The Jesus Temptation Series Part 3: Do Not Test The Lord
VERSE PASSAGE: Matthew 4:5-7 "Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘"He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” - NIV
Something interesting here is that Jesus was in the desert and then all of a sudden He is in the holy city. This seems to be outside the realm of walking to the holy city and then climbing to the highest point of the temple. Rather I believe it was spiritual transportation. It could be in body or out of body. But either way it was a faster means of getting there or else there would be no reason for this temptation. I'm sure Jesus would not just walk side by side with the devil all the way back into the city and then climb the temple.
The devil added a new element to this temptation as he quoted scripture in which is in Psalms. Now, we are at the point in which Jesus must make a critical decision. Should He test the assertion that He truly is the Son of God by throwing Himself off the temple and seeing if God will save Him?
I've heard some state that this was a temptation for Jesus to gain popularity. He was on the highest point of the temple. The place in which the worshippers worship. Just think about this for a minute. You want people to believe that you are the Messiah. What better way than to jump off the temple and have the Angels of the Lord save you from harm. He would have instantly gained fame. People would flock to Him in belief that He truly is the Son of God.
However, I have to go a different direction than this thinking. I believe that the devil tempter Him in this way to bring distrust to the Word of God. To test the reliance of the Word. Jesus had countered the devil with the Word in the first temptation. But now the devil has used the Word in order to tempt Jesus. The devil basically said "Jesus you know the Word. You know that it says in Psalms that His Angels watch over you. He wouldn't even let your foot strike against a stone. He'll protect you if you are the Son of God." This was great temptation. Because this one is now using the Word against Jesus. I mean would better way to prove the reliance of the Word than to test the Word.
Jesus counters with the Word. Jesus states "it is written: do not put the Lord your God to the test"
Many people have played the trust fall game. You fall backward and trust that the person behind you will catch you. However, that is a test to the trust you have in them. Jesus basically said "Satan I have not reason to test the reliance of God. I trust Him fully and have no need to test that trust."
We need to stop trying to test the Lord. The world would have us do all kinds of experiments in order to test the reliance of the Word. But God has already said "do not it test Him" Testing the Lord is putting doubt in your reliance of the Word.
When temptation comes and the Word is used against us we need to counter it with the Word. We need to not try and test the reliance of the written Word. We do not need to prove our trust in the Word by testing the Word.
Trust in the Power of His Word alone. When we trust completely we will have no reason to test it. Be blessed my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Copyright © 2017 by Jacob D. Olinger
The Jesus Temptation Series Part 3