Practical Proverbial, from Matthew, 8 February 2023. Today’s topic: Second Temptation

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”  Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’  Matthew 4:5-7

Satan twists Psalm 91, trying to demean Jesus by getting Him to prove He’s Jesus.  In answering Satan, Jesus paraphrases Deuteronomy 6:16, saying that people aren’t to put God under foolish tests.  Foolish tests like, “do this and I’ll believe You.”   Foolishness.

In fact, everything Satan was doing in tempting Jesus was foolishness.   Cowards often are foolish.  Did Satan really expect that Jesus would co-opt His divine nature, He who is fully God while still being fully man?   Did Satan actually expect that the begotten Son of God would do what the created angels and people had done by choosing sin?   Did Satan actually believe he could change Jesus’ mind?

Actually, yes.   Envy and lies will do that to you.   They’ll fracture sound thinking and turn it into something that it wasn’t designed to be.   We weren’t designed to sin.   Satan and his fellow fallen angels weren’t created to sin.   All of us, man and angel alike, were created to live with God, in the case of man to be in communion with Him.  We weren’t created or intended to be warped by choosing sin instead.   Knowing that, it isn’t surprising that Satan would think he could sway Jesus.   Or that he keeps trying (and often succeeding) in tempting you and I.

Another thing:   the inexact quotations here.   As mentioned, neither Jesus nor the devil exactly quoted the earlier Old Testament verses.  Many people take this to mean that the rest of Scripture is unreliable, that, because of wordsmithing, the Word of God isn’t accurate.   Nothing could be further from the truth.   I guarantee that none of us exactly remembers every word said to us, nor could we quote them perfectly when put on the spot.   Especially under duress, as Jesus was.   “But He’s God!”   Yes, but He’s also fully man, and in this episode, he was a hungry, stressed, and tempted full man.   Like the Sabbath, Scripture for man, not man for Scripture.

And these temptations were no ordinary ones.   As we saw previously, when He was confronted by the devil, Jesus had been in the desert 40 days.   He was desperately hungry, probably physically weak.   It was the chief of lies himself who met up with Jesus and subjected Him to his best lies.   You or I might not fare as well.   Only the strongest faith could do better.  And it did.

For more reading:  Deuteronomy 6:16, Nehemiah 11:1, Psalm 91:11-12, Daniel 9:24, Matthew 4:8

Lord Jesus, thank You for the record of Your second temptation.

Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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