The temptation of Jesus.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Mathew 4:1. After Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit led him into the wilderness to be tempted. The encounter with Satan, the devil, was not by chance; Lucifer planned it. However, God planned that Jesus, the Second Adam, be tempted in the same manner as the first Adam. Just as the old humankind’s representative had to make a deliberate, intelligent decision, the new humankind’s representative, Jesus, had to make a deliberate, intelligent decision and choice. Both decisions applied to the whole of humankind. The first decision made the whole of humankind a sinner by nature; the second decision by Jesus justified the whole of a new humankind. Jesus, by his decision in the wilderness, secured the eternity for the New Humankind. He secured the perfect life for all who accept Him. “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Hebrews 5:8-9. The temptation of Jesus was Satan’s first interaction with Jesus face-to-face. Jesus was tempted in all of the three general categories of sin. 1 John 2:16.
The first category of temptation – the lust of the flesh. “The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’” Matthew 4:3. Satan knew that Jesus is the Son of God. However, he also knew that Jesus did not eat for forty days and that He was hungry. In an attempt to sow doubt in Jesus’ mind, Satan said, if you are the Son of God. Satan thought that Jesus would be inclined to satisfy His personal needs. He had the same approach with the Woman in the garden. Satan led the Woman to satisfy her desires; get good food pleasing to her eye, and desire to gain knowledge. Genesis 3:6.
The second category of temptation – the pride of life. Satan led Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point. The highest point is a part of the wall the Romans built around the temple area. That part of the wall is still there. Satan said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, he said, throw yourself down.” Satan quoted the verse in the Bible that says, “God will command his angels concerning you…” Satan again attempted to sow a doubt into the mind of Jesus. He also wanted Jesus to engage in a discussion concerning the verse in Psalms 91:11, 12. Satan’s approach worked with the Woman in the garden. Satan quoted God’s command in different order of words but said the same thing. However, the Woman wanted to correct Satan and show him that she knows better what God commanded. She then added a phrase to God’s command. Genesis 3:2, 3. Jesus, however, responded, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Deuteronomy 6:16.
The third temptation – the lust of eyes. Satan knew that Jesus came to rescue the world from Satan’s hold, so he led Him to a very high mountain and showed him all the great kingdoms of the world. Here they are. You want these kingdoms to belong to you, “All this I will give you, he said, if you will bow down and worship me.” Mathew 4:9. Satan knew that Jesus came to the world to suffer the cross so that the fallen humankind and this universe are restored to God forever. Satan became the prince of this world, and he tried his best to keep it. To that end, he offered Jesus an option to have the world without suffering the cross. However, Jesus came to this world to save it, not to save himself. Jesus could not have saved himself and save the helpless humanity also. However, because he loved humankind, he chose to experience second death so that humanity lives forever in Him.
The Cross of Christ. Read the next blog.