We often don’t hear on the teachings on the “Temptation of Christ”. This brought an opportunity and created in me a inquisitiveness to dive in, dig deeper and try to understand the an underlying message that is reflected in these few verses. The following verses detail out the Temptation of Christ, as read in Matthew Chapter 4 vs 1 – 11 and Luke Chapter 4 vs 1 to 13 .
For this teaching we will be referring to the Gospel of Matthews.
Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat 4:4 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.
Mat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Mat 4:6 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.
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Mat 4:8 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;
Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Mat 4:10 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.
Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Jesus was clearly hungry here and Satan instigated Jesus by asking him If He were the Son of God to turn these stones into bread and eat. His answer was “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. “
Just as we need bread every day to sustain our bodies, we also need Gods word to fill our spirits. This is what Jesus means by “Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone“.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life
We know non believers will not have this blessing of everlasting life.
Hence as long as we live on this earth we have our part to play as earthly beings (eg food) but we cannot ignore or neglect the Word of God is essential to provide us not only with fulfillment but also lead us to an everlasting life.
The need of a revelation from the Word of God is of a prime importance in our daily lives and we can only get there by studying God’s word, through which we open our hearts to listen to his voice daily. Else we only become earthly gainers and loose the most priceless gift of an eternal life.
Hence through this first trial we learn that the God’s journey for us can be successfully embarked upon only through His word!
The ‘Tempting God’ temptation.
Devil is provoking Jesus to jump of a building and that if God loves Him, He will rescue Him without Jesus having to hit the earth.
And Jesus answered “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Here we need to go back to Deuteronomy 6:16 on which Jesus referred this verse
Deu 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
Massah is the first place where the children of Israel mummer and complain against God, we need to go back again to Massah Exodus Chapter 17
Exo 17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
Exo 17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
Exo 17:3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
Exo 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
Exo 17:5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
Exo 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Exo 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
It states very clearly in these verses that the children of Israel were given a word by God with a binding promise that He will lead them to the Promised Land but they doubted whether the Lord was with tem and they began complaining and tempting God.
So with the first trial we see that we need the Word of God for a clear direction and a powerful revelation to lead our daily lives and with the second trial we see that whatever circumstances comes our way and even if we feel alone ,we cannot lose focus and start complaining. Second trial teaches us to keep our mouths Shut.
Job towards the end of his trial could not have said better
Job 42:3 “… therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.”
Serving God temptation
Here Satan Shows God all the riches of the world and tempts Him by saying “If you worship me I will give you all this” for which Jesus answered;
for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Serve is an interesting word to look up on the Biblical dictionaries
A primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.: – X be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, + husbandman, keep, labour (-ing man), bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve (-ing, self), (be, become) servant (-s), do (use) service, till (-er), transgress [from margin], (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper.
As Christians our duty, first is to serve our creator and almighty savior daily, not only through prayer and worship but in all that we do. There should be a reflection and revelation of His presence in our daily lives.
1) We recall that at the beginning of this teaching, we need to have a clear word of God for our lives. We need to meditate, study the Word of God
2) As we go on living and encountering things in our journey we don’t complain instead we look at the end promise and continue
3) There is a lot of commitment that goes in final tempation where we have to work really hard to do our part on what God has given is to do
Jesus went through these temptations to show us a clear path to His ministry.
His life is a reflection of Gods goodness mercy kindness and fulfillment of promises.
1) He knew His purpose, He knew through his death mankind would be redeemed and through all this He never let go of the Word of God.
2) He never complained to his Father once nor did He question His authority but Jesus choose to walk in humbleness and love.
3) During His days on earth Jesus worked hard like any other common man. And likewise after He graciously passed the temptation trial His ministry was blessed divinely. Jesus choose to work towards Gods ministry with all truthfulness despite whatever shortcomings came His way.
We can look at these temptations in different angles and come out with even more theoretical explanations for the same but the learning’s that we as Christians receive through these teachings has a very deep and truthful meaning.
Anyone who agrees and dedicates his life to serve God in ministry will be faced by such circumstances but we can be thankful that Christ left a beautiful path for us to follow Amen
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