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Ministry of Jesus

Temptation of Jesus

Scripture

Matthew 4:1-11
Mark 1:12-13
Luke 4:1-13

Key Difference

The order of the temptations is different between Matthew and Luke.  In Matthew, Satan asks Jesus to bow down and worship Him last while in Luke, the temptation to throw Himself off the highest point of the temple is last.

Commentary

The gospels record that Jesus was led into the desert for forty days and was tempted by Satan.  What we are given is most likely a summary of the temptations that took place over forty days.

Jesus is tempted by the three things that everyone is tempted by- the world, the flesh, and the Devil.  The flesh is tempted when Satan tells Jesus to turn the stones into bread.  This sounds like a harmless thing to do, particularly when Jesus had fasted for forty days.  Nevertheless, God's power was meant for ministering to people and not for frivolous things.  God would provide food when it was needed.  To turn the stones into bread would not be trusting God to provide for Him.

Jesus is tempted by the world when Satan offers Him all of the kingdoms of the world if He would bow down and worship him.  This is the most direct temptation.  We're often tempted by the world more subtly when we are convinced that we deserve something and we become greedy and covetous.

Jesus is tempted by Satan himself when He is urged to throw Himself off of the highest point of the temple.  Satan twists scripture to suit his own purpose by reminding Jesus that God's angels would protect Him.  Attacks by Satan are often subtle.  There is no good reason for Jesus to throw Himself off the top of the temple and yet Satan makes an argument for it.  Satan often tempts us by finding ways to justify our sinful behavior.

In every instance of temptation, Jesus responds by quoting scripture.  In doing so, He gives us the blueprint for resisting temptation as well.  This is why it is so important for Christians to know and understand scripture so that we can resist the urge to sin as well.

Spreading Light Commentaries

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Minor Prophets

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Paul's Epistles

General Epistles

Revelation


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