Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” is not merely Dark, it’s Dangerous

“Welcome to your tape.”

If you’ve had the opportunity to view Netflix’s white-hot series, 13 Reasons Why, you’ll have no problem understanding that statement.  If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it’s a 13 part Netflix original fictional series about teenage bullying and suicide.  The series, based on the 2007 book by Jay Asher, concludes with the main character, Hannah Baker, taking her life in a very graphic portrayal.  I won’t include a synopsis of the story here.  (You can read about the plot here.)  But I will say this: the series is as controversial as it is popular.

Before I continue, please allow me to make one thing clear:  I’m not a professional counselor.  But I do have intimate experience with this topic.  

  • First, I have worked with teenagers most of my vocational life. 
  • Second, and far more importantly, my 19 year old son took his life in 2013 So I write from the perspective not of a Hollywood script, but real life.

I was made aware of the series recently by a public school counselor who wrote that she had seen an increase in students coming to see her due to watching this series.  She wrote,

I had a crisis appointment this morning and a patient taken to the hospital due to extreme suicidal thoughts after watching this series. As I called the crisis line to activate the crisis protocol, the crisis worker on the phone told me they have had several incidents the past 2 weeks since the show aired of having to activate crisis protocol after people had watched the show and began acting out suicidal plans.

Although I didn’t need Hollywood to inform me of the horror of a teenage child’s suicide, I decided to watch the series because (1) it’s extremely popular with teens, and (2) I thought watching it would help me be more informed since I frequently speak to teens in public schools and churches about suicide & suicide intervention/prevention.

I was unprepared for what I was about to watch. 

Given my family history, watching the series was, for me, brutal.  Having found my son that day in 2013, when I watched Hannah’s parents discover their girl’s lifeless body, I screamed and wept.  Immediately, I knew I needed to make parents aware of 13 Reasons Why as soon as I possibly could.  But, frankly, I was so messed up following the final episode, it took me a number of days to compose myself and be able to articulate my conviction about the series in, hopefully, a clear and intelligent manner.

For those who may read into this blog, “You’re overreacting since your child took his life,” allow me to direct your attention to a letter sent to parents from the administration at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, KS, via their Facebook page warning all parents about the series.  You can access the letter here.  Additionally, a school counselor from Maine shares her concerns here.  Finally – and this should bring clarity as to how traumatizing the series is –  People Magazine was one of several news outlets reporting that therapy dogs were brought onto the set to comfort the actors.

Parents should know that, in an attempt to appear like they’re portraying “reality”, the producers and writers not only pushed the limit but, in my opinion (and others: see below), carelessly crossed the line.

NBC News ran a story entitled, Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Carries Danger of Glorifying Suicide, Experts Say.  (Read the entire article here.)  The article states, in part,

Critics have lauded the show, which has earned stellar ratings, including a 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s also been the most tweeted about program so far this year, Variety reported. But some mental health professionals feel it is a dangerous fantasy that romanticizes suicide

“Sequences of terrible things happen to Hannah, and we don’t get a feel for her internalization until she kills herself,” Dr. Victor Schwartz, medical director of the JED Foundation, told NBC News. “None of that stuff is made clear because it’s focused on the horrible things people have done to her. The whole thing is an extended revenge fantasy.”

Phyllis Alongi, clinical director of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, said…, “Netflix isn’t going to pull it and kids are watching it, and they’re binge watching it without anyone helping them process it.  We feel it was done irresponsibly and we don’t agree with many portrayals including of Hannah’s death, memorialization, and placing blame on others.”

Alongi said suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 24 and that the number is increasing.

Dan Reidenberg of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) warns,

“One of the ways [the series] really failed is they never talked about treatment options; they never gave a viable alternative for [Hannah]… We just want people to understand that it’s fiction, not fact. It’s about helping people understand the reality of suicide.”  [However], “The show does not address mental illness or present viable alternatives to suicide.”

The Chicago Tribune ran an article entitled, ’13 Reasons Why’ Offers Wrong Solution to Teen Struggles.  The author, Jack VanNoord, wrote,

“Netflix, I love you. I really do. But on this one you not only got it wrong, you got it dangerously wrong.”

Sure, you will find many complimentary reviews online of the series.  But almost all are directed at the “nuts & bolts” of the production i.e. directing, acting, etc.   The romanticizing of suicide and the total absence of intervention i.e. medical attention, professional counseling, etc., is what makes the series both dark and dangerous for those who are depressed,  suicidal or have considered suicide as an option at some point in their life.

