Sunday, January 12, 2014


Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:14-15 KJV)

There’s an entire category on Commons of Jesus’ temptation shown in art. I picked this one because it is one of the few that does not show His tempter as a devilish figure.  Oh, I believe he’s evil – now just as he was then. But he can make things sound so good.

Jesus was a man, just as we all are. He hungered:

And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (Matthew 4:2 KJV)

The first temptation was a simple request to fulfill bodily needs:

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (Matthew 4:3 KJV)

Why not? Didn’t God miraculously provide manna for the children of Israel? What could be wrong with providing bread for a hungry man after so many days of fasting? Besides, it would be accepted as proof.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 KJV)

Scripture. Jesus answered with the appropriate scripture.

The devil moved to the next point – again soliciting proof:

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Matthew 4:5-6 KJV)

If you are God’s son – let Him prove His promise, based on scripture. Yep, Satan knows the Bible, too. Still, Jesus answers with scripture:

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Matthew 4:7 KJV)

Satan also knows God – but fights against Him. Still believing he has an opportunity to take God’s place, Satan offers Jesus the world:

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (Matthew 4:8-9 KJV)

While the devil works in this world, it was not – and is not – his to give. Whatever claim he might think he held over it because of our sin was washed away by Jesus. Knowing the cross was ahead of Him, it must have been a temptation to accept this offer – but He knew the scriptures:

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10 KJV)

Ten simple, fairly short verses. There’s one other that tells me that Satan did not know about the cross:

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:8 KJV)

When temptation comes, do we know scriptures? When it sounds so good for us, can we remain in God’s plan? When it seems to achieve our goals, can we recognize God’s plan is better simply because it achieves what God wants? We are tempted daily. Can we worship the Lord our God and him only serve?

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