THE TEMPTATIONS IN THE DESERT

 

THE TEMPTATIONS IN THE DESERT

1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

2And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

3And the tempter came and said to him,

“If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

4But he answered, “IT IS WRITTEN: “‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT COMES FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”

5Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6and 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.’”

7Jesus said to him,

“Again, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to him,

“All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

10Then Jesus said to him,

“BE GONE, SATAN! FOR IT IS WRITTEN, “‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND HIM ONLY SHALL YOU SERVE.’”

 

11Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

MATTHEW 4:1-11

COMMENTARY

The Holy Spirit guided our Lord Jesus Christ in his human nature, to prepare Himself for the great public ministry and labor He had ahead. He went to fast for 40 days and nights, in the Jewish way, and dedicate Himself to prayer in order to strengthen his human nature against all the odds that will come his way; and part of this preparation, was to endure the core of Satan’s temptations during his weakest point as a human.

At the end of these 40 days and nights, after Jesus was weak and hungry, the devil appeared to Him to tempt Him in the three ways the devil usually tempts all humans. He appealed to his bodily needs, to his pride and ambition.

He offered Lord Jesus the opportunity to betray God by turning rocks into bread at his request; then Satan tempted Jesus to make a public display of his status with God, under the devil’s request, appealing to his dignity and ego; and finally, at the failure of these temptations, and considering Jesus faithfulness, Satan openly offered Lord Jesus the whole world, in exchange of surrender to him totally.

Satan did not know Jesus was divine, since then he informs Him “To me it has been given” (Lk 4:6), like if Jesus did not know that the whole material power is under the devil’s control because God allows it.

But to this temptation, Lord Jesus refused strongly, proclaiming his faithfulness to God YHWH, and rebuked Satan, and he left for the time being, until he could come back to tempt Jesus at another time.

Jesus suffered all the types of temptations the devil uses to make humans fall. By appealing to our bodily needs at our weakest point, convincing us to betray God for them. Here is hunger, thieving, prostitution, and crime of all kinds.

He also appeals to our pride, like fights, lies, and all kind of sins committed by our own self-gratification.

He also tempts us by appealing to our ambition, and here are other forms of crime, drug trading, white slavery, and all sins we do to attain power and money.

By suffering these temptations, Jesus proved Himself to the Father, and redeemed all humans from all temptations, having been tempted like us, but without falling to them.

Omar Flores.

 


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