The Temptation of Christ

Matthew 4:1

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

The temptation of Jesus is of major importance in His life and our theology.  Temptation shows that Jesus was fully human and susceptible to temptation even though He did not fall to it.  While Jesus was also fully God, He was still able to sin because of His humanity.

Jesus experiences temptations from the three sources that we also experience them – the world, the flesh, and the devil.

When Jesus is tempted to turn stones into bread, it is the temptation of the flesh that would lure Him to do so.  When told to cast Himself from the highest point of the temple, it is the call of the world that wants us to test God and questions what He does for us.  And when Satan asks Him to bow down, it is a direct temptation of the devil.

Jesus defeats all three temptations the same way and sets the example for how we ought to handle temptation as well.  When faced with temptation, Jesus quotes scripture, recalling God’s commands.

Often we fall to temptation because of ignorance of the Bible.  We may know something is wrong but we don’t know why because we’re unclear about what scripture actually says.  Transformation begins in the mind.  When we fill our mind with scripture it moves to our heart and then affects our actions.  This is how we withstand temptation.

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