There are so many things that could be drawn out of this passage and written about, but as I read through it in different versions the thing that stuck out to me the most was the complete obedience of Jesus to His Father.
The passage begins with Jesus being baptized by John. John knew full well who Jesus was and he protested when Jesus asked him to baptize Him, saying that Jesus should be baptizing him instead. Jesus replies that this was the right thing to do – it was God’s will. John agreed. When Jesus comes out of the water we see God’s pleasure in Him when a voice from heaven is heard declaring that this Jesus is His son and that’s He’s pleased with Him.
Immediately after His baptism, Jesus is led into the desert by the Holy Spirit. The whole purpose of this is for Jesus to be tempted by Satan who will take great delight in the opportunity. In preparation, Jesus fasts for 40 days and nights. Physically, He is weakened, but spiritually, He is in tune with His Father. I’m struck by Jesus’ preparation for what He knows will be a battle. He denies Himself physically to prepare Himself spiritually. There’s so much for us to learn in that picture! When I’m feeling under pressure, my natural instinct is to look for ways to comfort myself. What we see in Jesus is pursuit of God, not self comfort.
The next thing that stands out to me is how Jesus chooses to fight His adversary. Jesus completely submitted His own will to that of His Father, God. He allowed Himself to suffer temptation in all the same areas that we do so that He could give us a model of how to overcome the temptations in our own lives. Jesus used the word of God to do battle.
1 Corinthians 10:13 is a verse that I memorized many years ago: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” The way out that Jesus found was God’s word. He wielded it like a sword against His enemy. God’s word still has that power today! There’s no limit to the amount of victory that we could experience in our own lives if we took the same approach to temptation that Jesus did.
What might your life look like today if you took God at His word and sought Him as completely as Jesus did?