Led by the Spirit Jesus follows Israel into the wilderness for a period of testing and humbling. It is time to prepare for ministry.
Confronted by the Diabolos (Devil) Jesus is tested/tempted three times. God tests Jesus, but the Diabolos tempts him. While God tests the Son’s obedience, the Devil preys on Jesus’s desires and needs.
The Diabolos (Devil) is a slanderer. Diabolos is derived from the verb “to slander” (diaballo). His intent is subversive. He seeks to sabotage a submissive life. He defames God’s people through subterfuge.
God may lead us into circumstances where we are tested just as he led Jesus into the wilderness, but temptation arises from within us as our desires conceive a way to satisfy themselves in disobedient ways.
The Diabolos dangles a carrot in front of Jesus that targets his distressed situation. Jesus is tempted because there is the potential for immediate gratification of his desires. These are real temptations as the desires and needs are real and Jesus had the option to satisfy them in sinful ways.
God tests us to refine us. The Diabolos tempts us to destroy us.
Lent is a time of testing but it also opens us to the potential for self-destruction. Any test can become a temptation.
Warning! Lent can make you or break you.