Scripture References:Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13
The Temptation of Jesus - Story Summary:After his baptism by John the Baptist, Jesus Christ was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, to be tempted by the Devil. Jesus fasted there 40 days.
Then Satan took Jesus up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, saying they were all under the Devil's control. He promised Jesus to give them to him, if Jesus would fall down and worship him.
Again Jesus quoted from the Bible: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." (Deuteronomy 6:13)
In the third temptation, Satan took Jesus to the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem and dared him to throw himself down. The Devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12, misusing the verses to imply that angels would protect Jesus.
Jesus came back with Deuteronomy 6:16: "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." (ESV)
Seeing that he could not defeat Jesus, the Devil left him. Then angels came and ministered to the Lord.
Points of Interest from the Temptation of Jesus:
- Matthew and Luke list the temptations in different order. Mark merely summarizes the event. The Gospel of John does not mention it at all.
- Jesus' 40 days of fasting reminds us of the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the desert, and the 40-day fasts of Moses and Elijah.
- Satan tried to ruin God's plan of salvation by getting Jesus to sin, because a sinful Messiah could not be a worthy sacrifice for mankind. Jesus was always able to see through the Devil's tricks, and he is much more powerful than Satan.
- Jesus' three temptations correspond to temptations common to us today: lust of the flesh (hunger of all types); lust of the eyes or covetousness; and pride or lust for power.
- Because he was fully human, Jesus is able to sympathize with our struggles and give us the exact help we need to resist temptation.
Question for Reflection:When I am tempted, do I battle it with the truth of the Bible or do I try to defeat it with my own inadequate willpower?
Jack Zavada, a career writer and contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.