Granted, fans of 13 Reasons Why argue that the series “encourages conversations” about bullying and suicide.  That is true. After all, you and I are having a “conversation” about it here.  However – and this is my sole contention – a person who is severely depressed and/or suicidal is not in a healthy place psychologically.  And, if they should watch this series alone they are entering a world that is both dark and dangerous.  Dark because the series is virtually void of hope.  And dangerous because of what the series can prompt in the mind of someone who is already suffering from mental illness i.e. clinical depression, bipolar disorder, etc.

Lastly, allow me to offer three strong recommendations:

  1. Parents – I strongly caution all teens who choose to view the series. There are healthier ways (read: less triggering ways) to have needed dialogue about bullying and suicide. However,…. if your child insists on watching the series – watch it with themBe aware:  the show is full of profanity, obscenity, two graphic rape scenes, and, of course, included in its final episode is the graphic scene of Hannah Baker taking her life.  But, if your child insists on watching it, watch it anyway – with them.  Talk about each episode immediately after that episode ends.  If your child has already watched it, visit with them immediately about it and consider watching a few episodes yourself.  If your child gets offended that you’re “poking your nose into their business” tell them, “I have that right. I’m your parent.  No one on this planet loves you more than I do.”  Always, as a parent, err on the side of caution.
  2. Teens – (even if you’re not a teen) If you’ve viewed the series – many of you will be affected emotionally (how can you not be?)   If you suffer from bullying, depression, suicidal thoughts – I beg you – talk to somebody immediately  (a parent, sibling, grandparent, teacher, friend, youth pastor, coach, counselor).  The devastation from losing you is unfathomable to the human mind.  I know this from personal experience. It may sound trite, but “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  I know you may not be able to (and, most likely, can’t) see the light of hope at the moment – but that’s what we are here for: to carry you, to share your load, and help you see the light againThere is a God – and He loves you.  You are awesome.  You are beautiful.  You matter. You are not alone. You are so very loved.  You cannot be replaced.  And help is available in abundance Many people have gone to school for many years for the sole purpose of being equipped to help you through your dark time of crisis.  Do not do anything to harm yourself.  I repeat, do not do anything to harm yourself.  Your death is irreversible and will leave a gaping wound in the lives of your family and friends.
  3. Friends – If you are a friend of someone you suspect of being bullied, suffering from depression, or having suicidal thoughts, talk to them immediately.  Ask them if they’ve watched 13 Reasons Why.  Get them talking – whatever it takes.  As I recommended to parents, always err on the side of caution.  If the friend you suspected of suicidal thoughts is genuinely ok, everyone is good.  But, if you’re right – you may have well saved a life.

Bottom Line:  While some will disagree with what I’ve written here, please understand I write from the perspective of a parent who’s lost a teenage child to suicide.  Like me, my son, Jordan, suffered from crippling depression.  May 13, 2013, was the worst day of my, and my family’s, life. My effort here is, by making parents aware of the series, to simply try and prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone else on planet earth.  While 13 Reasons Why will not serve as a trigger to every viewer, it clearly will (and has) to many.  If the series has not yet prompted dialogue in your home, perhaps this blog will.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255

For Jordan Watts

For Narnia

I love you all, Nick

“In this world you will have trouble (bullying, depression, pain), but take heart – I have overcome the world.”  Jesus Christ  (John 16:33)

Heaven

As a Christian, I believe in heaven. As a pastor, I’ve studied and taught about heaven. As a musician, I’ve noted that almost every single hymn written has heaven the subject of its final verse.

When my dad died I didn’t really think differently about heaven. When my sister died I didn’t really think differently about heaven.

But when my 19 year old son died…

Heaven was real to me before Jordan became a resident. But now, it’s something altogether different. How can something become “more real” than “real”? I don’t know. I can’t explain it. It’s as though, in May 2013, a part of my soul took up permanent residence in heaven.

The veil separating heaven and earth, for me, became thinner.

In his brilliant sermon, The Weight of Glory, CS Lewis described heaven as “the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”

Lewis wrote much about heaven. In Mere Christianity he observed, “If I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” And in his genius Screwtape Letters, based on correspondence between two demons, the senior demon, Screwtape, wrote to his apprentice, “My dear Wormwood.., the truth is that the Enemy (God), having oddly destined these mere animals (Christians) to life in [heaven], has guarded them pretty effectively from danger of feeling at home anywhere else.”

From John Newton’s “When we’ve been there ten thousand years,” to Andre Crouch’s soulful “Soon and Very Soon” and Dallas Holms’ reverent “I Saw the Lord” to Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine”, heaven has filled the pages of Christian music.

And that brings me to what prompted this post.

