Satan Trying Jesus' Faith in the WildernessVolume 3, Number 5
Created Date: August 5, 2008
Posted Date: August 5, 2008
The faith of Jesus: Satan's testing in the Wilderness - Part 2:
We continue here with the first incident after Jesus' introduction into public life/ ministry when the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness where He existed for 40 days and nights without food and the Devil tempted Him. In this we see, at least in part, Jesus as the antitype of David when David went up against Goliath, as recorded in 1 Samuel 17 (Faith Studies Volume 2, No's 44 - 47.) At that time the faith of God's son Israel was tried for 40 days while the Philistine army was gathered on a mountain on one side of a valley facing Israel on the other. The 11' 8" Philistine giant Goliath came out into the valley twice each day and challenged someone from Israel to fight him to the death, winner take all. The Israeli's cowered before him in spite of the fact that God had proved time and again He could and would give them victory over all their enemies, as when God: sent the plagues on the Egyptians, so freeing them from bondage; parted the Red Sea allowing them to cross on dry land, then drowned the Egyptian army behind them, so saving them; given victory over their heathen enemies at Jericho so they could possess their land, etc. But in spite God's promises, backed by all He had done for them, they didn't have enough faith to go out and fight Goliath and the Philistine army.
So God provided a savior for Israel in the person of David. At Samuel's anointing the Holy Spirit had come upon David. He was sent by his father to check on his brothers at the battlefront and bring them bread, etc. When he arrived and witnessed one of Goliath's tirades he was incredulous that the army of the Most High God was being challenged by such an infidel,. This showed his faith was in God's Word and not swayed by existing circumstances. In all this David was a type of and pointed to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Faith, , for God the Father sent Jesus, , as the living bread of life, , to His brothers, the Nation of Israel. When Jesus arrived, Israel was cowered before Satan, the antitype of Goliath, because Israel's leaders were possessed in their own self-righteousness and without faith in God's Word.
Goliath came at David with full body armor, a sword and huge spear. David's weapon against Goliath was a sling, a small stone and Goliath's own sword. In the antitype, Satan with all his cunning attacked the man Jesus who was weakened to the point of starvation. Satan's temptations or attack was to call into question and/or pervert the Word of God. But Jesus used the shield of faith, wherewith He withstood the fiery darts of Satan,, and His weapon against Satan was the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, . "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." .
In this study we will examine the first temptation/s, as recorded in Matthew and Luke, which are similar but different. Seeing Jesus hungry after having fasted for 40 days the Devil is quoted by Matthew as saying: "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.". In , the Devil is quoted as saying "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." In response, Jesus quoted part of as recorded in both and : "man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." Here we must go back to Deuteronomy and read the entire verse from which Jesus quoted in order to get to the point He was making: "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." Deuteronomy 8:3.
In the context of this passage Moses was passing the Word of God along to Israel for their faithful obedience. In this particular verse he taught that God had allowed Israel to wander in the wilderness for 40 years with no food other than the manna He Himself sent them from Heaven each day and God's reason for doing this was not mere convenience or just to give them something to eat without raising crops or animals, it was to teach them to know that it was only by His Word that they had life. But just like most people throughout history, they didn't learn this lesson because of their lack of faith in God's Word. However, the man Jesus lived a life of flawless faith in God's Word. He demonstrated this fact at the beginning of His public life/ministry by living entirely and only by the Word of God for at least 40 days and 40 nights. In fact He Himself was the Bread of Life. "This is that bread that came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat of that manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever." John 6:58.
So the point of the Devil's first temptation recorded in Matthew and Luke is explained by Jesus' response from the Word of God in Deuteronomy. Satan's temptation of Jesus was what he would have all mankind believe, and that is anything but the fact that God gave life to begin with, that He sustains life and that only by believing in Jesus Christ can anyone have eternal life. The Devil tried Jesus' faith in God's Word but Jesus stood steadfast. However, even today, Satan has not given up for he continues to question God's Word. He has successfully blinded most in our institutions of learning, the general public, as well as many so called church people with Darwin's theory of evolution or variations thereof. And as we look about us at humanity we sadly note that not many people really believe what the Apostle Paul and Silas told the Philippian jailer: "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.".
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.". "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." . "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." . "Verily, verily, I say unto, He that believeth on me hath eternal life." .
The Bible could not be clearer; Jesus is truly the Bread of Life. Our choice is to believe it or not.
To be continued.