When I think about the temptations of Jesus in Matthew 4 after he had gone in to the wilderness for forty days of fasting and prayer I focus on the fact that Jesus was just as human as you or me. Jesus was not a super-human. This is the mystery of his incarnation that he was both fully God and fully man. In the wilderness he was being tested a fully man. These tempatations Satan had for Him like turning a stone into bread are telling. Certainly Jesus was justs as famished as you or I would be but as the God-Man don't you think Jesus could have pulled off the same miracle? The test was whether Jesus would pull rank in his unglorified state. Remember when Jesus told Peter while he was being taken by the roman soldiers to be tried.

Matthew 26:53 (NKJV)

Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Notice that to wield the power he had, it had to come from praying to the Father. Jesus had immense power at his instant disposal but because he had condesended himself to become a full human being. He was in the same boat we are, dependent upon God for our power through prayer.

The last temptation is particulary interesting in how it ends. They all end with Jesus quoting some scripture from Deut 6-8.

Matthew 4:8-11 (NKJV)

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

First of all, the utter gall of Satan to ask Jesus to bow down and worship him just leaves me dumbfounded. But Jesus answers so appropriately, first he dismisses Satan and then quotes the Scripture about worshiping and serving the Lord God only. At first I can't help but think Satan is absurdly stupid to ask Jesus to worship him. But think I think of the offer Satan is making in exchange. Basically Satan is offfering Jesus the Kingdom without the Cross. Jesus was willing to go to the cross but even He asked God if there be any other way to let this cup pass from him.

Remember Satan is the ruler of "this world" because Adam gave it over to him after God had originally given it to Adam. God is doing everything legally and properly in this war against sin and Satan. And Jesus is demonstratking perfect righteousness as kinsman of ours, fully human, unclothed of all his splendor and majesty. It is only in this way, he can offer is own earned righteousness as a human to us because he did not have to pay the penalty of his own sin because there was no sin found in him.


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