The temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4: 1–11)

After his baptism, Jesus went to the desert to think about and prepare for his ministry.

He spent forty days and forty nights in the desert where he was tempted on three occasions by the Devil.

“If you are the Son of God, command these stones to turn into bread.”

Jesus would have been very hungry as he had fasted whilst in the desert. The Devil was trying to tempt Jesus to use his miraculous abilities for selfish motives. Jesus responds to the Devil’s use of scripture by quoting scripture in retaliation. He says, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.”

The Devil takes Jesus to the top of the temple. He tells Jesus to throw himself off to prove he is the Messiah and that no harm will come to him.

But if Jesus did this, again he would be using his powers for selfish motives and testing if God would protect him. Jesus did not want to be known as a magician-like miracle worker, but rather he wanted people to have true faith in him. Again Jesus replies with scripture, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

“All these kingdoms I will give you, if you bow down and worship me.”

The final temptation was to see if Jesus would take the easy option and use evil powers to achieve all that he wanted. Instead, Jesus was strong and firm in his mission to his Father. He replies, “Worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.”