Page 6 - February 2024 - Truth & Tidings
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ittle is known of the first 30 or so   driveth [cast] him forth into the wilder-
              years of the Lord’s earthly life or   ness” (Mar 1:12 RV). The Man proclaimed
        Lof what temptations He faced dur-    publicly will also be proven privately.
        ing those silent years. Was there a certain   Temptation in the life of a believer, if noth-
        restraint on the part of Satan, owing to the   ing else, will demonstrate in private the
        fact that Jesus was living and serving “un-  spiritual realities of the heart’s condition.
        der the radar,” with no public discourses,   The Lord’s clothes apparently hadn’t
        miracles or disciples? Or did those years,   even dried yet as He was led by the Spirit
        even then, include a constant malicious   into the desert to be tempted. Both Mark
        onslaught by the tempter?             and Luke indicate the temptation was
          Whatever the case, there was nothing   ongoing over a period of 40 days, while
        coincidental or restrained about the timing   Matthew and Luke record the three-part
        and ferocity of what has been called The   climax at the end. Here, remarkably, we
        Temptation of Jesus.  The three synoptic   have the perfect Man being both led by
        Gospels all record it, with varying and   the Spirit and tempted by the devil. Let
        complementary detail. Jesus the Nazarene   every believer take heart. While Satan
        emerged from Galilee as the Coming One   seizes the opportunity to target the car-
        John had been announcing and, suddenly,   nally- minded, he will take special note
        jarringly, presented Himself for baptism at   of the Spirit-led believer. It is not the
        the Jordan. John’s protests were quieted,   presence of temptation that indicates the
        and he complied with the Lord’s request,   strength of one’s dependence on God but
        simultaneously setting in motion his own   the response to it.
        exit from and the Lord’s entrance onto   If Christ is impeccable (that is, He can-
        the stage of public service. The sequence   not sin) – and we believe He is – was the
        of events which occur immediately after   temptation real for Him? A believer finds
        the Lord came up out  of the water gives   temptation to be much more difficult
        us reason to back up and re-read these   than it ever was as an unbeliever, for he
        sections. The Son is in the act of praying,   has the power to withstand more since
        the Spirit is descending, and the Father   the Spirit resides within. Imagine, if we
        is speaking. “This is My beloved Son, in   could, how much more pronounced, then,
        whom I am well-pleased” (Mat 3:17)  is   would be the weight of temptation faced
        no sooner uttered than the Spirit, who   by a perfectly holy Person. In Him there
        had just come upon Him, “straightway…  isn’t the slightest shadow of darkness to
                                              cooperate with temptation’s wiles and,
        1 As per Luke 22:28, it is clear this is only one   consequently, reduce its weight. I can re-
        episode of what was an ongoing reality for Him   member a school bridge-building assign-
        up until His death.
        2  Bible quotations in this article are from the   ment in which each team was given the
        NASB unless otherwise noted.          same dimensions but freedom as to how

        38   TRUTH kTidings   February  2024
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