We all know that Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan. We looked at it in a couple of previous posts, Why do we have temptations? and Don’t quote Scripture like Satan. In this post, we will explore the most important temptation of Jesus, repeatedly tempted by Satan, i.e, to make Jesus doubt Himself if He is truly the Son of God.
If you are the Son of God …
Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”Matt 4:3
When Satan came to Jesus, he tempted Jesus to doubt if He is indeed the Son of God.
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In [their] hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”Matt 4:5-6
Again a second time, Satan tempted Jesus to doubt if He is indeed.
Why Satan want Jesus to doubt Himself?
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.Luke 2:52
Jesus didn’t came into this world directly as a fully grown adult from heaven. He came as a normal human baby just like every single human. He was taught everything and grow like any other normal kid.
Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [He,] and [that] I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.John 8:28
Jesus was doing and speaking everything what the Father taught Him.
Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, [I], the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; He [is] faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?”Num 12:6-8
The gospels doesn’t say how the Father taught Jesus. However, we can assume it should be more direct like to Moses. e.g., face to face.
We must understand that the Father allowed Satan to test Jesus Christ to see if He truly trusted His Father.
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.Isa 28:16
As the Scriptures say, Jesus Christ was a tried stone which means He was tested and found worthy.
How does this apply to us?
Today, we have commandments to obey and promises that endures to enternity from Jesus Christ through His words, the Father which can be through Scriptures and the Holy Spirit who guides us and speaks to us today. But often tempter comes to us and makes us doubt them.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”Gen 3:1
Some of the doubts Satan tempts many Christians today are directly related to what they believe and being taught by churches. E.g., Did Jesus really say that we need to be holy and righteous, and be worthy to attain eternal life? If it is our righteousness that saves, then that would mean Christ died in vain. Jesus never said anywhere that His righteousness will save anyone.
On the contrary,
- We must be righteous to enter kingdom of Heaven (Matt 5:20)
- We must be sinless even to the point of chopping off our body parts if we want to enter life (Matt 18:8-9)
- We must clean the inside of us ourselves (Matt 23:26)
- We must be worthy to attain the next age (Luke 20:35)
The above is just a simple example of many doctrines which Jesus called as leaven. Jesus was tempted on who He really is. Today, Satan is tempting many to question who they really are, that is, disciples of Jesus Christ who obey what Jesus taught. Instead,many fall away and follow everything contrary to what Jesus taught yet call themsleves Christians.