“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
Matthew 4 tells us about Jesus being led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and nights, Jesus was hungry, and Satan came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:3-4/NIV). Satan then took Jesus to Jerusalem and had him stand on the temple’s highest point and told Him if he was the Son of God to throw Himself down and God would command the angels to protect Him from injury. Jesus responded to Satan: “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (4:5-7/NIV).
Up to this point, Jesus has been tempted by the devil twice, but it is not over, and there is one more temptation coming: “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:8-10/NIV). Matthew 4:11 (NIV) tells us: “Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him.” The Bible tells us that Jesus withstood Satan’s temptations, and He was victorious!
There were numerous times where Satan attempted to quote or distort Bible verses to persuade Jesus to take some action that would ultimately reflect surrender. Jesus responded to Satan with the proper citation and meaning of the scriptures Satan sought to use in a crafty manner. As this happened, Satan eventually left defeated and did not seek further action with Jesus. Jesus did not choose to battle Satan with angelic forces or miraculous powers, but fought Satan with the “Word of God!” What a great teaching experience for us!
Upon reflection of the passage from Matthew, we see that Jesus battled Satan with the “Word of God.” Hebrews 4:12 tells us the “word of God is alive and active – sharper than any double-edged sword!” Jesus could have called legions of angels to defeat Satan with double-edged swords, but, He didn’t! He used the “Word of God,” which “judged the thoughts and attitudes of Satan’s heart,” putting him in his place and he left defeated! Ephesians 6:17 also tells us to use the “Word of God” (sword of the Spirit) to help battle Satan, just like Jesus did! That is an important teaching point for us! We need to read and remember God’s Word and hide it in our hearts so that we, too, can battle Satan in the same manner as Jesus and also be victorious!
Self-reflection consideration: do I need to spend more time reading and remembering God’s Word so that I, too, can effectively fight off Satan?
Many blessings to you!