Daily Word

Baptized in temptation | Matthew 4:1-4

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:1-4 (NASB)

Baptized in temptation

Jesus has now been baptized by John and received the commendation of the Father. The Spirit has descended and remains on Him. In baptism, he identified with mankind, now He does in this temptation. Baptism also signifies a dependence on God. Jesus depended on the Father and Spirit to sustain His weak human nature. 

It’s time for another sort of baptism, one of temptation. This is “baptism” in the sense He was immersed in temptation. That is, He received the maximum temptation any human could experience. There were three. They were from the tempter, the Devil himself, the author of lies. 

“The Holy Spirit cannot tempt us (James 1:13), but the Holy Spirit may lead us to a place where we will be tempted. This is not to prove something to God (who knows all things), but to prove something to us and to the spiritual beings watching us.” (enduringword.com)

Fasting first

Preparation for the temptation was fasting. Fasting typically is abstaining from food for the purpose of devotion to God. When it says “He then became hungry”, notice that it was after fasting for 40 days. Most of us get hungry after 40 minutes of not eating. My guess is this is not just “I feel hungry” but, rather, hunger to a degree that, “If I don’t eat, I will literally die.”

Temptation 1 – Believe God’s Word

The first temptation of Jesus from the Devil was whether He really believes God’s Word. How? Do a miracle; turn stones into bread. Easy to do. He challenged Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…” 

Take note. This is a tactic of the Devil. As with the first sin in the Garden of Eden (“Has God really said…” in Genesis 3:1), Satan questions the truth of God. This temptation of Jesus is a crafty temptation since he knew Jesus was starving to death and needed sustenance, and quickly.

Respond with the truth

How does Jesus combat this temptation in the form of a question of truth wrapped up in a lie? Jesus responds with the Word of God. We’re reminded that Jesus calls Himself, and is, “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). 

His response countered the Devil’s deception and also reminds us today of the higher priority, over physical food, of spiritual food. 


  • What is your priority? Is it physical food or spiritual food? Do you make sure you eat every day but neglect studying and delighting in the Word of God?
  • Do you believe God’s Word? First you have to know it. Do you really believe? Think about some of Jesus’ commands as you answer. Commands like, “Do not be anxious” or “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
Water baptism of repentance

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