Jesus Knew How To Handle Temptation
"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil." (Luke 4:1, 2a)
Are you ever tempted to do something that you know is wrong? Maybe when you get home from school you see the super-chewy, ooey-gooey, fudge brownies that your mom has just finished baking. You ask if you might have a brownie, but to your utter dismay, your mom responds with, "Only if your homework is done; do you have any?" Now you know that you have just a little bit of math homework. But your "need" for that brownie is so great that you think to yourself, "I'll say 'no' right now and just do the math homework later on tonight before I go to bed." When you think that way, you have been tempted to do something that you know is wrong.
How should we handle temptation? When we're right in the middle of being tempted to do wrong, that is no time to try to figure out a way to handle it. We need to decide before the temptation how we are going to handle it. One reason Jesus went through the temptations in the wilderness (listed in Luke 4) is to show us how to handle temptation. Let's take a look at this passage and see what it says about Jesus and temptations.
After Jesus was baptized, He went into the wilderness and fasted for forty days (fasting means that He prayed to the Father instead of eating). At the end of those forty days, Satan came to tempt Him. Our passage lists three temptations that Jesus went through during this time. Each time, Jesus responded by quoting something God had said in the Bible. This is very important. God has given us His Word so we can live in a way that pleases Him. If we are going to handle temptation correctly, we must know what God's Word says.
Remember the cookie-and-homework-temptation-to-lie situation? A couple of verses that would be good to memorize for a temptation like that would be these:
"Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another." (Leviticus 19:11)
"Honor your father and mother." (Ephesians 6:2a)
Each time Jesus was tempted, He remembered something that God had said in Scripture. Think of what you are tempted to do. Can you think of any Bible verses that would help you if you had them memorized? If you can't, ask your dad, your mom, or pastor, or teacher to help you find some verses to help you when you are tempted to do something wrong.
Each one of us is tempted to sin. But Jesus showed us the way we can go through a temptation and not sin. Let's follow Jesus' example and handle temptation the way God wants us to!
Jesus is our Example for resisting temptation through the power of God's Word.
» What are specific things I'm tempted to do?
» What does God say about these particular sins? (Perhaps make a list of the sins and then write out the reference from the Bible that talks about what God thinks of each sin.)
Truth In Real Life
“Resolution one: I will live for God. Resolution two: If no one else does, I still will.”
One of the most influential American preachers in history, Jonathan Edwards was born in Connecticut on October 5, 1703. His father, Timothy Edwards, was a preacher; his mother Esther was a preacher’s daughter. The Edwards family loved to serve God.
Jonathan Edwards was the fifth and only son in his family of eleven children. He loved to study, and wrote his first Gospel tract at age 10. His favorite subject in school was history. When he was 12 years old, he wrote a published essay on the habits of the flying spider. Also, right around that time, he became a student at Yale University! He graduated at the top of his class and spent the next two years studying the Bible and preparing for the ministry.
At age 23, he was ordained to preach and made it his personal rule that he would study the Bible no less than thirteen hours every day. He married Sarah Pierrepont, and God gave them twelve children.
In the 1730s, God worked a wonderful revival in people’s hearts. Edwards continued to preach. Soon, by God’s grace, what came to be known as the first “Great Awakening” was spreading throughout the country.
Jonathan Edwards is especially famous even among unbelievers for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and its ongoing influence over time. The sermon focused on the subjects of hell and God’s judgment; when he preached it, the church people became so convicted they fell into the aisles and wept. Edwards wasn’t sensational or pushy in his sermon delivery. He just preached God’s message from a handwritten manuscript. He was used greatly by God during the Great Awakening. He also wrote over 60,000 pages in his lifetime and led countless souls to genuine faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Jonathan Edwards was devoted to the study of God’s Word and was resolved to live rightly before Him, no matter what. Do you make resolutions and try to honor God with how you spend your time? Are you praying for God to increase your love for and understanding of His Word?
2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.