I heard, for the first time this past week, Chris Tomlin’s “Home”. As I carefully listened to the lyrics of the chorus i had to grip my chest as my heart ached for “home.”

Hopefully, this reflection of mine has brought you encouragement and hope, and perhaps helped someone, for a moment, think about heaven, and that “this is not all there is.” Paul encouraged the Colossian believers, “…set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians‬ ‭3:1-2‬)

Allow me to close this post with one more of my favorite quotes from Lewis:  “At the present, we are on the outside of [heaven], the wrong side of the door… But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so.”

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

For Those Who Have Ever Doubted Your Christian Faith

Have you ever, as a born-again Christian, secretly (or publicly) doubted God, or your faith? If so, it means one thing:

You’re normal. 🙂

I heard a wise preacher once say, “Doubt is a parasite of faith.”

British author/scholar, Os Guinness, rightly stated, “If [Christianity] is an examined faith we should be unafraid to doubt. There is no believing without some doubting; and believing is all the stronger for understanding and resolving doubt.”

Need biblical evidence that doubting God is a normal part of your spiritual journey? Here you go:

John the Baptist is the man who baptized Jesus and, upon seeing Jesus that day, exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” “There is no greater prophet that John,” Jesus, himself, affirmed.

This same John, later on in prison for preaching repentance, would ask his closest friends to find Jesus and ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

John doubted.

In an extraordinary passage (and a strong argument for the historical reliability of the gospels), Matthew records the following: “When [his disciples] saw [the risen Christ] they worshiped him; but some doubted.”

Jesus’ own followers doubted.

There is a tender story in Mark’s gospel about a man desperate to see his son healed. When the father questioned Jesus’ ability to heal his son, the broken-hearted man pleaded with Jesus, “Help me overcome my unbelief.”

So, if you’ve ever – for whatever reason – doubted your faith, know you are normal. Then, like the father in Mark’s gospel, take that doubt to Jesus.

I love you all.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Lessons from Middle Earth

[Jesus said], “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”  (John 10:10, Message)

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (The Return of the King), Lady Éowyn desperately desires to be allowed to join in the fight against the evil Sauron. Soon-to-be-king, Aragorn, however, does his best to discourage her, desiring her to retreat to safety. Éowyn assures Aragorn she is neither afraid of fighting, nor dying. We pick up the conversation there:

‘What do you fear, lady?’ [Aragorn] asked. ‘A cage,’ [Lady Éowyn] said. ‘To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.’

Life is filled with the enemy’s subtle and, at times, not-so-subtle, attempts to keep believers “caged” i.e. enslaved to that which ruled us before we professed our faith in the liberating work of the King.  We hear the call of the King but, due to the cares of this world, coupled with the sometimes exhausting “weight of everyday life,” we are tempted to remain where it is sheltered, predictable, “safe.”

As with Lady Éowyn in the fields of Dunharrow in Middle Earth, there comes a time when all of us approach a crossroads – and a choice.  The choice cannot be ignored.  For not to choose is to choose.  As the Ring came to Frodo, so this crossroads comes to us – demanding a response.  Sometimes the “safe” way is, indeed, the right way; other times it is not.  When Luke recorded that Jesus “steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem,” (to face crucifixion) this was certainly not the “safe” way.  When one thinks of Christ – and, in turn, Christianity – rather than focusing on the mild, almost demure, Jesus we see illustrated on the pages of Children’s Bibles, it would behoove us to consider C.S. Lewis’ (Tolkien’s friend and Oxford colleague) description of Aslan (representing Christ) in Narnia:

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought [Aslan] was a man. Is he— quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver ; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

As I contemplate the response to Aragorn from Lady Éowyn – when convicted that the “safer” way is not the right way, the following biblical implications come to mind and give me courage:

1. Participating in the battle gives us purpose in the victory:  And this is what Éowyn so desired. No doubt, in the world of sports, there is greater reward for those who played on the field/court/diamond than those who were forced to only observe from the sidelines. German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, could have lived a long, prosperous life had he chosen to remain teaching in the U.S. during WWII. However, in a letter to Reinhold Niebuhr, Bonhoeffer wrote, “I shall have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people.”  Paul makes it clear to young Timothy that, during his life, Paul was no spectator:  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2. Somewhere, there lies within all of us a longing for adventure:  Author, John Eldridge, once wrote, “Life was never intended to be a problem to be solved, but rather an adventure to be lived.”   When Jesus bid the disciples, “Follow Me,” He was not suggesting they were about to enjoy the fruits of retirement.  Rather, the adventure of their lifetime lay before them.  Jesus was appealing to that which is hardwired into all of us.  Perhaps, this is, in part, what is meant by Solomon’s words, “God has placed eternity in our hearts.”

