Somewhere in the history of organized sports, a coaching staff tried out a new theory. These coaches reasoned that taking their teams away the night before a big game and putting the athletes up in a hotel gave them a competitive advantage. They felt that this cloistering would remove the athletes from the distractions of everyday life and allow the team to focus more thoroughly on the game ahead. For decades, this has been a common practice among both college and professional teams.
Jesus knew the value of concentrating on the task at hand, and He prepared for His contest with Satan as no person has ever prepared before or since. Forty days alone in the desert not only removed Jesus from every human contact or since. Forty days alone in the desert not only removed Jesus from every human contact that would demand His attention; by fasting, Jesus even said “no” to normal human needs in order to prepare Himself for the devils looming temptations.
The temptation of our Lord allows us a glimpse at a level of spiritual warfare we would otherwise know nothing about. The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in the same ways we are tempted (Heb. 4:15), but we will never experience the intensity of the trial Jesus faced.
A man put up a sign in his yard that read: “Puppies for Sale.” Among those who came to inquire was a young boy. “Please, Mister,” he said, “Id like to buy one of your puppies if they dont cost too much.” “Well, son, theyre $25.” The boy looked crushed. “Ive only got two dollars and five cents. Could I see them anyway?” “Of course. Maybe we can work something out,” said the man. The lads eyes danced at the sight of those five little balls of fur. “I heard that one has a bad leg,” he said. “Yes, Im afraid shell be crippled for life.” “Well, thats the puppy I want. Could I pay for her a little at a time?” The man responded, “But shell always have a limp.” Smiling bravely, the boy pulled up one pant leg, revealing a brace. “I dont walk good either.” Then, looking at the puppy sympathetically, he continued, “I guess shell need a lot of love and help. I sure did. Its not so easy being crippled.” “Here, take her,” said the man. “I know youll give her a good home. And just forget the money.”