This is a two-part blog series I wrote for Awaken City that I wanted to re-title over to my blog as well!
I started this blog mini-series by looking at the beginning of Jesus’ temptation, and I’m going to complete it by looking at the end. There’s a huge amount of wisdom that we can gain from the middle, but I’m just focusing on the two things that have most recently caught my attention in my own journey through the scriptures, because if the Holy Spirit is teaching us something, we secure it and steward it by sharing it! So…here it goes!
In Matthew 4:3, Satan unsuccessfully challenges the very statement God proclaimed just three verses earlier. He tries again, and still fails. He shifts his tactics in the third temptation, suggesting that his way of attaining what was promised to Jesus was better than God’s way, but still Jesus stood fast. And after Jesus overcame all the temptations that Satan threw at him, something incredible happened in verse 11: “Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.”
I’ll take that any day! (And the great thing is that through Jesus, we all can!)
There’s something powerful about the word “ministered.” The Greek word used here is diakoneō, which means “to serve, wait upon, or minister,” which is basically exactly what the translation says—but that’s not the cool part. The cool part is the other places in scripture where this same Greek word is used. In Matthew 8:15, it describes Peter’s mother-in-law serving a meal. In Luke 10:40, it describes Martha’s cooking. In Luke 12:37, it describes a master waiting on his servants reclining at the table. In Luke 17:8, it describes a servant preparing supper for his master. In John 12:2, it describes Martha bringing food to the dinner table.
What’s so powerful about the usage of this word is that it very frequently describes serving a meal, and that’s precisely what Jesus is longing for prior to Satan’s temptations. It doesn’t say so specifically, but I have a feeling that the angels actually brought Jesus meals, just like they did for Elijah. And it’s at this point that Jesus experiences the same thing David did hundreds of years earlier: “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” Jesus shared this principle with his followers through the parable of the prodigal son—the things the son went looking for in the city were the very things the father gave him when he came home. God wants to grant our desires, develop our dreams, and answer our longings. He’s a good father! We simply have to cling to His words—even when Satan tries to challenge them—and He will bring it all to pass.
We all get “hungry” at times. There are times when we feel weak. But when we choose to be faithful in the process, we find favor in the payoff…and just like Jesus, it will be precisely what we were longing for in the beginning!