Meditation for Monday

And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ Matthew 4:3

Did the devil believe that Jesus was the Son of God? Of course he did; if he had any doubt of it he would never have come to tempt Him. The devil knew exactly Who Jesus was. So why did he say to Him, ‘If Thou be…’ if he had no doubt of it? The devil’s most successful tool has always been sowing doubt in people’s minds and hearts. It worked when he said to our first parents, ‘Hath God said…’ And it worked with millions since them, and continues to work today. But it failed when the devil tried it on the Lord Jesus. Will it work when he tries it on us?

The devil hoped that by reminding the Lord Jesus of His power, he could convince Him to perform a selfish act. He wanted to convince the Lord Jesus to do something to prove a point. He was like a manipulative abuser who tells a supposed girlfriend/boyfriend, ‘If you really love me, you will….’ (Everyone who uses that expression is a manipulative abuser and should be avoided. No exceptions.) But what failed to work with the Lord Jesus often works with us. The Lord Jesus had no pride for the devil to appeal to. But we do. The devil’s temptations often seem to make sense. He reminds of the things we need (or think we need) and tells us that we can get those things by ourselves without relying on God and without adhering to the Word of God. We are reminded that the things we can obtain require only small compromises, just small lies, just minor misquotes of Scripture, just brief deviations from the things of God and His people. And the devil laughs when we fail to understand why the Lord Jesus rejected his temptation.

Could Jesus have turned the stones into bread? Of course He could; look at the vast amount of bread He produced from a lad’s lunch! So what would have been wrong with doing so? He was the Word of God made flesh, and His divine capabilities were not for Himself but for those He came to save. If He were to satisfy Himself, He would be doing so outside the Father’s will. He would also be ignoring the provision that His Father would supply to meet His needs. The Father has a purpose for us as well. And moving outside that purpose is disobedience. The Father has a supply for us, too. And seeking to fill our needs outside that supply is a lack of faith.

Do we question Who the Lord Jesus really is? Do we doubt His ability to meet our needs? Does the devil win with us where he failed with our Lord? -Jim MacIntosh

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