Jesus’s temptations were to come near the end of his 40th day of fasting when He could be physically weak, for lack of food. Satan tried to get Jesus to doubt His covenant with God, about following through with His promise to lay down His life, and to doubt that He is the Son of God.
Jesus, with the assurance given Him by the Holy Spirit, was able to answer Satan’s temptations. He told Satan that He trusted what He couldn’t see physically, and that His faith was in God, and His Word.
Jesus basically told Satan, physical food doesn’t sustain God, and that He Himself as Jesus is God, and that life is sustained only by God from the beginning and that He’ll remain with this same faith even if the outward man should perish.
Then Satan, using God’s own wording, tells Jesus, OK if it is true that you live by every word that God speaks – then trust (test) God’s sustainability by letting yourself fall from the highest point of His temple in Jerusalem, for God says His angels will rescue you from a fall. As in His response to the first temptation, Jesus again responds by quoting Scripture.
The Israelites who wandered in the desert doubted God was with them, and Deut. 6:16 reads, “Do not test the Lord your God as you did at Massah.” Jesus never tested or doubted, but knew God was with him. This passage is thus seen as the clearest evidence that the temptation narrative shows how Jesus avoided making the same errors as the Israelites.
The previous two temptations didn’t waver Jesus’s faith, and then a third time Satan continues his best effort, which will be his last. Satan asked the Creator to worship him, the created.
Man continues to worship on a day other than the one God sanctified as holy. God specifically set aside for the living people He created, a rest day, called the Seventh Day Sabbath. It’s not just a day each week to do as you would on the other six days, but is the day God designed and specifically set aside, that all mankind would know they’re aligning themselves with the same Creator God of all creation and not any of the other gods that men worshipped, and made from their own creation.
Sound familiar? This is much like man worshipping something that he has created out of stone or wood, and even a day of the week that God had not designed or created for him to worship on.
Can you blame God for being jealous when He sees His creation worshipping things or days that are not of Him, or commanded by Him?
And finally after the third temptation Jesus tells Satan to get lost, for He will live only by God’s Word, and obey Him only. Jesus tells Satan, “the Scriptures say, ‘you must worship the LORD your God and serve only him’.”
When Satan realized he couldn’t get Jesus to either worship or obey him, and his presented temptations couldn’t deter Jesus, he left Jesus there, and went away.
R Scott Holder is a guest contributor who writes on a variety of spiritual topics.