Daily Devotional – Wednesday, January 19, 2022
“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, NLT)
Did Jesus ever experience ‘good days’ and ‘bad days?’ Days when he was more eager to jump out of bed than others? Days that began with a certain amount of dread because he knew what was coming? Days when a cold or flu left him drained and needing to spend the day at home? I don’t know how he couldn’t—he was human after all. And at the very beginning of his ministry, we find two strikingly different stories—one detailing a moment that must have left Jesus in a state of joy and anticipation, immediately followed by an encounter that would have been potentially exhausting…even for the Son of God.
Matthew details both Jesus’ baptism and his temptation by the devil. His baptism was an occasion for him to publicly declare to his Father his willingness to begin the work he had been given to do. In response, God publicly acknowledged his Son when he spoke from heaven, “This is my Son and I am very pleased with him,” accompanied by the Holy Spirit coming in the form of a dove to land on Jesus…further signifying which man God was referring to. Can you imagine that moment for Jesus? What son or daughter doesn’t love hearing their parent tell them how proud they are of them or have them cheering from the stands, shouting, “That’s my kid!”
Yet, after what must have been an incredible ‘high’ for Jesus, he was put into a pressure cooker of sorts. The Spirit lead him into the wilderness, where he spent the next forty days fasting and praying. After only a couple days of not eating, we often find our energy waning and we begin to suffer from headache or light headedness. Now imagine forty days…
The devil, being ever opportunistic, chose to interrupt Jesus’ fasting and praying with three tests. Satan knows he may never find Jesus at such a weak place physically ever again and presses his advantage. Each of the tests were meant to entice Jesus to take control over his own physical well-being…and distrust God’s plan for him, both in the immediate and the days to come. Jesus rejects each one in turn before finally telling the devil that it is time for him to leave. And due to the fact that Jesus was God, the devil had no option but to obey. It is clear, however, that the extended fast and this confrontation took its toll. After the devil left, Matthew tells us that angels came to minister to Jesus…as a man, he was in need of their care.
Sometimes we get down on ourselves for feeling ‘down.’ As believers, shouldn’t we always be emotionally ‘up?’ I don’t think so. We can know peace and joy and hope and gratefulness…yet still experience moments when we may need an extra infusion of God’s grace to make it through our day. The aim is not to be unfalteringly happy. It is to be content as we work each day to obey God…both in the highs and the lows of life.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!