Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
1. Three Gospels have an account of the temptation of Jesus, and these at the very beginning of His ministry following the baptism by John.
2. Matthew and Luke report 3 temptations and each one has a political nature to it. The Herodians pleased the people by giving them food (bread), the Sadducees cooperated with Rome to retain their power, and the Pharisees were waiting for a miraculous miracle from Yahweh.
3. 40 days, maybe a rounded off number, but both Moses and Elijah fasted 40 days.
4. In verse 3 is an ‘if clause’ and it means yes, you are the actual Son of God. In verse 7 the ‘if’ means, well, you may be. And in verse 9 again is another ‘if’ clause, 1st class condition meaning, and you are the Son of God. The devil knows.
5. At the conclusion, after the third temptation, the devil left Jesus alone, but the word usage means that this was only for a period of time. There would be more.
6. Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress” recounts how the devil hounded him. Can we expect anything less?
7. Does it not seem that Satan is making a great effort right now to kill and destroy those made in the very image of God?