An Opportune Time

Reading: Luke 4:1-15


Following his baptism, Jesus’s first act of ministry is to undergo temptation in the wilderness. The Holy Spirit leads him to spend 40 days without food, interacting with Satan himself. At the conclusion of this fasting and trial, it is said that the devil “departed from him until an opportune time” (v. 13).


With cunning and craft, Satan strategizes when and how to tempt Jesus. It stands to reason that this 40 days at the start of Jesus’s ministry was itself an opportune time for Satan to tempt Christ. The Father had just spoke at his baptism, “You are my beloved Son.” Now the devil challenges that statement: “If you are the Son of God…” In each of the three temptations we read about, Jesus is challenged by the desires of the flesh (hunger), the desires of the eyes (seeing the kingdoms of the world in a moment), and the pride of life (throwing himself off the temple).


Just like his encounter with Jesus, the devil seeks to redirect your core human desires to be fulfilled in ungodly ways (1 John 2:16). And that temptation comes knocking loudest when you are tired, bored, frustrated, anxious, distracted, or feeling self-secured—those times that Satan sees as opportune to strike. If we hope to resist him as our Savior did, we must first rest assured in our identity as children of God Most High. Then, as we plan for those weak moments where Satan seems his strongest, we commit the truth of God’s word to our heart. In this way, we can respond to the lies of temptations to sin with God-breathed truth and promises.