religions. And we should make no mistake about his intentions, namely – Satan is at war with God and his people and will do everything in his power to thwart God’s purposes on earth (Of course, in the end (and is) God rule the universe. Jesus win!).
Think about this: Just because we win a victory doesn’t mean the battle is over. Far from true. Satan is relentless. He always does whatever he can to mess with God’s people. Jesus has given us armour and weapons to use in this spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20), but they won’t do us any good if we don’t use them. Peter the apostle reminds us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Jesus win, remember? We, in Jesus, the Victorious Saviour and Lord, also can win over the devil and his evil schemes.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.