The Individual Trials

Today's Bible reading: Matthew 27

"If You are the Son of God” says Satan.  That little word if doesn’t suggest doubt in the fact of Jesus’ divine Sonship.  What Satan suggests is that, since Jesus is God’s Son, He should prove it.  He has the power to turn stones into loaves of bread, so why not do it … and show His power?  The devil even quotes Scripture to show that God promises protection to His saints, and then offers Jesus what is His in any case: the kingdom of this world.

Jesus refuses to debate with the devil.  He stands under the Father's Word.  He refuses to put God’s providence to the test … refuses to grasp a kingdom for Himself that bypasses the cross.

Did Jesus defeat Satan in the wilderness?  Matthew and Mark record that the angels came to comfort Jesus after His testing.  Luke says that the devil left Jesus “until a more opportune time.”  Jesus won the first round against Satan … but the conflict was far from over.  Mark’s Gospel pictures the whole ministry of Jesus as a battle against the devil and his demons.  The final battle was won only after Satan came again in that last hour with the same question: If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”  In His trial in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, Jesus remained obedient to the will of the Father.  He proved His Sonship in suffering!

Prayer: Grant, O Lord, that I boast in nothing but in the cross of Your Son.  Amen.