The *Devil tests Jesus for the first time

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 2 - John the Baptist and Jesus begin their work - Part 7

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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

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Matthew 4:3, 4 Luke 4:3, 4

Jesus had not had a meal for 40 days. Jesus was now very, very hungry. Then the *Devil came to test him. In that particular desert there are stones (called lapides or septaria) that look like small loaves of bread. Everywhere that Jesus looked he would see these stones. There are also stones there that look like fruits. People call them Elijah’s melons. [A melon is a large round fruit.] The *Devil tried to test Jesus the man. The *Devil was very clever. It is not wrong to have what we need. We must live. Jesus had powers as God. Why should Jesus not use these powers? They could supply his needs. This was the first time that the *Devil tested him.

'Make this stone become bread'

This *Devil's scheme was clever. Jesus could have used this method to make people believe in him. If he gave out free bread, crowds would come to him. (In fact, this happened later. But Jesus never obeyed the *Devil. In fact, Jesus cared about the people who followed him. He cared about their needs. So, he fed hungry people. And he cured ill people.) But Jesus did not come to the world to make life better. He came to make better men and women.

The *Devil wanted Jesus to give in to hunger. To desire food is a common physical need. It is not wrong to be hungry. But it is always wrong to obey the *Devil. The *Devil did not tempt Jesus with sex. The *Devil was too clever to do that. Instead, the *Devil used something that a hungry man really needed. That is, Jesus needed food.

Jesus trusted God

Jesus did not give in. Instead, Jesus trusted God.

God made people. He wants people to trust him. He had led Jesus into this desert. There God allowed Jesus to be hungry. God would choose when Jesus' hunger would end. And God would choose how it would end. But it would not be right for Jesus to make it end. And it would be terrible if Jesus obeyed the *Devil. The common needs of life are important. But it is more important to obey God.

How did Jesus answer? He did not argue. He used the authority of the Word of God [that is, the Bible]. He said:

'The Word of God says, “Man does not live by bread alone” '.





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