Temptations entice us when we are in obvious need of whatever they are offering. Hungry? There’s that donut (you really don’t want or need). Feeling invisible? Do something that will really make you stand out (even if it causes harm to you or others). Want some power? Do whatever it takes to succeed (pushing aside family, friends, and health). Fulfilling legitimate needs—hunger, identity, and success—is fine, except when it’s not, when we are tempted to meet our needs in less than legitimate ways. The other problem with temptations is there is always an element of twisted truth in them. The devil’s question in the garden (Did God really say?) is woven into our temptations. And to back up that question, how about some scripture quotes?
In our scripture passage this week, Jesus faces those same real temptations that we all do. His needs are real, and the element of truth in the temptations is real as well. Yet, he doesn’t cave to the temptations because he knows the deeper truth of who he is and who God is. He has spent time listening to the God who loves him in scripture and in prayer. He still trusts when God’s faithfulness is questioned because he knows the God of Faithfulness inside and out.