The Relentless Pursuit of Evil

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left [Jesus] until an opportune time.… (Luke 4:13, NIV)

The account of Jesus’ wilderness temptation is recorded both in Matthew & Luke. However, there is a phrase unique to Luke’s account that should make all Christians take notice: “[Satan] left Jesus until an opportune time.” The Amplified translation of the Bible really helps give further insight: “And when the devil had ended every [the complete cycle of] temptation, he [temporarily] left Jesus [that is, stood off from Him] until another more opportune and favorable time.”

Years ago, i was going through a time when, as soon as I finally made it out of one “storm”, I quickly found myself in another. I was sharing my story with a close friend and told him facetiously (sort of), “You’d think God would’ve given me a little more time to enjoy ‘the mountain top’ before allowing the enemy another shot at me.” My friend calmly and wisely replied, “Nick, if the devil wasn’t going to give up on Jesus, what makes you think he’s going to give up on you?” (Selah: pause, and think about that for a moment.)

Satan never takes “a day off” (cf. 1 Peter 5:8) and is continually seeking a “more opportune and favorable time.” That’s why we, as believers, must focus on Truth (John 8:32) and “take up our cross daily” (Luke 9:23) so that we may “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. [And] put on the full armor of God, so that [we] will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

In the words of my friend, “If the devil wasn’t going to give up on Jesus, what makes you think he’s going to give up on you?”

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick