Monday, June 15, 2015

Was Jesus really tested by Satan? - Part #4. Never underestimate the power of human beings to tempt Almighty God!

Friends,

This is part #4 of the series on "Was Jesus really tested by Satan?". If you haven't read the previous posts, you may read them here: #1, #2, #3.

In this post we look at one of the three tests/temptations faced by Jesus - the one about turning stones to bread.




Never underestimate human beings, they have the history of tempting Almighty God!


According a vast majority of Christians, Satan, apparently a spirit being, had to manifest or incarnate himself in order to test or tempt Jesus, the son of God. But, while Israel had to tempt the Almighty God, they could do it most efficiently, without the assistance of a celestial monster called Satan!
Heb 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness
Heb 3:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. (See also: Exo 17:7)
It is not just once that human beings, specifically the children of Israel, tempted the Almighty God!
Num 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice
Remember, this feat of tempting the Almighty God for ten times was accomplished in less than 20 years! (According to scholars, Numbers 14th chapter is about the events that occurred circa 1472 BC. Israel's coming out of Egypt occurred circa 1491 BC). We do not know how many times more they tempted the Almighty God before entering into Canaan!

Israel could tempt the Almighty God, who is a spirit being dwelling in spiritual realm, without any assistance. Given this, is it not logical to ask whether it takes some celestial monster called Satan to test Jesus who was on earth, in the flesh?


Temptation to turn stones to bread. (Matt 4:3)


The congregation to which I belonged used to conduct spiritual conventions periodically. People would come to these conventions after having sumptuous breakfasts and would be listening to the spiritual messages in all earnestness. Around 12 noon, the aroma of Chicken Biriyani (that is being prepared for lunch in the nearby kitchen) floating in the air would start entering their nostrils. Gradually, their attention ceases to be with the preacher. By 12:30 PM, their minds would be seething along with the pieces of chicken in the huge cauldron in which the Biriyani is prepared.

It may not have been 3 hours since these people had their breakfasts. But the weakness of their flesh, as they say, tempted them. This being the case, does it really take a Satan to tempt Jesus, who has been starving for several days? Remember, He was the Son of Almighty God, vested with the Holy Spirit without measure. Is it unlikely that He was aware of the fact that He could accomplish anything He desires? It was He who increased 5 breads into 5,000, and raised the dead. It is fairly simple for him to turn stones to bread.

Assume for a moment that you are an official holding a very high position in a financially sound organisation. You have some urgent need for a large amount of money. You can always take the required amount from the organisations funds, with none to question you and without letting anyone know about it. But it takes a firm determination not to fall into such temptations.

It is hard to overcome the temptation to utilize the powers that one has in a wrongful way. No wonder, it stated thrice in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation that great rewards are kept in store for those who overcome. (Rev 2:7, 17; 3:21)


It is not just Satan who tested Jesus regarding bread.

If you analyze the books of Moses, several times did Israel test or tempt God regarding food and water. In the New Testament, Jews tested / tempted Jesus regarding bread:
Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
Joh 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat

Instead of asking Jesus to give them bread from heaven, the hinted to Jehovah dropping Manna from heaven.

The tempter:

Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread
It is said that Jesus was in all points tempted like us (Heb 4:15). While you were tempted, did a celestial monster called Satan come and stand before you? Apart from Satan, did none else know that Jesus is the Son of God? Is it unlikely that someone among those who heard the voice that came from heaven at the time Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Mat 3:17) met Him in the wilderness and challenged Him with the above statement?

A similar scripture, these are the words of Jews who were passing by, while Jesus was on the cross.
Mat 27:40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
If a bunch of men could challenge Jesus using the expression: "If thou be the Son of God", does it really take a Satan to raise the question in Mat 4:3?

Let us examine another scripture that uses the Greek word (peirazō, G3985 in Strong's) that is translated as tempter in Mat 4:3.
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted [G3985], when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed
Every man (be it, you, me or Jesus) is tempted by ones own lusts (desires). If you are tempted by your own desires, so was Jesus, who was in every point tempted like you.

Conclusions:

  • Human beings have the history of testing even the Almighty God, so, the Son of God also could have been tempted by human beings.
  • Jesus was tempted in every point like us. If an entity named Satan does not come and stand before us, it is not necessary that an entity named Satan stood in front of Jesus.
  • Everyone is tempted by his/her own desires.
to be continued in Part #5...
In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal


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