Saturday, February 20th

40 Days, Lenten Sacrifice -Written by Ben Kraihanzel


Matthew 4:1,2  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Matthew 3 ends on profound moment in the life of Christ, his baptism. This moment was significant because it not only gave us a glimpse of the humanity of Jesus, but also allowed Jesus to identify with sinners (us). Heading into Matthew 4:1-2, we see another moment of   identification as Jesus is led into severe temptation by the devil. There is a  remarkable contrast between the imminent glory of Jesus’ baptism and the dark challenge to be tempted by the devil. The timing of 40 days and 40 nights is a callback to the nation of Israel wandering in the wilderness for 40 years.  Jesus will succeed where Israel as a nation failed. Temptation is a certainty for everyone, even Jesus. Jesus did not need to be tempted to help him grow, but instead, he endured the temptation so he could identify with us and to demonstrate his sinless and perfect character.

As you reflect on this story today, how often does temptation break into your world by coming to where you are as opposed to placing  ourselves in difficult situations where it may be easier to cave to our own selfish desire?



  1. Great question Ben, I try to steer clear of sinful places and areas where I know don't glorify God. But temptation is always right on my doorstep - my prayer today, "Satan, get out of here. You aren't welcome. Today and everyday I choose Jesus. Jesus, help me where I am weak, protect my thoughts and guide my actions. Fill me again and again with your spirit of patience of self-control."

  2. Satan certainly pursues me every day, all day long. But I am thankful that I can have an impact on the outcome of the devil's chase on me. First thoughts in the morning are towards Jesus, that He would go before me and that I would follow. Sometimes spontaneity is a good thing, but for avoiding the grips of my enemy, my day needs to be planned as to where am I going, what am I doing, and with whom am I doing these things? Like a dieter being prepared with the right kind of snacks in a hunger attack, I, too, can be ready for difficult situations with storing God's word in my heart and asking Jesus to walk through the day with me. I fall, but the more I prepare, the less I fall.


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