The Integrity of Jesus
August 5, 2022
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry. Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’” Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you worship me.” Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.’” When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came. Luke 4:1-13 NLT
No surprise. Jesus has the record for perfect integrity. When He lived here, fully human, fully God, the eyewitness accounts and His own heart expressions show complete commitment to walk in step with His Father, doing only what the Father willed. Every story shows His integrity as a man toward God and people.
Jesus proved His willing participation in the plan and way of God for humans. He humbled Himself and was baptized by John. Then He was led by God’s Spirit into the wilderness for forty days. There He was relentlessly harassed and tempted by Satan. But Jesus showed amazing, perfect integrity to the Word of God and to His character.
When we are tempted to bend the rules in integrity it’s almost always because 1) no one but God will know (doesn’t that seem ridiculous when you actually see it in writing?); 2) you can accomplish something really good—maybe even the goal—this way more easily; 3) you are weary and not at the top of your game. But Jesus refuted every temptation. NOT because He was God. He remained fully human. He had memorized Scripture as a boy and kept in daily communion with the Father—through prayer, the same as we must. He quoted the Old Testament—all He had—to stay strong. He never allowed Himself for a moment to question the mission of God and His part in it. He was prepared ahead of time to stay strong and had all the resources at hand.
Did it cost Him to prepare? To maintain His integrity? Yes. But every challenge made Him stronger, and He never wavered. We can do the same. And now we have His constant presence to help us.
- Thank Jesus for His perfect integrity, which gave us salvation and power for life.