To some, the thought that Jesus could be tempted in the accepted sense of of the word, and with any probability of succumbing, is shocking. For them, the temptation was merely a demonstration that the Son of God was superior to the wiles of the tempter. The triumphant sequel shewed that he was indeed superior, but not before the Son of Man, girt with our humanity, had wrestled with himself, and won the greatest victory of his life. It was no mere matter of an exchange of texts with an artful interlocutor. The whole force of the incident lies in the tremendous reality of the issues raised—that when the Scripture says he was tempted it means that he was subjected to trial and proof. Now if this is to convey anything at all, it must be that the situation held for Christ the possibility of triumph or disaster. This must have been so if the triumphant conclusion was to be regarded as a victory at all.
We will endeavour then to look objectively at the Temptation, and draw from it the profound teaching it conveys. We must first consider who it was that went into the wilderness. That situation was not hurriedly thrust upon him. It is true that it had all the elements of a crisis in his career—but it was a crisis he had been steadily approaching for the previous thirty years. Although so little is revealed of that period, we cannot doubt that during it the Lord Jesus grew up with an increasing sense of his mission upon him. The child grew, waxed strong in spirit, and was filled with wisdom, and with the grace of God upon him.
This side of his development must have been continuous right up to the moment when he was acclaimed by his forerunner John. The sureness of touch, the poise and certainty of purpose which he immediately displayed, are those of a man fully conscious of the great part he was about to play.
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Author: F. H. Eustace
Keywords: Christ tempted, Christ's temptation, Christ's temptation in the wilderness, Devil, Devil and Jesus, Devil tempts Jesus, diabolos, Evil angel, Evil Inclination, Evil nature, Evil one, Good angel, Good nature, Hara Yetser, Ha-ra Yetser, Hara Yetzer, Ha-ra Yetzer, Hara Yezer, Ha-ra Yezer, Jesus' temptation, Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, Jesus tempted, Jesus tempted by Satan, Jesus tempted by the devil, Jesus tempted in the wilderness, Jesus's temptation, Satan, Satan and Jesus, Satan tempts Christ, Satan tempts Jesus, Sin personified, Temptation, Temptation from within, Temptation in the wilderness, Tempted in the wilderness, Tempted of Satan, Tempted of the devil, Tempted to do evil, Tempts Christ, Tempts Jesus, The devil tempts Christ, The devil tempts Jesus, The Evil Inclination, The Evil One, Tittle, Two jots, Wilderness temptation, Yatsar, Yetsarim, Yetser ha ra, Yetser ha tov, Yetser ra, Yetser tov, Yetzer, Yetzer ha ra, Yetzer ha tov, Yetzer Hara, Yetzer ra, Yetzer tov, Yezer ha ra, Yezer ha tov, Yezer Hara, Yezer tov
Bible reference(s): Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2-13, , Hebrews 2:18, Hebrews 4:15
Source: “The Temptation of Christ,” The Testimony, Vol. 9, No. 100, April 1939, pp. 164-8. Used with permission.
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