Gnostic Doctrine

Friday, 14 September 2018

The Temptation Of Jesus Matthew 4:1-11

The Temptation Of Jesus Matthew 4:1-11

Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
This is a stock proof-text cited in support of the belief that Satan is a personal being - a fallen angel.
The temptations in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11) represent the desires and ambitions of the flesh or mind of Jesus. When in the wilderness, Jesus was tempted by the Adversary, or the carnal mind which is the ego or personality; but with Jesus being full of the spirit, He withstood the deceptive promises made to Him. When the personality suggested that Jesus make bread out of stones, use His power to rule over others, or do other marvellous things to prove His mastery, He said to the carnal personality, "Get thee hence, Satan."

That the temptations in the wilderness were not physical is quite evident, because there was no mountain from which all the kingdoms of the earth could be seen, nor was there a temple in the wilderness to which the Adversary could have taken Jesus.Jesus went alone into an uninhabited region. For forty days He fasted and prayed. When He was quite hungry, it occurred to Him that He could use God's power to transform the stones at His feet into bread. But Jesus was quick to reject the temptation to use power of the spirit for selfish purposes, and He recalled Moses' scriptural advice that man should not live by bread alone.

Later, the thought came to Jesus that He could be divinely protected from harm, even if He were to jump from a height such as the “pinnacle of the temple.” Such a dramatic experience would command the admiration of many people. But Jesus wanted only to glorify God, not to use the power of the spirit for personal glory. So again He quoted the Scripture to the effect that man should not put God to the test. Next Jesus considered the fact that He could become an earthly ruler. But worldly ambition and the exaltation of the self or ego, are not a part of godly devotion. Thus Jesus quoted the Scripture that described His chosen mission, for He would teach and demonstrate man’s unity with God
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. If the devil were a fallen angel, why would the Holy Spirit lead the Son of God into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil?
Jesus "was in all points tempted like as we are" (Heb. 4:15), but who today is ever engaged in discussion by a fallen angel devil?
If Jesus had been confronted by a fallen angel the obviousness of the temptation would have weaken the effectiveness of its desire, urge, and impulse

if a fallen angel offered to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, Jesus would know he were a fake. God, "the most High, {not a fallen angel}, ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will." (Dan. 4:32). Jesus knew his Old Testament.
Jesus “was in all points tempted, like as we are” (Heb. 4: 15), and: “every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14). We are tempted by the “devil” of our own lusts or evil desires, and so was Jesus. We are not tempted by an evil being suddenly standing next to us and prompting us to sin - sin and temptation come “from within, out of the heart of man” (Mk. 7: 21). They “proceed” out of the heart, as if to stress that the heart really is their source. Jesus was tempted just as we are (Heb. 4:15,16), and in this sense He becomes for us a legitimate example. Paul borrows the language of "the tempter" coming to Jesus and applies it to "the tempter" coming to Christians (1 Thess. 3:5). And we can note that Matthew alone records how Jesus fasted during the temptation period- and it is Matthew alone who records instruction to usabout fasting (Mt. 16:16-8 cp. 9:14,15). Seeing we're not physically encountered by a literal personal satan in our times of testing, it surely follows that neither was Jesus our example.

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