Jesus had just come through one of mankind's most common and yet most difficult experiences – temptation. He was in the wilderness, alone and without food, for an incredible 40 days. And it was when Jesus was at His weakest point physically that Satan decided to make a personal appearance. So, the obvious question is this: If Satan would do this to Jesus, why would we be surprised that he does it to us? Satan knows when we’re at our weakest, and he sees it as a personal invitation for temptation. So how did Jesus handle this attack? To answer that question, as well as set the groundwork for our reading, let's go back to the beginning of this chapter, all the way to verse one.
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan River. Luke 4:1a
Jesus went into His wilderness experience, into this period of temptation, full of God's Holy Spirit. And we know the end of the story. Jesus came through it victoriously. Why was this? Could it be because Jesus – all-God, yes, but at the exact same time, all-Man – submitted His will and allowed Himself to be filled with God's Holy Spirit? The same Holy Spirit that's available to us. Now let's jump ahead to verse 14. And reading from the Amplified Bible, let's hear what Luke said about Jesus after this exhausting time of temptation.
Then Jesus went back full of and under the power of the [Holy] Spirit into Galilee ...Luke 4:14a (The Amplified Bible)
Jesus was full of, and under the power of, God's Holy Spirit. In His humanity, Jesus came through this agonizing episode stronger because of God's Spirit. It’s been said that temptation will do one of two things for a person. It will either strengthen him or weaken him. Suffering and testing will either sweeten you or sour you, make you softer or leave you harder. There’s an old saying that the same sun will melt the wax and harden the clay. We know it’s the condition of the object that brings the results from the heat of the sun. If we are filled with God's Holy Spirit, we have the strength to withstand anything.
Corrie Ten Boom once gave this illustration. “I have a glove here in my hand,” she said. “The glove cannot do anything by itself, but when my hand is in it, it can do many things. True, it is not the glove, but my hand in the glove that acts. We are gloves. It is the Holy Spirit in us who is the hand, who does the job. We have to make room for the hand so that every finger is filled.”
Temptation need not end in disaster. With the Son of God in you, His Holy Spirit strengthening you, and God the Father protecting you, you can withstand anything that comes your way.
A life surrendered to Jesus is just, well, in good Hands.
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