The Temptation of Jesus
Luke 4:1-13 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit 2 for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 5 And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”
9 And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,
‘He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,’
‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Relevance of Jesus temptations to Christians today
Jesus, though without sin was tempted. His followers must expect to be tested in their faith. Christians learn that it is not sinful to be tempted. Since Jesus was tempted, he understands Christian’s difficulties when they are tempted. Jesus is always ready to help Christians to cope with temptations.
Relevance of Jesus’ temptations to Christians today
Why are Christians are tempted?
THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS - Luke 4:1-13
Lessons Christians learn from the temptations of Jesus.
Why Was Jesus Tested for Forty Days in the Desert?
The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent in 2015 commemorates Jesus’ forty days of testing in the desert. Jesus decided to spend forty days of testing in the desert as preparation for His adult ministry (forty days is the traditional number for spiritual testing). The reason He chose to begin His ministry with a time of testing was to
(a) set an example for us,
(b) reveal His identity as Son of God to the opposing supernatural forces, and
(c) reveal the nature of His ministry as Messiah to us.
Here is how the Catechism of the Catholic Church(CCC) explains the event (538): The Gospels speak of a time of solitude for Jesus in the desert immediately after His baptism by John. Driven by the Spirit into the desert, Jesus remained there for forty days without eating; He lived among wild beasts, and angels ministered to Him [cf. Mk 1:12-13]. At the end of this time Satan tempted Him three times, seeking to compromise His filial attitude toward God. Jesus rebuffed these attacks, which recapitulated the temptations of Adam in Paradise and of Israel in the desert, causing the devil to leave Him “until an opportune time” [Lk 4:13].
The Catechism continues (539): The evangelists indicated the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the new Adam who remained faithful, unlike the first Adam who gave in to temptation. Jesus fulfilled Israel’s vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God during their forty years in the desert, Christ revealed Himself as God’s Servant, totally obedient to the divine will. In this, Jesus is the devil’s conqueror: He “binds the strong man” to take back his plunder (cf. Ps 95:10; Mk 3:27). Jesus’ victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion—the supreme act of obedience of His filial love for the Father.
The CCC(540) says that Jesus’ temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to the way Satan proposed to Him and the way men wish to attribute to Him (cf Mt 16:2 1-23). This is why Christ vanquished the Tempter for us: “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sinning” (Heb. 4:15). By the solemn forty days of Lent, the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.
CCC 566: The temptation in the desert shows Jesus, the humble Messiah, who triumphs over Satan by His total adherence to the plan of salvation willed by the Father. One additional thing that should be known is that the biblical term for “tempting” is the same as the term for “testing.” Jesus was not tempted in the sense that we are—that is, having evil desires—but in the sense of being tested to see if it was possible to tempt Him in the sense of giving Him evil desires. He was not capable of receiving such desires because of His infinite holiness as Son of God.
Why Jesus was tempted in Summary
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