“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Mt. 4:1 (ESV)
In the world of medicine today with all its scientific and technological advancements, it’s easy to doubt or forget the existence of an evil being.
That is…until we hear of a school shooting or some other current event that cannot be classified in any way but…evil.
Make no mistake…there is an eternal being who not only represents and exemplifies evil…his character is absolutely evil.
He is known by various names in the Bible, but in the New Testament, he is called either Satan or the devil.
And yes…he is real.
As recorded in this passage in Matthew, Jesus encountered and was tempted by this evil being.
I press the point of the reality of Satan because one of his primary strategies is to remain hidden and to convince the world that he is not real.
After all…we won’t guard ourselves against someone we don’t believe exists.
A related strategy of Satan is to popularize certain aspects of evil within our culture. Hollywood is well known for its current spate of movies dealing with zombies that have become so popular that it’s now spread to primetime television.
Evil beings arising from the dead are an acceptable form of entertainment.
In addition, we’ve just come through one of the most widely popular holidays in our society…Halloween.
While Halloween celebrates many kinds of characters, the vast majority represent some form of evil and the affect is to falsely inoculate our children (and ourselves) against the existence of evil.
We need only turn on the evening news to realize that evil is real.
It is one thing to understand the reality of evil.
It is another to realize that there is a strategy behind that evil.
Jesus knew and understood that.
Notice that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil.
The temptation of Jesus was not an accident…it was intentional.
The temptation of Jesus was necessary for reasons we can’t fully comprehend.
All we know is that it was necessary for Jesus to confront and defeat the devil…by resisting his temptations.
As followers of Jesus, since we also will face the temptations of Satan, we must remember he exists…and do what we can to prepare.
Prayer: Lord, remind and prepare me for the reality of spiritual warfare.