Before starting his ministry Jesus must pass a test. So, the Holy Spirit leads him into the wilderness to be tested. And while God tests him, Satan tempts him.
Although it’s impossible for him to fail, he needs to be proven to be above suspicion and morally fit for his mission. The first Adam, the natural man, the man of the land, did not pass the test. Jesus is the last Adam, the man from heaven, the forerunner of a new spiritual lineage. Will he pass the test?
The first Adam succumbed to the forbidden fruit, even without having fasted for 40 days, as Jesus did. Fruit satisfies a physical hunger. Jesus is not facing the temptation of a fruit, but a challenge from the Devil who taunts:
"If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
Jesus' answer comes from the Word of God: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Then the devil takes him up to Jerusalem, to the top of the temple: "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give his angels charge over you, and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'"
The Devil uses the very word of God, Psalm 91. This could be Jesus' chance to make a spectacular jump and at the same time prove that the angels are at his disposal. At least sixty thousand, or twelve legions, of angels could fly immediately to hold him. But he will not.
The first temptation was intended to meet the needs of the body, like the fruit offered to Adam. Now the devil tries to create a sense of pride. The fruit of Eden was good to give understanding to Adam and evoke a feeling which, in another part of the Bible, is called "the pride of life."
Again Jesus' answer comes from the Word of God: "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." Though he is God, in his human condition Jesus has to learn obedience as a son. He again passes this test.
The fruit of Eden was pleasant to the sight; it filled the eyes. In this new version of Satan's temptation, Jesus is carried to a high mountain, so his eyes can be filled with all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. They are all in the hands of Satan, the usurper. Jesus can have it all, as long as he worships Satan. For the third time the answer comes from the Word of God: "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve."
All of Jesus’ answers come from the Word of God. Where do your answers come from?
In the next 3 minutes you will learn why the faith of a Christian is not in a religion.
Matthew 6:25-34 "Look at the birds of the air," said Jesus. "Consider the lilies of the field." Have you ever seen a b...
Matthew 7:7-12 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who a...
Matthew 3:1-12 Would you bother to go into a desert to hear a man dressed in a camel-hair cloak? And if you knew that he ate locusts and h...
Matthew 3:13-17 Jesus walks sixty miles from Galilee to Jordan, just to be baptized by John the Baptist. He must think baptism is somethin...
Matthew 6:19-24 "No one can serve two masters," said Jesus. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.&quo...
Matthew 5:17-26 Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. What law am I talking about? God gave Moses the Ten Commandments...
Matthew 6:9-15 To pray is to recognize that you’re weak, helpless and dependent on God. This goes against your natural inclinations, becau...
Matthew 7:1-6 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged", said Jesus. What does it mean? That judges should consider all criminal...
Matthew 2:1-22 When Jesus was born, some wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem asking for the King of Israel that was born. After he...
Matthew 5:1-16 The Sermon on the Mount is one of the best known passages in the gospel, but not one of the best understood. First, its tar...