How the Bible Teaches Us to Handle Temptation

Matthew 4

What can we learn from Jesus? Chapter 4 of Matthew has four subheads, titled “The Temptation of Jesus,” “Jesus Begins His Ministry,” “Jesus Calls the First Disciples,” and “Jesus Ministers to Great Crowds.” If we just look at those titles, we can see Jesus throughout this chapter in Matthew.

In this post I will be focusing of two things: how Jesus dealt with temptation and how Jesus began his ministry.

Everyone has heard the story of how Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, then was tempted. I try to picture myself in those situations to make the Bible more real. I think of a time where I was so hungry I couldn’t think of anything else. I had just run a Tough Mudder. If you haven’t heard of one of it before, just imagine a 12 mile forrest, hill, and sand run filled with military style obstacles. After finishing that, I was exhausted and needed food more than I think I ever did. Luckily, McDonalds was only about 15 minutes away, so I was able to fill my belly with a large amount of fried food. Anyways, I’m sure you have your own stories also. So Jesus is in the wilderness, starving, only to visited by Satan to try to tempt him at his weakest points. Satan tries this three times before actually leaving, but each time he tries to tempt Jesus, Jesus speaks truth through Scripture. What does that tell us?

there is power in scripture

When temptation hits, remember that you have power over that temptation with God’s word.  None of us lack temptation. We are tempted on a daily basis, but the best question to ask yourself is how you handle temptation.

As I was finishing the chapter, one part really caught my eye. It was the part of the chapter where Jesus started calling his first disciples. The part that really caught my eye was how these men dropped everything to follow Jesus IMMEDIATELY. Scripture says it this way:

Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

I try to imagine Jesus coming up to me today at work and saying “follow me.” Would I truly stop what I was doing and go? To be totally honest, I would probably have a thousand things cross my mind first, from “What about my wife?” to “I have a great job here, and I love what I do, so why should I leave?” I think this passage helps us realize that Jesus will call us at some point. The only questions is, are we ready to take the call?

Think about that today.

There are a lot of things that tempt us in this world and make us think this is the best thing since sliced bread. But what we really need to do is remember that we are in this world and not of this world; our citizenship is in heaven, so we need to be ready to answer the call. Reflect on whether you would answer that call, cheerfully, today.