Inspiration, Life Challenges

The Fast of Jesus – A Test of True Sonship

Matthew 4:1-11

Daily Bread #14

the-temptation-of-jesusPlease permit me to introduce to you our Lord’s fasting in Matthew 4 with the following statement, “”For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me ” (Joh 6:38 NET).  Matthew opens up with our Lord totally surrendering to the will of the Holy Spirit. “Then Jesus was let by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1).  We see a pattern here. In the previous chapter, our Lord came to Bethabara to be baptized by John the Baptist, but the son of Elizabeth and Zachariah refused to baptize the Christ. John felt a sense of unworthiness on his part to baptize a divine One. But Jesus responded, “Allow it to be so, because it fulfills all righteousness.”  In other words, this is heaven’s will for Me to be baptized. What followed this event was heaven’s approval by means of the Holy Spirit appearing in the form of a dove and Jesus’ Father saying, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased ” (Matt. 3:17).

The leading up of Jesus into the wilderness was to test His faithfulness to His Father. Going for forty days and forty nights without food and water was to prepare Him for what was about to come later, a visit from the tempter, the devil and Satan. Fasting is not designed to test how physically strong you are; rather, it is to prepare you for service to God. But the God-man will use this forty days and forty night experience to lean all the more on heaven, so that when Satan shows up later he will not be strong enough to break the bond between Jesus and His Father. 

The son of God, Israel, was delivered from Egypt, and was brought into a wilderness for forty years. The very first time they experienced hunger and thirst, they rebelled against God. Here we see two different outcomes from God’s two sons. The son who came out of Egypt used his hardship to curse God rather than using his crisis to lean on the God who was able to deliver him. The other Son, Matthew 4, used His forty days… to trust a God who delivered Him. Should anyone be surprised that we have two different outcomes?  The son who came out of Egypt died in the wilderness. The Son of Matthew 3:17 lived an obedient life, and went on to be exalted at His Father’s right hand. “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God…” (Act 2:33 ESV).

  1. What kind a daughter are you?
  2. What kind a son am I?
  3. What is heaven’s will for me today, and will I be faithful to that will?
  4. How will I use my moment of test (crisis)? Will I use it to rebel or will I use it as a means of depending on God through prayer and fasting?
  5. If the fasting of Jesus should teach us anything it should teach us this: Fasting does not stop Satan from coming at me; it proves that Satan will have no power over
  6. Is it heaven’s will for me to fast? Yes, yes, and yes! See Matthew 6:16; 9:15.

♦♦♦

Nigel McPhersonNigel McPherson is a minister at the Beltway Church of Christ, 3600 Davis Boulevard, Camp Springs, MD 20746.

The Beltway Church of Christ is located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area in Prince George’s County, MD near Joint Base Andrews.

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