Having reviewed the beginning of creation and the fall of man, we now look at Christ and His encounter with the devil in the wilderness. As a human being, the wilderness was the place where Christ overcame Satan the way Adam should have done in the Garden of Eden. Jesus does this for Himself as the last Adam. In chapter nine we will see the battle Christ fought for us in the Garden of Gethsemane on His journey to the cross and grave.
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell the story of Christ’s face-off with Satan. We will look at Matthew’s account in Matthew 4 of the amazing battle between heaven’s King and hell’s master.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Before the devil showed up, Jesus gave Himself to seeking God through fasting for forty days and nights. He brought His natural desires into a place of total surrender to the Father.
The devil’s first attack came as our Lord hungered. The devil challenged the weakest point in Jesus’ body and probably His soul as well. As the tempter came to Jesus, he came as he did to Eve, planting doubt when he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (Matthew 4:3 NKJV). As Jesus’ body was crying out for food after forty days of fasting, denying His natural man what it required to live, the first shot the enemy took was aimed at Jesus’ physical body craving for food. Jesus answered the devil very directly when He said, “It is written . . .” (Matthew 4:4a NKJV). Jesus did not draw from His own intellect or emotions. Instead He drew from outside Himself: the Word of God. He drew His spiritual arrow from Deuteronomy: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3 NKJV). The devil tried to take advantage of the weakness of Jesus’ flesh knowing that He needed food to sustain Himself. Jesus responded, focusing on a higher sustaining factor, with God’s Word. He knew that His sustenance was first rooted in God’s Word and not natural food that perishes. So Jesus’ body took the first arrow and deflected it. One for Jesus!