3. Tolkien’s story of Middle Earth lets none of us off the hook: The greatest adventure in human history was not fairy tale, but true. There is no greater Adventurer than God Made Flesh.  From Paul’s story of Jesus’ adventure from heaven to earth, to Jesus’ story of His return to heaven, and final return to earth – our souls are awakened to a desire to follow this terrifying, unpredictable, heroic, loving Lion from the Tribe of Judah. The story of Jesus Christ (God’s pursuit of sinful mankind) not only supersedes all other literary adventures, but it actually places us in the story. As such, we all are a part of a grand tale of peril, rescue and redemption. Jesus, Himself, then reminds us that the tale is far from over. “As the Father has sent Me,” He says, “so I send you.”

Concluding thought…

Adventure”, by definition, suggests “risk”: British theologian, J.I. Packer, wrote, “The Christian’s life is not a bed of roses; it is a battlefield, on which he has constantly to fight for his life.” Packer’s words certainly square with Scripture. Lady Éowyn knew well there would be great peril and risk, but her longing for the adventure coupled with her trust in her king reduced, or altogether removed, her fear of said peril and risk. I resonate with Lady Éowyn . Personally, I have no interest in “letting the battle pass me by.”  Certainly, the battle will, at times, be dangerous.  Certainly, there will be moments of unspeakable pain that will (that have) tempted me to give up. But I will not. I trust my King. As for me, I’d rather risk much in battle, than waste away “behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.”

Join me.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Faith of Christianity vs. the Faith of Atheism

I saw the following quote posted in a “proof for the existence of God” debate recently. I thought it was a very kind and thought-provoking response:

“…to believe there is no God, or to lack belief in a God, still requires faith. You have to trust that the arguments of natural theology are false. You have to trust that the information in DNA arose without an intelligent mind. You have to trust that nature arose by natural causes (a self-contradiction).

You have to have faith that consciousness arose out of dead inert matter. The list goes on and on. It takes faith to look at the universe and all its creative wonder and come out thinking that atheism is a better explanation than theism.”

What the blogger is pointing out is that since it’s virtually impossible to know everything about a particular topic where the existence – or non-existence – of God is concerned, both theism and atheism require faith.

We all ultimately have faith in something – whether we want to admit it, or not.

Retired UC Berkeley law professor (and author), Phillip E. Johnson, astutely notes, “One who claims to be a skeptic of one set of beliefs is actually a true believer in another set of beliefs.”  In other words, in this particular context, one who rejects faith in Christianity is, in truth, holding to faith in some other worldview – even if that worldview boils down to faith in believing that Christianity is a fairy tale.

In sum, the atheist, Albert Camus, represents the unavoidable faith required by atheism when he said, “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live as if there isn’t and to die to find out that there is.”

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Not Guilty (For those living under the crippling weight of guilt.)

rembrandt-return-of-the-prodigal-son11

We’ve all blown it in one way or another.

And when we do blow it, Satan dispatches a battalion of demons assigned to deceive us, relentlessly filling our mind with this lie:  your failures define you.

For those who succumb to that lie, what follows is a life lived under a crippling mentality of  oppressive guilt.  “How could God ever love or forgive you?”, the enemy whispers. “You certainly can’t go to God with the mess you’ve made of your life,” he hisses.  “He’ll only be angry with you, lecture you, and berate you. And, frankly, why shouldn’t he? You’re worthless.”

These whispered accusations of the enemy are, in today’s vernacular, what we would call “fake news.”

Never forget:  satan is a pathological liar.  And the God he describes above is found nowhere in Scripture.  For example…

The younger son in Jesus’ story in the latter half of Luke, chapter 15, had publicly insulted his father, humiliated his family, and wasted his entire inheritance on every vice one could think of. Further, it was only when he was broke, broken and starving that he finally “came to his senses.” (vs 17)

He knew the people in the village in which he once lived hated him for the humiliation and heartbreak he had caused his father and family.  In first century Jewish culture, when a son dishonored their father on the level that this son had it was not uncommon for a village to hold a “funeral”, of sorts, declaring that son “dead” to the family. (This is most likely why, in vs 24, the father shouts, “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again…”)

To echo the lying thoughts Satan places in our minds, the young man thought to himself, “I can’t go to my father with the mess I’ve made of my life. He’ll only be angry with me and berate me. And, frankly, why shouldn’t he? I’m worthless. I’m no longer worthy to even be called his son.”

But Jesus shocked his listening audience with the rest of story.

