Jesus fought wrong.
If you watch the movie, Rocky (preferably 1- IV, still haven’t figured out V), you will get the formula for preparing for a fight. First, you need to be an underdog. You need a life circumstance that is bigger than you. You find some unusual ways to train your body and push yourself to newer levels. Finally, you need a theme song (Aka Eye of the Tiger), that will play in your mind while enduring the numbing pain inflicted by your foe.
Jesus didn’t do any of that.
Jesus is getting ready for his first showdown with the devil. Matthew 4:1 -11 is preceded by Jesus getting baptized. His actions of submission and obedience are exemplified when it says, “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (3:17 NLT) With all that momentum behind him, he moves into position to take on the challenger. And directly proceeds to fast for forty days and becomes hungry. (Not “Eye of the Tiger” hungry – more of like happy for a crust of bread hungry.)
Fascinating isn’t it? If I am going to do a hard workout, I add extra to my breakfast; Jesus pushes away the plate. I train to build myself up; Jesus empties himself. I study my challenge; Jesus spends time with God. I write a plan in my mind; Jesus writes the scriptures on his heart. I work all this to peak at the right time; Jesus comes to the battle at the lowest physical state possible – tired, hungry and weak.
There are thousands of sermons on this story – many which explain all that. Let me give you the thought that jumped out to me. Recognizing and living out of my weakness actually makes me stronger. What would Jesus do if his encounter with the devil was right after his baptism, full of energy, strength and all the momentum in the world behind him? Would he be so quick to rely on the scriptures or would he do something in his own strength? Would he rely on his own power and not the strength of his Father? Would his boast be in God or in his own ability?
Its an interesting lesson that Paul describes later in 2 Cor. 12:9-10: