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Overcoming Temptation

Mark 1.12-13
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
Overview. In concise form (see Matthew 4.1-11 and Luke 4.1-13), Mark presents us with two symbolic pictures. Our Lord’s forty days in the wilderness remind us of Israel’s forty years in the wilderness. Israel failed when they were tested, but our Lord succeeded victoriously. Having triumphed over the enemy, Jesus could now go forth and call a new people who would enter into their spiritual inheritance. Since the name “Jesus” is the Greek form of “Joshua,” we can see the parallel.

The first Adam was tested in a beautiful garden and failed, but Jesus was tempted in a dangerous wilderness and won the victory. Adam lost his “authority” over creation because of his sin, but in Christ that authority has been restored for all who trust Him. Jesus was with the wild animals and they did not harm Him. He gave a demonstration of that future time of peace and righteousness when the Lord shall return and establish His kingdom.

Today. Jesus left the crowds and went into the wilderness where He was tempted by Satan. To be tempted is not a sin. Tempting others or giving in to temptation is sin. We should not hate or resent times of inner testing because through them God can strengthen our character and teach us valuable lessons. When you face Satan and must deal with his temptations and the turmoil he brings, remember Jesus. He used God’s Word against Satan and won. You can do the same. A person has not shown true obedience if he or she has never had an opportunity to disobey. We read in Deuteronomy 8.2 that God led Israel into the wilderness to humble and test them. God wanted to see whether or not His people would really obey Him. We too will be tested. Because we know that testing will come, we should be alert and ready for it. Remember, your convictions are only strong if they hold up under pressure! Stay strong in God’s Word, and you will stand strong against Satan’s attacks.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Pastor Jeff
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