1 Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit, to be tempted by the devil.
2 And afterwards, having fasted for forty days and forty nights, He was hungry.
3 And the tempter, approaching, said to Him: “If You are the Son of God tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
It is often said that we do not know what the future holds for us. We make our plans, and we hope that they will happen just as we plan, yet we all know that things may turn out differently to what we have planned.
The word of God tells us:
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps – Proverbs 16.9 (NLT). Every follower of Jesus needs to remember this. Our future is not at the whim of some unknown force that affects our future. It is our God who directs and determines our steps.
Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, and there was a purpose in His being in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. Matthew states quite simply it was so that at the end of this period He should be tempted by the devil.
Let us think about this for a moment. Jesus was to undergo a prolonged period of fasting, and at the end of this He was to be tempted by the devil. This means that for those forty days and forty nights Jesus knew that He would have to face the devil and his evil temptations.
He would be vulnerable through His hunger. He would be physically weakened. In His mind He would be desirous of food. Remember, He was tempted in the same ways as we are:
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin – Hebrews 4.15 (NLT).
It is perhaps not popular to tell one another that we will face the temptations of the devil, and that those temptations will come when we might be at a weak point.
Yet, just as Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, so will we.
We may be tempted when we are at our weakest, when we are most vulnerable, when we feel least able to withstand the temptation. However, it is good for us to remember that we will be led by the Holy Spirit into such times of temptation.