Luke records that his father was anxiously waiting for news of his son. One can only imagine how many hours a day the father stood at the highest point of the village trying to see as far as he could see to try and catch a glimpse of a miracle: the return of his beloved child.

Jesus’ story is dramatic and pregnant with meaning. And it’s not difficult to imagine Jesus’ Jewish audience sitting on the edge of their seats as, one day, the father notices a figure on the horizon. The suspense mounts. What will the father do? Fold his arms and stare down the disrespectful child?  Publicly scold and punish him? Loudly announce to the village, “Here comes the scum who claims to be my son!”?

But nothing could prepare the listening audience for the scandal that was about to transpire – a scandal of love.

Luke records it this way: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

The early 5th century theologian, Peter Chrysologus, commenting on this passage wrote, “This is how the father judges and corrects his wayward [children]: not with beatings, but kisses….The father redeemed the sins of the his son by his kiss, and covered them by his embrace, in order not to expose the crimes or humiliate the son (the father shielded the son from hate-filled accusations). The father so healed the son’s wounds as not to leave a scar or blemish upon him. ‘Blessed are they,’ Scripture says, ‘whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

When the repentant son began his rehearsed apology in verse 21 (“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son”), the father, already knowing the brokenness of his son, seemingly ignores his son’s apology and orders his staff, “Quick!…Let’s celebrate!”

The legalist (portrayed in the older brother in Jesus’ story) demands justice in the story.  And, rightly so. We can’t expect to simply waltz back into our father’s presence hoping to get away with this level of rebellion.  Someone has to pay for the younger son’s sin! 

Someone did.  Twenty centuries ago.  On a hillside just outside of Jerusalem.  His name is Jesus Christ.

Are you weighed down with guilt?  Has the enemy convinced you you’re worthless?  Jesus is saying to you:  “Are you tired? Worn out?… Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me… Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Would You Recognize the Devil if You Saw Him?

Some time back, I was reading part of a work by 16th century theologian, Ignatius of Loyola. The quote below gave me pause and prompted the question: Would you recognize the devil is you saw him?  I believe many Christians do not.

“The enemy…makes a tour of inspection of our virtues…Where he finds us *weakest and most defective*…he attacks at that point…little by little, he tries to achieve his own purposes, by dragging the soul down to his secret designs and corrupt purposes.” (Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556; writing of the subtle, systematic, almost unnoticed wiles of the devil)

In his book, Peace With God, Billy Graham writes in response to the erroneous impression that the devil is some sort of fiendish imp with horns, a pitchfork and a pointed tail.

“The truth is that the devil is a creature of vastly superior intelligence, a mighty gifted spirit of [vast] resources… His reasoning is brilliant, his plans ingenious, his logic well-nigh irrefutable.  God’s mighty adversary is no bungling creature with horns and a tail – he is a prince of lofty stature, [possessing] craft and cunning, able to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself, able to turn every situation to his own advantage.”

The truth of these quotes notwithstanding, the devil is not merely a defeated foe – he is a soundly defeated foe. (The margin of victory wasn’t even close.)  “We overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us,” Paul wrote.  Likewise, John (the disciple and eye-witness of Christ) wrote, “You are from God and have overcome [the devil], for [Christ] who is in you is greater than [the devil] who is in the world.”

I could go on and quote numerous other scriptural references regarding the defeat of, and the impending doom of satan, but the primary purpose of this brief blog is to simply remind believers that the enemy doesn’t usually approach us by surprise, startling us.  No, instead, he comes disguised as “an angel of light,” making himself appear attractive, safe & harmless.  The former atheist, and author of the brilliant Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis, described the tactics of the enemy as a “gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” Case in point, when Genesis, chapter 3, begins we pick up with what appears to be mid-conversation between Eve and the serpent.  I speculate that the serpent has been cultivating Eve’s trust and companionship for some time, earning her ear and trust.  I heard a preacher once say, “Satan will take years, if necessary, to bring a believer down.”

As believers, not once are we instructed to walk in fear (“God did not give us a spirit of fear”), looking for a demon behind every door.  Instead, we’re instructed to boldly walk in the truth of our victory in Christ’s death and resurrection while in a continual state of awareness:  Be alert and of sober mind,” Peter warned. “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”   Why?  So that we might not be “unaware of the devil’s schemes.”

One last sobering thought…

There are two accounts of the wilderness temptation recorded in the Gospels:  Matthew and Luke both record the story.  However, only Luke adds this statement, “And when the devil had ended every temptation [to Jesus], he departed from him until an opportune time.”

If satan had no plans of leaving Jesus alone, what makes us think we are any different?

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick