Bible Reading: Matt. 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-1 (yes, again!)

This is part two of this mini-series within the larger series Who Is He? So, I’d encourage you to read yesterday’s post before you read today’s! You can click here for that: Who Is He? He Does Not Yield to Temptation Part 1.

Today we will look at the second temptation thrown at Jesus by the devil.

Matthew 4:5–7 (ESV)

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“ ‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

The devil’s second temptation flows out of the response that Jesus gave to his first temptation. Jesus put his trust in the Father during his lack of food, water, and now the words that Satan was attacking him with. So, thinking that the devil could catch Jesus up if he took him to a new location he takes him to the top of the temple.

Again, he says to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…” Apparently, Jesus’ first answer and unyielding spirit toward temptation weren’t enough for Satan. Essentially the devil is challenging Jesus’ identity again, but now he challenges the trust that Christ places in the Father. Jesus had just declared he trusted the Lord. Now, the devil has to test that.

The devil must have been thinking, “Ok, he says he trusts God and every word that comes from his mouth. Let me see if he truly trust’s His Word.” Then speaking out loud to Jesus he continues to tempt him saying,

“throw yourself down, for it is written,

“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“ ‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

The devil quotes Psalm 91 in hopes of tripping Jesus up. He uses Scripture, which is good right, to try and tempt Jesus to sin! How tricky is that! I can guarantee that if that were me I would have believed what Satan was saying! Why? Because 100% of the time I will trust God’s Word over the word of man. So, if he is quoting Scripture, isn’t he right? Surely God cares enough to save those who are his? This is where the context of Scripture is necessary for the process of interpreting meaning from a text. Even more important to understand is that Scripture does not contradict itself. This means that Jesus’ response, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test,'” is really a sound response! Yes, God would save him if he jumped, but why should he have to jump off a building to prove that? As we see three years later at his crucifixion and resurrection, the power of God really does save.

Christ responds from the history of Israel again. Remember the rock that Moses struck and water flowed from it to quench the thirsty people? Well, in that instance the people were not trusting in the presence of the LORD to provide for them. Read the account below.

Exodus 17:2–7 (ESV)

Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

“Why do you test the Lord?” Moses asked. The people were wanting Moses to give them what they wanted instead of the Lord. They grumbled against him and spoke out of hard hearts. They forgot how God had provided for them in the past and assumed, for whatever reason, that God did not care about their need for thirst. They were going to try and provide for their own needs by their own means. O, how we do the same today!

Just as Jesus did not take the stones and turn them into bread to eat and fill his belly, he would not put God to the test. He would not allow the Word of God to be twisted to suit his needs/desires. I mean, I know he is fully God as well, but look at how he navigates Scripture! That takes a lot of knowledge and wisdom, which we learned he increased in a couple of posts ago in Who Is He? He Grew Up.

The important thing to note in this part of the temptation is that Jesus knew his Bible so well that when the devil pulled out verses from it Christ could combat the misuse of Scripture and still honor his Father. He remained sinless! He does not yield to temptation.

Tune in tomorrow to see the last temptation that Christ faced from the Adversary!

One thought on “Who Is He? He Does Not Yield to Temptation Part 2

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s