“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted by the devil.”(Luke 4:1-2a NKJV)

Jesus had spent his first thirty years in relative silence and seclusion, living in the small town of Nazareth. He lived among his people the Jews and enjoyed a common life among his family and community. We saw in our last article the silence was broken with John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”(John 1:29). But also, the voice of His Father from heaven broke the silence of perhaps four hundred years, declaring “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased”(Luke 3:13 NKJV).


After Jesus was announced and affirmed, he was driven by the Spirit into the ultimate proving ground…the Judean desert. The howling wild animals, the barren conditions of the wilderness, blazing sun by day, cold desert floor by night would have been enough to test his metal. But in addition to these bleak conditions…He was confronted by the devil after fasting with only water. And one more thing, humanly speaking…He was alone, no human comfort.

Fasting in the midst of aloneness. We in the West have all but lost sight of the place of fasting in our “spiritual” routine. And yet there is great benefit from fasting. The LORD moved the prophet Isaiah to write,”Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness; To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out? When you see the naked, that you cover him, and hide not yourself from your own flesh?”(Isaiah 58:6-7 NKJV). Was God the Father using this occasion of temptation in the wilderness to highlight Israel’s neglect of the poor and less fortunate? Was He not indicating that it was more than the Roman yoke of the oppressor that needed to be broken?(Jesus will later offer a “Yoke that is light and easy”, that will bring true rest from all weariness). Jesus teaches by way of His example that fasting is for today; it must be part of our kingdom lifestyle. It is not only good for us,personally, but fasting is a means of breaking the spirit of the yoke of oppression from others. He did not say, “If you fast” but “When you…fast”(Matt.6:16).


Why did Jesus have to go through the forty days of wilderness temptation? He was being tempted by the devil, but being tested by God. He was representative MAN. In other words, all that the first MAN, Adam, failed in while in the garden, Jesus had come to undo. Adams’ failure was in the most perfect environment, garden of Eden. Conversely, Jesus must face the prince of this world, not in the lovely setting of a garden but in the wasteland of a desert (Prophetic of the effects of sin).


Jesus’ temptations were real in order to be acquainted with the very temptations Adam and every other “son of Adam” faces. He knows what it feels like to be tempted with sin’s ploys and Satan’s toys. John the apostle wrote that we were not to love the world and it’s shiny, alluring promises.  How will the worlds’ temporary joys and effervescent pleasures help us when we lose our own soul? Jesus was tempted in all points as we are(And Adam was) yet without sin. What does that mean for us? First, It is possible to choose not to enter into a cycle of sin and unrighteous behavior. “There is no temptation but what is common to man. But God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted above what you can bear. He will make a way of escape for you”(1 Corinthians 10:13). Second, although God allows us to be tempted, He does not tempt to sin. Satan is the Tempter.  But God will allow temptation to TEST us in order to BLESS us.  I’ve taken many a test or exam in the course of my life. But never did I take a test to fail but in order to PASS. Passing a test was in order to go on to complete the course, go on to the next grade level. In other words, God tests us with the goal in mind of a PROMOTION. So it was true of Jesus Christ, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many….For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans5:12,15,19 NKJV).


Jesus is the Last Adam, who sets free all who believe in His victory over all the schemes of the devil. The writer to the Hebrew believers sums it up beautifully, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”(Hebrews 2: 14-15 NKJV).


© Copyright 2012, Walter Fletcher, Jr., All rights are reserved. This article may be copied free of charge provided that it not be altered in any way from its original content. Send all correspondence to:


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