The Word of God is a weapon that even Satan uses to make us fall. So we must be very prudent in making use of the Word.
Devil is so deceitful and he can even use the word of God to attract human beings towards him. Jesus too was tested by the devil, but Jesus won the test. If Jesus had gone through various temptations in his life, even at the last moment of his life to come down from the cross in order to testify that He is the Son of God, the followers of Jesus will also face so many temptations in their lives. Jesus was with His Father and He was revealed during the time of His baptism that He is the beloved Son (Mt.3:17).
The devil is very much concerned about the sons and daughters of God. He knows the value of their lives on earth and thus He is always following them to gradually convert them from their conviction that they are the real children of God. If a doubt arises in that conviction, the devil begins to take advantage of it. The hungry man needs bread. It is a basic need of the human being. Devil uses this basic need to play with Jesus as well as the human beings.
What is the problem, take a short cut and make money, have little corruption in life…thus one can surely overcome the hunger. Change the stones into bread, have little selfishness will not cause one, instead it is necessary. The motivation of Satan was not to give Jesus food but to prove His Sonship by being selfish for His own motives than trust in the word of His Father. Jesus understands this and replies to Satan that material food cannot give eternal happiness but the Word coming from the Father gives eternal life. This is the reply of a spiritual person.
At times the followers of Jesus too were tested by the devil. When they are persecuted, and suffering, the devil influences his or her intellect and asks questions about their identity. If one is a son/daughter of God why these things happen in one’s life? If Jesus had done the miracle, the devil could have won the test. Since Jesus overcame not by any selfish methods or miracles.There are preachers who work miracles in the name of Jesus and attract so many towards them than to Jesus. By doing so Jesus is defeated there. Devil always gives promises which are attractive ones, which even look very lovely and pleasant to our senses, but not to the heart. They can satisfy our body but not the soul.
The second test was on the parapet of the temple. It is interesting to see that the devil is taking Jesus to the holy place. Certain thoughts can arise in one’s mind during the time of prayer or other spiritual activities. One cannot underestimate that those thoughts, which come at the time of prayer or spiritual activities, are all from God. If one does the spiritual exercises for only a routine, without meaning, such feelings can arise.
Jump down from your status and you have better place in the world…the angel of the Lord will hold you in their palms, Ps. 91:11-12, leave this tough religious life and go and enjoy the world…. jump down from the moral principles you are holding… leave your convictions which is thought by Church, there is lot of people who are ready to appreciate you… can have abortion and enjoy life, there is no problem in premarital sex…if one does not take care, he/she may fall from the top.
Thus the temptation jump comes in mind. One has to be aware of it and listen to Jesus carefully. He says, “you shall not put your God to the test” (Mt.4:7). He is the one who called us, He is the one who filled His followers with conviction and do not give it up by seeing this glittering world and give chance for devil to win over one’s life.
The devil takes Jesus for the third temptation. By accepting devil’s challenge and worshipping him, He can be the king of this world, but Jesus is the king of the whole universe, visible and invisible. There are people who worship money, power, beauty, heroes and heroines, politics, lust for sex etc. The sacred sex has become an object to make money, and people sell beauty to get more profit. There are also people who like to be worshipped. All of them forget the truth that anyone who gives more priority to anything than Jesus is worshipping those things in their lives. These visible gods cannot give one eternal life.
Jesus attacks the devil by using His proper name Satan. He is the one who sows the weeds among seeds, (Mk.4:5). He will be a block always for God’s plan (Mt.16:23). He is the one who binds people from enjoying real freedom (LK.22:3), make the people so selfish (Acts. 5:3), flesh destructor (1 Cor.5:5), coming like an angel of the light (2 Cor.2:11-14) etc. These are his characteristics.
The heart is the place of worship. If one keeps Jesus as his heart winner and worship Him, he can overcome Satan’s temptations. Desert is the place of God experience and Jesus was with His father for forty days and nights there. Desert is also the place of wild animals. If we are with God, no wild animals can attack us.
Jesus overcame temptations by gaining strength from the Father, thus the followers can win the temptations of life only with a deep communion with father. The relationship with heavenly Father is the most important weapon against Satan. Our fight is not earthly, and we are fighting not against the forces of this world.
– – – written by Fr. Biju Maramkuzhackal SVD