Tempting the Son of God (Matthew 4:1-11)
When Jesus was “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Matthew 4:1) to be tempted, he had just been baptised, received the Spirit of God, and had heard an astonishing proclamation by God from heaven:
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”Matthew 3:17
These things became the basis of his temptations when he was tempted to use the power of the Spirit to prove that he was indeed the Son of God. “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread”; “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down”; and then, looking out on all the kingdoms of the world, “All these will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
The third temptation doesn’t start as the other two do, but it is still directly related to Jesus’ own identity as the Son of God. The words that God had proclaimed at his baptism directly echoed the second Psalm; “The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.” And it continues;
“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.”Psalm 2:7-8
You see, Jesus had heard the very words of God that echoed Psalm 2, and his mind had immediately raced ahead ahead into the following verse. In this moment, he was tempted to take control of matters himself, with the new found power of the Spirit, and to take the kingdoms of the world through force there and then, just as Psalm 2 seemed to indicate that he could.
But the Son of God proved who he really was by answering his own temptations every time by looking back at the scriptures when he said; “It is written”. By turning to what “is written” in the Bible we can meet Jesus, learn about his human struggles, his temptations, and most importantly about his victory in overcoming sin.
Ask us if you have any questions about this or would like help in learning more about Jesus and the Bible.