Have you ever placed a magnet on a piece of metal, expecting it to stick just to find out that it was actually plastic? Temptations are only those things that are attractive to our desires, differing from person to person.
Therefore, Jesus must have had desires too. Otherwise, how could the “temptations” of Satan in Matthew 4 have been temptations?
There are three things of importance to note about these temptations:
1. Matthew and Luke write about them in detail and yet they were not there. It is not hard to believe that Luke received much of his information from Matthew and other disciples. But where did Matthew receive his information? He wasn’t there.
Do you really believe that every detail about Jesus’ time with the disciples is recorded? Therefore, isn’t it possible that Jesus shared a heart to heart with his disciples one day to share about His struggles and victories. In sharing this story with them He was sharing a very vulnerable time with them.
2. These temptations assure us that Jesus understands our temptations. When you put them in light of what John defined temptations in 1 John 2:16 you understand that all temptations fall into one of three categories and Jesus faced each one at the close of not eating for over a month. He can relate.
3. Matthew had his own message in Matthew 4. The next thing that Matthew records Jesus saying is “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
We all face temptations. But, if we fail the simple message is “turn around!” To what? Temptations is all about us. The last words that Jesus said in Matthew 4 were “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew did not throw together what we find in chapter four. It had a purpose – Repentance moves us from our desires (temptations) to focusing on others.
The vaccination for temptation? Be others focused. The cure for temptation if you do fail? Turn around, repent.